Continent

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Band Name The Acacia Strain
Album Name Continent
Type Album
Released date 19 August 2008
Recorded at Planet Z Studios
Music StyleDeathcore
Members owning this album55

Tracklist

1. Skynet 04:22
2. Seaward 04:15
3. Dr. Doom 02:26
4. Forget-Me-Now 02:43
5. Cthulhu 03:27
6. Baby Buster (ft. Human Furnace of Ringworm) 04:18
7. Balboa Towers 04:36
8. JFC 02:56
9. Kraken 02:41
10. The Combine 02:02
11. The Behemoth 06:37
Bonustracks (Vinyl Edition)
12. Global Warming 02:55
13. Stay Puft 03:15
Total playing time 46:10

Review @ Baulz88

01 March 2019

When The Acacia Strain became the Acacia Strain

The Acacia Strain is a metalcore/deathcore band from Massachusetts that was started in 2001. "Continent" is their fourth studio effort. The album features 11 songs with a total length of a touch over 40 minutes; add another 2 songs for about 6 more minutes if the bonus tracks are included. The music consists of relatively straightforward hardcore/deathcore music with lyrical themes including misanthropy and nihilism, much of which is portrayed through metaphorical misogyny.

The Acacia Strain describes themselves as "hardcore music with metal influences," and I whole-heartedly agree. But, don't let that discourage you; this album has the breakdowns and grooves, sure, but there are some respectable melodies throughout as well. So, let's break this bad boy down:

The album starts out with "Skynet," which you'll find both punishing chugs, and a few grooves that will scratch your two-step itch. The next track, "Seaward," continues the chugs before rolling into two, back-to-back, chunky riffs before bringing in the breakdown around the halfway point, and then powers through the second half. Then, we get to "Dr. Doom," which vocalist, Vincent Bennett, notes to be one of the bands favorite songs to play live. This song has a bit of everything; starts out fast, then hits you with a pretty good slam, and there's even the rare guitar solo. A note on the solo; your not going to see a lot of flashiness here, but it fits the song very well, in my opinion, especially before the inevitable breakdown that closes the song. Things slow down for "Forget-Me-Now," an another track that gets the groove going before an absolute crusher of a second half. "Baby Buster" follows with a slower pace and features a wonderfully melancholy, although simplistic melody. Next up is "Balboa Towers," which is essentially 4 minutes of various breakdowns. Then we reach "J.F.C." (Jesus F*cking Christ, in case you were wondering), The Acacia Strain's version of an "anthem," if you will. The same riff is varied throughout, although it remains punishing all the way through until the surprisingly bright sounding bridge. That is short lived though, as another huge "I am the end of the world" plunges the listener into the final breakdown. As we enter the home stretch, "Kraken" delivers another breakdown-fest, before we get to "The Combine," arguably the heaviest chug-fest on the album. This journey closes with a phenomenal instrumental in "Behemoth." This last song is a rarity for this band as it features some clean guitar tones, and some smoother (while still heavy) sections, with a solo section over the top. I feel that it is a great note to end on, bringing down the non-stop aggression of the rest of the album to a more somber tone.

My opinion: I'm a big fan of The Acacia Strain. I see this album as a point where this band really found their sound, and made a way for them to stand out from where the previous records could have seen them lost amongst the droves of similar sounding acts. While, I don't think that this is their best work ever, it is a solid album with memorable tracks; a must have for fans, and one that shouldn't be overlooked by even the casual listener.

The Bottom Line: You won't find any flashiness or anything pretentious here. This band aims to deliver straightforward, heavy, punchy music and they do exactly that. The album is full of chunky grooves and punishing breakdowns, so, if that's your thing, what are you waiting for?

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Comment @ Scandals

04 February 2010
The Acacia Strain have been peddling their patented brand of deathcore since 2001, and have pretty much perfected their modus operandi by the time ‘Continent’ arrived in 2008. Sturdy, slam ridden death metal that chugs, growls and thunders its way through its almost 40 minute length.

For a style that has almost become totally redundant in terms of originality and room to manoeuvre, the Acacia Strain provide you with a welcome batch of meat and potatoes hardcore, laced with a sharp, metallic edge. Darker than previous efforts, ‘Continent’ also wipes out all these tedious little attempts at experimentation that many bands use to distract the listener from the fact that they don’t have good songs. ‘Continent’ possesses those in spades, be it the thunderous chug of opener ‘Skynet’, the eerie Morbid Angel-esque intro to ‘Chthulu’ or the harmonies that permeate the riffing pleasure of ‘Baby Buster’.

There also seems to be a Meshuggah influence creeping into the riffs of ‘Continent’, breakdowns have a slight unpredictableness and drumming parts sound slightly Tomas Haake- like. Closing track ‘The Behemoth’ provides a perfect end to a solid album; a soaring instrumental that ebbs, flows and sounds completely different to what has come before. It’s generally difficult to add something like that into an album without it seeming like a gimmick or contrite, but it works here to great effect.

Continent’ is exactly what you want in a deathcore album; big solid riffs, breakdowns that are not overly predictable but welcoming, and a huge lack of pretension. That is why this band slay. Buy ‘Continent’ and bang your head.

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