I am all for metal. I’m especially for thoughtful, well-constructed metal. The Acacia Strain is not the place for the latter. Though at one point in time that may have been the case, the band is back with a taste of their upcoming Death Is The Only Mortal and it’s very much the “in-your-face” brand you’ve grown to love or hate since Wormwood.
Starting with an ascending chord progression and a quick kick triplet, “Victims of the Cave” teases you for about four seconds until you realize you’re listening to a throw-down, circle pit monster breakdown in drop F. Fortunately, the production seems to carry the stupidly low guitar tone and brings a strength to the track with some nice low-end and clarity. 42 seconds in and a haunting, distant guitar line rings slow over an even slower and simpler breakdown. So far, nothing memorable.
Roughly halfway through the song, the speed picks up tremendously and is intensified as guitar lines switch from singular chugging to fast triplets that work in harmony with a punchy and aggressive kick. Pugnacious, gritty, and of course, brutal, The Acacia Strain bring it all home. As the song progresses though, it becomes painfully obvious that they are far more capable than what the first half of the song makes them out to be. Swift double kick, stretched, angry vocals, and Meshuggah-esque guitar lines seam together greatly, and utilize simplicity and low tuning to its full power. Yet, the song ends in another fade out, which implies that the group doesn’t quite know how to end a song.
All in all, The Acacia Strain go hard. That’s the point. As a single from Death Is The Only Mortal, it would make sense to release a simple, straightforward track. It’s what we’ve come to expect from the band as a whole. Pissed off, mosh-ready metal. If you’re looking for sophistication, look elsewhere. If you want an anger release, this is your band and, more specifically, this is your song.