The Acacia Strain – Continent

Band: The Acacia Strain
Album: Continent
Genre: Metal
Label: Prosthetic

1. Skynet
2. Seaward
3. Dr. Doom
4. Forget Me Now
5. Cthulhu
6. Baby Buster
7. Balboa Towers
8. JFC
9. Kraken
10. The Combine
11. The Behemoth
With the slew of Acacia Strain imitators we usually get to review it’s really nice to finally get the real deal. The Acacia Strain’s new release Continent doesn’t disappoint. More than just a “what you’d expect from them” album, Continent grabs hold of you by the throat and doesn’t let go until you’re left bloody and lifeless.

The first song, “Skynet,” begins with some ambient static before punching you in the head with The Acacia Strain’s signature tritone style breakdown. Except this time they’ve added a Slayer style dive-bomb guitar note in the background. A nice addition to set the tone to the album and let you know it’s not just the same stuff you’ve already heard. Lyrically, “Skynet,” features lines like “Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery” and “Van flip times a thousand” which is a direct attack at bands that rip them off [some of which you may have seen featured on here]. The Acacia Strain aren’t trying to be subtle, and they’ve got the brutal music to back their attitude up.

“JFC” is probably my favorite track on all of Continent. This song has it all. You’ve got your barrage of down tuned guitars, pounding bass lines, thunderous drums, and the murderous growl of one of the best metalcore/deathcore vocalists around. It starts off with the singer screaming, “I AM THE END OF THE WORLD,” which is the main theme of the song. Then it goes right in to the main riff, which sounds like exactly what you’d want from The Acacia Strain: a sped up tritone breakdown riff. In between the lines in the verses you get a really nice deathcore riff, which is the kind of thing that makes this album stand out so well from a sea of similar sounding acts. After the first chorus (which uses the same riff as the intro) we get a brutal bridge with panning vocals and fast drums. We get to a nice triumphant sounding section shortly after that with slow drums, sustained power chords, a higher guitar riff, and the start of the outro chant, “I am the end of the world”. The music stops leaving us with an a cappella line then right into the final breakdown complete with gang vocals. I don’t think it’s too presumptuous of me to say this will be the best new live song for the band.

The albums last song, “The Behemoth,” is a true testament to how musically skilled the band really is. It starts with a 2 minute acoustic buildup into a progressive chord pattern. This is a very new sounding Acacia Strain. Just when you’re thinking “where is this going?” a breakdown riff comes in over the chord progression before a pick slide into a guitar solo. Yep, guitar solo. Ending the album on a musical interlude is a great change of pace for this kind of music. Usually you get the interlude in the middle, but this has a much better flow and leaves you feeling great about the album you just listened to. Continent is going to do amazing things for The Acacia Strain, no question about it.
If you have any love for any form of metal, go buy this album the day it comes out [8/19]. It not only puts all the imitators in their place, but redefines The Acacia Strain as one of the best metalcore/deathcore acts of all time.

*Written By: Justin Proper*
GRADE: 9/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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