Both the title and the cover artwork of The Acacia Strain‘s new record Gravebloom tell a tale of destruction and rebirth. For vocalist Vincent Bennett, the journey that the iconic phoenix represents has been an extremely personal and turbulent one.
The Acacia Strain are sixteen year veterans of the aggressive music scene and their latest product, Gravebloom, shows they know what they’re doing, but also that they’re not afraid of experimenting. Hailing from a small, old, western Massachusetts town that would have inspired H.P. Lovecraft, the band excel at making brutal music with a dreary overtone. Basically, they create the aural equivalent of a winter night in a foggy, empty New England town – harsh and unforgiving.
Gravebloom is slow, sludgy, and depressing and tends to blend together at times. Then it changes to a frenetic pummeling assault without warning. The title track maintains a faster pace than “Model Citizen” or “Worthless,” which are good representations of the record overall, and then it switches gears with a melodic instrumental section. “Abyssal Depths” is slow enough to be boring, but it’s an outlier. The album sounds like it’ll play much better live while you’re swinging your fists and hitting your friends. I still recommend checking it out.