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.
Make Them Suffer are truly incredible songwriters and “Fireworks” proves that point. The song, off the band’s new record Worlds Apart which comes out July 28 on Rise Records, masterfully blends heavy vocals and eerie guitars with beautiful melodies. This leads to a sense of calm and acceptance while at the same time revealing a type of suffering.
Here are some thoughts on,
A few exciting records,
And one not so much.
A lot has been happening these past several days in the heavy music scene, so instead of doing a hundred individual posts we’re just going to sum up some of the highlights from this week. Let us know what you’re most stoked on or what caught you most by surprise!
Chelsea Grin have just released their new single “Clickbait” off their upcoming record Self Inflicted. The new record will be the band’s first release with Rise Records and is set to come out on July 1st. Pre-orders are available here!
Does the new track have you grinning from ear to ear? Let us know! (Yes, we enjoy making awful puns.)
It’s hard to strike the balance of progressing your band’s sound without going overboard and selling out or otherwise alienating your original fans. Hands Like Houses third full-length record, Dissonants, accomplishes this difficult task with ease.
PVRIS is arguably one of the biggest newcomer bands in the scene right now, and it seems that their success came almost out of nowhere the second they dropped their debut record White Noise. I say “almost out of nowhere” not because it’s undeserved fame, but because releasing a debut record through a non-major label (Rise Records) and blowing up in both the set scene as well as making massive strides in the mainstream is practically unheard of. Even in the hipster nation, Bon Iver didn’t get the credit fans felt he deserved until his third full-length (which ironically only won him a Grammy for “Best New Artist”), but one album in and PVRIS is already gracing the cover of Alternative Press.
In no particular order, here are the HXC Magazine staff’s favorite records from 2015!