The Acacia Strain, Failure Will Follow Review
The Acacia Strain, Failure Will Follow Review
The Acacia Strain is an American metalcore band formed in Chicopee, Massachusetts, in 2001. Known for their distinctive blend of deathcore, metalcore, and sludge metal, the band is defined by its intense, downtuned guitar work, dark lyrical themes, and powerful live performances. Despite numerous lineup changes, lead vocalist Vincent Bennett has remained a consistent presence, driving the band’s artistic vision with his guttural vocal delivery and brooding lyrical style. Over the years, The Acacia Strain has released numerous albums that have garnered critical acclaim, and their unique, genre-blending approach has solidified their standing as a notable force in the heavy metal scene.
With Failure Will Follow, The Acacia Strain push their sound into previously unexplored territories, with a focus on longer, multi-sectional compositions, each of the three tracks stretching well beyond the ten-minute mark. The band’s use of heavy, slow riffs, dynamic contrasts, and layered instrumentation creates a haunting, oppressive atmosphere that mirrors the dark themes explored in the lyrics. Vincent Bennett’s deep, guttural vocals provide a consistent thread, shaping the album’s complex structure and further intensifying its gloomy mood. Each track on the album offers a journey through various sonic landscapes, building from quiet, brooding passages to explosive crescendos. Failure Will Follow is The Acacia Strain building their reputation for delivering powerful, emotive metalcore, but also signals their willingness to push boundaries and evolve.
“Pillar of salt” is the opening selection and is a strong representation of the band’s use of dynamics and layering. The band employs a mixture of slow, heavy riffs – sometimes chugging, other times deploying darkly hued arpeggio figures on the guitar – to create a foundation of intensity. This variety of guitar techniques demonstrates the band’s command of dynamic contrast. Chugging riffs provide a dense, oppressive atmosphere, while the arpeggios offer a more textured, nuanced sonic palette.
The song’s structure is multi-sectional, moving through different sections of varying intensity and instrument activity. This gives the song a sense of progression and narrative, as the listener is taken on a journey through different musical landscapes with sections ranging from quieter, more brooding passages to intense, loud crescendos, with each shift in dynamics serving to heighten the overall impact of the song.
Layering is another key aspect of the song’s composition. By building up layers of sound, The Acacia Strain creates an atmosphere of dark, haunting patterns. The layering of different guitar parts, use of different effects on the guitars, and bass and drum hits are some of the many counterpoints and layers used in the song. Additional sounds such as sustained noises or white noise, build the song layers too. The layering not only adds depth and richness to the sound, but also contributes to the song’s dramatic ebb and flow.
Bennett’s vocal performance is instrumental in tying all these elements together. His deep, guttural, intensely emotional vocals provide a consistent thread that runs through the song, giving shape to the multi-sectional structure. The varied textures in his vocal performance mirror the dynamic contrasts in the music, adding another layer of emotional intensity. His vocals convey a sense of despair and misery that is perfectly in tune with the gloomy atmosphere created by the music. The beautiful female vocals at the end of the song also brings in new textures and emotions.
“pillar of salt” is an exemplification of The Acacia Strain’s evolution in musical style, showcasing their use of slow, heavy riffs, dynamic contrast, a complex song structure, and emotive vocals to create a haunting, immersive musical experience for metalcore fans.
Failure Will Follow is an innovative exploration of The Acacia Strain’s well-established sound, pushing the boundaries of their unique blend of deathcore, metalcore, and sludge metal into new, immersive territories. The album’s extended, multi-sectional compositions, coupled with its intricate use of dynamics and layering, create an atmosphere that is as haunting as it is compelling. Despite the increased length of the tracks and the greater emphasis on atmospheric elements, the band maintains their trademark intensity, with the slow, heavy riffs and dark themes ever-present. This is a record that showcases The Acacia Strain’s willingness to innovate while remaining true to their core sound. It’s a deep dive into the more gloomy aspects of their music, offering listeners an experience that is as challenging as it is rewarding.
The Acacia Strain
Failure Will Follow
May 12, 2023