The Acacia Strain


It's a relatively cool night for May and the peaceful silence of a small Massachusetts town is shattered. Although it is not overbearingly loud, keen ears perk up as the members of THE ACACIA STRAIN turn their collective head towards the building. Production mastermind Zeuss (Shadows Fall, Hatebreed) is inside, dialing in the sounds at Studio Z during the band’s first excursion with the aural expert. Then again, we are talking about THE ACACIA STRAIN, Springfield, Massachusetts' heaviest band, returning with their latest offering: Continent. The name alone implores and implies something massive and demanding, exactly what this album is. "This album is definitely darker than anything we have done in the past. It's more proper, if that is even possible. It is our most angry release to date," says vocalist Vincent Bennett, with an ever so slight emphasis on the word ‘angry.’ From the social critique on the lull of cultural comfort, the deep-rooted resentment that festers inside has darkened. "Continent is basically my absolute disgust towards everything. The whole album is based on the concept of nihilism. The world as we know it was a fluke and there is no meaning in anything. It is about pulling yourself out of society because everything makes you sick. It is about purposefully leaving everything behind and destroying everything you think you love. It is about hatred, anger, rage and resentment. Nothing is sure to me anymore. Everything has been tainted. This album is pretty much exonerating myself from it all." The band’s sound is undeniably darker on Continent, yet THE ACACIA STRAIN manages still to likewise hold true to the band’s established identity, retaining its signature sound while still combining more speed, brutality, and more atypical song construction. That said, THE ACACIA STRAIN has effectively established themselves at the front of a pack of ever-expanding – and equally evolving – extreme music contenders. “We write music that we like playing,” Bennett continues. “Too many people in bands lately have just been putting out records and playing shows so they can BE in a band and be popular. There is no passion anymore; it’s all an internet popularity contest. We write the music we do because we like playing it, and if people are into it then that's an amazing bonus. There are so many useless arguments on the internet about what kind of band is metal or metalcore or deathcore or hardcore or whatever. Shut up. Listen to music. The minute you try to define it is the exact moment it loses all of its actual meaning.” Undeniably, meaning is something high on the band’s list for the release of Continent, the third release for Prosthetic and fourth overall for THE ACACIA STRAIN. Tying lyrics and music with visual interpretation once again is artist Paul Romano, uniting Continent’s theme of nihilism and misanthropy with the album’s visually stunning mural of destruction. Now, with the band’s line-up stable, rounded out by guitarist DL, bassist Jack Strong and drummer Kevin Boutot, THE ACACIA STRAIN is poised to continue down the road of growth and progression, something they have been doing since The Dead Walk’s release in 2006. Proving their power on the road time and time again and leveraging their sonic devastation in cities across the US and Canada, 2008 shall be no different for THE ACACIA STRAIN. The only difference is Continent will be the end of everything. ”


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