Massachusetts’ own The Acacia Strain are back with a new record to follow up their monumental 2014 release, “Coma Witch”. Their 8th full length album will be titled “Gravebloom” and will be the first album in the band’s history that will not be released 2 years after the previous full length record in their discography. Prior to “Gravebloom”, The Acacia Strain albums were released in two year intervals, starting with “…And Life Is Very Long” in 2002 all the way until 2014’s “Coma Witch”. While it may be frustrating to have to wait an extra 6 months than usual for a new TAS release, I am fairly sure it will be worth the wait (not to mention that having an extra long album cycle for “Coma Witch” was something I personally was very happy to see). However, we are now months away from yet another TAS album, and the first single released, “Bitter Pill”, already showcases how the legendary metal band will continue their profound legacy in the extreme music scene.
“Bitter Pill” is the perfect representation of how the sound from “Above/Below” and “Coma Witch” has continued to live on, but slightly evolve, in the recent years of TAS’s history. Deep, crushing guitar and bass tones and riffs steamroll through the entire track as thunderous percussion and Vincent Bennett’s demonic and instantly recognizable harsh vocal tracks add a punishing, unforgiving heaviness to the track as a whole, resulting in brutal song that is a perfect representation of The Acacia Strain’s signature, near flawless sound they’ve come to embody since 2013. Personally, “Coma Witch” isn’t just my favorite TAS album, it’s one of my favorite albums of all time and is extremely influential and important to me and the music I enjoy today. That being said, I’m extremely excited to see “Gravebloom” take on this continuation of the theme and sound heard on “Coma Witch”. Everything to the artwork, which looks surprisingly similar to that of “Coma Witch” (seen below), to even the unique guitar tones and riffs heard on “Bitter Pill”, appear as if they could easily fit into “Coma Witch” as interchangeable aspects. This isn’t meant to be interpreted as an insult, as I personally believe that if The Acacia Strain are writing some of the best material of their careers, why should they change anything? In fact, I’m ecstatic to see that “Gravebloom” will be an even heavier, slightly more evolved (in a positive way) version of “Coma Witch” that might even be able to surpass the 2014 masterpiece as the new greatest release from TAS’s long history. Of course, it will take a lot more than one phenomenal single to accomplish this, however, they are off to a solid start so far. I will say, however, I am fairly disappointed to see that a track similar to “Observer” won’t be heard on “Gravebloom”. Even though TAS or Rise Records haven’t released the official length of each individual track, the fact that pre-orders for the album, which are attached below, feature CDs and vinyl releases with only 1 disc per item means that we won’t be seeing another epic, masterfully written half-hour long track like we did on “Coma Witch”. However, it might be too redundant if “Gravebloom” practically mimicked “Coma With” in composition, so I can see why the group chose not to write a song similar in structure. Regardless of similarity to “Coma Witch”, it is a known fact that adding Devin Shidaker to TAS was the greatest move in the band’s history, as the songwriting heard on “Above/Below”, “Coma Witch”, and “Gravebloom” is nothing short of impeccable.
“Gravebloom” artwork vs. “Coma Witch” artwork:
2017 is shaping up to be one of the best years in extreme music in recent memory, and myself and the rest of the staff at Erik’s Album Reviews will constantly keep you updated on all things involving The Acacia Strain this year, so stay tuned as we get closer to the release of “Gravebloom” on June 30th! Pre-order the new, pretty much guaranteed to be stellar The Acacia Strain album below, listen to “Bitter Pill”, and check out our recent post about Oceano’s new upcoming album, as “Revelation” is very similar to “Gravebloom” as they both appear to be continuation’s of their respective band’s previous and best material to date (not to mention that Devin Shidaker also used to play guitar for Oceano). Lastly, a review of “Coma Witch” is in the works, which further discusses the vast significance of the superb album and it’s influence on myself and the rest of the modern extreme music community.
Oceano new album post: