At this point in the metalcore game it's pretty much understood that nearly every avenue for expansion has already been explored and subsequently processed. Thus ardent genre devotees are left to either copy the current sales leaders or attempt to out brutal one another. The Acacia Strain have always been a band who seem to choose the latter and with their latest effort "Continent" seething with festering hatred, they may have just raised bar, or at least bashed in a few skulls with it.
Admittedly the playbook isn't all that revolutionary here. You get the chugging riffs, the towering breakdowns and the venomous bellowing howls. Basically it sounds a lot like Terror, Hatebreed and Meshuggah being torn apart by lions. Gruesome and pugilistic at nearly every turn the immense disdain and rage conveyed through the vocals is surprisingly the most overwhelming component. The thing that helps them stand out though is not only their conviction, but their general condemnation of everything.
This is no posi pep talk or gore-obsessed showcase. Rather this is seemingly a statement of intent to obliterate all. Of course the similar structuring of brawny riffs and polyrhythmic churning can only hold the attention for so long, so prolonged enjoyment will depend on the degree of your own societal disposition. But if this isn't an album that incites at least a little nihilistic mayhem, it damn sure will be the one that empowers a steakhead to go and bench press a gym.
(3.5 / 5)