Review of Coma Witch by The Acacia Strain
Overall, I'll give the album an 8/10.
We've all come to expect a certain level of brutality from TAS. With this album, however, I think we can all agree that they have outdone themselves, lyrically. The songs are dripping wet with existential nihilism, Anti-Christian views, and a general hatred for all existence.
It's the angry honesty of vocalist Vincent Bennett that has kept TAS fans coming back for more and while even I was borderline offended by some of the lyrics, I have to objectively say that this album definitely delivers in that respect.
The songs are a rich mix of high energy hardcore and droning doom metal. With the recent loss of guitarist DL, there's a noticeable difference in the writing style of the music, particularly the guitars. It's not better or worse, just different. If you've been listening to TAS for a while, I think it's pretty obvious. Nonetheless, the music maintains the heavy hitting quality that TAS has cultivated.
I have to admit, I think the mix and overall sound of the album is what is most lacking to me. The guitar tone is just a little muddy compared to previous albums and doesn't quite cut through the mix as well. While the drums sound incredible, they sit a little loud in the mix, compared to everything else and the highs (particularly between cymbals and vocals) seem to fight each other a bit.
It's a very dark sounding album overall, which isn't necessarily bad. It's just what it is.
Personally, I feel like DL (formerly the only guitartist) had been on a journey to finding his guitar tone which is clearly illustrated if you listen to the last albums back to back, culminating with DITOM - almost like he had a tonal epiphany of sorts. Now that he's gone it seems like they're back to square one on that journey, which, as a listener, is kind of a bummer. But overall this is still the same Acacia Strain, never selling out, never changing for anyone, always brutal as hell.
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