Say what you like about deathcore; it has produced some great bands. Pretty maligned by some, and certainly not as big news as it was before, but it has brought us a fair few top notch bands; whether they have continued to be a part of the scene or not. One of the more vicious, heavy, and consistent of which is The Acacia Strain, a band who may not have reached quite the lofty heights of some of their peers, but are definitely worth mentioning in the same bracket.
Unlike many bands that came out of the deathcore ‘scene’, The Acacia Strain have not shied away from that core, beatdown heavy, death metal sound from which they spawned on previous releases, and this is much the case again with “Death Is The Only Mortal”. Very much sticking to their sound, there are no signs of progression of their sound here, which can be great for the die hard fans but not so much for others.
It does prove quite formulaic and repetitive overall; the songs do pretty much sound alike; riffs followed by massive beatdown, repeat, and therefore do not stand out, apart from final track ‘House Of Abandon’ purely for its significantly longer duration. You get the feeling that this is the point however, and as identical as the songs prove to be, they do pack quite the punch still. There is the odd surprisingly mellow passage (such as in ‘Time And Death And God’), but this is hardly making a radical shift.
As negative as this review may appear, if you are a fan then you are definitely going to love it, and it is a strong album. Not essential, certainly not revolutionary, but fun.