Acacia: Tills döden skiljer oss åt

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Acacia: Tills döden skiljer oss åt
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Acacia: Tills döden skiljer oss åt
Black Metal, Depressive Rock, Doom Metal
Art of Propaganda
July 1st, 2013
Release length: 1:01:24
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Back in 2007, the Black/Doom Metal group Livsnekad was born in Sweden. The band issued two EPs, and one full-length in 2009. In 2010, the five member group changed their name to Acacia, eventually becoming a six-piece that found themselves located largely in Halmstad, Sweden. The band also ventured further into the Depressive Rock and Depressive Black Metal terrain with this new moniker. Three years later, the band finds themselves signed to Art of Propaganda Records, and issuing their début full-length album under their new name titled Tills döden skiljer oss åt. With plenty of praise and high expectations for the album based solely on their previous outings under Livsnekad, does this new effort deliver, or is it simply uninspiring?

Acacia really focuses on atmosphere and track length, both working hand in hand to make a truly exquisite experience. “Död mans mask” ends up the shortest track at six-and-a-half minutes in length, but is a superb introduction to what the band has in store. Slow, simple, and echoed riffs, many clean and crystal-like, are played against additional keyboard notes for much of the track. A violin ushers in a beautiful, but sadly brief performance a little more than two minutes in, fading to the cold guitars once more with soft male and female vocals chiming in a little later, complimenting the music perfectly. While you now know what to expect thanks to this cut, “Förnimmelsens lund af längtan” still manages to crush your spirits. The depressing riffs that linger more in the background of the trudging Doom Metal performance and guttural vocals add more to the atmosphere than you could expect. A few minutes later, it gives way to cleaner riffs and female singing before the music picks up and offers a glimmer of hope and beauty, even when the male vocals kick back in with a harsher presence as the music shifts towards a stronger Black Metal performance that refuses to let go of the uplifting keyboards.

“Tills döden skiljer oss Ã¥t” is a little longer, and starts with infants crying for a short time before kicking into some awe-inspiring keyboards and steady double bass kicks, the atmosphere skirting the line between hopeful and depressing. When the pace picks up, the material is simply infectious with a rhythm impossible not to get stirred up by, but when things slow down, the harsher harmonizations and effects on the male vocals create an odd aura of hazy euphoria, shifting t an emotional piano performance with cleaner riffs. But the most impressive track here happens to be “Amourens redoxreaktion.” Just over seventeen minutes, this one carries a beautiful Rock duet that makes up the first five minutes of the song, and is backed by a stunning piano performance that isn’t too complex, but captures the mood perfectly before slamming into a volatile Black Metal offering rich with solid drumming, eerie riffs, and a mid-range hum from the bass that supplies a strong backbone to the mix, even if it does seem a bit off key with the rest of the music in some spots. While not exactly punishing, the haunting performance wane after a while, giving way to clean guitar chords and birds chirping, as if the presence of a new day after the storm. Things pick back up, but never do they end up burdening or dismal, instead focusing on the beauty once more, leaving the vocals out for the most part so the music can work its magic.

Tills döden skiljer oss Ã¥t is a surprisingly moving album that jumps in and out of uplifting and depressing quite well. Many passages are simply moving, while others are largely just catchy or simply eerie and unsettling. Acacia does still have room to grow, as some shifts in atmosphere don’t always flow smoothly, and some chords and keyboards could have found a little more complexity in some spots. While none of these will rip you out of the experience, they just end up small things that more than likely will be touched up with albums to come. But, if you’re in the mood for more than an hour of mixed emotional Metal, the beauty that is Tills döden skiljer oss Ã¥t is one that you simply need to hear, as it will quickly become an album you’ll return to time after time for comfort, and even tear-jerking passion.

01. D̦d mans mask Р6:32
02. Förnimmelsens lund af längtan – 11:51
03. Amourens redoxreaktion – 17:08
04. Egocentrisk isolation – 11:49
05. Tills d̦den skiljer oss ̴t Р14:04
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Acacia

Digital review copy of this release provided by Art of Propaganda via Portus Musica.