July 20th, 2010
Release length: 10:53
The Wormwood Sampler contains three tracks off the band’s upcoming full-length, and all of them really give some insight into what to expect when it’s released. The first track, “Jonestown”, really isn’t as Death Metal oriented as some of the material they have put out before, though is still very Heavy and easily the most enjoyable track on here. Even the breakdown on here seems to be upgraded from the band’s previous efforts and really just hammers hard on the listener. The same can be said for “The Hills Have Eyes”, but this track seems to really lose some of it’s intensity, but still manages to stay keep a good amount of heaviness while bordering on a more straight forward Metalcore sound with deep emphasis on the “core” aspect of the music thanks to the heavy two-step drumming utilized, and a much weaker breakdown compared to “Jonestown”.
However, what is the most interesting aspect of this sampler is the song “Terminated”. The song actually seems to find it’s self more along the lines of a Groove Metal in the background, whereas the main focus of the song seems like a slowed down Deathcore track laid over it. The song is not bad, but it’s not that good either, and winds up just sounding rather repetitive without really offering anything too highly enjoyable other then some Meshuggah worship near the end, and some oddly distorted spoken word aspects prior to yet another unimpressive breakdown. Essentially, it seems like the band tried to make this a song that builds up from the start and was to utilize the breakdown at the end as the climactic point, however they wind up missing the mark completely and just create a song that leads nowhere and doesn’t even feel like it ends, leaving the listener empty inside as if this was some kind of introductory track then an actual song.
This sampler leaves varying degrees of emotions towards The Acacia Strain‘s fifth studio full-length Wormwood, but also gives off the varying musical approaches that we should expect. Not only do we get the band’s more traditional Deathcore influenced sound in a more refined way that brings an intensity that never really existed, but we find them also bringing it down to both Metalcore and Groove musical aspects. It’s sad, though, that these other territories of song writing don’t quite hold a torch to the aforementioned refined track “Jonestown”, but at least we know that there’s going to be some variety in Wormwood musically, and whether that will all be a positive or negative thing is still to be discovered. However, at this moment, the Wormwood Sampler leaves a fair warning to tread lightly with the next album. If there are more songs like “Jonestown” on it, it will be one of the band’s better releases, but clearly a more experimental one too.
01. Jonestown – 3:18
02. The Hills Have Eyes – 4:21
03. Terminated – 3:14
|Overall Score: 5.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Prosthetic Records.