There seems to be a code word that is gradually appearing with the 7″ vinyl series that The Acacia Strain have been surprise releasing over the past few weeks and months. The first part, “D” had a guest appearance from Aaron Herd of Jesus Piece, the second, part “E” had Jess Nyx of Mortality Rate and now the third, part “C” has Zach Hatfield of Left Behind. The letters spell out “DEC” so what comes next and just how many more of these have the Deathcore monsters got up their collective sleeves? On this one vocalist Vincent Bennett offered: “This is my personal favorite set of two, but don’t let that sway your opinion. Short and sweet meets long and depressing — the perfect combination. Zach from Left Behind was the obvious choice for ‘I breathed….‘ He added so much to the song and I’m happy he was able to. We are living hell.”
Bennett is right – “Crossgates” is a 68 second ripper of track, classic mid-tempo Deathcore chugging evil that goes low and slow towards the end, reaching those Downtempo notes with no fade or continuation. Bennett’s vocal is at it’s throat incinerating best as he states “Crushed by the weight of the world. What if we all died? What if instead of burning alive we are living hell? We are the worst versions of ourselves. Terminal” and the track dies. It’s a sort of old of homage to some the short tracks that the likes of Napalm Death used to create and rips a hole in the space time continuum. “I Breathed In The Smoke So Deeply It Tasted Like Death and I Smiled” which features Zach Hatfield of Left Behind as it’s guest on the other hand is the polar opposite. A slow, Doom Metal atmospheric permeates this one and it could easily be an outtake from the sessions that went to create their recent album “It Comes In Waves“. Vocally, it’s far less harsh and occupies completely the two tracks only having the one thing in common – the lack of a chorus. Combined the two are like opposing sides of a coin, this one being the long, drawn out pain of getting caught in a vice grip without being crushed to death, compared to the one black boot stomp crush of “Crossgates” [7.5/10]
I Breathed In The Smoke So Deeply It Tasted Like Death and I Smiled (ft. Zach Hatfield of Left Behind)
“C” by The Acacia Strain is available for vinyl pre-order here.