GENRE: Doom/Black Metal, Depressive Rock
RATING: 9.5 / 10
I’ll just get right to the point. If you have a soft spot in your gloriously vast array of musical tastes for tortuously slow, depressive, and uncannily atmospheric black metal, then Acacia is a band you will want to hear. “Tills döden skiljer oss åt”, their debut (well, at least under the moniker Acacia, anyway), is nothing short of a uniquely extraordinary journey through a sonic soundscape filled to the brim with pain, suffering, and sadness, and it does it with an exceptionally stunning beauty about it.
Granted this is, in my opinion, black metal in a somewhat loose sense. The doom influences are undoubtedly abound at every turn, but yet this is something undeniably “blackened” in the grand scheme of things. All of the instruments sound as if they are being played in some abyssal void, covered in spatial depth and plenty of reverb. Vocals are performed by the duo of Moa Thorén, who handles the operatic female side of things, and Ulf Nylin, who boasts on of the more menacing growls I can recall from recent memory. As far as the production, you won’t hear a crystal clear, shimmering finish, but instead you’ll be treated to an almost dull sensation that enhances the atmosphere and mood.
The album itself is composed of five tracks, and four of those blow well beyond the 11-minute mark and rightfully so. This record is loaded with amazing ideas and a variety of interesting movements and experiences that require time to absorb and musically devour. However, the titanic magnitude of each track never creates any arduous feelings that it will require some laborious effort to make it through each one. Each riff and movement flows beautifully into the next from song to song.
Ultimately, this is an album I’ve grown to adore in the short time I’ve spent with it thus far. It is the culmination of songwriting ideas from what is clearly a very talented band. In a world where black metal’s greatest days are likely behind it, this album stands as truly a breath of fresh air and a unique modern masterpiece.
Review by: BH