Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Acrasia fuses a 70 / 30 percent mix of prog metal and metalcore with elements of traditional heavy and black metal. Focusing on an almost jazzy, psychedelic sound with surprisingly clean and skillful vocals in contrast to the forced and uneventful growls, Acrasia offer one of the most “metal” and genuinely interesting "metalcore" productions to date, if you wold call it that, otherwise, they're a unique, if a bit poorly executed, prog metal band.

Guitar branches across a variety of metal sub-genres and incorporates a handful of traditional death metal style riffs, as well as several tremendously well done chainsaw riffs, some quieter jazzy passages, and your average “scaling” solo. Acrasia's guitar tone strikes me as similar to the “buzzsaw” sound on Entombed's earlier material. The song “Osedex” incorporates parts of the cliched “beach song” whose name I don't know. “Awaiting us All” is interesting in that it is essentially a doom metal song with clean vocals, creating a cool contrast, but effectively “sugarcoating” the doom metal and making the clean parts seem a bit pretentious or overly dramatic. Ending the better 2/3 of the album for guitar is the song “contextual relevance” which serves as a gateway back to a more "core" and cliched sound on the last three songs (actually two, sinced on of them is an instrumental). These two songs aren't  breakdown fests or anything (osedex is the only song with a breakdown, which is more of a bridge, in my opinion), but they use repetitive, video game like technical riffs, which could be argued to be sub-par technical death metal (obscura or braindrill) style riffs, or generally core hooks. These songs aren't bad necessarily, but they end the album on a weaker note than it starts.

Neither Acrasia's clean nor heavy vocals truly excel at their intended purpose. The mid range growls and attempted black metal screams turn out to be the most serious offense of all of the vocals, sounding dry and somewhat weak. While the highs sound just as dry, the extra force behind them creates an effective black metal scream (on songs like “Pulse”). Finally, the clean vocals manage to stay mostly on key, occasionally wavering a bit or missing the note, but the tone complements the rest of the album well. When I mentioned metalcore up there, this is what I was really thinking about, the dynamics of the vocals, and how they are applied to the songs. The heavy / clean vocal thing is a poplar element of many core bands, especially when combined with a sound that is akin to more intense varieties of metal, rather than a heavy metal band using the trick.

Acrasia's drums are average, keeping the time without using any on part of the kit too much, and mostly staying metronome accurate. The double bass can be a bit loud, and the recording on the drums seems to fade in and out (in case you care about that). None of the beats get too old, most obscured by the guitar and vocals, but the fills provide little other than a couple hits on the toms and some work on the cymbals. Bass has a handful of cool, suspenseful lines leading into songs, but is pretty much inaudible otherwise, masked by the drums, particularly  the double bass which sounds to break up the bass guitar.

Acrasia's material features typically proficient guitar work with average vocals, drums, and somewhat lacking work on the bass (resolved by bringing it up in the mix, and perhaps bring some of the other things down). Other than some issues with originality on the last handful of songs, Acrasia manages to keep the prog / metalcore fusion genre interesting enough that they are definitely worth looking into, but they stilll need to develop they're style.



  1. wtf you twits they arnt metalcore...
    and wtf is a chainsaw riff

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I find it funny how you remove posts but dont answer my question or respond to my statement

  4. "The price of beauty" by suicide silence contains a chainsaw riff starting at like the 5th second of its itunes preview, i don't own the album, suicide silence never appealed to me, "koko massacre" by postmortem promises, features a chainsaw riff, "whore to a chainsaw" by thy art is murder, unsurprisingly uses its fair share of chainsaw riffs. "nihility" by decapitated uses something close to a chainsaw riff.

    Oh and look up "the man who spoke in braille" and "a transcendent dream" on acrasia's page. Lets address the metalcore cliches it hits, shall we?

    Vocal style here is traditional metalcore.
    They use the same three note, squealing guitar tone riff scheme that the core bands do.
    Semi chugging "aggro" moments.

    Yeah, it needs to be editied, because for as much generic metalcore material that they have, they have just as much original death metal / punk / whatever else they feel like.

  5. Well imma be honest here mate.... there aint no punk rock or punk metal feel from this band...
    also pointing out references to songs does not explain a chainsaw riff
    thirdly.. just because they use clean and harsh dont make them metalcore... if thats the case Opeth and Agalloch would be metal core as well... and there not

  6. Metalcore wasn't about punk the last time i checked, see attila, atreyu, and the dillinger escape plan for "metalcore" bands that don't sound "punk". I edited the review anyway to make the point they aren't "metalcore", but they incorporate elements of it, unfortunately, i cant find the thread, but somewhere on one of the various metal forums, a bunch of people compiled a list of a few dozen bands in this vein.

    Sorry, chainsaw riffs (as i know them) are when someone picks a string rapidly to accomplish something similar to a sustained note with a "chainsaw" texture. So you might rapidly pick out some 8ths / 16ths on one string, go to the third fret, play a few more rapid notes, and so on.

  7. I'm a member of the band. That's why I removed my post. :P