Acumen Nation


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It's impressive how long Acumen Nation have been able to keep their blend of industrial breakbeats and hardcore aggression going, while neither watering down their style into something more commercially acceptable nor experimenting so far afield from their roots that they risk losing their original fanbase. Anticore is a double-edged sword, however, since an equally valid although less kind description of Acumen Nation's ninth full-length album is that the group have found themselves in a musical rut. Songtitles like "Branch Davidian Style" and the Soundgarden-baiting "Black Son Hole" are about a decade out of date (only the anti-war-profiteering "Halliburton Rape Trial" explicitly acknowledges current political atrocities), and more importantly, the mix of the Jason and Ethan Novak's grunt-and-howl vocals, hyperspeed hardcore guitar riffs, and thudding techno beats throughout sounds like it could have been recorded at any point in Acumen Nation's career. There's nothing on Anticore that will turn off longtime fans of Acumen Nation, but it's difficult to imagine them getting particularly excited about it, either.

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