Acid Bath's debut is a malicious and sometimes downright disturbing album that defies easy categorization. They stitch together elements of death metal, '70s hard rock, thrashing hardcore punk and Black Sabbath-esque sludge into multi-sectioned songs that are both intricate and often surprisingly melodic. The production, especially the compressed drums and often-processed vocals, adds an industrial feel that increases the album's menacing vibe. "The Blue" kicks things off with a bluesy swamp metal riff before smoothly winding its way through a maze of tempo and riff change-ups, while the closer, "Cassie Eats Cockroaches," weaves spoken word samples and screaming vocals in and out of complex, Southern-flavored death metal riffing and precision double-bass drumming. Elsewhere, the songs range from full-on assaults ("Cheap Vodka" and "Toubabo Koomi") to creepy ballads, namely the goth-tinged "Scream of the Butterfly" and the largely acoustic "The Bones of Baby Dolls." Vocalist Dax Riggs handles this diverse material well, switching between distorted screams and a melodic croon reminiscent of Jim Morrison or Glen Danzig. His not-for-the-squeamish lyrics address such topics as drug abuse, rape, abortion, death, and self-loathing, but for the most part do so in an artful, vividly poetic manner. While it would have been stronger if a few of the weaker songs had been left off, When the Kite String Pops is still an excellent, diverse metal album that remains unlike much else, even years after it release.
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AllMusic Review by William York