With a combination of sledgehammer breakdowns and brutal lyrical misanthropy, the Acacia Strain’s fifth album, Wormwood, is a lesson in focused hostility. Seemingly unconcerned with dazzling the listener with lightning-fingered guitar wizardry or insane blastbeats, the Acacia Strain is like a speeding heavy metal freight train, an inelegant and unstoppable juggernaut fueled by memories of the unchecked aggression unleashed on the world by the likes of Sepultura and Pantera. Subtle is not a watchword here. Those looking for patient buildups and intricately structured harmonies to stroke their beards to will find themselves disappointed. Instead, Wormwood is an album that’s almost unapologetically blunt, painting a portrait of a mosh pit in big broad strokes. And that’s really what it boils down to. This is an album that’s designed to fuel the fire until the only option left is catharsis, making for an album that’s sure to destroy the kids in the pit, but isn’t going to be your first choice for something to kick back and unwind with.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney