Words: Woody Woodworth

In the blink of an eye, half of 2020 starts to pile up in the rearview mirror while we push to move forward, together. Over the last few months, the world has seen countless events that have pushed society to the brink. Between the global Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality issues and other civil liberties at stake, there is still room for good to rise up. Vincent Bennett from The Acacia Strain had a solid plan.

if you can do something that makes a 35 year old man feel like a kid on christmas again, that’s great! Especially during such a weird depressing unknown time

“I’m trying to learn myself and that’s the biggest part; I think as a straight, white male, there’s a lot I have to learn because I wasn’t subjected to it ever,” shares Bennett. “I think it’s my responsibility to make it a point to learn what really happened, what’s going on right now and to be a better person because of it.”

There had been stigmas in the past that seemingly forced society to look the other way, but the younger generations are fed up with the lack of adaptation to the way the world really is today. Following in the footsteps of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the new generation is ready for systemic change. 

The intensity of the world today can be heard throughout The Acacia Strain’s new album Slow Decay out July 24th via Rise Records. Laying the groundwork back in September, the metal outfit from New England released five 7” over the span of three months. What they didn’t plan all along was the pandemic taking shape and turning the music world on its head. 

“People are rarely surprised anymore, especially when it comes to music releases,” quips Bennett. “if you can do something that makes a 35 year old man feel like a kid on christmas again, that’s great! Especially during such a weird depressing unknown time.”

The new record is filled with guttural intensity, spanning twelve brain twisting songs that will make the listener really dig deep and think about the state of the world today. It almost feels as if society is breaking down around us and life isn’t what it is anymore.

If It Comes in Waves taught us anything, real fans will understand what you’re doing, what you want because you want to and Slow Decay builds off that

“I wanted to get away from talking about how much I was upset, angry and mad at the world,” leads Bennett. “What would happen if you were somewhere where you existed in a point of existence where you didn’t belong and your sanity and reality because of that started breaking down around you. At a certain point in time you cease to exist and I think that’s what the record is about. Now that i wrote all those lyrics, I feel like a self fulfilling prophecy; I’m living this shit right now and i don’t want to do that to myself.”

Slow Decay comes as a follow up to the band’s surprise release It Comes in Waves last year that garnered immediate success. They threw their conventional album writing out the door and did the opposite of what they thought they should do and it worked out better than they could’ve hoped. Now, Slow Decay has to build off that momentum and Bennett learned they didn’t have to stick to a specific formula; they could do whatever they wanted and people will recognize it as real.

“If It Comes in Waves taught us anything, real fans will understand what you’re doing, what you want because you want to and Slow Decay builds off that,” says Bennett. “Where we’re not going to stop being The Acacia Strain but at the same time what does that mean? What does being The Acacia Strain mean? It means speaking to what we want to do and writing the music we want to write and we think people appreciate it. SD is an amalgamation of doing whatever we want but also remaining true to what we were.”

With the way the world is going today, it’s very important to stay real and true to yourself, but it’s also your duty to better yourself. These are unprecedented times but patience and a little humanity is the key to getting through it. It’s time to take a step in the right direction and regain the balance of our reality.

“If we don’t do something about it our actual reality will decay around us,” warns Bennett. “We will be a subspecies of this planet; we’re going to circle the drain and just un-exist as human beings. We have to start caring for each other and start realizing the problems we have and start doing something about them. It’s easy to resort to anger and to resort to sadness but i feel like the best way to deal with it is rising above it and moving forward and crushing all the things that we think are wrong.”

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