Acid Bath - Paegan Terrorism Tactics (re-issue)

Acid Bath was one of the cult 90s doom and sludge metal bands that merged the gritty instrumental sound with almost chanting, hypnotic vocal work for a transcendental experience. The group only released two full albums before splitting up in 1997, but lately there has been some speculation of the group reuniting. To celebrate that possibility, Rotten Records has re-released their sophomore album, 'Paegan Terrorism Tactics.' Some might consider it the band's best work; others may think it was their debut album. For those who already picked up the original release, the new addition doesn't really include anything new (no live tracks, demos, or unreleased material), but at the same time they already know what to expect from this band. For those who are going to be hearing this for the first time, then read on...

'Paegan Terrorism Tactics' takes the sounds of groups like Down, Alice and Chains, and former Stone Temple Pilots and aims to create a heavy mixture of sludge and grunge. The guitars crash and rumble along on a track like "Graveflower" with the contrast of vocal work that is actually quite clear and sometimes tends to sing in wavering long notes that sounds like a cross between Athera of Susperia and Philip Anselmo. Every once in a while there is a roar or snarl here and there, but nothing so much to break the rhythm. Don't expect anything super melodic or technical here; usually the guitars just start off on a few notes and they run along from there. Some tracks like "New Corpse" are a bit more chaotic and heavier with the drums sounding a lot louder rather than being buried by the guitars and the screaming taking over the cleaner vocals; listeners may not find this as appealing as Acid Bath's more calmer nature simply because usually they sound a lot calmer and easy going whereas here they just sound like they're completely flipping out. In contrast, a track like "New Death Sensation" forsakes the heavy chugging and features individual notes on the guitars with the clean vocals sounding extremely spiritual and almost operatic, making this one of the highlights on the album.

On the downside, Acid Bath did manage to leave the last track "Dead Girl" as a disappointment. After about seven minutes of music there is supposedly a hidden track, but instead listeners are greeted with about seventeen minutes of silence. It's a bit annoying to sit around waiting and waiting for something like an easter egg, even if it is completely random and nothing comes at all. If the group had capped the track at even just eight minutes it would have probably made this album perfectly fine. Still, for those who like to enjoy sludge metal that thinks outside the box and adds on a trance-like quality, then this will certainly do the trick.

  1. Paegan Love Song
  2. Bleed Me An Ocean
  3. Graveflower
  4. Diab Soule
  5. Locust Spawning
  6. Old Skin
  7. New Death Sensation
  8. Venus Blue
  9. 13 Fingers
  10. New Corpse
  11. Dead Girl

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Aug 2, 2011

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