ACACIA: Resurrection (release date November 6, 2019)

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What Was Dead, Now Lives

Was this ACACIA?  The Palermo, Italy-based progressive metal band founded in 1990 by composer/guitarist Martino Lo Cascio– the band that released several demo tapes, produced their debut album in 1996, then closed shop in 1998 amidst musical differences?

Is the Resurrection the fact that now twenty-three years later, a resurrected ACACIA emerges?

It’s an obvious answer.

But Is There More?

The idea of resurrection is ancient- two clear examples are of the Phoenix rising from the ashes, or Jesus emerging from the tomb.

And the cover art for Resurrection suggests the progression of childhood, middle years, and elder years, with the child facing the light.  It’s beautiful and thought-provoking.

For me, the final track on this album, “The Man”, most clearly points to resurrection referring to something deeper than only the resurrection of the band itself.

“I walk around to meet the Man
The Man who died to find himself
I look around to understand
So many times I’ve tried and failed

Somewhere along the way
The old Man said: ‘Don’t be afraid my little child
You’ll see, one day, your inner light’…

Now my life is telling you
My tales of resurrection

I walk around to be the Man
The Man who’s born again and again”.

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Martino Lo Cascio

The Resurrected ACACIA

Gandolfo Ferro (vocals) – Martino Lo Cascio (composition/guitar) – Simone Campione (guitar) – Massimo Provenzano (bass) – Claudio Florio (drums)

Although no keyboards are listed, I thought I did hear some on several tracks.

And for me, one of the highlights of the album came at the end, with an expressive, agile, wailing soprano vocal soaring into the ether.  This vocalist isn’t credited.

The Music

This is classic progressive metal, with some great use of guitar riffs, blazing and fiery guitar solos, inventive mood shifts and tempo changes, and fine musicianship all around.

I was especially impressed with the lead guitarist- not certain which one it is- who brings some pretty fine playing to the table with soaring, airy, and also sometimes shredding guitar playing.

Likewise, I was impressed with the drummer, who had passion, impeccable fills that seemed tasty and powerful, and sensitivity to the mood of the song.

All musicians played well together, and the vocalist used lower and upper registers well, with power and on key.  Sometimes octaves were used to add depth.  I’d have liked some additional harmonies, as one of the strengths of this band is melody, including sing-able choruses.

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ACACIA gets serious

A Few Trouble Spots

Lyrics, for one.

Probably it’s a matter of translation, but a number of times certain idioms were difficult for me to decipher.  Might it be helpful for the band to write and sing in their native tongue- and to consult a native English speaker to help with translation?

I read the lyrics as almost uniformly describing a tormented person struggling to hold his head up and find meaning, joy, and love.

Uniformity is another.  Not only lyrics, but song structures seemed basically set upon the same template.  A vigorous opening, slowing to a subdued, contemplative lower-register vocal, then building to greater intensity and vocals switching to higher registers, some instrumental breakdown, then ending.

In Conclusion

This resurrected band has chops, strong melodies, plays well together, and seems to have something to say.

Here’s hoping the next incarnation pushes the limits a bit further.0020530644_10.jpg

ACACIA links:  Band website  Youtube  Facebook  Underground Symphony Records

Progressive Rock Fanatics:  Private Facebook page

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