I was really excited to get my hands on a copy of ACARO’s new album. They are one of the top three metal bands in all of Boston and have been steadily rising over time. There are many great bands in our scene, but only a few who have the complete package like ACARO does. Having seen them live many times I knew they had the talent to turn in a great record, but my ears were not prepared at all for how big they stepped up here.
Right out of the gate blistering guitars and sick vocals come soaring out of the speakers.“The Disease of Fear” naturally encompasses the sound of the album and it is a beast of a title track. Growled hardcore vocals, sick beats, melodic guitars and technical virtuosity are the highlights of the song and their style as a whole. Vocalist Chris Harrell is downright inspirational with his delivery and seems to know just when to kick it up a notch and accent a part for effect. Harmonized guitars and machine gun-like drumming are also found here in great supply. Blazing fast, “This Treachery” has as much in common with the best of modern metal as it does with Gothenburg guitar theatrics. Harrell’s deep gravely register sends the track into death metal territory, but the band is mainly thrash and modern hardcore at heart. The chorus of the song is huge and will be a hit live when it down shifts into its cool, power-groove swing. Both Felipe Roa on lead guitar and his counter part Chris Leblanc turn out one great riff after another and Roa’s soloing is upper echelon in terms of talent and style.
“Salvations’ End” finds the band in an even more hostile mood than before with tremendous chord progressions and drummer Jason Fitzgerald‘s amazing stick work. Roa adds another solo break to die for and is a throwback to the soulful lead playing from a generation of shredders of yesteryear. “Throne of Blood” is the most brutal track on the record and had me moshing around by myself in my apartment to the beat. Another killer song with everything you want from a modern band. It’s great when a band is more than the sum of its influences and actually creates some fresh new sounds instead of copying. “Becoming the Process” is next and just a catchy and heavy as the previous track. One great thing about Harrell as a vocalist is that you can understand his lyrics no matter if he is screaming, growling or singing. Among the top individual performances on the album is bassist Kevin Smith’s performance on this track. He adds weight and color to the low end and it is great to hear such a fine player really make use of his opportunities to shine. Overall there is not a weak link to be found here at all. ACARO really serves up well-crafted music at a top level of musicianship. This album is sure to make many end of year lists.