The Acacia Strain | Exit/In | Nashville, TN
Article + photos by Nick Zimmer
Let’s face it, anniversary tours have become commonplace over the last few years, cashing in on the idea of nostalgia. Rarely do you get two bands touring together on anniversaries of albums, and it’s even more rare that the albums were instrumental in progressing their genres. After The Burial and The Acacia Strain teamed up for the Rareform Across The Continent tour and we knew as soon as it was announced that it wouldn’t be one to miss.
The show opened up with Australia’s Make Them Suffer taking the stage. The five piece immediately blasted into “Vortex” off of 2017’s Worlds Apart and then chugged through several more tracks, tastefully combining atmospheric melodies and brutality. The band made quick work of their set, ending with “Ether” and leaving the crowd wanting more.
Erra are a band that I have had the chance to catch on several occasions, including earlier this year on the Summer Slaughter tour, and if there is one thing that the band is going to make you do, it’s bounce. Out in support of their new album Neon, half of their set was dedicated to new tracks “Valhalla,” “Breach,” and “Ghost of Nothing.” Despite being heavy on new material, the crowd ate it up and spent the whole set getting off of their feet.
2008 was a different time. The Acacia Strain vocalist Vincent Bennett spent a good amount of time speaking to the crowd about how much he has changed and grown since Continent came out. Stylistically, the album is much heavier than previous releases, and this is definitely seen in the bands live show. While they opened with the album closer, “Behemoth,” The Acacia Strain then ripped through Continent in its entirety all while sounding heavier than ever before and having the crowd piling on top of each other and having Exit/In’s notorious no stage diving policy disappear.
Vincent spoke about about mental health, which is refreshing to hear at a metal show, and shouted out Nashville bands Chamber and Orthodox before pummeling the crowd with “Beast” which had Orthodox’s Adam Easterling doing a guest spot. After an hour of celebrating Continent, the band closed the same way they opened with another instrumental track, “Tactical Nuke.”
The night was rounded out by After The Burial who were doing Rareform in its entirety. The band, led by vocalist Anthony Notarmaso, blazed right into the opening track “Berzerker,” and then flawlessly shredded through all eight tracks of Rareform followed by songs off of their last few albums. While they didn’t dig deep into the catalog and play anything off of Forging A Future Self, you can’t really complain about seeing a classic like Rareform played in all of its glory.