Acacia – Tills Döden Skiljer Oss Åt

An excellent example of a different approach to gothic metal is provided by the very interested Acacia. Born from the ashes of Livsnekad, of which they constitute the ideal continuation, the Swedes have provided their sound with a more melancholic feel while making no particular concessions to sounds with commercial appeal. It might be misleading, in fact, to discover that compared to the previous incarnation, Acacia have in fact added only vocalist Moa Thoren to the line-up, and from here to think of a turn toward a predictable female-fronted gothic the step is short: in reality, with Tills Döden Skiljer Oss Åt, the Halmstad band chooses the most impervious road to reach listeners, opting for the dark side of the genre covered, if you will in the wake of the best Draconian, but with a more reflective component and lyrics strictly in the native language. If the opening Död Mans Mask is characterized by a delicate piano touch, the subsequent Förnimmelsens Lund Af Längtan shows a drama that is beautifully expressed in the intertwining of the voices of the talented Ulf Nylen and the aforementioned Moa Thoren. And it is precisely this effective alternation of vocal timbres that proves to be the real added value, combined with the care taken in the arrangements and the absence of smears, despite a songwriting that, ranging between doom, black, depressive and gothic, proves to be anything but banal. The five long tracks accompany us for an hour through a kaleidoscope of emotions that knows no pauses or wavering, not even in episodes such as the very long Amourens Redoxreaktion or the concluding title track, which more consistently brings back the depressive legacy that was preponderant in Livsnekad. Unfortunately, the use of the Swedish language prevents the immediate understanding of the themes dealt with by Acacia, although the tools available on the net allow at least to guess that the lyrics are quite deep as well as imbued with melancholy. Truly a splendid work, recommended without any qualms to those who in music seek emotions capable of lingering.

2013 – AOP Records