When Acumen Nation jumped to a metal label for their latest album, fans were a bit concerned. Fortunately, while the production values are higher, the guitars are louder, and there is the occasional death metal bellow, this is the same Acumen Nation fans have come to know and love. All the elements that have made this band one of the coldwave scene's greatest are still in place. "Day Care" and "Caustic Perimeter" are classic tracks that could have come from any point in the band's career, while "Polhemic" is a perfect blend of snarled vocals, gritty guitars, and volcanically rumbling synth programming. There's no worry about the band getting soft, either; if anything, this album is more aggressive than ever. "Black Son Hole" and "P.O.D.O.A." give lead singer Jason Novak the chance to deliver his signature screeds against the music industry, while "Jesus Loves You" is an unflinching verbal assault on Christianity. That isn't to say the band hasn't evolved, however, and there are definitely some surprises on their latest. "My Life's Last Breath" features guest vocals from KMFDM chanteuse Lucia Cifarelli, and it ends up being one of the most brutal tracks on the disc. Diehard fans also get a treat with the inclusion of the classic song "No Arms No Legs," recreated here in a slower, heavier version that replaces the blistering tempo of the original with primal drums and monstrous power chords. They've ramped up the recording quality a bit this time around, but if this album is any indication, there's no danger of Acumen Nation going commercial any time soon. For industrial metal fans, that's a very, very good thing indeed.
Visit Jason Novak and the rest of the Cracknation crew at www.cracknation.com.
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