Home > Music > Acid Bath – Paegan Terrorism Tactics (1996)

Acid Bath – Paegan Terrorism Tactics (1996)

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What separates Paegan Terrorism Tactics from its immediate predecessor? I’d say it boils down to two years of alternative/indie rock history. In many ways, it continues the path set by When The Kite String Pops –murder, torture, genre bending, beat poetry -, but in a more streamlined, svelte package. I don’t know how influential that first album was (iffy sources claim it had sold 37,000 copies by 1999), but this album is definitely a faithful successor. Familiarity with one may well lead to knowledge of the other.

By circumstance, my impression of this album’s music ends up nearly identical to Acid Bath’s aforementioned 1994 debut. Various styles of rock and metal across the entire spectrum of extremity cavort together, and frequently mix so thoroughly as to be difficult to extricate from one another. Vocals remain important, especially since they drive (potentially) disturbing lyrical content that wins points for its use of vivid, almost synesthetic imagery even if the topic matter is pretty common in metal. Paegan Terrorism Tactics does, however, have the significant advantage of more coherent songwriting, with less random turns and better riff glue between song sections. When the band members do decide to go all abrupt on me again (Example: “Locust Spawning”), they even manage to exploit the contrasts in such a method more effectively. Add to that a notable, if relatively minor production/audio engineering advantage, and you have a pretty standard improved/iterated 2nd album situation; not that there’s anything wrong with that.

To be honest, it took me a while to decide whether or not Paegan Terrorism Tactics was actually better than When The Kite String Pops. I mentioned in my review for the previous album that it was one that took some time for me to really appreciate, although there were a few tracks that drew me in nearly immediately. After developing an appetite for sludge, it didn’t take me nearly as long to apply that taste to the task of appreciating this one. As you can expect, I took to these tracks more immediately, and that alone is enough to seriously distort my perception of this album. This phenomenon has definitely happened before; it’s flavored my opinions of bands like Morbid Angel, Therion, and Enslaved, to mention a few that don’t often come up on Invisible Blog anymore. Still, I was able to isolate some aspects that I think actually are superior on this album, which makes it hard to resist writing something along the lines of “that has to be worth something”… but I think I managed to avoid that cliche, right?

Either way, Acid Bath’s second (and final) album is a better version of their first one, which in itself is a worthy listen.

Highlights: “Bleed Me An Ocean”, “Graveflower”, “Dead Girl”

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  1. 2017/08/24 at 20:19

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