The combination of a seemingly unending parade of downtuned breakdowns, clipped production, and levels of compression that will leave listeners’ innards groaning from a sonic gutache, Death Is The Only Mortal is an uncomfortable 46 minutes to listen to, though perhaps not uncomfortable in the way The Acacia Strain intended.
The mechanical, inorganic delivery was probably intended to sound inhuman and brutal; instead it leaves the record sounding both over-processed and intellectually congested. It’s a position not aided by some inexcusably clumsy lyricism.
The unrelenting, unashamed single-mindedness of the album, combined with the sheer quantity of remorseless, punishing riffs are in themselves almost admirable qualities, were they applied to something with a bit of verve to it. As it is, rather than the calculated exercise in precision brutality that it thinks it is, Death Is The Only Mortal leaves the listener feeling swollen and uncomfortably rather bloated.