Acid Bath – Paegan Terrorism Tactics Reissued   3 comments

This is a re-issue for one of the most underrated gems in Sludge Metal history, “Paegan Terrorism Tactics” by the legendary Acid Bath. While their earlier full length album “When the Kite String Pops” might be more well-known mainly due to its album cover which was the “Pogo The Clown” painting by infamous serial killer-cannibal-pedophile-necrophile John Wayne Gacy, it is this album I rate as their best album, not by much of course as “When The Kite String Pops” is an incredible recording in its own right. The fact that it was such great album makes this album just that even more remarkable, producing one flawless album is hard enough but two within a 2 1/2 year period is nothing short of phenomenal. Acid Bath recorded these albums at a time where “Sludge Metal” wasn’t a well-known musical tag and it certainly wasn’t overused like it is these days but Acid Bath were indeed sludge and this is one of the most underrated gems of the genre. The line up of Dax Riggs – Lead Vocals, Sammy Duet – Guitars, Vocals, Mike Sanchez – Guitars, Joseph Fontenot – Bass and Jimmy Kyle on drums were not the greatest musicians but they were easily some of the very best songwriters and best riff-makers of the last 20 years. Their backgrounds are varied and impressive as these guys have also played in bands like Agents of Oblivion, Deadboy & the Elephantmen, Golgotha, Daisyhead and the Mooncrickets, Dry Pussy, T-Daks and His White Plastic Soul, Dark Karnival, Goatwhore, Vual, Ritual Killer, Crowbar, Walpurgisnacht, , Devourment, Prophecy, Shredding Lettuce, Shrum, and Jacknife. The story behind the “Nola” scene has been written about to death but no band sums up what the scene was all about better than Acid Bath.Over 10 years in existence but only 2 full length albums and a EP is all they could muster but 2002 saw the release of the 3 hour DVD titled “Double Live Bootleg,” and sure that DVD is a bit rough around the edges but at least it captures the band in their prime with live footage from 1992 to 1996 but back to “Paegan Terrorism Tactics.”

Acid Bath’s sound was rooted in Black Sabbathian riffing cranked up to 10, given a serious dose of swampy grit, some stoner-rock infectious quality with a side-order of energetic punk rock and sometimes all within the one song. “Paegan Terrorism Tactics” kicks off with “Paegan Love Song” that sets the album off with an intense rush of energy. The song is pretty simple but incredibly infectious, full of great grooves and most important of all HEAVY!! Vocalist Dax screams, wails and hollers like a banshee while the band go through a couple of intense tempo changes that really blow your head off, the slower droning section is particularly effective. Second tune, “Bleed Me an Ocean” is a Acid Bath classic, starting slow and doomy, then going fast and then back to slow. The song builds up intensity at every turn and with guitarist Sammy Duet screaming out some backing vocals, this tune is a pure buzz to crank up loud. “Graveflower” follows with a more melodic edge to it showing that Acid Bath had many tricks up their collective sleeves. This track that is full of misery and menace is perhaps the bands most well-known song and with good reason, the tune is pure gold. “Diab Soule” which is French for “drunken devil” is up next and this song literally makes you drunk with its raw sludge-driven power, another great track. “Locust Spawning” is another one of Acid Bath’s more well-known tunes and it is all violence and pure aggression with Dax Riggs showing in my opinion he is the Nola’s scene best ever vocalist and frontman, sorry to all you Anselmo fan-boys out there but to me this dude is the master of that scene. “Old Skin” is the only real filler track on the album but it is only a bit over a minute long so it is hardly ever an issue, the track is basically a poem delivered over an industrial sounding dirge. “New Death Sensation” is a kind of demented, twisted sludge-ballad of sorts, I can’t think of any other way of describing it. Lasting for close to 7 minutes, the song is hauntingly mesmerizing showing yet another side to the band.

“Venus Blue” continues in the same depressing mode as the previous track and this is Acid Bath at their most mainstream. One thing about the band is they also had a “grunge-rock” element that pops up within various melodic parts on the album but this is very dark and heavy grunge, not your flannel-shirt wearing Nirvana pop-rock kind of thing. Moving on-to “13 Fingers” and they crank up the volume and the tempo for some heavy ass-kicking sludge filled with killer hooks and irresistible vocal lines and the following tune “New Corpse” is in much the same vein. “Dead Girl” finishes the album with a very depressing acoustic kind of drunken dirge. The incredibly dark atmosphere of this track is the perfect way to finish the album but the album ends with a twist. After some silence you hear a hidden track titled “Ode of the Paegan” and I know some people think this is just “Dead Girl” continued but it is actually another track on its own. The running time of “Dead Girl” appears to be 24 minutes but it is really only 7 with the rest of the time taking up with the extended silence and then the hidden track. I wonder how people hit the stop button before ever hearing it ? If you make it right to the real ending of the album, you have 74 minutes of an almost flawless piece of Sludge, Doom, Stoner Metal history but this has been reissued and now he comes the bit that bites and it bites very hard for me. This newly mastered version is crisper and much louder and sometimes that is better, right ? In this case, the answer is no as to my ears they have lost a certain magic the album had in its original state. The original was more filthy and muddy and that suited the tunes perfectly, the songs have lost something with this new edition. Now I totally applaud “Rotten Records” for reissuing this album but I doubt if long-time fans of the band will appreciate what they have done here.  The new mastering does do some damage to the bleakness of the original and I compared both versions before starting work on this review but long-time fans will be the judge on that. For new fans, this will still blow your face off and knock your ass into the dirt and I guess that is call that matters. “Paegan Terrorism Tactics” is a timeless but underrated masterpiece so here is your chance to check it out. Essential…………..9.5/10
Acid Bath@MySpace
Rotten Records Store

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Posted November 29, 2010 by doommantia in Acid Bath

3 responses to “Acid Bath – Paegan Terrorism Tactics Reissued

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  1. Acid Bath was/is legendary. Their music was way ahead of its time, and in some aspects still is. I love the Dax Riggs solo stuff as well, much different then Acid Bath, but just as dark and twisted.
    I do have to question the tag of 'underrated.' Anyone who is at least semi in the underground scene has heard of Acid Bath in some regard. True, their music is not well known outside of the underground, but it's highly rated for those who do know.
    I know I'm just nit-picking here, but I fell the distinction needs to be made.
    Love the site
    -K-

  2. I was referring to outside of the underground with my underground comment, it is important for me to say that. I feel they should be regarded in the heavy music scene much higher than they are/were but even in the underground there is still many people who have never heard them. I run into people all the time that seem to think they were/are some kind of thrash, black metal act.

  3. Love this album!

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