Acid Bath – Paegan Terrorism Tactics (1995)
After my review of Flyleaf a few months ago I wanted to review an ‘evil’ band. I figure I may have lost some street cred by saying nice things about a Christian band so I wanted to prove my strength and ruggedness by writing about the most evil band I’ve ever heard.
The trouble was; I wasn’t sure anyone outside of my hometown and New Orleans had ever heard of them. Then I read Ten Best Southern Metal Bands from a Denver website.
It turns out people do know about Acid Bath, even if they keep it on the down low.
I was first introduced to Acid Bath from a cassette tape that I borrowed from a friend in high school. It was love from the opening riff. “Paegan Love Song” opens with a slow yet heavy, single-note lick that meshes with the ‘dying felt so goddamn good today’ lyric perfectly. And by the time the song got to the ‘you scream, I scream, everybody screams for morphine’ line I knew there was something
wrong different about this band.
The whole album bounces between hard-as-obsidian metal and slow, sweet-sounding songs about pale things and death. “Bleed Me an Ocean” has a slow sludgy riff and lyrics that put me in mind of Peter Frampton. “Graveflower” is based around a chiming harmonics. “New Death Sensation” is based around a slow four-not guitar riff and is just as haunting as any horror film. The album closer “Dead Girl” is more like a folk song than something you’d expect to find on an album by a band called Acid Bath.
Of course, there’s also some of the most melodic death metal this side of Gothenburg. “Diab Soule” is a heavy thrasher, but with lyrics I can understand. “Locust Spawning” and “New Corpse” are about the heaviest things in my collection. Be careful not to listen to the spoken word “Old Skin” in the dark.
“13 Fingers” is the song that is single-handedly going to send me to hell. After about a decade of listening to this album I looked at the lyrics and read:
GO GO GO
Blood makes the grass grow
I blew a load of Jesus into Mary’s hole
I think I would have been OK, but this sent me into a hysterical fit of laughter where I was rolling on the floor and praying for forgiveness. I try to be a good person, but I have a bad habit of laughing at extremely inappropriate things.
My favorite is “Venus Blue,” a tune that exhibits more songwriting skill than the entirety of all other death metal bands. In fact, the only reason I would consider Acid Bath a death metal band is because of lyrics like “Creeping like frost, As slow as grave moss” and “How much more must we bleed her, I cut their throats while they slept.” Other than that they’re really more of a radio-friendly heavy rock act.
Unfortunately for the entire world, Paegan Terrorism Tactics would be Acid Bath’s last album. Bassist Audie Pitre died in a car accident. Guitarist Sammy Duet went on to form Goatwhore. Singer Dax Riggs fronted a few bands before finally recording and touring as a solo act. I really enjoy the Riggs stuff, but its sad that we’ll never hear anything more from one of the greatest metal bands most people haven’t heard of.