Three years after their debut album, the south coast post-hardcore band Acres returns with their sophomore record, Burning Throne. After much success and a highly garnished recognition from that first album, Burning Throne has been eagerly on the minds of the industry in the hopes of a match or even an outdo.
Acres – Burning Throne (A Wolf At Your Door Records)
Release Date: 3 March 2023
Words: Monty Sewell
Band members Ben Lumber (vocals), Alex Freeman (guitars), Jack Rogers (bass) and Konnor Bracher-Walsh (drums) have stated their satisfaction with the record, with much of it being written in the solitary seclusion of the pandemic. Released via A Wolf At Your Door Records, the ten-track album comes just before they head off on their UK tour this month.
With a different writing approach and more pressure than before to perform, it was imperative to see – and more importantly, hear – how Burning Throne had formed.
The album kicks things off with Nothing (feat Garrett Russell). Wasting no time, they sling themselves in with a meaty baseline from Rodgers, and those signature emotionally charged vocals, flipping neatly between clean and scream during that high production chorus. With a band of just four, they sound absolutely huge. No doubt they’ll be bringing out the sample pad on tour.
The title track, Burning Throne, features some throat choir backing vocals and an absolutely huge, soaring chorus. It’s the title track for a good reason. “You promised me the world/but all you did was take it for yourself.” Lumber is unarguably a sensational vocalist in both forms of his voice, sparking the question of whether it’s just him or two of them in there.
Bracher-Walsh demonstrates his versatility as a drummer with a snarky high-hat intro to Hold On before bringing it down a notch for The Death Of Me. Whilst these two are the calmer of the pack, the latter crescendoes viciously with such an inner fire that it’s nothing short of breathtaking.
Visual Hallucinations proves to be the unexpected wildcard of the pack. An ethereal toned electronically envisioned composition, it holds all its essence within the emotions it brings about. It was Freeman who had previously explained his initial struggles with writing alone during the pandemic. This track, more than any of them, brings about a sense of serene isolation that probably resonates quite strongly.
My Everything and Feel Anything are not only slightly tandem in name but also in musical energy and depth. Written for those high-ceilinged venues with a stonier of a light show, they slot into Burning Throne’s middle ground with guts and gumption.
Regarding the album’s production, it’s got to get a hat bowing to shout out. Crisp and clear, with each track within the song being heard and felt without any of the big-picture grandeur being lost. Into Flames is this in its entirety. Not only a brilliant song but the way it’s been handled shows Acres have truly upped their game. The most ear-catching chorus and underlining guitar riff of the entire record, I’d say.
They finish the album with When You’re Gone before Lost In Our Own World. It’s a real mosh crowd finish with a thoughtful final throw. The essence of Acres is just that.
Unapologetically heavy, endearingly beauteous with an attitude that will not let you rest. Great album and most likely a great show. To the ticket stand we go.