Paegan Terrorism Tactics

Acid Bath

Rotten Records, 1996

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


My son and I were looking for AC/DC’s Back In Black in my CD collection when he accidently grabbed this disc. From 1996 until now, I have periodically pulled this album out when I needed a non-Black Sabbath fit of sludge rock with a lot of distortion and thick riffs.

But apparently it’s been too long. I forgot the growl of vocalist Dax Riggs singing the f-bomb in the opening track, a disharmonious union of bass and drums and guitars called “Paegan Love Song.” With drummer Jimmy Kyle pounding away under the direction of Riggs, and with guitarists Mike Sanchez and Sammy Pierre Duet riffing fiercely, Acid Bath is in their element here. The opening track always quickly reacquaints me to this band’s material, and leaves no doubt that the band is serious about their material.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Bleed Me An Ocean” is next, and at over six minutes, it’s not even the longest track. With a slow plodding tempo, Riggs sings, “My fingers trace the exit wounds by graveyard light / There’s bond dust in my throat and everything is DEAD;” then, the morbid atmosphere of the music suddenly gives way to an upbeat tempo. “Graveflower” continues the theme of long songs with more morbidity and images of death.

By the time the romp called “Diäb Soulé” begins, you are probably either ready to turn this album off or turn it up. It is during this song that Riggs growls, “The skyscrapers look like gravestones from out here,” which must be his favorite image in the song because he sings it multiple times. On this song specifically, drummer Jimmy Kyle plays an interesting backbeat with a lot of syncopation. It’s his second best performance on this release.

The best song here is number nine, “13 Fingers,” during which Riggs howls, “I kissed a girl with 13 fingers.” Let that image sink in. Turning the release on its ears, Riggs employs a screechy death metal, high-pitched vocal style (think Cradle Of Filth as a frame of reference) to change up the vocals. The guitars are sonically thick and Kyle is at his absolute best. The track’s short length makes it seem like the song structure is more compact and less all over the map than some of the longer songs.

Then we get to the long song at the end that I hardly ever listen to, called “Dead Girl.” It’s not really a bad cut – it’s just so out of place compared to the rest of the material. The guitar melody isn’t very interesting and Riggs’s vocals don’t really capture my attention. It’s the only clunker on this release.

It’s really hard to realize that I’ve been listening to Paegan Terrorism Tactics for 13 years (I obtained it the year my daughter was born). Acid Bath is not a household name – I had to look on the Internet to see if they had ever released other albums – but I still find pleasure when I listen to this album.

Rating: B+

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