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Review: A.C.O.A. - Life Lessons Learned Too Late
Life Lessons Learned Too Late

Label: Independent
Year released: 2002
Duration: 40:18
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: February 12, 2003
Reviewed by: Scott Murray
Readers Rating
Life Lessons Learned Too Late

Rated 0/5 (0%) (0 Votes)

“Shut it off. Shut it off!”

A classic line from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead introduces us to the angst filled, old school metal stylings of London, Ontario based band A.C.O.A. (Adult Children of Alcoholics). The band’s independent debut Life Lessons Learned…Too Late is an emotional roller coaster where rage, despair and hopefulness all have a strong presence. A.C.O.A. plays traditional speed metal along with hints of death, grind and even some punk thrown in to lighten up the mix. Despite the youthful rebelliousness that comes with the A.C.O.A. sound, these guys know how to let their instruments speak for themselves. The guitarists can shred, blaze, crunch and play out just about any other category of riffing within the realm of heavy metal, but the album is seriously lacking in the solo department which is a big no-no when playing this kind of music. The vocals are of the standard clean variety along with some growls at the more intense moments. Most of the 10 songs on the album are filled with variety in sound and pacing, while others stick to the beat of one drummer and carry it through till the end. Inferno is a kickin’ punk rock romp with thrashy undertones, while Untruth is a healthy dosage of aggression that reeks of classic Slayer. Speaking of Slayer, A.C.O.A. pays homage to their heroes with two covers: Postmortem and Raining Blood, both of which kick in after a minute or so of dead air following the final track Biggest Mistake.

My favourite track is definitely the instrumental Wounded. It’s got a strong and catchy lead, pounding drum blasts and the first solos you hear on the record (this is track six we’re talking here). Actually, the latter half Life Lessons Learned…Too Late is where you’ll find the band’s strongest material.

I’m sure many metal fans would be turned off by the punk influences in the music and vocals, but A.C.O.A. are not playing the “troo-er than though” game. This is about five young guys having a good time playing the music they love, creating a batch of songs that are loads of head-bangable fun.

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