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Who is this New England metal band called Acaro?
I first started hearing a buzz about this band towards the end of 2009. As the calendar rolled into 2010 it seemed like every time I looked Acaro was on the bill somewhere. Finally in April, along with my partner in metal Lisa, I managed to catch up with the band at a Rock Karma Promotions show. Three words: Completely Blown Away!
Click through for the story but don’t miss the Photos!
I really dislike categorizing bands into one genre. Especially in metal, which is so fragmented as it is. I see similarities in many bands and musical styles, however most bands have their own unique thing that makes them who they are, and Acaro is no exception.
Acaro is a New England band with the unmistakable metalcore sound that permeates the Boston scene, and why wouldn’t they? Frontman Chris Harrell came over from Burn in Silence, a staple on the Boston scene for several years. Drummer Jason Fitzgerald is a former member of Overcast, one of the seminal metalcore bands on the New England scene whose other members went on to join such big name projects as Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall & Seemless. Harrell & Fitzgerald, combined with the deep grooves laid down by Kevin Smith (former Bigfoot) on bass, along with Felipe Roa (Angor) and Chris Leblanc pulling guitar duties make Acaro a powerhouse lineup from the word go. The only member of Acaro who has not played in a band before is Leblanc, however according to Roa, “His drive is what keeps this band pushing forward, and he is a great piano player too!” Describing his band mates Roa says, “These guys have been playing music for a long time with a very intense level of commitment, love and passion.”
I asked Felipe to tell us a little bit about the band. Of course, you know the first thing I asked was about the bands name: “Acaro is a Spanish word for a microscopic parasite, there are several types of ‘acaros.’ Some of them would actually clean your skin or feed from it. I came up with that name a year before moving to USA (2006). Once the band was in the process of formation, I found out there was this band from Chile with the same name, and they’re from my home town too!!. I was kinda bummed out when this happened but I said “f— it,” all my friends are in bands in Chile and none of them know those guys. Sometimes there are bands with same names and only the strongest will prevail.”
One of the most interesting things I find with bands is how a group of individual artists get together and create a song. I asked Felipe to tell a little about the Acaro songwriting processes. “When the band started we played the songs I wrote, and we still play some. Now Leblanc (aka Riff Machine) will start jammin out and we will all be like: ‘Dude play that again, that shit is sick!!’ and that is when we all, as a band, work on the arrangements to make it sound ‘our’ song and not only one guy’s idea of a song. It’s a very democratic process, actually. We all have different ideas and everything is taken into consideration before we all say ‘Good job guys, we have a new baby.’ We enjoy working this way, because if you’re in a band and play music that you don’t write or not included in the writing process then basically you’re just playing your instrument and that’s kinda boring. You won’t feel the song cause there’s nothing yours in it. Sometimes you can have only one guy writing all the music and that’s cool, but when the full band works to make new material it’s better. We love the feeling that in our band Acaro we play OUR music and not one guy’s material only.’ ”
The lyrics are written by Chris Harrell and have his larger than life, high energy, positive persona stamped into them. Harrell’s words prove that great metal does not always have to be about Norse Gods, Satan or mutilated corpses. Sometimes you can just sing about the human condition. Acaro’s songs are about life, the good and the bad; about overcoming the kind of pain that all people experience at some point in their lives. Betrayal, grief, intolerance, hate, death, and loss are all recurring themes. However, despite the subject matter, the songs are surprisingly positive. The music begs us to never give up hope and shows that we have the power to overcome anything life throws at us.
In Return of Jafar, Harrell implores us “Please don’t give up” with a passion that seems to come from the deepest part of his soul. Acaro music is a positive vibe at its core. Yes, the music sounds angry, but if you listen deeper you understand that the anger is channeled into something empowering. This is what you get when you see Acaro live. Every ounce of energy and passion these guys have in them is poured into the music. Chris Harrell is like an animal on stage, bouncing from one end to the other, eyes and veins bulging from his face as he’s leaping into the crowd of frenzied moshers without a second thought. Even going so far as to climb into the rafters!
Right now Acaro is going into writing mode, after touring and playing tons of local shows for the first six months of 2010. As of this writing, drummer Jason Fitzgerald has just come off the road with Killswitch Engage, where he was working as the drum tech for their European tour for the past few weeks. The future for Acaro, according to Roa, is to hit the studio and get their first full-length CD recorded, then hit the road and tour tour tour!
The last thing I asked Felipe was to tell us what he thought set Acaro apart from the pack of metal bands out there. His answer is very telling about the mindset of this band: “Music is an art form and that means every band has something different to offer. Metal has turned into such diverse music style which is AWESOME!! That being said, I think is not for us to say what sets Acaro apart from other bands. That’s what people should say or find out when they see us playing a show, when they’re listening to one of our songs, or even when they meet us and talk to us. The difference between bands is the impact they have on people’s lives more than what a band does to be ‘different’ from the rest.”
The photos were taken at Blaze’s Billiards in West Warwick, RI on May 29th, 2010.
Check it out, give it a listen, maybe give it a few listens. Go a little deeper into the music. You’ll be better for it.
Acaro’s latest EP simply titled 2010 can be downloaded for free at bandcamp.
We highly recommend you give it a listen, but before you go anywhere, CLICK HERE NOW and check out the Photos by MusicInPictures.net!
Great review, Ken!
OUTSTANDING work Ken..you rock!! Pss..Aren’t you glad you had me to help you with this review/photos?? LOL!! ;-)
Ken’s photography rules!!!
~Lisa aka~Your wife and partner in metal..much love baby! \m/