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Music / Acid Bath

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Left-to-right: (back) Mike Sanchez, Jimmy Kyle, Dax Riggs, (front) Audie Pitre, and Sammy "Pierre" Duet.

Acid Bath was an influential Sludge Metal band from Louisiana, formed in 1991. Their unique musical style combined sludge with elements of Black Metal, Death Metal, southern rock, and blues rock. While they are pretty much unknown in the mainstream, they have a significant underground fanbase and are considered a cult band by many.

In 1997, bassist Audie Pitre was killed in a road accident by a drunk driver. The band broke up soon afterwards, having released just two studio albums during their short lifespan. Despite the short career, they are considered one of the major bands of the subgenre, alongside more long lived bands like Eyehategod and Crowbar.

Former Members:

  • Dax Riggs - Lead vocals
  • Sammy "Pierre" Duet - Guitar, backing vocals
  • Mike Sanchez - Guitar, backing vocals
  • Audie Pitre - Bass guitar, backing vocals (deceased)
  • Joseph Fontenot - Bass guitar (Also an early member of Devourment)
  • Jimmy Kyle - Drums
  • Tommy Viator - Keyboards

Studio albums:

  • When the Kite String Pops (1994)
  • Paegan Terrorism Tactics (1996)

Tropes that apply to this band:

  • Bilingual Bonus: "Diäb Soulé" and "Toubabo Koomi" are Cajun French (a dialect spoken in very specific parts of Louisiana) for "Drunken Devil" and "Land of White Cannibals," respectively.
  • Darker and Edgier: The demos are more harsh and abrasive than the studio versions of the songs.
    • They were arguably this to Sludge Metal, an already bleak genre, at least lyrically.
  • Drone of Dread: Not to the same degree as some other sludge metal bands, but they often use screeching guitar feedback for this effect, like in the intro to "The Blue".
  • Drugs Are Bad: It's been confirmed by multiple members that the band broke up not just because of Audie's death (though it was the last straw), but also because of severe heroin usage and abuse by virtually everyone in the band, and songs like "Dr. Seuss Is Dead" (which is quite clearly about a bunch of heroin addicts shooting up and nodding off in a trap house) made no attempt to gloss over the reality of their usage even then.
  • Epic Rocking: Out of the twenty five songs making up the band's entire discography, thirteen of them hit the five minute mark or go beyond it, with Paegan Terrorism Tactics' "Dead Girl" being the longest Acid Bath song, clocking in at about 7:23 (not counting the several minutes of silence between it and the hidden track).
  • Fading into the Next Song: "The Blue" into "Tranquilized", "Dope Fiend" into "Toubabo Koumi", "The Mortician's Flame" into "What Color is Death", and "Locust Spawning" into "Old Skin" into "New Death Sensation".
  • Genre Mashup: The highly varied and disparate nature of the individual musical influences of the members manifested itself in the music which, among other things, had elements of death metal, blues, folk, hardcore, crust punk, grindcore, black metal, country, Southern rock, post-hardcore, stoner metal, industrial, and gothic rock.
  • Gorn: Downplayed. Their lyrics are very violent, but often in a more poetic way, and gore isn’t the point in of itself.
  • Grief Song: "The Mortician’s Flame", "Graveflower", "and Venus Blue", among others.
  • Hidden Track: "The Beautiful Downgrade" on Paegan Terrorism Tactics, which acts as a continuation of the earlier spoken work interlude "Old Skin".
  • I Love the Dead: "Cassie Easts Cockroaches" which is about a man having sex with a woman, killing her, and then continuing to have sex with her afterwards.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Ritual cannibalism comes up in "Old Skin".
    "We eat the wise man's eyes, for sight that we might see the darkness if we kill the lights fast enough. We eat the brain and pray that our eyes can open wide enough. "
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: A frequent theme. Among others, "Jezebel" is about having sex with a woman while killing her, "Cassie Eats Cockroaches" is about having sex with a woman, killing her, and then continuing to have sex with her, and "What Color is Death" is just about how the narrator gets off on death.
    "Sex and death and sex and death
    I don't want you
    I just want your flesh"
  • Lighter and Softer: Paegan Terrorism Tactics is ever so slightly lighter than When the Kite String Pops, with more Surprisingly Gentle Songs and a somewhat less psychotic atmosphere overall. The opening track, "Paegan Love Song", sounds positively exuberant in comparison to "The Blue", for example.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "Dead Girl" (7:24) on Paegan Terrorism Tactics, unless you count the Hidden Track "The Beautiful Downgrade" as the real closer.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The songs "Scream of the Butterfly", "Bones of Baby Dolls", and "Dead Girl" are smooth, acoustic songs with rather horrifying lyrics.
  • Murder Ballad: They really like these. "Jezebel" is probably the most famous one.
  • Ode to Intoxication: A whole lot of their songs qualify; "Paegan Love Song," in particular, was about an incident on a beach in Florida where someone offered them datura, which they took. The resulting trip apparently lasted for an incredible duration and left them in a haze after it was finally over.
  • Outlaw Couple: "Scream of the Butterfly" seems to be about a relationship between a pair of heroin addicts on the run from the law.
  • Precision F-Strike: Usually about once per song.
  • Purple Prose: Their lyrics were unusually poetic and verbose for the standards of sludge metal. "Scream of the Butterfly" is particularly notable in this regard.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "The Blue" has elements of this.
    "I know you, you're nothing
    You're so small
    You're fucking nothing
    Nothing at all"
  • Sampling:
    • "Cassie Eats Cockroaches" begins with a sample of Alex DeLarge speaking and features Frank Booth screaming about halfway through the song.
    • "Diäb Soulé" begins with an audio clip of Jim Jones screaming in a speech.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Finger Paintings of the Insane" and "Jezebel".
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: If you were to hear Dax speaking normally, you'd probably never guess he was the vocalist of Acid Bath. Observe.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Far, far on the cynical side, often to the point of nihilism.
  • Sludge Metal: One of the codifiers, along with Eyehategod and Crowbar.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Audie Pitre's girlfriend was pregnant with their child when he was killed in a car accident in January 1997. His son, Audie Layne, was born in July of that year.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Dax's lyrics are subtle and poetic while also being incredibly profane.
  • Soprano and Gravel: A rare non-metalcore example from Dax.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Old Skin" and "The Beautiful Downgrade" from Paegan Terrorism Tactics.
    • "The God Machine" off When the Kite String Pops opens up with a bit of it.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Partial example from "Paegan Love Song:"
    "You scream,
    I scream,
    Everybody scream
    For morphine"
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Scream of the Butterfly", "Bones of Baby Dolls", "New Death Sensation", "Venus Blue", "Dead Girl", and compared to some of their more abrasive material, "Graveflower."
    • Dax Riggs' material after Acid Bath also counts, having more in common with the songs listed above than, say, "Jezebel" or "13 Fingers." Don't believe us? Compare his solo songs "Say Goodnight to the World" and "Toubabo Koomi" from When the Kite String Pops; it's like night and day.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: "Dead Girl" is surprisingly uplifting despite its dark lyrics.
  • Title Drop: In the song "Bones of Baby Dolls" for When the Kite String Pops.
  • Unstoppable Rage: "Cheap Vodka" is about getting wasted on a bottle of, well, guess and going on a violent, destructive drunken rampage.
  • Yarling: Dax's clean vocals. His singing has earned a number of well-deserved comparisons to Layne Staley.

"The sound of the ocean is dead
It's just the echo of the blood in your head"