This is some angry fellows!!
Until now, I was not familiar with Neaera, so I had to check out reviews of their first two albums and their MySpace page to get to know where they came from musically. According to these reviews, they used to be a death metal/metalcore band, but on this, their third album, the metalcore influences are very few, if any at all.
The screaming vocals that was dominant on their first two records (at least on the three tracks on their MySpace page) is still present, but there’s no melodic singing at all, instead there’s the typical deep death growls blended in, pulling the sound in a definite death metal direction. At times I think it gets a bit one sided vocally (more than 50 minutes with a lot of screamin’ and/or deep throat roaring is quite a mouth full for me), but I can appreciate that they have a recognizable trademark in this.
In the thesaurus armamentarium means: “The collection of equipment and methods used in the practice of medicine”, but if this has something to do with the subject of the lyrics I really can’t say – as it’s quite normal (for me) in death metal, the lyrics aren’t that understandable (!), and there was no lyrics sheet with this promo.
The melodic parts in the music are used as short “breathing breaks” in the otherwise relentless brutal, aggressive and pounding sound and rhythm. Although I’m generally not very much into death metal in it’s original form, with ultra fast drums and deep growls, I must admit that most of the tracks grooves very well, especially in the slightly slower parts.
Their playing is very tight; especially I was impressed by the precision and energy level of the drumming. And (of course) the guitars are tuned down to make the sound deeper and more aggressive…
The sound is massive and “thick”, adding to the brutal “in your face” feeling – and done by Jacob Hansen (except the vocals) the technical side of the matter is of course under control.
These Germans really can play, but this album is too relentless in the speed and aggression of the tracks for my taste, I miss some more melody or recognizable riffs. So to me it gets a bit too monotonous to listen to almost the same for almost 53 minutes – I like it, but in small doses. But if you’re into (melodic) death that really kicks ass, you ought to check this out, you’ll probably like it better than me.
Recommended tracks: Spearheading The Spawn, Armamentarium, Synergy and The Escape From Escapism.