Neaera

Omnicide - Creation Unleashed

Written by: PP on 04/06/2009 10:57:37

Neaera play early metalcore-styled music where the technical riffs don't worship twin guitarmanship rather than just subtle, but impressively heavy melody instead. Of course this means that the songs are nowhere near as catchy as your Bullet For My Valentines write them, but at the same time they are more complete artistically and provide a more solid listening experience in the long run. The shredding/blast beat hell in songs like "Prey To Anguish", for instance, approaches tremolo levels without ever quite getting that high up, offering just the sort of intricacies that populate those albums that we normally consider to be huge growers. "Omnicide - Creation Unleashed" is Neaera's fourth album and their first since 2007's excellent "Armamentarium", where the band first started their rise from the grassroots level to a higher place in the underground.

The first thing you notice about the band is how heavily they are influenced by Zao and early Converge. It's also possible to hear the first As I Lay Dying record in the sound of these guys, and another band that's fairly similar to these guys is Denmark's The Psyke Project, although it has to be said that Neaera are probably the heaviest band of the whole group. Vocals vary from Zao-styled shrieking to early AILD-type growling but don't ever quite reach the high-pitch scream most other metalcore bands do. This is again something a few people will find irritating but I personally think it's better, just like I find As I Lay Dying's debut album "Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes" way better than their output afterwards. There's just something special about a sound that at first sounds completely monotonous but upon repeat listening opens another dimension in the music, the details are subtle and intricate enough to make it impossible to hear them before third or fourth listen. Many will just listen once or twice and when they don't find anything to cling onto, they shove the record into the bin, which is why reviews like this one exist: to persuade you to give the record a whole bunch of listens.

While "Omnicide..." doesn't bring anything new to the metalcore genre, it certainly returns some of the old school sound back into the genre that's becoming increasingly stale thanks to seemingly every band involved in some sort of we-will-top-your-melodies contest. What the genre has needed for a long time is a record like Neaera's, an earth-shattering effort which draws as much from death metal as it does from chaos hardcore and early 90s melodeath scene (think At The Gates here). Solid overall without being exceptional.

Download: Prey To Anguish, Caesura
For the fans of: early As I Lay Dying, Zao, At The Gates, Converge
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.05.2009
Metal Blade

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