My last encounter with Neaera was 2013’s ‘Ours is the Storm’ album, a whopping seven years ago. To be honest, I thought I’d missed something… an album that I’d overlooked, perhaps (so much music turning up for review; so little time) until this new one arrived in my inbox, which is actually their follow-up to ‘Ours is the Storm’. Seems I missed nothing during those intervening years. And, according to the blurb, this seventh full-lengther heralds their return to the scene after a five year absence.
2015 was the year they apparently announced their split (which either passed me by, or I’ve merely forgotten through the incessant deluge of press releases and news). I would say it’s great to have ‘em back… but guess I hadn’t fully realised they’d disappeared. Based on the evidence, their new self-titled album (an eponymously bold statement in itself, it would seem), the band haven’t suffered from the split/hiatus/whatever-you-want-to-call-it; quite the contrary, in fact. ‘Neaera’ is an incredibly strong album, loaded with Neaera-isms on overdrive… albeit those “isms” have been lifted from metal’s past. We’ll not kid ourselves here; Neaera are not, and have never been, pushing boundaries or offering anything new to the scene. They’ve always been about pastiche, but have got progressively better at refining their mimicry.
‘Neaera’ is a diachronic metal box ticker, for sure, with a number of idioms from the genre’s rich history represented emphatically in the songs, although the band’s fusion of all these different elements transition and fuse with a potently infectious energy. You want a bread and butter extreme-ish metal record that makes you feel invigorated and alive? Then ‘Neaera’ is most certainly for you. Blackened tremolo-picked guitar parts, melo-death mimicry; metalcore breakdowns; blast-beats; thrashed-up veneration; twin guitar harmonies and arpeggios; a variety of growls… all present and correct, and primed to deliver that hit of metal adrenaline. Expect the clichés, give in to the clichés and embrace the fucking clichés… it’s familiar territory, but there’s nowt wrong with a healthy dose of familiarity when you’re in the mood for all the nostalgic comforts it provides, right?
Review by Mark Holmes
28th February 2020
3) False Shepherds
4) Resurrection of Wrath
6) Rid the Earth of the Human Virus
7) Sunset of Mankind
9) Eruption in Reverse
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Expect the clichés, give in to the clichés and embrace the fucking clichés… it’s familiar territory, but there’s nowt wrong with a healthy dose of familiarity when you’re in the mood for all the nostalgic comforts it provides, right?"