Neaera, "The Rising Tide of Oblivion"
Germany’s Neaera debut with The Rising Tide of Oblivion, an impressive 13 track effort that lands somewhere between The Black Dahlia Murder and older In Flames. The songs are eloquent, fiery and crisp, and with just a touch of the metalcore sound, this disc both burns and batters its listener. Though, admittedly, this disc doesn’t quite have the same unique charm of Unhallowed or Slaughter of the Soul because Neaera are staying within the melodic death metal boundaries, much of the work here hints that the band will be testing these limits soon enough.
The vocals on this disc are especially interesting since they’re a two-tone delivery not unlike Black Dahlia, and the high-end version seems pushed to the absolute limit of human ability making it sound like Benny Hilleke is about to collapse a lung and pass out mid verse. Additionally, the drumming is tight and dense, also much like Black Dahlia, though there are numerous places where Naeara loosen up to play a melodic passage or a neck-snapping groove undisturbed from the blasting. The guitar tone and execution is flawless, as Andy Classen’s pristine and somewhat cold approach to recording gives the guitars even more room to shine than the typical organic production that usually works so well for the Fredrik Nordstrom groups.
The Rising Tide of Oblivion is an extremely impressive debut that shows off a band with an immense amount of promise. Neaera already have a lot to offer the scene, and with their subsequent work, I’d bet they’ll be seriously exploring ways to escape the confines of the genre.