Written by: PP on 07/10/2007 03:38:02

German melodic death metallers Neaera have been unfairly surrounded by a cloud of ignorance when it comes to the metalhead scene knowing anything about them. Their previous release "Let The Tempest Come" was already great, but so few people heard about it (or of the band) outside of Germany that it never really grew into something considerable by the big magazines. To put it short, Neaera would be one of those bands you'd read in the review section of a magazine like Metal Hammer or Kerrang!, but never really pay more attention to than the grade. Time will tell if things will change now that "Armamentarium", their third album, has been released. Musically, this album deserves to be heard by a larger gathering of people than just the German metalheads.

What the disc consists of, is extremely dense and well written melodic metal. Their previous two efforts could almost be categorized as metalcore, but on "Armamentarium", 'core' has been taken out of the word almost entirely. The breakdowns have been removed, and vocalist Hilleke's voice has solidified even more, giving his growled screams much more volume. They now come across as a wall of frightening, Zao-esque evil noise, providing perfect contrast to the metallic guitars.

For the most part, "Armamentarium" has its own distinct sound that couldn't really be mistaken for any other band, although some of the really melodic passages do sound like the band has been spinning "Slaughter Of The Soul" by At The Gates quite a few times during the recording process. But it's never similar enough to raise concerns about copy-catting. And anyway, how many bands do we have today who are successfully doing something similar to At The Gates today? Most bands have either gone metalcore or death metal, the brutal side of Swedish melodeath has been sidelined for far too long in my opinion.


Download: Armamentarium, The Escape From Escapism, Synergy
For the fans of: At The Gates, As We Fight, Himsa
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.08.2007
Metal Blade
Provided by Target ApS

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