NEAERA – The Rising Tide Of Oblivion

NEAERA - The Rising Tide Of Oblivion


Metal Blade
Release date: March 21, 2005

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Hailing from Munster, Westphalia, the band began in 2003 as The Ninth Gate. After signing to Metal Blade Records, they wanted a name that ‘represents the band’s philosophy as a whole.’ Neaera is the name taken from a woman in Greek mythology who was sold into slavery, but was allowed to buy her freedom, a situation the band feels is still common in today’s so-called civilized world.

Snappy drumming, courtesy of Sebastian Heldt, drives the opening track ‘The World Devourers,’ while a more subdued bridge with clean vocals features his showy cymbal work. The pace continues through ‘Broken Spine,’ which is exactly what fans may find themselves suffering from if they attend a live show by this band.

A deeper, more sinister voice makes itself heard on the third song, ‘Anthem of Despair.’ Do all of these voices emerge from the same throat as the raspy shriek that dominates Benny Hilleke’s vocals? Regardless, the band could have been significantly more distinct and powerful if this darker voice was given precedence.

One of the best songs is the furious ‘Walls Instead of Bridges.’ ‘Where Submission Reigns’ follows with another solid thrashing. The dark voice roars too occasionally once again, but the song is a showcase for the fluid leads of guitarists Tobias Buck and Stefan Keller. ‘From Grief …’ is a more delicate refrain that contrasts sharply with its brutal partner track ‘… to Oblivion.’

The bold statement, ‘You are a threat to the world’ makes it clear what ‘Hibernating Reason’ is about –- a world where the sanity of many world leaders seems to have gone to sleep. But who is Neaera speaking of? There are many to choose from. Less obvious is the band’s ‘Definition of Love,’ which is anything but sweet or tender, except for a brief burst of clean vocals at the end that are somewhat misplaced amidst the chaos. Parts of ‘Save The Drowning Child,’ however, belie the name by being heavy enough to pull the strongest swimmer under.

‘Beyond the Gates,’ perhaps a play on the band’s original name, is punctuated in places by an almost Morbid Angel-like groove. Bulldozing the album almost to a close is ‘No Coming Home.’ But Oblivion closes on a somber note, with the instrumental epitaph ‘The Last Silence,’ where a violin gently weeps.

Throughout the album, the production is sharp and well-balanced. Overall, The Rising Tide of Oblivion shows Neaera to be a promising young band able to coat a tried and true thrashing with a Modern Metal sheen.

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