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Forging the Eclipse

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Album Review

Stylistically, there have been some misconceptions about Neaera. Some people have described them as a melodic death metal band of the In Flames/At the Gates variety, but they don't sound like either of these bands, and aren't nearly as melodic or as nuanced. And a much more common misconception is that they are a traditional metalcore band along the lines of Hatebreed and Throwdown. It's true that Neaera dress like a metalcore or hardcore band, but physical appearances can be deceiving, and Forging the Eclipse isn't traditional metalcore any more than 2006's Let the Tempest Come was traditional metalcore. Actually, this 2010 release is Scandinavian-style death metal with black metal and metalcore elements. Throughout the album, lead singer Benjamin Hilleke does what he has done in the past: he avoids clean vocals and fluctuates between two extreme vocal styles. One is death metal's stereotypical Cookie Monster growl, and the other is somewhere between black metal's abrasive rasp and metalcore and hardcore's tortured screaming. Forging the Eclipse sounds a lot like Let the Tempest Come, although this 39-minute album has a bit more blackening; Forging the Eclipse is blackened death metal with some metalcore and hardcore influence. But no way does Forging the Eclipse emulate the traditional metalcore of Hatebreed and Throwdown. And even though the album does have the occasional melodic track, In Flames and At the Gates aren't valid comparisons either, because 95-percent of the time, this skullcrushing effort is about brutality for the sake of brutality, not nuance, melody, or musicality. But as far as pure adrenaline goes, Forging the Eclipse isn't a bad listen. Vicious, clobbering bombast is the dominant ingredient here, and very few prisoners are taken on the decent, if less than exceptional, Forging the Eclipse.

Biography

Formed: 2003 in Münster, Heilsbronn, Germany

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s

Guitarist Tobias Buck formed Neaera in 2003, initially as a side project away from his usual death metal band, Münster, Germany's Malzan. Vocalist Benny Hilleke and drummer Sebastian Heldt came on board first, then former Malzan guitarist Benjamin Donath was added, but on bass. The band's death metal meets power metal sound began to form and numerous gigs were played under the name the Ninth Gate before it was decided a second guitarist and a name change were in order. Meanwhile, Malzan had fallen...
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Forging the Eclipse, Neaera
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