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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 apart, so Malzan member Stefan Keller was recruited by Buck to play the second guitar in the Ninth Gate, rather than bass as he had in his former group. The Metal Blade label came calling in 2004 and pushed the issue of a name change. The bandmembers decided on Neaera, and in 2005 they made their debut with The Rising Tide of Oblivion. Let the Tempest Come appeared a year later, with Armamentarium following in 2007. ~ David Jeffries