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Neaera - "Armamentarium" (CD)

Neaera - "Armamentarium" CD cover image

"Armamentarium" track listing:

1. Spearheading the Spawn
2. Tools of Greed
3. Armamentarium
4. Synergy
5. Harbinger
6. In Loss
7. The Orphaning
8. The Escape From Escapism
9. Mutiny of Untamed Minds
10. The Need for Pain
11. Liberation

Reviewed by on September 12, 2009

"The band puts together a decent display of melody mixed with a grain of aggression to make a strong brew of potentially exciting material."

Neaera delivers a ripping type of metal on their album "Armamentarium." The band puts together a decent display of melody mixed with a grain of aggression to make a strong brew of potentially exciting material. Neaera jives with a purpose and bring together a cocktail of entertainment.

If only the vocals were able to hold up to the background music, then we’d have a complete work. The vocalist Benjamin Hilleke attempts to hit high shrieking registers and really low tones to not the greatest of successes, in my opinion. This is happening when the molten hot background music is really of a high quality to complement, and creates a slight imbalance in the overall sound, but this isn’t a huge problem.

An ear for melody is present in the band’s makeup, but they complement this well with a heavy sound attached to it. They can sound a rousing chorus complementing the remainder of the title track “Armamentarium” in a big way, for example. The entire thing points towards a thrilling type of melodic death metal rather than one that puts too much weight on the melodic end of things, and the band ends up sounding more solid because of it.

There isn’t really the slight push that puts other bands like At the Gates ahead of the pack, though, which makes them just a very solid act. A little more aggression might make Neaera a slightly stronger act, for example, but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes them good or not.

Thus we’re left with an outfit that has the possibility of being something special, but instead they’re only given the pretty strong status assigned to them. "Armamentarium" is something to check out if you’re a fan of melodic death metal, as they create their own specific place within the genre.

Highs: Able to push their efforts into harsh or tuneful moments.

Lows: Vocals aren't consistent.

Bottom line: A good combination of melody and aggression on display.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)