A prolific band, Neaera is. Already on their sixth full-length release since forming in 2003, the German quintet is back to doing what they’ve done throughout their career, which is write solid, slightly more abrasive melodic death metal. On Ours is the Storm, the band’s first album in three years, Neaera has released possibly their most progressive album to date, one that sees them more mature and a bit more focused than on previous records.
While there is still plenty of Black Dahlia Murder/Heaven Shall Burn metalcore elements scattered throughout the album, Neaera has expanded upon their sound and added a few Dissection-esque arrangements (a few spots on “Back to the Soul” and “Black Tomb” are examples of this) and has infused a little bit more of a groovier element to the mix.
Still, even with the subtle tweaks mentioned above, it’s still the same Neaera through and through, so fans of the band need not be jostled when reading this. The expected pearly clean production is in store and the band’s breakdowns are bountiful throughout the album. The only drawback within the music, something that has plagued the band from the start, is that too many of the songs on the release sound too similar to the ones surrounding it. Neaera tend to stick to their own formula of quasi blasts/thrashy riffs/moshable breakdowns throughout the album (the title track, “Decolonize the Mind” and “Ascend to Chaos” all follow an almost identical structure).
Another minor hiccup is that the production is a bit too polished because the guitars are thinned out a little too much and the drums come off as a teensy too pitter-pattered in the final mix. While it’s not as sterile as too many of the albums popping out these days, had those focal instruments been able to sound more alive and ferocious, it would have served Ours is the Storm well. Still, it’s a minor gripe and a dirtier, nastier production is just a matter of preference.
In the end, fans of Neaera will likely devour this album from start to finish. They aren’t reinventing the wheel anytime soon and on Ours is the Storm, they’ve smartly stuck to what got them signed to a major label in the first place. Neaera has added a few subtle things here and there, enough for those who truly love these guys to pick up on them. Like everything else they’ve releases up to this point, Ours is the Storm is a solid release of quality melodic death/metalcore.[Visit the band's website]