Neaera put up a convincing argument in today’s flooded metalcore genre. You want to like them but it’s hard. Following in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Caliban and Heaven Shall Burn, this style of Gothenburg influenced chugging is just enough to peak interest. However, Armamentarium leaves itself up for quarrel and occasional play.

This CD is good, but once again it falls into that grey area of hopelessness when it comes to metalcore. As much as I try not to be one of those guys who bash’s this stuff, I find that Armamentarium doesn’t hold up very long in my CD player. Reason being, the downright repetitive riffs and recycled sound. It slams for a few tunes, but then after almost an hour you can’t help but eject this puppy. This isn’t going to convince the metalhead who hungers for originality.

Basically, we have a well if not over produced album of thrashy melodic Swedish picking with no solos and tiresome one-note breakdowns. There is a great deal of Chain Heart Machine era Soilwork and Slaughter of the Soul At The Gates, but as we all know this is something you can find anywhere in the genre. At first I was jamming to this CD but it just doesn’t hold up. A lot of the problem lies in the songwriting. Armamentarium and all of this type music lacks dynamics. There’s no technicality in the guitar work, at least nothing memorable, and when the song should have an epic break point we get the same old breakdowns and pounding drums. Another thing that sucks about this CD is how much it sounds like Heaven Shall Burn. Sorry guys, they did do it first.

Lead vocalist Benny has a piercing high-pitched shriek. I actually think he sounds better on this disc than any of the back catalogue. Drums are completely over powering in this release and the bass is down right unnoticeable. The guitar work is fast and heavy but there’s not much to praise. It just sounds like one long song through the disc.

Armamentarium is solid, but so are millions of others in the genre. It will fail in the ears of those who are in for something more. Neaera could be a great band if they wouldn’t jump the bandwagon of German metalcore. If you are that tight and can swing the Gothenburg thing that well, why not try to wow us a little bit more. That’s all we ask.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
August 18th, 2007


  1. Commented by: brandon

    The best thing about this album is the vocals, they do remind me quite a bit of “Slaughter of the Soul” At The Gates. Neaera isn’t close to being on par with ATG, but the album isn’t bad and I think this is a band with tons of potential should they choose to take it in the right direction. I’d like to hear what this band can do with a straight forward melo-death approach.

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