German act Neaera released their sixth studio album entitled “Ours Is The Storm”. I’ve always considered Neaera a metalcore band although in this album there is a clear push towards more melodic sounds, making this distinct from all their previous releases.

“Ours Is The Storm” kicks off with a distorted, melodic intro, which I find very appropriate and fitting and which sets the ground perfectly for the title track. I love the thrashy rhythm of the title track nicely combined with some death metal vocals. I’m not a huge fan of the high pitched vocals – which, unfortunately for me, are dominant throughout this album – but if you dig that kind of stuff, it shouldn’t bother you. “Decolonize The Mind” holds a slightly faster tempo but brings in – especially after the 2nd minute in the track – some earth shattering drum work that sounds effortless and very accurate. “Through Treacherous Flames” is much more melodic blending in some catchy guitar riffs and rough vocals, just like “Ascend To Chaos”, which however is a little more technical. The fastest “Walk With Fire” and the slowest “My Night Is Starless” tracks of this release follow and somehow I’m favouring the second…a lot! “Black Tomb” and “Between Us And Annihilation” are both very melodic yet brutal, followed by my personal favourite “Slaying The Wolf Within” which is an in your face blast of death metal riffs; Gotta love the cleaner vocals and a superb half time tempo closing! Another track with a thrashy rhythm “Back To The Soul” leads to “Guardian Of Ashes”, a very melodic and appropriate closing track.

Production-wise this album is clean and balanced and the band seems tight. However, I would enjoy being able to listen to the individual instruments from time to time; I mean the bass guitar is almost invisible and you have to turn the volume WAY up to remind yourself of its existence! Even though it’s very different than any of Neaera’s previous releases, the band is not breaking new ground, since bands like Heaven Shall Burn have done it in the past and if you ask me slightly better. Overall though this is a solid effort, so give it a listen.

Track List Line Up
01. The Deafening
02. Ours Is The Storm
03. Decolonize The Mind
04. Through Treacherous Flames
05. Ascend To Chaos
06. Walk With Fire
07. My Night Is Starless
08. Black Tomb
09. Between Us And Annihilation
10. Slaying The Wolf Within
11. Back To The Soul
12. Guardian Of Ashes
Benjamin Hilleke – Vocals
Sebastian Heldt – Drums
Benjamin Donath – Bass
Stefan Keller – Guitar
Tobias Buck – Guitar