neath
The Spiders Sleep


4.5
superb

Review

by Jim USER (23 Reviews)
December 26th, 2008 | 10 replies | 3,718 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An exciting debut from a group at the forefront of the Australian metal scene.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

As one of the more critically recognised metal acts in Australia, 'neath deliver an experience unmatched in the country's progressive scene. Since the release of their debut LP The Spiders Sleep, a steady stream of metalheads have discovered the atmospheric offering for themselves and quickly added the Brisbane unit to their list of bands to look out for. And considering the quality of material here, this is hardly surprising.

'neath can quickly be defined as a progressive death metal band, comparable to Opeth and Katatonia pre-loss of death vocals. Fortunately, lead singer Boyd Potts has his brutal growls intact, and offers one of the most ferocious voices in the country today. Coupled with a perfectly serviceable clean singing voice (which ranges from solemn Jonas Renske to screaming Devin Townsend), 'neath can sit safe in the knowledge that their impressive instrumental prowess is only too well accompanied.

Opener When the Birds Lie Dead demonstrates the technical veracity the group are quickly becoming recognised for. Not only do the various riffs introduced throughout this one song force you to rock wherever you may be sitting, the layered keys also add an atmospheric gloom missing from a lot of their contemporaries, who may thrive a little too much on a thin, baseless sound. These keys provide constant support throughout The Spiders Sleep, and add considerably to the density of the band's material.

Tim Dowdle's guitar is a vital element to the make-up of 'neath's sound however, and it pains me to discribe exactly how technical yet simply accessible his riffs are. Along with Jonathan Moore's percussion and David Lingard's bass, the three of them provide many moments of pure, unashamedly primal metal, which although sounds at odds with their progressive tag, actually offers fleeting remedial moments where the listener can indulge in a little guilty headbanging. The mix between progressive and basic styles is a welcome relief, and illustrates the group's multi-demensional spirit.

In terms of individual tracks, The Spiders Sleep isn't let down by any of the players here. The Silk-laden Whore begins with an eerie introduction, and eventually ends up at what is possibly the most brutal passage of the album in it's crushing finale. The Sordid Grim Lie brings back the Townsend comparison, with the studious keys and Potts' vocal styling sounding curiously similar to the famed metal icon's. It's also one of the best songs on the album.

With the immense Blank Identity Crisis closing the proceedings with it's epic soundscape, you have to acknowledge exactly what 'neath have achieved here - a quality slab of progressive metal that deserves to stand amongst the best in the genre. With their second LP The Small Untruths already available, it would be wise to invest in this impressive debut before it's all but forgotten.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
72haha72
December 27th 2008



436 Comments


Judging by the info given in the review, this might be something I would really like

Jim
December 27th 2008



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

judging by your ratings, it's a definite recommendation

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 27th 2008



20855 Comments


You've pretty much lost nothing with regards to quality reviewing Jim. You're a natural.
This album ain't my thang though.

Jim
December 28th 2008



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

if you need an introduction to progressive metal davey, remember this one ;)

rasputin
December 28th 2008



14516 Comments


You've mentioned these guys before and I've been meaning to check them out, I'll be on it once I get back home. Good review.

Jim
December 28th 2008



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thanks man. i'm not much of a metal buff, but this tickles my fancy just right.
apparently their new release is good but not quite as consistent. i'll be getting that anyway

Vooligan
January 15th 2009



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is really good, especially Blank Identity crisis.
lovely review also

Zoo
January 15th 2009



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have the new one but haven't listened to it yet. Is it better than this?

jingledeath
January 15th 2009



7104 Comments


I have it as well but haven't given it a proper listen yet.

Jim
January 15th 2009



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i haven't got the new one yet. apparently it's not quite as good as this one, but still really good and a little more atmospheric
from what i've heard anyway :cool:



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