Neaera
Forging The Eclipse


3.5
great

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
October 25th, 2010 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Doing the same thing, only better this time.

Time has shown that a new Neaera album won’t bring anything new to the table – we know what we’ll get with each release from this German metalcore band, but will it actually be memorable this time around? That’s the question for most critics of this Heaven Shall Burn-esque quintet. A thick, dense wall of guitars coupled with passionate battle vocals and tortured screams are always cool, but will we actually be able to sit through the whole of the album? Will the chaos and war become monotonous for us again on Forging The Eclipse, like it was on the four Neaera albums that preceded it?

Okay, first off last year’s Neaera album, Omnicide: Creation Unleashed, really sucked. It took everything that was holding Neaera back in their career up until that point to an even lower level – hell, we are talking zero inspiration here in its conception process and in how it played out as an album. Other than the anticipation coming from the fans, not much hype is being raised for this year’s Forging The Eclipse, which is understandable; but let’s just say that this German metalcore band have brought a few surprises to the table, relatively speaking. You still have Neaera here – no doubt about that, but something about Forging The Eclipse actually makes it worth listening to all the way through.

For a Neaera album, that’s pretty awesome. Even a lot of the fans have to admit that Neaera have a way of writing the same song ten to twelve times in a row for each new release, but on Forging The Eclipse, that’s thankfully not the case. For starters, and as a little side note, it seems that the band have taken another cue from Heaven Shall Burn and have included some foreboding, solemn instrumentals to compliment and contrast the chaos of the band’s main wall-of-guitars formula: “The Forging” and “Certitude”. These pieces work to add varied dimensions to the band's sound, as well as give a new flow to the album, making the louder moments sound all the more louder and full of tension – listen to Heaven Shall Burn’s “Awoken” instrumental sync into “Endzeit” for a prime example of the contrast and how it works.

The main change that fans and critics will notice on Forging The Eclipse, however, is in the increased use of melody and how distinct the tracks sound from each other - once again, relatively speaking. The album does have a tendency to bleed together on occasion if listeners are not too attentive, just like the Neaera albums that preceded Forging The Eclipse had as well, but this year the effect is not as prevalent. A strong foundation of melody gives highlights “Heaven’s Descent” and “Arise Black Vengeance” something for listeners to come back to and remember the second time around. And while main vocalist Benjamin Hilleke is not as strong sounding in the two vocals styles he uses when compared to Heaven Shall Burn’s Marcus Bischoff, the Neaera vocalist does add some much needed variety in the songs when he changes from his high pitch howl to low growl roar.

Keeping the attention of listeners throughout a whole album has always been a problem for Neaera, but on Forging The Eclipse, the German quintet are seeing a move to a realm with more memorable opportunities for their wall-of-guitars formula. Yes, this is in some ways just another Neaera album, but it is an improvement over the band’s past work as well, especially last years’ Omnicide: Creation Unleashed, even though, instrumentally, the band remains largely the same. There are more melodic guitar lines throughout the tracks, however – and this is certainly to Neaera’s benefit, showing signs that in the future the band may be able to craft even more memorable songs that listeners will come back to for intensity and familiarity. They’re not there yet, but Neaera have shown improvement on Forging The Eclipse, proving their critics wrong in the process and showing signs of hope for their future.



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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
October 25th 2010


5819 Comments


stream

http://www.metal-hammer.de/Neaera_FORGING_ECLIPSE_alle_Songs_Stream

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

LG
October 25th 2010


3049 Comments


Nice review, never really got into these guys because the DM label.

Ponton
Emeritus
October 25th 2010


5819 Comments


Much appreciated LG. If you ever do, though, try this album. It's their best.

Darkvoid67
October 25th 2010


383 Comments


Good review. Not a huge fan, but I will gie this a listen

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2010


16478 Comments


Was waiting for you to review this. I listened to the first two songs the other day when that news thing was posted, but got distracted and haven't listened to the rest. Probably will soon. Obligatory good review, nice job comment.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2010


8391 Comments


Great review. I'm not sure if I'll have the time to aquire this, but I listened to that stream and based on 1 spin I'd agree with the rating.

Ponton
Emeritus
October 25th 2010


5819 Comments


Thanks guys. I know Kyle would disagree with me here, but I'd still pick the new Heaven Shall Burn album over this, Magnus. I'm not sure if you have tried it yet, but it's worth a shot.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2010


16478 Comments


New Heaven Shall Burn was so underwhelming, it makes me angry. I've been spinning Whatever It May Take a whole lot lately and I'm slowly beginning to think it's overtaking Antigone as the best HSB album.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2010


8391 Comments


Well it's the end of the year and it's pretty busy for me, but I'll see what I can do. Still, this did sound pretty good based on that 1 spin so let's just say that this album is in a slight advantage over HSB haha.

Ponton
Emeritus
October 25th 2010


5819 Comments


i was a little letdown by it too, but i like almost all the tracks on it now.

I'm getting back into whatever it may take too, though I'm not sure I'll change my rating. Definitely furious and great though

let's just say that this album is in a slight advantage over HSB haha.


fair enough, i just find HSB stuff more memorable, and marcus is definitely a better vocalist imo




Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2010


16478 Comments


The rawness of it (I own the original mix, it's so much better than the crystal clear re-release that messed up the tracklisting haha) really makes it have a bite, plus some of the riffs are brilliant.

Ponton
Emeritus
October 25th 2010


5819 Comments


I'll need to try the original then. i just have the remaster

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2010


16478 Comments


Yeah the original is so much muddier, the riffs and vocals are buried and the drums aren't as clear but holy shit it sounds a lot better to me. The emotion seems amplified.

Ponton
Emeritus
October 25th 2010


5819 Comments


I'll see if i can youtube some of the tracks. Definitely sounds interesting

Scoot
October 25th 2010


17914 Comments


So this is actually good? I used to be huge on them back in the day but then I realized that they were moving sideways.

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

keyserfunk
October 25th 2010


288 Comments


really psyched to get this album. agree that the last release was pretty ho-hum, but all previous albums destroyed. hopefully this is like those. really talented band.

Ray91
October 26th 2010


150 Comments


I guess a lot of people were underwhelmed by the new HSB album, me included.
But I have to disagree concerning the vocals.
I think benni from neaera has a much better range and technique.
Markus of HSB just has this monotous high pitched scream which has at least 5000 vocal lines layered above each other.^^
I don´t know why he doesn´t use his growls like on WIMT anymore


Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2010


16478 Comments


Yeah just take a listen to their cover of Casa de Caboclo, shows his range pretty well.

sexpoi
October 26th 2010


599 Comments


i used to like these guys a bit. I definitely gotta check this out if its more memorable cuz i do remember them only having a couple of memorable songs. Great review btw

Makemebad35
October 27th 2010


765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have listened to most of the CD and I can tell it's a solid one. Much better than the last release. Will give it another spin before I rate.



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