Formed in 2008, Cara Neir is an extreme metal duo hailing from Austin, Texas who kick more than a serious amount of ass. Although their first and second full-lengths were released in 2009 and 2011 respectively, it wasn't until this year that the band started to catch on to the masses, and boy have they caught on. Manifesting their songwriting prowess with impressive diversity, the band touches on black metal, screamo, hardcore and a plethora of other genres with frightening consistency. Following their excellent split with blackened crust unit Ramlord, Sublimation Therapy
is the band's second release of 2012, their first EP and yet another worthy addition to their rapidly growing catalog.
is something of a black sheep within Cara Neir's discography; where all their previous releases relied on black metal as the foundation for their songs, Sublimation Theory
largely eschews this, gravitating towards a sound that is dominated by grindcore, crust and death metal. This change is apparent from the first track. "Scientific Rebirth" opens with salvo of blast-beats and hideously dissonant grindcore riffage. Half-way through the song the structure completely changes however, incorporating chunky death metal guitars and savage gutturals. It's clear the Cara Neir is just as diverse as ever, they have just placed their diversity someplace different this time.
Aside from Sublimation Therapy
featuring the band's most blunt and in your face songwriting as of yet, the track's shorter running times greatly adds to the immediacy of the release. Where on previous releases songs could last as long as five minutes, the longest song on this EP is mere three and half minutes, with most averaging the length of only a minute and a few going far under that. This definitely works in the band's favor however; with the songs shorter lengths, all the riff, pacing and other changes that occur within the span of a single track are all that much more effective. It seems that no matter what style of extreme metal they are writing in, Cara Neir has no problem whatsoever refining it to its more effective form.
was definitely not a safe move for the band; completely ditching the musical style that brought them attention was bold and risky, but through superior songwriting and palpable confidence, Cara Neir absolutely nailed it. Through Chris Francis's schizophrenic shrieking in "Tactful Annihilation" or Gary Brents devastating crusty riffage in " Stained Bloodsheets" this band has proven over the course of this albums seventeen tracks that there is little Cara Neir can do without being nearly flawless in the process. After this release on their most recent split with Venowl, Njiqahdda and Horseback the band has returned to their grim and kvlt black metal ways, but it's exciting to now know that we can never really
expect what's coming to us next from this dynamic duo. What we can say for certain is whatever they do next, it will undoubtedly rule face.