Review Summary: Sludgy Post-Metal Landscapes
Founded 2017 in Berlin, neander is a four-piece instrumental post/doom/sludge Metal outfit consisting of members from bands like Ånd, Patsy O’Hara, Earth Ship and Casper (liveband). After releasing their s/t last year, this year it's time for their sophomore album 'Eremit', this time featuring a better production and mastering from Magnus Lindberg (Cult of Luna).
The album opens with 'Purpur', which starts with a smooth, ambient prelude flowing into a heavy riff to set the tone for neander's melancholic atmosphere that will chill you out on one part and get you headbanging just shortly after. Having three guitarist and no bassist might sound weird at first glance, but it creates a unique dynamic flow that sets them apart from other bands of the genre. It also shines light on the drummer of the band, who really excels throughout the album, especially on the title track's finale, where the drum patterns and the groove to it really go wild. He also likes to sprinkle in just the right amount of black metal with some sweet sounding blast beats, most notably on 'Purpur'.
On the closing track 'Atlas', the band showcases their doomier side as the song hooks you with a really catchy, but crushing riff and takes you to a wild ride of loud and quiet as the song calms down in ambient-like parts to crush your soul once again. The accompaniying music video to this song also does a great job at capturing that vibe and is maybe the track you might want to check out first.
The track 'Ora' turns up the melancholic sound even further that you eventually get lost in it making it probably the most forgettable song on the album, but due to the album's relatively short running time of 40 minutes – at least in this genre - it doesn't drag a bit.
Overall neander successfully established and expanded their distinct post-metal sound with a sludgy twist on 'Eremit' making it worth to check out for every kind of metal fan and even for fans of ambient music.