Monday, September 10, 2012

Cara Neir - Sublimation Therapy

Hyper technical acts who apply themselves to simpler genres or rather those rooted in a non-technical formula are one of the few things that I am pretty closed minded about. Usually "technical" is an appropriate synonym for "wank," "pompous," or most fittingly, "pointless." . However, as I've had to do before, I climbed down from my high horse and gave Texas's Cara Neir the old college try.

What Cara Neir bring to the table with their EP Sublimation Therapy is a wealth of ideas and styles strained through a  proverbial  cheesecloth of technical grindcore. There's a large dose of death metal (mostly in the production) and some nice black metal flourishes that are very reminiscent of Krallice (Krallice's good material to be clear). Cara Neir occupy an interesting niche that might serve up just enough of what you want, or offer too little of what you're looking for. Tracks like "Prudent Oath" and "Synthetic Onslaught" have these great melodic bridges that work well admist the blasting chaos and really feel completely fluid, as opposed to tracks like "Scientific Rebirth" or "Son's Lament" which are brutal grinding affairs without melodic tendencies. These two worlds are where Cara Neir's at their best; fast, aggressive riffing with either attention to melodic spurts or brutal thrashings. At their worst, Cara Neir rehash one of the most black metal riffs/styles with "Stained Bedsheets." Instead of being a nice homage to Celtic Frost and Darkthrone, the chugga additions and extra steps in octave are just out of place on this EP. 

"You Are Missed," arguably the most black metal track is easily my favorite of the ep as it starts in this uncomfortable atonal void and quickly works it's way into a melodic gallop and a very catchy, yet strange riff. The heft of the track is particularly amazing as it's done in only a minute and change, yet  it feels like they could stretch it out for another ten minutes (I wish they would!).

It all makes a bit more sense when you see that Noisear mastermind Dorian Rainwater appears on the first seven tracks as his signature guitar style is an obvious influence for the band. For those unfamialr with Cara Neir, Rainwater's riffing is a very tangible and good comparison.

Operating in a very interesting field, Cara Neir are on the brink of something big. For a guy like myself who likes a more emotional and a stripped down style, Sublimation Therapy would be more attractive with more tracks like"Scientific Rebirth," "Prudent Oath," "You Are Missed,"  and "Sturdy Belief in Flimsy Gods." For those of you interested in staggering musicianship and broadening horizons you will be happily satisfied with Cara Neir's ingenuity and flare.

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