CARA NEIR's 'Part III/Part IV' + 'Akumu'
For fans of: Dawn Ray'd, Circle Takes The Square, Mare and We Came Out Like Tigers.
CARA NEIR has been a band for quite some time, and last year's 'Part III/Part IV' showed a huge amount of progression, and was remastered and re-released on Tomb Tree Tapes today. What does the two-piece sound like? Mostly like CARA NEIR, but I hear bits of Circle Takes The Square and We Came Out Like Tigers, but even more eclectic and interesting. It's kind of like if two demons learned how to play hardcore and metal, thus starting a band. It's dark, evil, but accessible, catchy and sometimes beautiful. Due to their massive discography I'm just posting this album review first because I love it, and will revisit a full discography post after I have properly ingested everything.
Coincidentally, right before I posted this CARA NEIR released a new digital single, which I will promptly review now. "Akumu" was recorded a few years back for a split that fell through and is 6:03 in length. This thing bounces all over the place, but the breakneck drumming is pretty constant. It's got a playful feel to it despite the sinister vocals, most likely due to the almost fantasy-esque guitars at times. The vocals feel a bit gruffer than the material reviewed below but overall this could have ended up on the full length and I wouldn't have noticed.
Back to the LP. On 'Part III/Part IV', the band wastes no time revealing one of their best tracks in opener "Penance", as the mixing of styles is like a hardcore/screamo/metal witch concocting one helluva cauldron brew. The post-black metal intro, the slowdown just after the minute-mark, the following distant screams during the groove are all superb. But it's that hooky-fucking guitar progression that is first laid down at 2:42 that takes the cake as the unforgettable moment on the track, and holy smokes does it soar. "Absolution" is an absolute treat and includes another brain-hook come 50 seconds. There's also a very Mare-esque outro during the final minute-and-a-half with vocal harmonies that are utterly gorgeous. "Suffocating" closes with an ambient noise piece and surpasses the six-minute mark, as does closer "April Ruin". "Time is Terrifying" is a pretty quick slap in the face before the gargantuan "Humanity Lost". I love the eerie atmosphere of this one and the clean guitars have an intoxicating tone, giving them a bit of Italian flavor. "Choke" is the album's most experimental song and sounds like it could have been culled from 'Kid A'-era Radiohead but with a bassline that's as groovy as it is mysterious. The dense, phosphorous atmosphere and those crippling lyrics provide an amazing effect that leads to the epic conclusion of the album that is the aforementioned "April Ruin".
There's a ton more material coming from CARA NEIR so keep your eyes peeled and dig into that back catalogue with me 💘
(2019) CARA NEIR - "Akumu" (from 'Akumu')
(2019) CARA NEIR - "Penance" (from 'Part III/Part IV')
(2019) CARA NEIR - "Absolution" (from 'Part III/Part IV')
(2019) CARA NEIR - "Choke" (from 'Part III/Part IV')