Extracting the finer points of black metal, hardcore and mad experimental sounds is hardly the newest trick in the book, but melding them together and producing an exciting and cohesive record such as Stagnant Perceptions is no mean feat. Hailing from Texas, Cara Neir destroy everything in their path. This, only their second full length, is such a fully rounded and expertly executed offering that it's difficult to believe they haven't been doing for it for a million years or more.
Blending the more interesting aspects of the black metal spectrum - harsh vocals,agression, furious blasting on drums and an overwhelmingly crushing atmosphere - with curious time signatures and changes, something definite to say and punk as heck tendencies makes for a genuinely special record. Fluctuating between quick little vehemence filled ditties - "Two-face and Tight-lipped" - and longer yet by no means less frenetic tracks, Stagnant Perceptions is an eccentrically tinged record that never fails to surprise.
Featuring guest vocals and guitar parts from seminal grindcore legends Noisear's Dorian Rainwater, his addition is an exciting part of the mix, the vocal style and truly soaring nature of the lead guitar line on "Dethroned and Leprous" is an indication of the plethora of influences felt here. Converge can be mentioned in the same breath as Darkthrone, there's some sublime sludge-echoing groove-laden moments and occasional elements of post-rock creep into some of the instrumental sections during "The Apothecary." Throwing in a sample from Firefly in "My Apology" adds to the general illusion of disquiet that builds around this record.
"If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And, if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order."
It's a terrifying prospect, and the quote is used in a clever way - sitting in a moment of absolute calm in between fierce programmed drum work and severe vocal lines - the track bursting into life again with staggering beats of sound and a massive sense of dread and foreboding. Closing on "Not Enough," Cara Neir once again completely turn things on it's head. Quite breathtaking in scope and striking in it's delivery, beautiful instrumental passages envelope the song in gorgeous shimmering guitar, playing out in the antithesis of how Stagnant Perceptions began.
8.5 / 10
Posted Sept. 1, 2013, 11:07 a.m.
Cara Neir have announced their upcoming sophomore LP, Portals to a Better, Dead World, will release on Oct. 31 as a split release between Broken Limbs and Halo of Flies ...
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