Review 2258 : Neaera – All Is Dust – English

Neaera has not said its last word.

The band made a name for itself on the German and then international scene in its early days, but the adventure came to a halt in 2015. In 2018, Benjamin Hilleke (vocals), Tobias Buck (guitar, I the Unlord, Our Loss Is Total, Terra Builder), Stefan Keller (guitar, Our Loss Is Total), Benjamin Donath (bass) and Sebastian Heldt (drums, Our Loss Is Total) revived the project, which unveiled a new album in 2020, followed by All Is Dust, their eighth creation, released in 2024 by Metal Blade Records

We attack with the solid Antidote to Faith and its vindictive Metalcore influences complementing the impressive Melodic Death with a more virulent dimension made of bursts of rage. Pacifier follows with a much more martial, jerky approach, but also more majestic passages that create a contrast with the track’s violence, then All Is Dust darkens to dispense its thick riffs. The particularly heavy choruses also strike to accentuate the eponymous track’s fury before the sound becomes brighter again with Swords Unsheathed and its airy dissonance, coupled with a few slower parts that also strengthen the track’s coldness. The opposite is true for Per Aspera, drawing on its Old School roots to stick to its aggressive patterns at the crossroads of the two styles mentioned above, with a melancholy break all the same, but the bellicose roots return on Edifier, a track built for the stage and proudly displaying Hardcore inspirations. Sorrow gradually takes hold of us when In Vain begins with its soaring introduction, and it doesn’t leave us when the heart-rending vocal parts come into play, but the sound ignites before the final and explodes again with the motivating Render Fear Powerless, which is also perfect for uniting on stage. The contrast with the soothing part makes for an interesting mix before Dividers comes in to molest us with its dry, mosh-friendly groove, but which the band will again tinge with dissonance and coldness before assaulting us one last time with Into the Hollow and its lively patterns that barely slow down on the choruses.

Neaera‘s popularity had obviously waned with their hiatus, but the band’s return confirms their strength. All Is Dust will make you mosher and shake your skull frantically with its effective Metalcore roots, while lacerating us with its more melodic influences.


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