unScene: Cara Neir / Venowl Split EP

Cara Neir - Venowl Split

Cara Neir – Venowl Split

An interesting contrasting mix here from two US bands, on a split tape release although you can also check the tracks online. Cara Neir from Texas are a mix of aggressive black metal with more progressive post-metal elements.

A lot thrown in there then but the whole becoming more than the sum of the parts, a natural and effective blend as opposed to feeling contrived. There’s almost a crust punk vibe of the likes of Protestant in their pacier sections, a really cathartic delivery, but clarity in their technical, jazzy musicianship more akin to Obsidian Kingdom. The second track is where they offer the greatest contrast, slow atmospheric drift with quiet vocals before the layers of power kick back in again.  It certainly doesn’t sound like just the two-piece they are, fair play to them for creating such a well-rounded sound. Certainly has me interested in checking out more of their back catalogue.

On first listening, Ohio’s Venowl probably disturbed me a bit too much to appreciate them, but maybe that would be their intention. It is a truly harrowing cacophony/blizzard of chronic doom dirge, somnambulant crawl through the darkened recesses swathed in feedback and dissonance. The off-putting element though is the production, in that this (like all their material apparently ) is an ad-libbed studio recording, so while at times the proto-rawness can be savoured at others it just starts sounding a bit ropey, amateurish.

The howled, feral vocals delivered by all the three piece are pretty lost in the un-mix too. I can understand them having a philosophy and ritual approach to this dark art but through the filter of the recorded medium not sure that is captured very well, a fine line between a challenging listen becoming tedious.

Have had similar experiences with Alkerdeel in that live they are a stunning band but their similarly experimental recordings don’t always seem to do them justice. There’s definitely something there, maybe just too obscured for its own good?






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