Review: neànder ‘Eremit’

neànder evoke much musically but for this writer the words ‘powerfully cinematic’ are the first two that come to mind. A melt of post-rock and dark metal hit you square in the face as soon as you stick the needle on first song Purpur (Prelude). Expansive and highly emotive are another two that describe this release. neànder achieve aural communication instantly and on so many emotive levels, with the use of much light and shade. Not just for fans of black metal by any means, but ambient, progressive rock and doom to.

neànder ‘eremit’

Eighteen months ago they gave birth to their debut self titled album released on Through Love Records. It took three years to put together. It’s therefore significant that this, their second, eremit only took 6 months to put together. It seems the planets aligned over half a year and they should consider this a triumph. Invoking bleakness and a dark taste throughout this whole release, I would suggest drowning in this with the use of headphones, so no outside distractions if you really want to appreciate its full impact.

Formed in 2017 and featuring members of Blackgazers, Patsy O Hara, Earth Ship and Casper, neànder have achieved a great deal by incorporating all these styles to make a progressive and powerful album that could sit easily next to Mogwai as it could Mastodon.

Slow grooves and intensity to die for, as heard on Eremit, the title track, and backs up guitarist Jan Korbach’s claim that, ’This album is all about finding your identity. Figure out who you are and then head for the next chapter’. If music could talk, this would be its translation.

An album full of strong dynamics and brutal melodies…

Fourth track Ora owes as much to Killing Joke as it does Black Sabbath and convinces me more that they deserve to be approached to work in the medium of soundtracks.  Think, John Hillcoat’s 2009 The Road or other similar post apocalyptic re-imagined soundtracks.

Produced and mixed by by Jan Oberg (Earth Ship/Grin) in Berlin, the forty minutes of music contained here accompany you on a journey of self discovery. ‘It’s truly a voyage from first to last’ says Jan and this you cannot deny. Cult of Luna’s Magnus Lindberg did a fantastic job mastering this release in Stockholm because it sounds huge.

An album full of strong dynamics and brutal melodies ultimately convinces the listener what an achievement this record is, no matter what your musical tastes.

UK’s Rock and Roll magazine featured them in its Best Of 2019 as ‘Proof that there’s beauty in melancholy’ in reference to neànder and I totally agree with that statement, in fact it’s possibly the biggest compliment you could pay these Germans because it encapsulates all they’re about. A stunning release.

Label: Through Love Records
Band Links: Facebook | Instagram

Scribed by: Tim Keppie