Metal in February Part 2: Neaera, Fluisteraars, Toundra

Today’s “Metal in…” is a triple feature of albums that came out on the 28th of February. Last month was packed with releases and continues the trend of 2020 as another strong year in extreme music. This time around, however, we’re stretching the definition of the format for a special project. March promises to bring a lot of noteworthy releases, again most of them towards the end of the month. Slated for March is also the return of one of death metal’s great visionaries of the last decade. Stay tuned!

Neaera – Neaera

Seven years after their last album, german melodic death veterans Neaera return. On their self-titled comeback, the band present their classic melocore sound in the vein of fellow national acts like Heaven Shall Burn. Once more, the band channels their pessimism into a viscerally bleak vision for the future of humanity. While the metalcore segments are somewhat run-of-the-mill, the sprints and melodic moments recall the band at the height of their career. A solid return with little in the way of surprises but all the more of the tried-and-true formula.

Fluisteraars – Bloem

Shortly after Turia’s Degen van Licht, another forward-thinking black metal album emerges from the fertile dutch scene. On Bloem, duo Fluisteraars present black metal close to nature, inspired by the Veluwe area of their homeland. The results are lush and ambitious as the band deploys a wide range of instruments to craft soaring, energetic compositions. Pulling from folklore and inspired by 60s psychedelic rock, Bloem fits into an ever expanding niche of positive black metal.

Toundra – Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari

The last item in today’s collection is not metal but no less of interest to the Vortex. In 2020, silent film classic Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari celebrates its 100th anniversary. On their new album of the same title, spanish post-rock group Toundra contribute a soundtrack to this masterpiece of german expressionist cinema. The intimate tracks break from the classic build-up/crescendo style of post-rock into pensive expanses. The soundtrack follows the dramatic arc of the movie with introspective melodies that evoke tension and wistfulness alike. Toundra currently perform their soundtrack on tour along showings of the movie. Make sure to catch them live if you can.

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