Monday 1 April 2024

Cara Neir - Portals To A Better, Dead World

Labels: Broken Limbs Recordings/Halo Of Flies/Fiadh Productions

Formats: Digital/Vinyl/Tape

Release Date: 31 Oct 2013/05 Jan 2024


1. Peridot

2. Closing Doors

3. Red Moon Foreboding

4. Dust Collector

5. Forlorn Love (Henry And Karen)

6. Exalting The Shadow Proprietor

7. 3,380 Pounds

The band Cara Neir, formed in 2008 by Garry Brents and Chris Francis, explored everything from black metal to grindcore and hardcore, as well as 8-bit video game and chiptune sounds later on in their discography. They called it a day earlier this year (according to Metal Archives, so that may not be correct) but not before US label Fiadh Productions released their third full-length Portals To A Better, Dead World on tape. It was originally released back in 2013 digitally and on vinyl with the help of Broken Limbs Recordings and Halo Of Flies Records. I own a copy of this album on vinyl yet I have never written about it here. It's time to change that.

I’ve listened to this album many times over the years and each listen gives me a new perspective on it. Opener ‘Peridot’ is a lot more metallic than I remember and Cara Neir’s full-blooded delivery means business. It’s great that this release has been made available on a physical format once again. ’Closing Doors’ blooms right from the first note with off-kilter instrumentation and frenzied vocals. The riffs and percussion standing out on the recording, which is still one of the album’s many qualities. 

There’s a heaviness that really takes hold on ‘Red Moon Foreboding’, especially in the vocal delivery. It just has this extra layer of bitterness to it, though that bitterness doesn’t effect the instrumentation, which still remains melodic and expressive. The further you get into this album, the greater it becomes. Age doesn’t seem to affect records in the same way it once did and ‘Dust Collector’ is a fine example of why. It’s simplistic introduction and early build-up provides plenty of atmosphere that gives way to excellently played post-hardcore, with an added touch of crust. In truth, both of those elements have been there all along but they seem to jump out here.

‘Forlorn Love (Henry and Karen)’ is the briefest of songs that tells it’s own story. As with previous songs, it provides eery, angsty atmosphere that leads into the album’s closing songs. The first of which is ‘Exalting The Shadow Proprietor’ and it’s the lengthiest one so far. As has gone before, Cara Neir pepper it with so many musical layers. There’s even a nod to Scandinavian metal in the guitar work.

Album closer ‘3,380 Pounds’ goes into full-on story mode during it’s ten+ minute playing time. After the extended build-up, which is unnerving to say the least, you’re greeted with a mix of both harsh vocals and distant clean tones set amongst gentle guitar. Less straightforward than the earlier songs on Portals To A Better, Dead World, it’s one that you can truly become immersed in.

Both Chris and Garry produced something brilliant here, which laid the way for musical endeavours to come. The guest vocal/instrumental appearances of Jan Siezak, Drew Weston-Ball, Leon Perkin, Dominique Patton and Blake Turner added to it’s mystique too. Nearly eleven years on, this is still epic.

You can stream and purchase Portals To A Better, Dead World digitally below (where you can also subscribe and receive all existing/future related releases below):-

Cara Neir -

Tape copies from Fiadh Productions and vinyl copies from both Broken Limbs Recordings/Halo Of Flies are sold out.

Fiadh Productions -

Broken Limbs Recordings -

Halo Of Flies -

While you're here, please visit Shape Of Storms Records (the label that spawned from the ashes of Halo Of Flies) -

No comments:

Post a Comment