Review: Nàire ”The Age of Man” [Running Wild Productions]

Review: Nàire ”The Age of Man” [Running Wild Productions]

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81 %
User Rating : 3.9 (2 votes)

Promising Anthems of an Inevitable Demise…

The Age of a Man as an album shows a certain strength that’s already perfectly represented in the opening track: diversity without pulling too many strings at once. There’s traces of The Stench of Redemption-era Deicide to be felt in the melody-tainted aggression and drumming (albeit not quite as technical in execution), as well as a hefty punch of Chaos A.D. and even Gojira grooves in the rhythm guitars. This is done in a very fluid and balanced manner, hence „Beast“ is one of the better songs coming out of my little Austria I’ve heard thus far, at least since I’ve been doing my research more thoroughly. This stylistic blend remains a consistent companion throughout the following tracks, with “Anthropocene” keeping up the momentum while introducing some mellower moments provided by simplistic but effective clean guitars and having a blackened tinge to the surprisingly catchy melodies. The vocals – despite not being overtly versatile – are integrated very well into their sound, adding a punchy spice to the general flavor basically at all times, situated somewhere between a Vader-esque bellow and sludgier, dirtier death metal contemporaries with a sprout of upper range screaming atop.

The Age of Man as an album also shows a certain weakness that, while not extremely dominant in this very CD, I cannot entirely overlook: it’s frontloaded. The first two tracks are pretty much a 10 out of 10 representation of Nàire‘s sound and should find a snug place in about every quality melodic extreme metal playlist out there, but the effective density of the songwriting does only sporadically reach these highs anymore after we’ve left the opening ceremony. While “Thirst” is still a very good song, it also introduces a looseness to the writing that rips open a few unwanted voids. With the implementation of Mastodon-like brief bass- and drums-only bursts, start-stop elements, and a punkier edge to the later songs, the intensity and smoothness of the aural experience can’t be contained quite as well as before, since these now more dominant elements feel a little scalloped at times. The (almost) instrumental “Forgotten Souls” introduces more open chords and arpeggios in the guitars which is a pretty beautiful idea, diving into a melodic black metal context, but the production – which is very clear, professional, and packs a hefty punch – feels more at home in the sludge/groove and modern thrash moments of the album, with its rather dry nature not doing the atmospheric elements the very best of service.

But just before these flaws become too apparent, the second half of “Kings” comes to the rescue – or rather to the pounding – and returns to the savageness and intricate genre-mix of the opening couple, delivering a hugely satisfying blow to this pair of ears at least.

…and yet – despite my earlier criticisms – after the ending notes of “Haste” ring out, I’m ultimately satisfied with The Age of Man since I’d realized that after having it digested as a whole multiple times, the moments dragging it down are in fact not nearly as eroding as predicted initially. Even at their “worst”, Nàire shove a lot of capable craftsmanship, neck-snapping goodness, and catchy moments into their art, engrossed in an all-encompassing negative outlook into a future that makes The Terminator’s timeline appear as a more comfortable option for humanity’s prospects. Taking into consideration that this record is actually the band’s debut album, I’m certainly all ears for whatever is coming up next in the Nàire camp.

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About the author

A musician and writer from Austria, as well as an avid metal-fan since 2004!

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