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Album Reviews : 'neath – The Spiders Sleep

By on May 30, 2008

Too many bands are compared entirely to Opeth. Almost every progressive death metal release seems to be compared to them and it’s gotten to the stage where I pretty much ignore that comparison when reading reviews. However in this case, it’s necessary. Brisbane’s ‘neath do sound a lot like Opeth, but better.

Within the first thirty seconds of When The Birds Lie Dead, the Opeth influence is clear with a heavy, solid guitar riff with some fantastic atmospheric keys over the top. They aren’t so similar though that they sound like a cheap knock-off.

Their heavier parts sound a bit more powerful and, well, heavier than the majority of Opeth’s material, and while Boyd Potts’ growls are close to identical to Akerfeldt’s, their clean vocals are quite different. Potts also does some rougher singing (towards the end of Sordid Grim Lie) that’s more commonly heard on semi-commercial modern metal albums than progressive death metal ones, but it fits in very well. The vocals are definitely a highlight on this album, both his clean singing and growls are absolutely fantastic and there’s a decent balance of both.

There’s not a bad songs on here, but there are some definite highlights. The main one being previously mentioned track, Sordid Grim Lie. It features such a wide variety of different styles that all blend together so well. A beautiful, natural sounding piano piece (which could be a bit longer) begins the song but is quickly overpowered by guitars. The song then continues on alternating between piano pieces and heavy guitars, the two styles dancing together. This track probably features the most prominent keys and piano of the release that vary from a faster, somewhat haunting piano to a simple, softer piano piece in the background that gives off a kind of traditional Chinese vibe.

“The Spiders Sleep” is a very consistent. The style and tempo changes are very smooth throughout and nothing sounds out of place. There’s certainly enough progression and variety to hold your attention throughout every second of the five 6+ minute tracks. No single section of the release feels like it’s had any less attention than any other part, which means ‘neath’s lack of live shows and focus on studio work has undeniably payed off.

The production is fantastic and does the music justice, and the interesting artwork makes for a very professional package. This is an album work checking out. You can hear samples of it at the band’s Myspace, and it can be purchases through Obsidian Records. 8.2/10

Band: ‘neath
Album: The Spiders Sleep
Year: 2007
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Label: Obsidian Records
Origin: Queensland, Australia
http://www.myspace.com/neathmusic

Track Listing:
1. When The Birds Lie Dead
2. The Spiders Sleep
3. The Silk-laden Whore
4. Sordid Grim Lie <- reviewers choice
5. Blank Identity Crisis

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.