Cara Neir – ‘Perpetual Despair Is The Human Condition’.

Cara Neir – Dallas, Texas, USA.


Cara Neir has been a name in the burgeoning, often praised, often ill-spoken lump of a ‘scene’ that is American Black Metal. That being said, Cara Neir has never really fit in amongst glazed over, super compressed shoegazey bands that have taken away from the grime and discomfort of the genre theyre associated with.

Perpetual Despair Is the Human Condition is one of the most ambitious efforts from the Dallas, TX duo thus far. It is very hard to describe the means of doing so, but Cara Neir has been able to encompass many ideas and unify them track to track. Cutting at just under forty minutes, you’ll be hard pressed to find a record this year that had managed to get so much done from track to track.

\\Perpetual Despair Is the Human Condition//


‘Spiteful Universe’ is amongst my favourite opener tracks to any Cara Neir record that I’ve heard in quite some time.

Garry Brents’ instrumental prowess powers through this song with gripping riffs, winding melodic passages, ripping percussion, and Chris Francis’ howling vocals, which are by no means static, flat shrieks endemic to Black Metal, complement and add just the right amount of intrigue whether the passage is laden in frantic, energetic d-beats, hazy Post-Rock inspired movements, the amalgam being genuinely discomforting and truly dismal without sacrificing musical intricacies.

‘Normalcy’ and ‘Pushing Failure’ are not tracks that seemingly flow into one another, though the utilisation of keys and tasteful bits of atmospheric passages tie together these tracks in a way that would make a listener want to listen to both together rather than apart.

The middle ground of this record, tracks ‘Bound By Believers’, ‘Window to the Void’, and ‘Trials of the Lost’ keep everything afloat and genuinely interesting after having already gone through an exhaustively powerful introduction. Though it could be said for essentially every track on this record, here in particular on the album, the listener will feel thrown for a loop as Cara Neir hits very traditional Black Metal sounds right as they turn around into something entirely different that would confuse misguided purists that choose to ignore the scope of sounds that have seeped into Black Metal since the very beginning.

‘For You’ and ‘Chapter I: Coastline Black’ end this record on the same level of energy thats been carried throughout the entirety of Perpetual Despair…, a grand continuation of everything thats happened since ‘Spiteful Universe’. This being said, there wasn’t much of an indicator to this records conclusion just from listening rather than keeping an eye trained on the timer.

There are innumerable peaks and valleys in sound and emotion throughout Perpetual Despair Is the Human Condition that it would be nearly impossible to pinpoint any one idea from song to song that could possibly serve as a climax or conclusive, finalising riff or ambient passage.

Fenriz once applauded His Hero Is Gone for making a standout effort to bring together elements of Metal and Punk in a way that defied some lazier fusions of the two extreme genres. It is the sincere belief of the author that if he picked up Perpetual Despair…, or for that matter, most any Cara Neir record, he would probably say something very similar to that in their ability to bring distinct sounds together in a thoughtful and well orchestrated manner.

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I spend a lot of time meditating on why Insect Warfare broke up and cleaning off my Wolves in the Throne Room records. I play in bands on four strings and vocal. Residing in Boston, MA, USA.

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