Back in the dog days of 2021, as that awful year was winding down, my life changed when I first heard Cara Neir. First, it changed because of the band itself; it had been ages since I was so pulled in by a grind-based release, perhaps all the way to when I had first heard Gridlink‘s Longhena. But secondly, the experience also opened me up to what I’ve come to jokingly call “The Garry Brents Universe”. This body of work includes projects like Gonemage, Homeskin, and Sallow Moth (RIP). All of it is built around Brents’ unbridled dedication to making music that’s uncompromising and decidedly unique, whether it dabbles in death metal, grindcore, sheogaze, emo, black metal, or anything else he sets his mind on.

But even through these long and bizarre explorations of Brents’ work, Cara Neir remained the heart and soul of the musical experience. Which is why I’m so ecstatic to get to premiere a track from Phantasmal, Cara Neir’s upcoming release which drops on July 29th via the incomparable Zegema Beach Records. It continues Cara Neir’s exploration of their video game conceptual world (yes, you read that right) and even includes some friends of the blog as guest characters (the project is incredibly collaborative and has included/will include multiple guest spots as well as conceptual inclusions of backers of its Patreon). What a wild, weird project. Head on down below for your first taste from Phantasmal in the form of “Unkindness” and let’s chat a bit more after.

Absolutely fantastic. The odd, Cara Neir signature synth tones rule supreme on this track, weaving in the survival-horror concept of the album through the guitar riffs. There’s the sweet, sickly, party-esque main tone which runs circles around the rest of the compositions, creating that unsettling “horror clown” vibe. And then there’s that deep, rumbling, 16-bit sort of tone around the middle of the track. It merges beautifully with the guitars around that point, blurring the lines between “lead” and “accompaniment”. communicating a more deep-seated sort of haunting. Of course, not to be out-shun, the guitars themselves are as furious and high-paced as we’d expect from a grind release, delivering us the main, buzz-saw impetus of the track, making the track as heavy and as overwhelming as any Cara Neir release.

There’s a lot more we could call out (the unstoppable vocals, the powerful drumming, all the other weird little things the synths do) but the music really speaks for itself here. Make sure you keep an eye out on the project’s Bandcamp for a place to order this bad boy of an album when it drops later this week. It’s going to rock your socks off.

About The Author

Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.