Been getting into this Texas band's brand of frantic blackened hardcore more and more, largely through their killer cassette titles that Broken Limbs has been issuing over the past year or so. First heard 'em on that killer split with blackened noise-doom mutants Venowl, but here we're finally getting a full length from the group, a reissue of a super-limited CDR they self-released a while back. And Stagnant Perceptions is even better than the stuff I've heard up to this point, delivering eleven short, punchy tracks of blistering, despairing hardcore that seems to draw equally from the more miserable fringes of black metal, the harsher edge of 90's emo, and a big dose of filthy, stench-filled grindcrust. Don't get spooked by the "E" word, though. Where I'm hearing that is in Garry Brents's use of jangling, dissonant guitar chords and brief breaks where the band's furious blackened thrashpunk suddenly swerves into muted, almost solemn melody while singer Chris Francis shreds his larynx over top, moments that are reminiscent of harder-edged stuff like Pg.99 and Saetia. These guys whip up a killer sound here, and the recording quality is the best yet from 'em, powerful and punchy and huge, especially considering that you're hearing a duo.
There's some great, technical guitarwork in here in addition to some hauntingly tremulous melody weaved throughout the songs, alongside bursts of absolutely savage blackened grindcore (which are aided by guitar and vocal contributions from Dorian Rainwater from Noisear/Phobia), and some of the guitar parts bring an almost mathy quality to certain parts of the album. Definitely not just another Trap Them / Young And In The Way clone, Cara Neir deliver their own distinctive strain of black metal-influenced hardcore, possessed with a frantic, frayed energy and a subtle progginess (especially in the rhythm section) along with a couple of moments where the band suddenly swells into awestruck beauty and majestic melody that's reminiscent of the likes of Fall Of Efrafa and Agalloch, all of which come together to really set it apart from the hordes of other bands working within this realm. Not to mention, the songs themselves are pretty goddamn catchy. This is definitely a band that fans of stuff like Young And In The Way should be checking out. Limited to one hundred copies.