Review: “Beware The Snake” by Alera

Its often said that fashions and trends happen in cycles and that things get re-invented in a nostalgic and yet in some ways superior form years after the pioneers who created them have had their time. In the case of Australian Post Hardcore quintet Alera who have grown something of a cult following with a string of singles, the suggestion from those who have heard them is that they are at the forefront of what the people want – a revival of the mid-2000’s Post Hardcore sound that saw the rise of Alexisonfire, Pianos Become The Teeth and Counterparts to prominence. The success of Hayden Oakley (vocals), Matt Ashley (vocals), Mark Jones (rhythm guitar), Corey Cichowski (lead guitar) and Tony Taylor (bass guitar) with those singles has seen the band get the attention of  Wall Of Sound and Hysteria Mag in their homeland and now it’s time for their debut EP “Beware The Snake“…

…as you might expect from pretty much any Post Hardcore act on the planet, this collection of songs barely touch the three minute mark and full of angsty emotional lyrical threads which are introspective and cathartic with a pure venting of raw quality that cries out about a broken heart. Opening cut “Hirudo” is the kind of thing you’d imagine Architects vocalist Sam Carter listening to in the gym, a breakneck paced delivery, caustic vocals paired with more melodic instrumentation that remains some how hard hitting when conveying the message and of course emotionally engaging before the slower and more delicate “Bleak” bleeds out with an even greater emotive quality and some Emo sensibilities including a spoken word that places the band as being Australian. The dual vocal attack aren’t scared to use their throat shredding uncleans and mix up the shriller tones with the more guttural ones and with the more melodic backdrop they work far better than you might think; the curiosity being the arrival of American accented clean vocals on “Failure; an Anecdote for Expectations” which finishes on a highly effeminate note. There are also passages that are far harder hitting, “SMS” for example as galloping frenzied drumming with blast beats and a broken glass breakdown section at the end straight out of the US Metalcore scene. Not being afraid to push the boundaries to create something that sounds good is vitally important in this day and age and that is exactly what Alera do, relying on their genes and influences to keep their heads above water at high tide – there is a Deathcore passage at the end of “My Pain On Paper” that has vocals boarding on Slam for heavens sake. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the acoustic rendition of “Failure” makes a finale that is nothing short of classic; put the heart breaker in a snow filled music video and release it as a Christmas song [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Hirudo
  2. Bleak
  3. Failure; an Anecdote for Expectations
  4. SMS [sucré mort séraphin]
  5. My Pain On Paper
  6. Testament
  7. Failure; Acoustic

Beware The Snake” by Alera is out 26th November via

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