Caïna/Cara Neir Split Review

Band: Caïna/Cara Neir
Album: Caïna/Cara Neir Split
Label: Broken Limbs
Genre: Black Metal, Post Metal/Blackened Crust
Country: United Kingdom/United States
Release Date: May 12th, 2017

Splits are funny things to me. Mostly they represent the chance for a band to put out a song or two between official albums or EP’s, but in some cases they do serve other functions, and we have exactly a case like that with this 7” release from Broken Limbs.

This is the final release for Caïna.

Formed in 2004 in the United Kingdom as a solo project by ACB, with several albums released on Profound Lore Records, Caïna was put on hold between 2011 and 2013 before returning with their last release, Christ Clad in White Phosphorus in 2016. ACB has decided to call this project quits and as a final goodbye, releases this track “Rhosneigr,” originally recorded as a precursor to Christ Clad. ACB handles all the instruments as well as vocals, and Laurence Taylor adds to the vocals and the lyrics.

“Rhosneigr” rolls in on a rumble of drums, some dissonant guitar, and lots of atmosphere before the pummel begins and you get a good five minutes of awesome Black Metal venom and spit. The song has lots of dynamics going for it, rising and falling, repeating the opening theme between brutal assaults. The riffs are tight and heavy, the vocals, trading between raspy shrieks and deeper grunts, add another layer to the overall effect. There’s a bit of an industrial vibe going on here, something that runs under the surface, never invasive, just sort of adding some flavor to the proceedings. A fine track for Caïnato go out on, and a sure way to make any fan shed a tear because, well, this is it.

Friends of Caïna, Cara Neir comes next on the release, and this isn’t an end for them, but merely a continuation of all that they do. A two-man project begun in 2008 in Texas, the band mixes many different styles, sometimes within the same song. You get some Black Metal, some Punk, some Screamo, some Grind, and really, whatever the track needs to make it perfect in their eyes. Chris Francis does the vocals and the lyrics, and Garry Brents does everything else.

Their track, “Stained Grey Bones” is half the length of “Rhosneigr,” but contains just about as many dynamics. You get blast beats, some Black Metal shrieks, a bit of screaming, Black Metal guitars, and a relentless drive to the finish line. “Stained” compliments the Caïnatrack by being a bit punkier, a bit more careening in parts, and a tad more melodic, but it definitely stands on its own. The straight-up riffs at the 2:40 mark usher the song out in a nice, Traditional Metal kind of way.

Splits can be uneven but this one certainly is not. Both songs could be from the same band, they sound cohesive together, and yet they are distinctive enough to stand apart and be their own thing. Each band put the stamp of their personalities on these songs and it shows. This is a fine, final tribute to Caïna, and a nice look forward to what Cara Neir will be bringing us in the future.

This release will be limited to 300 copies on olive green 7″ vinyl, with artwork by LaurenceTaylor, so get yours while you can.

Rating: 8/10

1. Caïna– Rhosneigr
2. Cara Neir – Stained Grey Bones

Total Playing Time: 10:16

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