Alera – Beware The Snake
Released: November 26, 2021
Hayden Oakley // vocals
Matt Ashley // vocals
Mark Jones // rhythm guitar
Corey Cichowski // lead guitar
Tony Taylor // bass guitar
Born from the depths of COVID restrictions comes a new breed hailing from Melbourne and they demand our attention. They first caught our eye earlier this year with their unique marketing techniques as we navigated our way through the Covenant of Alera. This entire process created a massive amount of hype, which leaves only one question playing on our minds… Does the final product live up to its immense anticipation? Let’s have a look.
Opening track ‘Hirudo’ instantly delivers the fast tempo guitar riffs that become a staple for this EP’s sound. Vocalist Matt Ashley had a brilliant tendency to scream along with the instrumentals, rather than just on top of them. His fast delivery is done with ease and creates an extremely cohesive sound. The EP takes a slower turn on ‘Bleak’ as we begin to see a different side to this group. Melodic choruses and bursts of spoken word lyrics are brought together by an emo outlook to produce what I am not afraid to call a masterpiece. This is an excellent start to the EP.
Bringing us back to a faster playing tempo is ‘Failure; an Anecdote for Expectations’, where for the first time we are introduced to high pitched clean vocals, which work nicely in contrast with the unclean bursts throughout this track. A soft and contagious hook throughout the outro takes us straight into ‘SMS’ which is arguably the EP’s heaviest song. Intricate drum grooves lead the charge through this song and manage to incorporate a wide range of techniques including blast beasts in certain sections, which is a genius addition in my opinion. The short and sharp mosh inducing breakdown at the end of the song has left me on the edge of my seat as I anticipatingly wait to hear the next track.
‘My Pain On Paper’ maintains a strong two-step riff for the majority of the songs first half, which is great news for every mosher reading this. I am once again having to pick my jaw up off the floor due to the talent of vocalist Ashley, he simply doesn’t miss a beat, particularly throughout the explodingly heavy breakdown at the end of the song. I am trying my hardest to find faults in his performance on this EP but I can’t find anything. The EP’s final song, ‘Testament’ picks up where the previous song left off, which is on a very heavy note. Chugging guitars take over this song sounds in parts, which is what I love to see. Pulling together all aspects of each song played before it, this final track encapsulates the EP’s true meaning and draws it to a close.
Despite its dark themes and haunting lyrics, this EP is nothing short of delightful to listen to. I see a bright future in Alera. I strongly urge you to listen to this EP in full as soon as you can. Also, get down to their upcoming show! (Tickets here)
Alera – Beware The Snake EP tracklisting:
3. Failure; An Anecdote for Expectations
5. My Pain On Paper