Neck of the Woods have developed their sound further on The Annex of Ire, helping to make it their best release yet. Taking the style they used very effectively on The Passenger and further fleshing it out with a fuller sound, The Annex of Ire is a quality album that amply displays the band’s talents. Mixing modern death metal, melodic thrash, and progressive metal, the latest Neck of the Woods album finds the band firing on all cylinders.
All of the elements that the band have used on their past work are present and correct, but seem more finely realised; the brutal parts more ferocious, the lighter parts softer, etc. There are more melodic components than previously, and the band’s songwriting abilities have been honed, producing a set of songs that hit the mark quite nicely. Progressive textures enhance the music, while the band’s sense of melodic heaviness works well for them. There seems to be an increase in the potency of their occasional forays into metallic fury, the sort that are inspired by death metal’s blasting bite. There’s also a good amount of very pleasing guitar solos to be had.
If you’re looking for a smart, modern extreme metal album, you can’t go wrong with The Annex of Ire.