Miara – Hungering Inside (Inverse Records)Friday, 1st December 2023
Born during the pandemic in 2022, Italian act Miara appears from brother musicians Antonio Grillo (guitar) and Francesco (bass), an initial single “Ascending to Second Life” putting them on the map. Filling out the lineup to a quintet in 2023, the group started to work on their debut album Hungering Inside. Those of you into the classic Gothenburg-oriented melodic death metal style will find familiar trademarks as far as the tempos, rhythms, guitar melodies, and varied extreme to clean vocal employment throughout this material – where you know these musicians have honed their chops on a lot of the classic elements of 1990’s/early 2000’s records that took a foothold on the scene.
The impassioned vigor through the relentless, emotional impactful screams of Markus Kristofferson touch nerve endings to lower inhibitions through the aggressive nature of the material – complimented with the delicate smooth/clean touches in the choruses that are catchy while not being too alternative/emo-oriented. Speedier songs often feel injected with a bit of modern thrash meets metalcore spirit – “Fit into the Mold” during the verses one example, although the circular harmony guitars that penetrate the chorus and instrumental sequence are upper class melo-death gold. Additional diversity comes from the somber, reflective short instrumental “Broken Bond” where layers of clean/electric chord progressions build this swirling level of tranquil energy, or the use of piano in the opening strains for “Trying”, which allows the listener to anticipate the key, driving riffs and mid-tempo groove drumming that make this the most commercial offering for the record. Most listeners will feel a strong In Flames atmosphere throughout the record – not only from the Colony/ Clayman-eras, but a bit of the follow-up discography where they got more streamlined in terms of hooks. The record closes on another uplifting note for “Honesty Is a Dream”, the guitar work of Ruben Sanchez along with Antonio capturing the magnificence of classic Iron Maiden as easily as Dark Tranquillity or In Flames as Markus once again use his rhythmic rasp to initiate call to arms action through his lyrics.
Hungering Inside won’t exactly win originality awards – but Miara has executed through this record a solid grasp of the mechanics within this style. Now it’s more a question of band chemistry, live performances, and natural seasoning to take shape so that we can hear a bit more originality / growth for the next effort.