Gaerea - Gaerea
Everlasting Spew Records
Diverse Black Metal
5 songs (27'27")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Alex

Italians Gaerea claim to bring out the new age of darkness and take our senses into the “void of numbness” with their debut self-titled EP. Dark and black are imperative notions Gaerea want to operate under, yet I had a hard time categorizing Gaerea, especially into a straight black metal group.

Sure enough Sanctificato opens up and promises a storm, guitars rolling out towards some place uncomfortable, where voice projects pain and suffering, and overall blackness comes with a fair degree of doom in it. If this is supposed to sanctify something, it certainly does not do it with a positive outlook. After this promising beginning the tarry riffs plus brighter dissonant notes, coupled with the same pained voice, take on the journey of Final Call, with its building up rhythms, towards melody infused double bass closure. Interestingly enough, for me when Gaerea remained slower and gloomier I felt it more penetrating than when the music picked up steam and began pushing the wave forward. Somehow the tremolo of Pray to Your False God is rather static, and for long periods of Final Call and Pray to Your False God everything just blended together, monotonous rhythm section of Pray to Your False God not helping matters.

The better moments of the EP then came towards the end, you have to have patience, yet in those moments the darkness somehow lifted and Through Time practically borders on melodic death metal with its cleaner cut groovy melody. If I did not notice it before, Through Time and Void of Numbness speak to the fact Gaerea is not some lo-fi music, but the product full of thoughtful definitive polish. Void of Numbness closes on an epic note, first filling the room with the apocalyptic vision, slowly carried forward with some martial/military beat, adding on another higher squealy layer to bring the composition to logical conclusion.

The label thinks this will appeal to all kinds of black metal lovers, ranging from Behemoth to Mgla to Secrets of the Moon. I thought this could sit well with the fans of second generation Norwegian black metal, like Godseed and even most recent Gorgoroth, where no original menacing grimace remains, but the more philosophical persona is presented. Some will see thinking, wide ranging, multiple directions influenced black metal in Gaerea, others will feel it is a hodge podge of ideas, too difficult to wrap your arms around, guising under the cover of black metal. To me, the most interesting moments were the least black metal, so I did not entirely felt the catharsis the band was hoping to achieve throughout the half hour playing time.

Killing Songs :
Through Time, Void of Numbness
Alex quoted 68 / 100
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