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Gaerea - Gaerea

by Erika Kuenstler at 22 May 2017, 6:50 PM

Formed last year, Portuguese GAEREA lost no time in unleashing their debut onto the world. Their self-titled EP features 5 songs, and spans just under half an hour. Whilst classified as Black Metal, GAEREA bring a lot more than this to the table, with very noticeable Death Metal influences. These become increasingly obvious as “Gaerea” progresses; the EP starts of relatively tamely, but gets more and more heavy and powerful as it goes, with the gradual increase in tempo giving the music more bite.

Opening the album we find “Sanctificato”, which gradually comes creeping in, with an oppressive darkness slowly oozing into the song. The morass-like tempo and the gravely rasped vocals are offset by the mournful and searing tremolo guitar work. After a rather abrupt transition, “Final Call” kicks in. Here, the tempo is picked up slightly. However, the air of futility and despondency carried by the music still remains, alleviated only by the soaring guitar sections. At the pinnacle of “Gaerea” we find “Prayer to you False God”, in which a roiling undertow couples with faster drumwork, resulting in probably the best song on the EP. Here, the chant-like vocals give the song a more ritualistic feel, enhanced by the repetitive guitar riff. “Through Time” uses some notes off the Egyptian scale, giving it a more oriental feel, with a darker and heavier sound than the previous songs. But here again, the oppressive feeling that was present since the opening song resurfaces once more, lending “Through Time” a quagmire-like atmosphere. “Void of Numbness” on the other hand is the heaviest song on this EP, seeing the vocals and the drumming teaming up to deliver that extra bit of brutality, although this too is tempered by the almost blissful tone the remaining instruments delve into in certain sections.

Through the slower pace of “Gaerea”, GAEREA have sacrificed some of the brutality that their faster-paced peers have. But then again, this isn’t such a bad thing, as this allows the melody to come more to the fore. However, given how many subtle influences the guitar bring in, it’s a pity that these tracks weren’t given more predominance during the mixing in the first few songs, although this does get better as the EP progresses. And as for the structure of the album as a whole, there is quite a lot of variation from one song to the other, but the formulas used within each song can get slightly repetitive. “Gaerea” may not be the strongest release in its own stead, but given that this is a debut release, it does show remarkable promise. GAEREA have a lot of potential, and I for one will certainly be keeping a close eye on them in the future.

Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 6
Songwriting: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Sanctificato
2. Final Call
3. Pray to your False God
4. Through Time
5. Void of Numbness
Jorge Marinho - Bass
Nuno - Drums
Haborym BM - Guitars
Record Label: Everlasting Spew Records


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