Gaerea is leading a charge into the future of darkness, and all those who find beauty and power in the dark side of existence would do well to take heed. The cathartic black metal entity’s upcoming third studio album, ‘Mirage,’ will be released on September 23rd, 2022.
Hotly anticipated and for good reason, Gaerea have emerged from the underground. Not to squint in the merciless sunlight but to blacken it out. Two albums and an EP later, and the musical world is that bit colder and bleaker because of Gaerea’s efforts.
The darkness only grows deeper with Mirage too. Memoir setting a high bar with a melodious and haunting intro that explodes into virulent black metal life after a handful of minutes. The depth and detail to their intensity is enthralling, especially when they hit a ferocious speed that seems almost inhuman. Simply spectacular and it’s just the opening track.
Heavier and more black metal focused, Salve is both wild and chaotic, the rough and robust instrumentation matched by the vocal screams and roars. Another slice of Gaerea brilliance, forgotten quickly though, because Deluge follows it and what a track this is. Gaerea taking the listener on a more progressive sounding journey of dark delights, with twisted turns and an overpowering sense of sinisterness.
You’d almost say that Gaerea have written the greatest track they may ever write with that, but along comes Arson to upend even that thought process. Where the gorgeous melody, atmospheric and with a tint of post, works with Gaerea’s feisty black metal to create a glorious cacophony of heaviness. A surprisingly moving effort from these manic geniuses.
What’s next on this undeniable album of the year contender?
It’s Ebb and Gaerea continuing their eclectic and forceful path of blackened heaviness. Followed then by the title track and Gaerea pushing the limits of their beautiful bleakness to even grander heights. The guitars on this track are simply fabulous but it’s how strained and pained the vocals sound that really hits. The latter part and the melody within proves that it is another spectacular track from this band.
You’ll never want it to end. Such is the brilliance on show. Yet, with Mantle, the twilight portion of the album is reached and Gaerea make sure there are no dips in quality. A melodramatic start easing comfortably into chaotic blackened savagery and with ice-cold dips along the way. Before the finale (unless you pick up the bonus track edition) of Laude brings forth a frenzy of intense heaviness and beauty that only Gaerea are capable of. A finale fit for an album this good.
However, before this review wraps up, we must talk about Dormant, the bonus track. A track that is far from ‘tacked on’. While it doesn’t have the emotive ‘oomph’ that Laude has because of its closer position, it does deliver one of the darkest and coldest experiences on the album.
Mirage is Gaerea well and truly arriving. No longer will they be ignored. No longer will they be overlooked. This is a game-changing release and one of the best albums of the year.
Gaerea – Mirage Full Track Listing:
9. Dormant (Bonus Track)
Gaerea - Mirage (Season of Mist)
The Final Score - 9.5/10