Cathartic black metal: we had our doubts until, shrouded in masks of darkness and abandonment, the Portuguese outfit Gaerea blew our socks off with odes of deepest black characterised by furious blast beats, spectral choral chants, vicious snarled vocals and acerbic riffing: the aural equivalent of a head-first dive into the pitch-black depths of hell.
Founded in 2016, their breakthrough came with their sophomore album ‘Limbo’. Gaerea translated their experiences with pandemic isolation into bloodcurdling black metal gems that catapulted them to the top of the black metal scene. Whereas other bands might rest on their laurels and milk that successful formula, they elected to descend even deeper into the crypts of the human soul on ‘Mirage’ (2022). A recurring theme on the record is our human inability to trust our own senses. Satan, demons and a lonely death await us all. If you find beauty and strength in the dark side of our existence then Gaerea is right up your alley. Don’t miss out on Gaerea because they may well deliver one of the standout performances this year.