Review: Gaerea - Mirage
This is easily one my most anticipated albums of the year. I randomly came upon Gaerea somewhere after the release of their first EP and before the first full length. I was floored and each release they have only gotten better. Their blackened sound is just emotionally majestic.
The band's trajectory has seemingly been upward since inception. Each release refining their sound while pushing at the boundaries of it. Yet, their name is always in the talks of top black metal bands going today. Their name deserves at the top of the conversations involving the likes of Blut Aus Nord, Mgla, Uada, etc. While not sounding exactly those bands, that aesthetic can be viewed similarly. Mirage I feel, is the album to finally make them a black metal household name and deservingly so.
From the word go on Mirage, sadness, rage, and depression just echo throughout the vocals and also riffs. You can tell it's a cathartic release for the members. A strong sense of melody and softness is present in many passages, only to build up into excellent release. The emotion is raw and palpable, it goes right for your throat and heart.
This is black metal done in the best way possible for my tastes and it is backed up by an incredible production. Some may say it's too clean, but I disagree as these majestic riffs deserve to be heard and breath properly. Miguel Tereso at Demigod Recordings has done another amazing job for the band.
While I sing Mirage's praises, and will continue to do so, I can't help but feel that we haven't even witnessed the best moments from Gaerea. That alone makes me so eager for what they will grace us with next. If you haven't heard the band and enjoy black metal on any level, I implore you to listen now. There is just something about their music that moves me, listening to them is like a release. I've said cathartic earlier and it truly is a word this band embraces. I assume you'll see Mirage listed upon many album of the year lists and rightfully so. I knew it would be on mine before I even heard it and it STILL exceeded those expectations. It's an album that just grows and grows the more you listen to it.