Gaerea – Mirage

You are currently viewing Gaerea – Mirage

Year: 2022
Duration: 53:00
Label: Season Of Mist

Two years after the release of the amazing album “Limbo”, which established them as one the fastest growing Black Metal bands, GAEREA’s new full-length album is here! What one can say for sure is that the album fulfils the high expectations that have been created three months ago with the release of the first single and video for the ferocious “Salve”.

Let’s take it from the beginning. Despite being a new band (formed in 2016), the Portuguese have already released three full-length albums and one EP, which all got excellent comments from the press and the fans. As everyone else, GAEREA was also heavily affected by the pandemic, however, they did not take it as a reason to rest. The band took advantage of this time and released a few studio-live videos which gave an idea to the audience of what they are capable to deliver on stage, work on material for their next release, and also prepare for a number of live shows. Thus, this summer GAEREA performed at some of the biggest festivals in Europe (among them the legendary Wacken and Brutal Assault in the Czech Republic, where some of us from The Gallery had the chance to see live) and now during autumn/winter will begin a European, with GAAHL’S WYRD and SAOR, and north American tours.

Regarding the album, I could easily use the cliché “this is their most mature release” but this would not be correct to say. Because on one hand GAEREA have been mature since the beginning of their career and on the other hand the band is too new and certainly has a lot more to offer in the future. So, what is “Mirage”? “Mirage” is a very complete album where every detail has been taken care of. The production of the Portuguese Demigod Productions is magnificent! Overall, the sound is perfect and every instrument sounds loud and clear even though GAEREA is a band that heavily relies on the singer’s vocals. I give extra points for the bass sound. It is not a common thing, especially in Black Metal, to hear clearly the bass throughout an entire album. Furthermore, in “Mirage” I think it is the first time that we hear some keyboard, although it does not considered as a main instrument but they are used in a few songs to give a more atmospheric feeling.

The composing of the songs is amazing. There are some very aggressive songs, such as “Salve” and “Mantle”, but also songs with chilled and beautiful intros like the opening track “Memoir”. In general, the changes between slow parts with melodic riffs and fast outbursts with furious blastbeats is a repeated concept throughout the album but not in a tiring way. On the contrary, it keeps the interest of the audience up until the end of the final song. My personal favourite is “Arson”, a song which perfectly combines all these that I mentioned above. As musicians, the Portuguese show their skills (without showing off) with the best example, at least in my opinion, the drummer who plays different styles and rhythms and not only fast blastbeats. I should also praise the vocals of the singer and front man of the band, which have a very unique, expressive character and a somehow melancholic, at least to my ears, feeling.

The lyrics throughout the nine songs of “Mirage” deals with nine different human stories. These stories of regular people like me, you or anybody else, are narrated using a lot of examples and metaphors. The inspiration for this theme came from the observation of human behaviour and how each one of us goes through their own personal issues, challenges, desires and so on. In general, the band touches upon more realistic issues of the modern people rather than the typical Black Metal theme about religions, satanism or the end of the world.

Finally, despite being very simple, the cover of the album is at the same time spectacular and catchy. It is probably because of the contrast between the bright gold and the dark black colours, as well as the meaning of the masks for the band as when they put them on they transform to their alter egos, GAEREA. I do not have a complete impression of the overall layout of the album, either on vinyl or CD, but I think it relies on artistic photos of the band members with their masks on and the gold/black contrast dominating the colour pallet.

To conclude, “Mirage” is a release that constitutes a step further to the evolution of modern Black Metal. Despite being overall a very energetic album, you will probably not hear it at the gym trying to pump up your work-out. On the contrary you have to listen to it carefully and give it time to absorb all the melodies and outbursts. You have to listen to it at your place relaxing with your favourite drink under the light of the candles in order to pay attention to the lyrics and understand what the band has to say. I strongly believe that GAEREA are here to stay, and “Mirage” can definitely be this one album that can boost their career!

Rating: 8/10
Editor: Dimitrios Georgouvelas
Related Link: GAEREA – Bandcamp Page

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