Unsettling Whispers by Gaerea

Release date: June 29, 2018
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records

Gaerea might just become your new favourite band. Hailing from Portugal the annonymous hood-clad five-piece play brutally beautiful mid-tempo black metal with a melodic edge. Unsettling Whispers marks the band’s debut album following a successful self-titled EP in 2016 which garnered the band enough praise to keep a close eye on.

Their vision? Bleakness, nothingness… an expression of self-destruction and nihilism. Gaerea’s cold themes though are delivered through richly nuanced and heavily textured black metal, pulsating with melodious meloncholy and more than a flash of aggression.

Unsettling Whispers leads with the atmospheric Malady-esque ‘Svn’, rife with lamenting cries and cold forlorn twangs of strings before a short blackened teaser sees out the lengthy intro. By the time second track ‘Absent’ comes along you’re putty in their hands, whirled about with its catchy sonic riffage and devastating blast beats, not to mention a ravaging vocal display. Absence makes the heart grow fonder as they say.

Unsettling Whispers has been with me for some time now and has become an echo in my mind with every intricacy absorbed sufficiently. I’ve digested its essence, its swirling ambience and met its dark themes face to face and still it rings loud with purpose. Each track vehemently coils its tendrils about you and very quickly its immersion becomes breathtaking under its suffocating weight. The seven songs on show follow a similar path, which is a statement far from criticism. With a nuanced album such as this it’s best to view as one whole, allowing its breadth to carry you along with its journey.

From the awe-inspiring title track through sweeping grand pieces such as ‘Lifeless Immortality’ to the bulldozing complexity of ‘Extension To Nothingness’ and the quaking brutality of ‘Cycle Of Decay’, Gaerea tear asunder conventional black metal to forge an organic beast with many teeth. Gaerea prove less of a whisper and more of a defiant roar from one’s loathing void.

What Gaerea do well is showcase black metals incredible diversity, mastering and throwing in a bit of everything into the mix including a touch of Trve into its more modern framework as well as hints of post and black-gaze sombreness. Their blackened creation elevates you with its epic spirit and floors you under the weight of its raging depth. Unsettling Whispers is multi-dimensional and multi-generational black metal at its pinnacle of wonder. Flawless.

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