Behind black shrouds of obscurity and desolation, the men of GAEREA deliver their odes in cascading maelstroms of aggression and beauty. Emerging from the age of pandemic to whatever awaits humanity next, the Portuguese horde remains on the frontlines of the next generation of extreme metal. With an EP and two albums to their name, GAEREA has rapidly distinguished themselves from the thousands of bands toiling away in the underground. Brewing their cauldron of sound from a recipe of pounding black-metal blast mixed with a touch of harrowed, reflective longing, many devotees of the darkened arts have flocked to their banner. With the emergence of third full-length album Mirage, those numbers are sure to grow.
Underground metal itself is a strange and cyclical beast. Trends come and trends go. But at no point in the genre’s history have we borne witness to what happened to the world in 2020. GAEREA met this challenge by releasing their second album, the aptly titled Limbo, to excellent world reception. In the meantime, they found the total suspension of interactive life as it was previously known to be the perfect breeding ground for further creation and making. As the troupe’s main songwriter elaborates, “I lost two precious years of my life, years that I would rather have spent touring and growing as an artist. But they were crucial for us, these years, because not too many bands stayed relevant and productive. The pandemic gave us the time to make the best release we could. All the promo-shoots, interviews, videos, we all had time to prepare for everything. Mirage was the product of a sudden inspiration. The basic parts were written over about two weeks.”
Such a stunning admission goes to show that art is fickle, and the artist is merely a vessel through which the sweet sorcery we call music may flow. It can mute itself to frustrating silence – or it can explode into being regardless of all consideration. For this band on the rise, it is most certainly the latter. Sizzling with ambition from day one, GAEREA may present one unique face to their audience, masked and enshrouded, but the truth is they have not remained changeless. “We are not the same band who recorded Limbo,” he insists. “We are more eager to take on the world. If the pandemic taught us anything it is that nothing is certain.”