Label: Season of Mist
Release Date: 09/23/2022
Location: Porto, Portugal
Written by Brian Lloyd
Mirage starts off beautifully and slowly, building on one of the things Gaerea does best; atmosphere. Creating an unease until it finally explodes into blast beats and the emotional vocal delivery that has become a hallmark of Gaerea’s sound. Full of life and melody in ways that most black metal never finds a way to be.
From the first single Salve, to the deepest tracks on the record the textures and sound never seem to relent. Unbelievably heavy and simultaneously beautiful, each track on Mirage is a journey into the darkest topics of self-destruction and misanthropy. With no names ever mentioned in their liner notes and no faces ever shown in their videos, Gaera’s gimmick is almost a lack of a gimmick.
The gorgeous guitar tone, the clean and unstoppable drumming, and the intensity of the vocals, there is almost nothing bad to say about anything that’s presented on this record. Not a bit of space is wasted, every interlude and moment of silence is used to build an atmosphere of darkness and unease that the listener will surely appreciate.
Leaner and more streamlined than their previous efforts, Mirage cuts deep with intelligent and dense sound that while brutal is also beautiful to the ear. The dynamics and effortless heaviness perveys across the record. “Laude”, the last track, might be the best closing track on any album this year. Everything about this record is pure and calculated, and a must listen for any fan of prog or black metal this year.
Listen to and order the album: