Downfall of Gaia are an impressive proposition. Their blackened brand of atmospheric sludge metal is channelled into post-black metal songs that are both satisfying and immersive. We last encountered them on 2016’s Atrophy, and now they grace us with 40 minutes of new material.
Ethic of Radical Finitude essentially follows the path laid down by its predecessor, only travels down a more blackened path than previously in some respects. The band have increased their use of melody, particularly in the faster or more energetic sections. Blast beats are used sparingly, which still feature a harsh bite when they need to. This is while also still providing atmospheric and immersive music for the listener to become captivated by.
The band have refined and developed their songwriting to further include structured, direct approaches aimed straight at the listener, while also bolstering this with several aspects of atmospheric and post-metal. Elements of crust and sludge round out the band’s impressive package, and these tracks are well-formed, compelling, and exceedingly moreish.
All of the musicians involved know their art well, but the drummer in particular sounds on fire; his performance on Ethic of Radical Finitude is to be commended indeed. Guests appear in the form of some ex-members who contribute musical parts, and the singers of Black Table and Der Weg Einer Freiheit, (the former voices a spoken word section. This is something I normally loathe in music, but here her performance sounds entirely appropriate and effective). These additions enhance Downfall of Gaia’s already rich palette, allowing them to paint even vivider and more detailed pictures.
Overall Ethic of Radical Finitude boasts an emotive, dynamic, and rich delivery, with deep emotional range. The band’s multifaceted approach to their music is probably one of their most accomplished to date, although time will tell its true value, of course. For now, I just can’t get enough of this album.