Gaerea – Limbo (Review)

Gaerea - LimboGaerea are a Portuguese black metal band and this is their second album.

The follow up to 2018’s hugely accomplished Unsettling WhispersLimbo is much-anticipated, and contains 52 minutes of new material. The band’s sophisticated modern black metal has developed further on Limbo, crawling into longer compositions that drip with darkness and misanthropy. Prepare yourself for Limbo.

Gaerea have a stronger grasp of mood and emotion than your average black metal band does, and this is one of the real strengths of Limbo. One of many, I should say. Everything about this album displays its powerful presence; every instrument and the music it is directed to make is well-judged and considered. These songs draw you in and keep you close. Gaerea’s world is dark and mysterious, and Limbo is a fascinating and enticing place to dwell in.

Twisting blackened melodies work with aggressive riffs to grab you by the soul. Ethereal atmospheric lightness cloaks you in a world of esoteric wonders. Post-black metal textures work their way under your skin, becoming part of a new, unexpected you. Blackened death metal force is applied surgically, breaking you in places you didn’t know you had. These new songs have it all.

Gaerea have quickly become a power unto themselves, sitting in their own rarefied space within the black metal pantheon. You can obviously hear their influences, and find elements that can be compared to other bands, but what Gaerea have done with all of this is individual, exemplary, and hideously enjoyable. Their new album sees them move further away from most of their ostensible peers, and these new songs are simply astounding.

After the powerhouse that was Unsettling Whispers, Limbo needed to be something special. It is. This is one of the best black metal releases we’ve had the privilege to hear this year.

Essential listening for any extreme metal fan.

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