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Downfall of Gaia: Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay

The band's promotional materials describe Downfall of Gaia as "a dark wall." That makes good sense. The music here certainly is quite looming, solid even, much like a large and imposing wall. I wonder, though, if we ought to make a slight change that may also describe things pretty well. Instead of a dark wall, let's call the music a "dark wail." After all, the music here is emotionally bleak, beckoning the listener to understand the darker aspects of life. I realize that "wail" and "wall" are different, but I want to link the two terms because the music here is simultaneously powerful and distraught.

Some of the power of this music comes from the slightly whining melodies created by tremolo picking. That style of playing combines movement and stagnation in ways that can be emotionally striking. I also think the vocalsórough but never overwhelmingócontribute to the overall mood here. But there's more. Downfall of Gaia brings a creative restlessness to the music, one that pushes outside of traditional tropes. Sure, the music here is recognizably connected to black and death metal, but it resists descending into convention. There are moments of power, high energy, when the music bursts with electricity. There are also quieter, reflective, moments. Check out "Whispers of Aeon," for example. That track opens with a riff that builds and builds towards a sound much bigger than it probably deserves. Midway through the track, though, the illusory movements of the tremolo picking take us into a quieter space, one that also builds towards an ever bigger, bolder, conclusion.

This is a terrific album.

Track Listing:
1. Darkness Inflames These Sapphire Eyes
2. Carved into Shadows
3. Ascending the Throne
4. Of Stillness and Solitude
5. To Carry Myself to the Grave
6. Whispers of Aeon
7. Excavated

Added: December 16th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1426
Language: english

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