GAEREA - Unsettling Whispers
Transcending Obscurity Records
Well despite what the promo info on this band says, "(the band) have turned the genre of black metal on its head." Basically what we have here is another black metal act who incorporates outside of genre influences into their overall sound. GAEREA hail from Portugal and last time I heard that nation is still connected to the rest of the world in that they're not out of the loop.
As far as black metal goes this nation is far from being a stranger to the genre. One of their oldest BM bands, DECAYED, has a new album out (which I will be writing about in the near future). I think another old band, IN THY FLESH, is still around. And of course there's CORPUS CHRISTII who I learned about in 2007 from Moribund records with their Rising full length. A few years after that they released Luciferian Frequencies on Candlelight no less which I think got a lot of BM fans (and others) scouring the internet in search of more from that nation.
But getting back to GAEREA, as far as bands with outside influences go in black metal, get in line. Specifically this band incorporates a variety of influences into their sound that at times I wondered if they could even be considered black metal since it's one of many things played within their cuts. I mean early on there's goth, doom, sludge, death metal, caustic hardcore vocals as well as bloody throat-ed guttural barking. Of course there's the tremolo picked riffage, blast beats and melodic rhythms that glue things together
Now some listeners (and music critics) might deem all of that as challenging. And of course they would if they were only listening to black metal for the past ten years. Seriously people, incorporating new sounds and expanding the black metal template started in the mid-90s. Some acts stayed on the template while others dove off the edge. Then in the late 2000s a new breed entered the fold which were bands who incorporated black metal into their sound. Which they took as street cred as in "hey we're black metal too". To which fans proclaimed "ah no you're not, you're hipsters."
After listening to this release by GAEREA for a while now I think they need to be listed with those great Portuguese black metal acts I named earlier. Oh you weren't expecting that one were you? Yeah well the second part of this release is so steeped in blackened fury and anger that it won me over. Hopefully their next full length won't take as much time to get into.