This makes the third time we’ve written about Gaerea in recent months, the first time when we premiered a teaser of a song from their forthcoming self-titled debut EP and the second time when we lauded a song from the EP called “Void of Numbness” that premiered at CLVT Nation. Now we have the chance to bring you a full song premiere ourselves, and this one is “Through Time“.
Before getting to the music, consider a couple of quotations. The first is from the band itself:
““Let’s make one thing clear. We need to stress the fact that our era is lost in a huge void of numbness. We are here to bring and present you what your system could not solve by itself. We’ll cover the daylight with ashes and smash the massive skull that’s blocking your brain and will to evolve. We’re GAEREA.”
And now consider this excerpt from a story by contemporary American horror writer Thomas Ligotti that appears with the YouTube stream of the song you’re about to hear (as well as the other two YouTube streams referenced above):
“The result was something as pathetic as a puppet and as magnificent as the stars, something at once dead and never dying, a thing utterly without destiny and thus imperishable, possessing that abysmal absence of mind, that infinite vacuity which is the essence of all that is immortal.”
With a bit of sleuthing, I found that the quotation comes from a Ligotti story called “Dr. Locrian’s Asylum“, a story in which (according to this article in The New Yorker) “the head of a hospital for the mentally ill has perfected a means of unlocking the insanity of his patients through a ‘battery of hellish ordeals,’ not in an effort to cure them but to teach them that their madness is a gnostic state of being that reveals the true horror of existence.” A more complete quote from the story, which includes the words that Gaerea have left for us with their music, is this one:
“I have said that my grandfather was and always had been a mysteriarch, never a philanthropist of the mind, not a restorer of wounded psyches. In no way did he take a therapeutic approach with the inmates at the sanitarium. He did not view them as souls that were possessed, either by demons or by their own painful histories, but as beings who held a strange alliance with other orders of existence, who contained within themselves a particle of something eternal, a golden speck of magic which he thought might be enlarged. Thus, his ambition led him not to relieve his patients’ madness, but to exasperate it–to let it breathe with a life of its own. And this he did in certain ways that wholly eradicated what human qualities remained in these people.
“But sometimes that peculiar magic he saw in their eyes would seem to fade, and then he would institute his ‘proper treatment,’ which consisted of putting them through a battery of hellish ordeals intended to loosen their attachment to the world of humanity and to project them further into the absolute, the realm of the ‘silent, staring universe’ where the ultimate insanity of the infinite void might work a rather paradoxical cure. The result was something as pathetic as a puppet and as magnificent as the stars, something at once dead and never dying, a thing utterly without destiny and thus imperishable, possessing that abysmal absence of mind, that infinite vacuity which is the essence of all that is immortal.”
And now perhaps it’s more evident that there is a connection between Gaerea’s own words and those they selected from Ligotti. And if your spine isn’t already tingling from all the foregoing quotations, it likely will be after listening to “Through Time”.
There is menace in the vibrating riff and the big booming drums that begin the song, and increasing tension and peril from the hailstorm of guitars and the throat-ripping cries that soon follow. The song thunders — at one point in the middle and again at the end, the drums sound like the heavens have opened and dropped rain the size of boulders upon the earth — and the waves of anguished melody that flow through the tumult become increasingly searing and soaring.
There is indeed a kind of madness, and something like a hellish ordeal, manifested in the song, but more than that, too: The music is unsettling, but also very memorable and even transcendent, as if providing a glimpse of starshine in the infinite void.
Listen to “Through Time” below, and we’re also including the video for “Void of Numbness”, which is a dark, lumbering goliath of a song with flashes of guitar lightning, lyrics voiced in scalding shrieks and ghastly roars, and alluring melodies that slither like a massive python and rise up with the shimmering appeal of an oasis mirage in a wasteland. It’s a baleful and forbidding, yet thoroughly beguiling, piece of music.
I still don’t know who is in this band or precisely where they’re from, but I do know that Gaerea is 27 minutes long, it includes five songs, and it will be released in CD form by Everlasting Spew on November 11, with vinyl coming in mid-2017. It was produced, mixed, and mastered by John Bart Van Der Wal (Aborted) at Hewwtower Studios in The Netherlands. Pre-order links are as follows: