Feb 042019
 

 

(This is Andy Synn’s review of the new fifth album by Germany’s Downfall of Gaia, which will be released on February 8th by Metal Blade.)

One of the best, and most memorable, gigs/tours of the last several years for me was the absolutely mind-blowing co-headliner of Downfall of Gaia and Der Weg Einer Freiheit in 2015, which saw both bands putting on an absolute masterclass (not a word I use lightly) in power, precision, and raw emotion that still, even now, shines incredibly brightly in my memory.

It certainly helped, of course, that both bands were touring behind albums that were (and still are) widely considered to be the best of their career, with Aeon Unveils the Throne of Decay actually earning itself a much-coveted spot on my Critical Top Ten of 2014 (and Stellar only just missing out on the following year’s list).

But while neither band’s immediate follow-up was able to fully replicate the impact and intensity of their predecessor(s), I think you’ll be pleased to hear that Ethic of Radical Finitude comes pretty darn close to recapturing the pure magic of Aeon Unveils… even if that album still remains the band’s magnum opus. Continue reading »

Jan 102019
 

 

Here are a few of the songs and videos that brightened and darkened my night. I encountered all of them in a rush of listening at full dark yesterday evening. Most of them appeared within the last 36 hours. If you’re like me, the flow of these songs will take you from a blazing high down into more cold and wretched depths, and then soaring again — and I’ll close with a stream of a new EP that was released by surprise last night.

WINDSWEPT

All three members of the Ukrainian band Windswept, including vocalist/guitarist Roman Sayenko, are also members of Drudkh, Precambrian, and Rattenfänger. Under the Windswept banner they released an excellent debut album in 2017 entitled The Great Cold Steppe (from which we hosted the premiere of a fiery song, “Shrouded In Pale Shining, So Sleeps Infinite Ancient Steppe”). Having been a fan of that album, it took about a nano-second for me to jump on the band’s new EP Visionaire when I discovered its existence last February, and (as explained here) found it to be powerfully moving as well.

Windswept now have a new album for us, which will be released by Season of Mist on February 8th. Its name is The Onlooker, and the first track in today’s collection is one released yesterday with the interesting title “Gustav Meyrink’s Prague“. (If you’d like to learn about Gustav Meyrink and of how his life changed in Prague, check this article.) Continue reading »

Apr 032015
 

 

(Andy Synn turns in this review of a show in Birmingham, England, last weekend, accompanied by videos he filmed of he performances.)

Here’s a fact, true believers — I’d never been to The Rainbow in Birmingham before this evening, but as it turns out it’s a cool little venue, with a nicely-sized band room in the back, equipped with a very powerful PA. And good thing too, because all three of tonight’s bands necessitate a system that can handle the raw power they put out.

I say “three bands” because, due to a.) having to practice with my own band, and b.) some semi-apocalyptic weather conditions on the drive over, I missed about 99% of the first band, and so can’t really tell you much about their gabba-infused industrial death-noise. Maybe next time.

However I did get to see the bands I really wanted to, starting with the UK’s own The Infernal Sea Continue reading »

Mar 302015
 

 

(Andy Synn presents his interview with some of the members of Germany’s Downfall of Gaia.)

Aeon Unveils the Throne of Decay, the thunderous third album from Germany’s Downfall of Gaia, was, in my estimation, one of the finest slabs of Metal (of any style) produced last year. In fact I selected it as one of my top 10 Critical choices of 2014, describing it as a “slow-motion apocalypse” (though massive, jagged chunks of it are anything but slow) which “shifts seamlessly between styles… to make [it] a fascinatingly multi-faceted and endlessly rewarding musical experience.”

And I stand by those words. In fact I’ve only discovered more layers and depth to the album as the months have passed by.

So, as a huge (and relatively new) fan of the band, I was lucky enough to be able to grab guitarist/vocalist Dominik Goncalves dos Reis for a quick chat about life, love, and the nature of existence. Continue reading »

Dec 042014
 

 

(Austin Weber reviews the new album by Downfall of Gaia, out now on the Metal Blade label.)

While my metal tastes are not as honed in on the ongoing post-metal wave as on other genres, I can always respect and love a band of any stripe who go beyond the tropes and usual containments of a style to find their own identities, alone in a place none have gone before. Bands like that are worth the investment of time in what they have to say about the world and themselves.

That’s precisely how I feel about the new Downfall Of Gaia album, Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay. The only other reference that might give you a ballpark idea of their territory is Agrimonia — both have perfected a blend of post-metal and crust-punk woven into a swirling, multi-genre template that retains an aggression lost in most post-metal, although Downfall Of Gaia thread in a lot of menacing black metal, full of killer riffs, into their tapestry, with many more aggressive moments than in Agrimonia’s music. Continue reading »