Downfall Of Gaia - Silhouettes Of Disgust review
|Band:||Downfall Of Gaia|
|Album:||Silhouettes Of Disgust|
|Release date:||March 2023|
01. Existence Of Awe
02. The Whir Of Flies
03. While Bloodsprings Become Rivers
04. Bodies As Driftwood
05. Eyes To Burning Skies
06. Final Vows
08. Optograms Of Disgust
Downfall Of Gaia have always been impossible to place under a single genre. Sludge? Crust? Post? Black? All of them in various combinations, usually with the "atmospheric" tag in the front. But Silhouettes Of Disgust is the one that tips the scale just slightly more towards atmospheric black metal.
Statements like that are pretty hard to make, since it's quite hard to scientifically measure and calculate the amount that each particular style has its place in a Downfall Of Gaia record, nor do I really have the patience to give you more than just the general vibe I get from each of their records. And even then, me making a judgement about an entire record might be more influenced by just what section of it I'm listening at a particular moment. While their pre-2010 work I can safely categorize as more crust than anything else, everything since 2010's Epos is a more ambiguous one, but for each of them I would probably choose sludge or post over black metal, even if that became a larger and larger part of their sound. Even on Silhouettes Of Disgust there's obviously more that's not black metal than that there is, but I'm pretty sure that if you could do that scientific measurement, it would have the highest amount of black metal.
Well, atmospheric black metal rather than just black metal, because that's a style that is already prone to the long-form melodic songwriting that Downfall Of Gaia approach in their less intense moments. Dominik's vocals being so shrieky also add to the blackened feeling a lot, though they still border more on the screamo side of things. There are some moments that feel indisputably black metal, particularly on "While Bloodsprings Become Rivers" and "Bodies as Driftwood", but as a whole this is still just one side of their sound that feels more emphasized here. What sets Silhouettes Of Disgust apart is that there's still some choices that feel unique to it. Probably the best of those is that there's a pretty large keyboards presence this time around that creates a more expansive sense of atmosphere for an already expansive band.
There are some specific moments that feel like showstoppers for Downfall Of Gaia's sound. There's the start-stop motion in "Final Vows" that's bound to take some people out of background listening mode. There's the presence of clean vocals from This Is Oblivion's Lulu Black in "Eyes To Burning Skies" to further add to the harsh/light contrast in the album's mellow moments. There's the pulsating sounds in the album's closer. But some of the more baffling choices actually come on the production front. While I enjoy the bass and the punch it gives, the drums have been pushed to the front in a way that feels really distracting, especially as they're very blast beat focused in a repetitive way that takes away from the melodies being played on top of them.
We're approaching more than 15 years since this genre-ambiguous sound was pioneered by bands like Altar Of Plagues, Celeste, Oathbreaker, Entropia, Tombs, and also the band that is our current subject. Though there haven't been any wild deviations, and there's some less than ideal production choices, Silhouettes Of Disgust still shows why this specific post/black/hardcore/sludge sound has been so exciting to follow.
||Written on 19.03.2023 by|
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