REVIEW: DOWNFALL OF GAIA – “Atrophy”
Black metal. What feelings do these two words invoke in your mind? Is it just evil high-pitched screams, tremolo-picked guitars, fast-paced blasts, or is it what gives you the chills down your spine while imagining yourself all alone in a grim forest, with the darkness and the cold descending upon you? While a lot of bands tend to perfect the evil face of black metal, quite a few explore the side of which mesmerizes the listener with its darkness and the atmospheres implanting a feeling of nostalgia and nyctophilia. While it is a feeling only to be felt and not described in words, we have to admit Downfall of Gaia’s latest musical offering ‘Atrophy’ is one such masterpiece. From the first moment, till the end, the album is able to create such beautiful auditory landscapes and atmospheres, that it induces a sense of euphoria and you can feel yourself transcending into a different dimension, flying far, far away.
For the uninitiated, Downfall of Gaia hails from various parts of Germany and is around since 2008. A follow up to the 2014’s ‘Aeon Unveils the Throne of Decay’, their fourth album, ‘Atrophy’ will be released worldwide via Metal Blade Records on the 11th of November 2016. The album consists of six songs with a span time around forty minutes. The intro to the opening track “Brood” has a mystical vibe to it, which blasts away into an unrelenting array of ruthless drumming and some amazing guitar playing. What strikes the most sonically, is the track’s progressiveness, and the way it changes its tempo multiple times in its lifetime. The song has one of the best outros, one of the best you would have ever heard. “Woe” is another song built on similar lines with an eerie vibe to it.
“Ephemerol” is a point where the album demonstrates its variety. The song has a depressive and cold feeling to itself. It contains one of the most beautiful points on the album, which is the mid section of the track, where you can feel the chill of the cold atmosphere, which further beautifully progresses into a barrage of grim tremolo-picked notes. “Ephemerol II” is a short clean guitar driven track, which acts as a perfect follow up to the title track, which is musically one of the most epic tracks on the album. The last track on the album, “Petrichor” is a black-metalhead’s delight. It begins on an intensely grim low tempo, which transcends into an evil sounding soundscape. The song has a rather contrasting calm outro based out of a piano.
‘Atrophy’ is not just an album. It’s a piece of pure art which moves you. It’s a magnificent voyage through the dark paths of what i might call the spiritual side of Black metal. Downfall of Gaia has been able to achieve the perfect auditory landscape, which makes the album grow every time you listen to it. It is an absolute delight for the ones who dig the atmospheric elements of metal.