|Downfall of Gaia
|Silhouettes of Disgust
|Black Metal, Crust
|17th of March, 2023
|Metal Blade Records
|Metal Blade Records
Ethic of Radical Finitude was one of my favorite albums of 2019. For me it was the perfect version of Downfall Of Gaia‘s brand of Black Metal. Upon first hearing of their single of “Bodies as Driftwood” I was surprised. It was shorter than most the previous effort and a whole lot more direct: no long build-up or epic intro, directly into the breach.
Instead of painting vast and bleak landscapes, Downfall Of Gaia now take the listener on short, episode-like trips through the emotional struggles of our time. Those struggles are the overarching topic of all songs on Silhouettes of Disgust. Just like the dire album-cover, the world painted here is grey. The people living in it suffer from from emptiness, mental illness or isolation.
With founding guitarist Peter Wolff back on board, Downfall Of Gaia take a musical turn to their past without ditching their present musical approach. There are several D-Beat-parts which were last heard on their debut Epos: D-Beat of Gaia so to say. The opener “Existence of Awe“, the aforementioned “Bodies as Driftwood” or the blistering “Unredeemable” will surely incite some circle-pits here and there.
But Downfall Of Gaia don’t just rehash old ideas here, it all falls perfectly into place: the past, the present and the future in form of tracks like “Eyes to Burning Skies“, which uses synths for the first time ever in the Downfall Of Gaia context or “Final Vows” with its stop-and-go-start (you’ll know what I mean, when you hear it). “While Bloodsprings Become Rivers” is the longest track here and although containing the aforementioned D-Beat-drumming, it has the trademarks of the last three albums, including an awesome outro similar to “Woe” (Atrophy).
Downfall Of Gaia have truly become “full circle” here, to use a corny expression. Silhouettes of Disgust is just a fulfilling experience from start to finish. Given the fact that it may be the most upfront record of them to date it always keeps you on your toes and when the abrupt silence of “Optograms of Disgust” sets in you feel relieved on the one hand, but on the other hand you’ll surely want to dive into the maelstrom of Downfall Of Gaia another time.