The Smashing Skull Sessions

The Smashing Skull Sessions is a podcast, interview and review website, set up to showcase and support the underground rock and metal scenes. Our goal is to promote artists and bands from right across the globe, giving them another voice and another forum in which to get their music out to a greater audience. We also have a new review series, The Review Room, which is another unique way of getting bands and artists some extra coverage and promotion

Gaerea - mirage

Existing since 2016 and hailing from Porto Portugal, Gaerea are a black metal band that exists of an anonymous quintet. It's nothing new or original anymore, but wearing black and gold hoods on and off stage sure helps in keeping a certain amount of mystery around the band.

After an EP simply called Gaerea in 2016, the band released their first full album** Unsettling Whispers** through Transcending Obscurity Records in 2018. Things moved very fast after that when one of the leading labels in extreme music, Season of Mist picked them up and put out album number two, Limbo, in 2020 and now number three, Mirage. With each release the band have increased it’s fame, and with this new album they have established their name definitively to the extreme subtop.

Mirage consists of eight songs with a total running time of 53 minutes and one second. The overall sound continues where Limbo stopped, so one can expect more tight, high-level musicianship here. The way the band members synchronise is just spectacular. The quality of how they are capable of producing such a distinctive sound containing fast riffing, blastbeats, breakdowns, subtle bridges, bombast, melodic passages and melancholy in the same time is of the hook. I’m not going walk you through each song, just listen to that awesome repetitive riff in Salve and you’ll get what I mean.

In about two weeks I’m going to see the band live at the Soulcrusher festival and I’m convinced this riff alone is going to tear the audience to pieces. Each song has its own recognising points like for example in Mirage the wonderful transition from ultra-fast to post-rockish/progressive peacefullness and then into beserk mode again (the abruptness and tightness sometimes reminding me of French colleagues Déluge), or the grooving and epic mid-tempo passage in album-closer Laude. It’s these typical riffs, melodies, shifts and passages that make this album so strong. And let’s not forget those vocals, full of anguish, that give the songs those gloomy and depressive layers. With a flawless production and beautiful artwork to match, this album will hit the endlists for sure in a couple of months.

Together with such an acknowledged label behind them to give everything an extra push, Gaerea will no doubt increase their status more and more in the coming years. Be sure to be part of their rise.