Downfall of Gaia – Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay (Metal Blade)

Sunday, 7th December 2014
Rating: 8/10

Bleak and hopeless. That’s the impression that one is left with after Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay concludes its last note. Dank and grey in all things, particularly the cover, Downfall of Gaia weave a tapestry of depression that comes across as a bit different and outside the box than what the usual “post-black” bands are offering right now.

Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay is rooted in the post-black traditions, but the band doesn’t allow themselves to get tangled in their trappings. Downfall of Gaia do an admirable job of genre-blurring, going from the doomy and sludgy to the black and progressive. But the strongest feature of the album is that of its aggression. While many in this particular subgenre push towards emotional resonation through beauty and wonder, this is a dark and throbbing record. You won’t forget midway through that you are actually listen to a metal record (always a good thing to these ears). While they do recognize that 10-minute plus songs do need a bit of contrast to keep things moving, there’s still a somber and morose tone to most of the preceedings (see “Whispers of Aeon”). Lastly, the melodies are still top-notch, despite the arguably more metal tone. Highlight “To Carry Myself to the Grave” is full of some rather tasty ones, particularly when they drop down to a doomy crawl.

Fans of bands such as Altars of Plagues or Deafheaven are sure to enjoy this Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay. There’s even the ability of the band to draw in some who might otherwise neglect this particular sound, due to their staggering heaviness at times. As far as those third, “defining” albums go, consider this one firmly in the “win” category.

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