All too often, black metal is inundated with waves of bands lacking individuality or a unique style. A beacon occasionally bursts through the sea of black and presents itself with a refreshing take on tried styles. Portugal's Gaerea is that beacon today. The quintet pulls a lot from various genres to make their black metal very enticing. After a promising debut back in 2016, they look to expand on their introduction with their full-length debut.
Gaerea superbly blends atmospheric black metal with touches of melodic death metal and sludge. This is certainly the case with a song like "Cycle of Decay," another track featured from their upcoming album, Unsettling Whispers. This terse, yet powerful, offering focuses a lot of time crafting melodies that light up given moments in its runtime. Most of them appear in the song's final half. It starts out quite ominous though. The track shifts between darker death and black metal arrangements. Then, in its final two minutes and change, it works towards ethereal and ariose motifs.