ATMOSPHERIC SLUDGE/ CRUST/ POST-METAL | GERMANY
RELEASED ON 09.10.2012 BY METAL BLADE RECORDS
I must admit that although Downfall of Gaia has been around since 2008 I have never heard about them before, but after listening to their latest release I will surely try to find their previous works.
Downfall of Gaia is a top quality post metal band in the most extreme side of post metal, basically if you like the first Isis (which seems to be the main influence of the bands at least on their most ambient and less heavy parts) albums and your favorite Neurosis work is Through Silver in Blood or Times of Grace, then there is no way that Suffocating In The Swarms of Cranes will disappoint you. The band uses huge drones to create a wall of sounds on the background while on the same time their main melodies remain emotional and heavy, creating giant sonic landscapes.
But the band does not stop there. The unique aspect of Downfall of Gaia and what sets them apart from the rest of the post metal scene is the introduction of crust elements on their music, instead on relying on the heaviness of doom metal and sludge riffs they use fast drumming (even blast beats, for example on “In The Rivers Bleak”) when they want to show a more aggressive face, this is also enhanced with the vocals that they personally remind me of black metal bands. I have heard very few post-metal bands adding crust influences to their sound (one of them being Fall of Efrafa), and that is why this album feels like something quite fresh to me.
The only downside that I have found is that sometimes it feels like the record is progressing a bit slow and starts to get repetitive (like the first three minutes of “Giving their Heirs to the Masses”), something that most bands in the genre find quite difficult to avoid. In my opinion the songs could include some more interesting drones and maybe some weirder synthesizers in parts in order to give them an extra lift.
Still if you are a fan of post metal, want to listen to things that are heavy, emotional but you also want that aggression and speed in places then this album will not disappoint you. I am sure that Downfall of Gaia is on its way to greatness and Suffocating In The Swarms of Cranes proves that they are heading the right way. Songs like “I Fade Away” (especially the ending part of that track is monumental) and “Beneath the Crown of Cranes” is a testament that this band can produce high quality music. [8/10 – SPYROS STASIS]