Listening to a lot of heavy underground music it can get very stale, overused riffs, bandwagons, weird for weird’s sake in an attempt to be pseudo-intellectual, or just dismal music. Great bands automatically stand out, they reign above the bullshit and do what they want to do without bowing to any convention. Downfall of Gaia from Germany are one these bands and with ‘Suffocating in the Swarm of Cranes’ there is again something new in the air. Which is refreshingly healthy in these days, when so much has been done before.
Downfall of Gaia have created their own style out of the ashes of a crumbling realm, of a mainly burnt out variety. Bands these days can lack mileage in their sound. Heavy underground bands like Neurosis, Light Bearer, Alpinist, Vestiges and Downfall of Gaia have far-reaching divergence in their music than we could never have imagined in hardcore/punk (or whatever you want to call it) a decade ago. Just by listing those aforementioned bands I’ve probably lumped them all into the same category. But that’s not the intention, it’s more that they all have that bleak heavy atmospheric sound, and are making their own path without sounding alike.
Gaia’s music concerns itself with despair, the decline of civilization, the insanity of humans and pressures of life but all with a sense of passion and insight. I put some of their lyrics into Google translate, where I find they really talk about the way we think. But not everything is all melancholy, they also give hope. Now this might not be a good translation but in ‘In the rivers bleak’ I like the line “What remains is the hope, as a protective shield against the reality”. Giving an echo of hope through crushing rhythms and haunting atmospheric layers. There is a spirit behind these words, commenting on society and what it has done to the human mind. Where you can be a victim of your own mind.
Since 2008 they would have been known and loved by more of a crusty hardcore music fan. But I think each release has opened up musical borders. My plan now is to listen to this album another five times today and another five or six times tomorrow.
Suffocating In The Swarm Of Cranes track listing:
2. drowning by wing beats
3. in the rivers bleak
4. i fade away
5. beneath the crown of cranes
6. giving their heir to the masses