After an earlier attempt by Gaerea in April last year to take over a stage in Finland, and an exceptional new album released last year as well with ‘Mirage’, we were really excited to finally catch these black metal stars on the rise on a stage near us. At the beginning of February the time was finally there, and we were clearly not the only ones that had been looking forward to seeing this Portuguese outfit live, since On The Rocks was completely sold out. With the addition of local black metal act Venenum Dei, it promised to be an intense evening and one for the books of hosts Nem Agency and Loose Mind Productions.
The hooded and masked up Venenum Dei were definitely a good choice to soften up the crowd for what was to come still with Gaerea. Having been around for only about 5 years and released their debut full-length ‘Statutum Est Deorum Mori’ in 2022, somehow we have missed out on these guys completely. Even though the masks were hiding any features and facial expressions, the whole show came across as a passionate and intense performance of expertly written black metal. Each band member contributed with a different flair of energy and stage presence with vocalist A pulling in a lot of attention with his posture and gestures, besides grueling vocals. The setlist consisted of most of the tracks of their debut full-length with the exception of ‘Parasites‘, which came from their EP ‘Poison of God‘, and I have to say that I’m already looking forward to check out their music on recordings and to hear what else they may unleash upon us in the future!
In Sanguine Credimus
Embracing the Waning Moon
From Blood and Ashes
And then it was time for the main event of the night! If you thought that Venenum Dei was already quite intense, Gaerea blew everyone away. They kicked off their show with a slight delay with ‘Deluge‘ and ‘Salve‘ from their latest album ‘Mirage‘ and immediately the energy in the room went through the roof. The sheer energy coming from the band, and especially from frontman Guilherme, was infectious and responded to in turn by a rabid crowd. Guilherme himself really embodied the often frantic and desperate nature of Gaerea‘s music and lyrics by constantly moving around, making passionate gestures and more than often come right up in the faces of the people on the frontrow screaming his lungs out. Falling to his knees in pure desperation and agony, embracing the elaborate mic stand or marching around holding it up like a family crest at a battle, the masked frontman really threw his whole being and soul into the show. The setlist was a great mix of mostly tracks from their most recent release with a couple of tracks from ‘Limbo‘ (‘Urge‘ and ‘Conspiranoia‘) and their debut album ‘Unsettling Whispers‘ (‘Absent‘), with every track being met by a crowd that went wild. It was most definitely worth the wait and this simply victorious performance by Gaerea is now already most definitely one of the best gigs of 2023 for me!
For more pics, go check out the gallery here!
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