Downfall Of Gaia - Ethic Of Radical Finitude review

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Band: Downfall Of Gaia
Album: Ethic Of Radical Finitude
Release date: February 2019

01. Seduced By...
02. The Grotesque Illusion Of Being
03. We Pursue The Serpent Of Time
04. Guided Through A Starless Night
05. As Our Bones Break To The Dance
06. Of Withering Violet Leaves

Downfall of Gaia are what you could consider one of those "periphery" bands; they've been around for a decade give or take, became a somewhat recognizable name with a few albums under their belt, even appeared on some decent bills over the years, but somehow never managed to make many waves, accrue a die-hard fan base or establish themselves as any sort of household name. If anything is going to change that, it's Ethic Of Radical Finitude.

If there was one word to sum up Ethic, it's "tight". This album is incredibly tight. Any album light on song count but heavy on song length almost as a rule, is chock full of absolute dead space. Of all the metal albums I've heard in my life, I'd struggle to name five that have an average song length of over six minutes without a single meandering, throwaway passage. Ethic is now one of them. It moves between furious black metal and melancholy, echoing post-metal without a wasted moment. The songwriting here is nothing short of incisive. At its lightest, airy post-rock moments there's still a somber shadow hanging over it, while the suffocating black metal, even at its most frantic, still has an underlying brightness. For as much polarity as there is on Ethic, it never departs from itself. That's probably what makes this such a captivating album; its consistent in its melancholy without getting stale, nor does it resort to alienating shifts in tone to prevent staleness.

Across the internet, a surprising amount of people seem to be treating this as some kind of spiritual successor to Altar Of Plagues. While yes, there might be similarities, for better or worse Downfall Of Gaia is not Altar Of Plagues. In fact, they have a feel not totally dissimilar to Amesoeurs, and share one of their biggest pitfalls; they're too clean. They achieve both a sense of smothering rage and brooding gentleness so well, yet it feels like both could have been taken to more effective extremes had there been a few more warts and scars. The slick production makes Ethic a little constrained. At the risk of using the biggest snob-reviewer-cliché possible: It ain't raw enough.

Downfall of Gaia have put out an impressive little album with Ethic Of Radical Finitude. While you most likely won't be blown away by any display of inventiveness, the consistent quality from start to finish makes it a satisfying listen.


Written on 22.03.2019 by Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 85 users
22.03.2019 - 13:14
I was afraid you'd never come back
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.

2020 goodies
22.03.2019 - 17:21
A Doc review on MS? What version of the Superman timeline is this?
Go tell that long tongue liar, go tell the midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
You tell em that God's gonna cut em down
23.03.2019 - 16:30
Au Pays Natal
Their best album yet. I've been a big fan since Suffocating... and despite all the line up changes this band continues to impress. Excellent review and thanks.

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