Geasa creates a rather unique mélange of black metal and Irish-driven melodies. So far, quite banal. However, what makes this combination more close to the border, is the heavy wave of gothic rock which lies above, in the veins of The Cure’s “Pornography” and Sisters of Mercy’s “Floodland” – a field that is left quite deserted in the extreme metal genres, and Geasa’s here to explore it.
The uniqueness of a vital part of the Irish scene bands manifests in the mature attitude towards their heritage and its implementation in music, for instance, expressing the two-faced Irish soul, one eye of tragedy and loss, the other one of hope and shine. It can be found both musically and lyrically – one can discover it in the melodies, which made of pure Folk through distorted guitars and drums of gods, yet not ingratiating but sometime danceable, always bears a dark heart and shiny eyes. Primordial does it best, and in this album, Geasa proves this characteristic as well (and since they share the same drummer, we can enjoy the great beats). Even so, as mentioned before, despite all the oh-so-Irish feeling in it, the embodiment of the designation is the strong gothic spirit, the 80’s way, with thin guitars and addicting agony.
Nonetheless, this is not a green journey and making friends with sheep, nor imagining Siouxie and Robert Smith joining Lord of the Dance, this is a black dive into oblivion, where pagan gods mourn in ‘Flood’, where lost brides are all ‘Lucretia’ and where Rose Williams sings with Enslaved. Then again, this is metal and harvesting the black metal edge brings forth the huge amount of roar feelings, of infernal romanticism – instead of Norwegian woods, here you roll down green meadows. The vocals follow this frame – there is much frantic motion between traditional screaming and clean, deep vocals, as if it were young tortured Andrew Eldridge.
This is in many ways the ideal combination of quite foreign genres – the step brothers, black and folk, with the long lost cousin, the gothic rock. Geasa generates an atmosphere that reminds of the lunar nights of Carpathian Forest, the raw feeling of Arcturus’s’ first effort, and the sharp clear production a-la the late Emperor. All this in conjunction with string touch of The Mission and waterfalls of emotions from the Cure river. Songs like the epic “Duan Do Mo Bheann Sidhe”, the aching “The Last One on Earth” and the troubled “Dannu” are the best examples of that successful attempt.
At the end of the album, emerges a surprise – “Spansill Hill”, a traditional folk song, stripped from guitar and drum, performed as the epitome of the Irish folk music – vocals that deliver the much known accent from the bottom of the throat, gentle strings and the longing, tempest and fire. I guess it can symbolize the core of the band – expressing the Irish blood, when stripped away from distortion and black wardrobe. In the metal world, homecoming is always a loved theme, and there is none better for forlorn sons than ending the ever long journey at the doorstep of home on the hill.
01 – Tuatha De Dannan
02 – Duan Do Mo Bheann Sidhe
03 – The Last One On Earth
04 – Dannu
05 – Frozen Queen
06 – Rite Of Passage
07 – Where Shadows Are Borne
08 – Starside
09 – Spansill Hill