Ides Of Gemini – “Old World New Wave” (2014)

Label: Neurot Recordings

Review by Alessandra Cognetta

Ides of Gemini is a mysterious band, under every aspect. The music, the lyrics, the musicians themselves, it is all coated in a veil of uncertainty and unknown. And, as weird as it may seem, this is what makes their work so enticing. Every word, from the album title to the songs, has a specific meaning. What meaning, though? That’s for you to discover. Sera Timms’s imposing but eerie voice is our guide through “Old World New Wave”, since the album has been written, as Bennett stated in an interview, to be a conduit for her voice. The other instruments certainly feel a bit drawn back, but the void is so masterfully filled by Timms’s encompassing vocals that it is hard to see it as a disadvantage. The sound feels a bit distant, as if it were really hailing from the Old World. Some harmonizations, combined with the almost dragged rhythm, bring this album very close to doom. The music hangs over something that is approaching, something ominous that we cannot anticipate.

The opening track, “Black Door”, sets the pace with its [???fast] rhythm. Its rather abrupt conclusion makes room for “The Chalice & the Blade”, where Bennett’s guitar is able to create an incredibly unsettling and heavy atmosphere, aided by few but very well placed and almost dissonant backing vocals. The lyrics are often cryptic, but the themes are interesting to track down. Constantinople, the title of Ides of Gemini’s first album, makes a comeback in “May 22, 1453”, the date that marks the eclipse that occurred during the siege of the city, which some considered an omen of incoming doom. “Seer of Circassia” brings us even farther, in the remote North Caucasus regions.  Sera Timms’s voice really shines through in “The Adversary”. The album gets a bit repetitive towards the end, except for some noteworthy moments in “Valediction” and the shamanic beginning of “Scimitar”. There is a feeling of “essential”, but it’s clear that the music has been skillfully honed down to reach this state, proving the band’s development. Ides of Gemini crafted an alternative, enticing sound that is more and more becoming their trademark, perfectly setting their “New Wave”.

Rating – 77/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Black Door
  2. The Chalice & the Blade
  3. Seer of Circassia
  4. White Hart
  5. May 22, 1453
  6. The Adversary
  7. Fememorde
  8. Valediction
  9. Scimitar

 

Line Up

  • Sera Timms – Vocals, bass
  • J. Bennett – Guitar, backing vocals
  • Kelly Johnston – Drums, backing vocals

 

Links

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