Women by Ides of GeminiRelease date: April 27, 2017
Label: Rise Above Records
This is, for me, a very interesting release that’s landed in my lap. One of the bands that launched back seven years ago in their hometown in Los Angeles, California is a band called Ides of Gemini. They have released their third album on the Rise Above Records label entitled, Women. Now, mind you, I’m very new to Ides of Gemini’s music, they have two albums already in the can along with singles and EP’s. And right from the moment I put this album on my old portable CD player I was completely spellbound.
It’s this cross between Post-Punk, Post-Rock, and Doom Metal approach with a late ‘70s/early ‘80s vibration. Sera Timms’ vocal arrangements have a mixture between Siouxsie Sioux and Pat Benatar as if they worked together with bands such as Candlemass, Electric Wizard and of course Black Sabbath. Is it a strange mixture? Yes, but it works. It is one of the most sinister releases I’ve delved into as if something terrifying was lurking behind closed doors.
The artwork on the front cover of the album is done by Italian painter and sculptor, Nicola Samori which was done in 2010 entitled, Simulacro Dei Sani (La Pazienza) which translates to Simulacro of the Sons (The Patience). The album itself is not just brilliant, but hypnotic and mind-boggling between those three genres combined into a gigantic blender to see what will happen next. It is one of the scariest albums I’ve listened to from start to finish.
According to an interview with Dom Lawson on the Rise Above Records website in February of this year, guitarist Jason Bennett, the album Women is about, you guessed it, Women! Jason would give Sera some ideas on the characters in the songs and she would write the lyrics and the characters are mythological figures, historical figures, actresses, and people they would come up with. But with the four centerpieces on here, Ides of Gemini have never disappointed me.
‘The Rose’ features these textures that Bennett does with some Tool-sque guitar lines that reminisces 10,000 Days-era by channeling Adam Jones while Scott Batiste makes his drums sound like a clashing whip as if someone is beaten down viciously. Sera herself makes you feel she’s right in front of you as her presence comes to you telling these stories.
If you’ve seen the music video of ‘Heroine’s Descent’ which is this cross between Alejandro Jodorowsky and Ken Russell working together, you can know it would be a strange combination if they’ve done something like that. The music itself, is fascinating. It has this 3/4 menacing balladry-waltz thanks to the militant march funeral sound by Scott himself as the punk-post-doom guitar lines in the rhythm chords and riffs starts with a mid-fast intro on ‘Mother Kiev’.
Again, the presence is right there. Ominous and heavier melodies as if the thunder has come crashing down to bring hell upon the tiniest little city and there’s no single chance to survive but ‘The Dancer’, is essence of Candlemass with a haunting version Siouxsie Sioux taking over on vocals. The epic guitar ascend with Sera’s vocals along with drums closing it off. And with Sera’s vocals singing in a reverb effect “Hell loves heartbeats/Voices from the fold sent me for a soul/reverse ritual/rapture from below.” It’s a chilling scenario of the scenery that Sera is singing about both love and the rapture down below the center of the Earth, is not what you think, it’s dangerous and terrifying at the same time.
Again, I’m very new to Ides of Gemini’s music. It’s not easy to listen to, but it is a very interesting release and with a good many listens to Ides of Gemini’s Women, it’s a recommended album.