Thursday, 29 November 2012

Ides Of Gemini - The Disruption Writ

You know when you hear music that you just can't wait to share with other people? Because it would be selfish to keep it to yourself, to deprive them the chance to hear their potential new favourite band? They need to hear and appreciate what you've found, you need them to hear it how you hear it, to really get it?
It was through one such conversation that I was turned on to Black Math Horseman's 'Wyllt' record.

Hearing the primal drums that open the album, the cinematic scope of the music, the way it seemed to fill the space in the room... I was instantly thankful that someone knew me well enough to recommend what has since become one of my favourite records.

The music was a revelation, but it was the haunting, otherworldly voice of Sera Timms that truly won me over.
The only problem I had with the album was that there wasn't enough of it. Six tracks were not enough, and I fiended for more of their unique, ethereal odes to atavism.

That's when I found Ides Of Gemini.

Admittedly I didn't discover them until relatively recently, but eager to make up for lost time, I forked out for their debut EP 'The Disruption Writ' within minutes of learning of the bands existence.
I also cursed my rotten luck that I'd missed their European tour by a matter of days through a combination of not knowing the band existed, and no longer living on mainland Europe.

Until they cross the Atlantic once again and I can witness their live show, I have this tape to wear out.

The first side begins with 'Martyrium Of The Hippolyt' and it grabs me just as the first time I heard Black Math Horseman, but the reasons are different.
The stark guitar and stripped-down drums are a world away from the primal rhythms and warm tone of 'Wyllt', but this is no criticism. It gives me the impression of a regal procession, the instruments serving as but an introduction for the majesty of Sera Timms' voice.
A couple of minutes in and J Bennett's guitar unfurls a harsh, abrasive tremolo break before receding back into the background, allowing the vocals to come to the fore again. Much like in her other band, Sera's vocals are just the other side of distinguishable, heightening the mysterious, mythic aura around her words.

'Slain In Spirit' has very much the same vibe, the drums no more than a marching band rat-a-tat, the focus on the snarling, black metal-ish guitar and the enigmatic voice.
In a recent interview with The Quietus, the band states that the minimal instrumental compositions and stark production values are very much intentional, "we want the music to be good, but its mainly a platform for her voice".

The other side of the tape opens with 'The Vessel & The Stake', squalls of tremolo and an almost drum machine-esque sound that soon give way to eerie vocal harmonies. The last few seconds hint at a guitar solo, but it doesn't materialise.
Closing track 'Resurrectionists' begins with a great little choppy riff that repeats throughout the song, and features the most distinguishable phrase of the whole recording, a regretful-sounding refrain of
"How will I rise? This body was once mine..."
An abrupt end to the song, to the tape, and I'm once again left craving more.

Thankfully their debut full-length 'Constantinople' is out now via Neurot:

You can pick up your own copy of this EP on either tape or CD here:
(each format comes exquisitely packaged, it was a real struggle for me to not buy both)

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