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ALBUMS THAT WILL F*CK YOUR FACE OFF IN 2012: IDES OF GEMINI, CONSTANTINOPLE

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Ides of Gemini
Constantinople
Label — Neurot Recordings / SIGE
Release date — May 2012

Much metal gains its extremity from lack of space: ear-bleeding guitars canvas the harmonic spectrum, drums fill every possible rhythmic nook, vocalist caulks the gaps with throaty sputum sealant. That totalness can get tiring, and it’s also pretty aesthetically limiting – maximizing speed, volume, denseness, etc. can blind a songwriter to the subtler, less traveled paths to intensity.

L.A. trio Ides of Gemini followed all aforementioned paths on their 2010 debut EP, The Disruption Writ. The EP’s four songs are all about space. Guitarist J. Bennett (who moonlights as a journalist for Decibel, Terrorizer and others) lays down imperial metal riffs swathed in so much reverb that they seem isolated from the rest of the world. Bassist/vocalist Sera Timms (frontlady of Black Math Horseman) layers her affectless voice in ghostly counterpoint, turning tales of spiritual discord into disturbing lullabies. Lethargic programmed drums rustle below like a big ol’ bag of bones. If something seems missing from Ides of Gemini’s sound, that’s exactly the point. Their accretion of small musical gestures inverts metal’s normal use of space. They imply terror without ever exposing it. Each song is an accumulation of outlines, a sort of sonic daguerreotype.

The first week of 2012 found Ides of Gemini rolling into L.A.’s Sunset Lodge to record Constantinople, their first recording with flesh and blood drummer Kelly Johnston. The album is co-produced by Chris Rakestraw, knob-twiddler for the most recent albums by Danzig, Skeletonwitch, Monster Magnet and Holy Grail. The album will include ten tracks, nine with the full band and one stripped down to piano and vocals. And while Ides of Gemini have indeed recording a tune called “Constantinople,” you won’t find it on the album of the same name – the band roguishly decided to release that song on a forthcoming split 12″ with Dwid Hellion’s noisy black metal project Vermapyre, set for a February release on Magic Bullet.

According to Bennett, Constantinople will come from the “same stylistic wheelhouse, but with bigger and better wheels. If The Disruption Writ was one of those alcohol-burning funny cars with the parachutes, Constantinople is a fleet of Panzer tanks executing a pincer movement on the aforementioned cars. But also with parachutes. Definitely with parachutes. And by parachutes I mean sweet, sweet vocal harmonies.” Sounds like we can expect a slightly gentler face-fucking than the other 2012 face-fuckers chosen by MetalSucks.

Stream Ides of Gemini’s The Disruption Writ here.

-SR

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