Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ides of Gemini: Constantinople (2012)

Dream Doom

Ides of Gemini is another female-fronted doom band. I know I've covered quite a few of those over the last year or so, and it probably seems like I have an automatic liking for it. I probably do. But this one is, to say the least, unique.

A comparison creeps into my mind. It may not seem likely, at first. But listening to this, I can't help but think of Boris's Attention Please. This isn't quite so wispy as that dream-pop record, but if Ides of Gemini were to spawn a legion of imitators, the resulting microgenre could be called dream doom, a tag which has popped up next to their name many times recently.

The focal point of Constantinople is the vocal work of Sera Timms. She has an earthy voice, but delivers in an ethereal style. It resembles, to an extent, the vocal work in my favorite record of 2011, SubRosa's No Help for the Mighty Ones. Timms is more classically talented (i.e., she hits the notes more accurately) and less folksy, though less expressive. She does have a knack for hooks, and for hitting a big, loud crescendo.

Behind the voice is her husband's guitar work (metal journalist J. Bennett), and the minimal drumming of Kelly Johnston. The guitar gives mood and melody, but unfortunately it's never very heavy. It doesn't draw too much attention to itself, but does give some interest. The drums are completely relegated to the background.

As much as I like it, I can't strongly recommend Constantinople to my readers. It's telling that the band isn't even on Metal Archives; you can't flirt with the boundaries of metal like this without some fallout. Like I said, it's not all that heavy--there isn't even any bass--and it doesn't capture an aggressive or any other traditionally metal mood or sound. It is, in a word, dreamy. If you think that might be something you'll like, then check it out. If not, stay away. For my part, I like it.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Buy Constantinople

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