Constantinople (Neurot Recordings)
Los Angeles hard rock trio IDES OF GEMINI make a strong debut with their album Constantinople. The group consists of vocalist SERA TIMMS (BLACK MATH HORSEMAN), guitarist J BENNETT and drummer Kelly Johnston. Timms and Bennett are the founders with Johnston being added to the mix later on. Bennett also writes for the prominent metal magazine Decibel. Although IDES OF GEMINI is simply a side project (for now?), there is much to enjoy with this debut.
Timms’ vocal style is comparable to that of KYLESA’s Laura Pleasants (especially when compared to their track “Forsaken”). There is a slight monotone and accent to Timms’ ghostly voice. This creates a similar sound and phrasing to that of NICO from THE VELVET UNDERGROUND. A good example of this can be heard in the track “Slain in Spirit”. The opening track “The Vessel and The Stake” was well chosen. Timms’ voice gives the listener the feeling of getting taken on a journey or falling down a rabbit hole. Lines such as “I’m going down” and “I’m descending” support and match the sensation. One notable track is the second one in: “Starless Midnight”. Interestingly, it sounds somewhat like it could be off one of THE CRANBERRIES’ albums. This is due to the way Timm phrases her words and how the background vocals tend to echo. It may also be a result of how Bennett’s guitar seems to interact with and support Timms’ voice at certain points. Another standout track appears about halfway through the album, “One to Oneness”. There is a defiant and bold presence coming from this track with Timms delivering lyrics such as “I am the truth”. This appears to be a theme throughout the album.
Overall, the album seems to go by quickly. This could be the result of songs that flow seamlessly. It is easy to get lost in the album. The listener feels like they have just started only to find that they are hearing the final track. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It works to the band’s advantage in a weird way; the listener is left wanting more. There is sure to be more to come from the group with a solid debut like this.
Although the album doesn’t blow the listener away, Constantinople is an easy album to listen to repeatedly and we can expect to hear more about IDES OF GEMINI in the future.
By: Melissa Campbell