(We present Wil Cifer’s review of the new album by Ides of Gemini.)
The changes on Ides of Gemini’s newest offering Women seem tailored to suit my own personal tastes, as it is a perfect blend of goth rock and metal. By goth rock I mean Siouxsie and the Banshees, 45 Grave, etc., and not the type of Hot Topic cheese that came out of Finland in the early ’00s.
Sera Timms has put down the bass to find her voice. This adds a dimension that is more colorful and energetic. While the Siouxsie influence is there. it is not just limited to that; she has a reasonable sense of who she is.
Lyrically, this album is thematic, as all the songs are about women, both real and fictional.
The guitar tone is less metallic and more death rock for “The Rose”. The more doomy direction they used to dwell in has evolved into something with more of a NWOBHM feel to it. The choruses, however, have a more sinewy energy to them rather than being big anthems.
“Heroine’s Descent” almost feels more like an interlude until the vocals come at the midway point. “Swan Diver” finds them getting way more in-your-face metal with a killer riff for the verse. The drums are more brooding and powerful for the grungy “The Last Siren”.
Emma Ruth Rundle lends her voice to “She Has a Secret”. It’s not a duet, more of textured layering. The guitar that plays around the vocals works really well. Tara Connelly of Clay Rendering joins them to layer some more vocals on “Queen of New Orleans”. This time it doesn’t work as well as the song before it. There is more of a narcotic drone to this song. I do like how it gets darker and more sonic rather than heavy in the metal sense.
Overall this album is a good direction for this band. The only challenge is that some of the songs on the second half of the album begin to back away from the more explosive energy and kinda drone. Yet it’s an impressive step in the right direction for Ides of Gemini and should move them over to larger stages.
That doesn’t mean it is pandering to rock radio or really begging for the hipster seal of approval, though not to say it won’t get raves from places like Vice. The songwriting is more refined, thus bringing a less sprawling and more conventional sensibility to the album.
Women will be released on April 28 by Rise Above. The cover art is a creation by Nicola Samosa.