Sunday, 23 November 2014

Ides of Gemini - Old World New Wave (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/09/2014
Label: Neurot Recordings/SIGE Records

Old World New Wave’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

1. Black Door
2. The Chalice & The Blade
3. Seer Of Circassia
4. White Hart
5. May 22, 1453
6. The Adversary
7. Fememorde
8. Valediction
9. Scimitar

Ides of Gemini is:

Jason Bennett | Guitar, Vocals
Kelly Johnston-Gibson | Drums, Vocals
Sera Timms | Vocals, Bass


Los Angeles based three piece, Ides of Gemini, released their debut album in 2012. The Neurot released ‘Constantinople’ garnered worthy praise. The bands new opus, ‘Old World New Wave’ is another slice of despairing, doom driven rock that isn’t your archetypal doom record. The album is conceptually based on the yin/yang balance. (

Opening up with a rumbling bass line and urgent guitar riff, the haunting vocals are equally mournful and soaring throughout ‘Black Door.’ The chorus lyric of ‘I’m on your side now,’ is majestic. As opening statements go, this is a cracker and it sets the tone for the whole album. The dense guitar work on ‘The Chalice & the Blade,’ is suitably doomy. The repetitive tone of the drums and the guitars are hypnotic and create a sullen mood with more superbly employed vocals. The middle section of the track sees everything stripped back to drums and choral style vocals before the sinister guitar returns the track to its earlier repetitive tone. A magnificent one-two opening!

‘Seer of Circassia’ sets off in the same way as its predecessor with the drumming very sparse and prominent. ‘White Hart’ follows with a great guitar led opening. The mournful tone is beautiful and the twin vocal is haunting and unique. ‘May 22, 1453’ is an odd title for a track, but upon further research this is a link to the fall of ‘Constantinople’ and a lunar eclipse. The subject matter only adds to the mystique that the band create through their other worldly music. ‘The Adversary’ has a quicker pace than some of the other tracks on show here, and feels more aggressive than anything else on the album. The solo on the track and swirling voices, along with a driving riff take the track home with an icier feel.

The bass on ‘Femermorde’ bobs along gently whilst the guitar punches the surface throughout. Penultimate track, ‘Valediction,’ sees the vocals really hit higher than many of the other tracks. The vocal range of Sera Timms is quite incredible. Her harmonies demand your attention over the darker tones of the music to create a unique blend of doom and psychedelia. The album rounds out with ‘Scimitar,’ in a similar vein to many of the other compositions on the album.

Overall, ‘Old World New Wave’ is an accomplished album. Concept albums are always hit and miss. This is more hit than miss. ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’ it is not, however the doomy tones are great; and with the added dose of subtle psychedelia, the mix is exciting. It is the vocals that really stand out for me here though. For the duration, they are dreamy and ethereal. It is the kind of mix that keeps music exciting.

Words by: Dominic Walsh

You can pick up the CD here and Vinyl here

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