I don't know what it is about music and nature that make them so compatible on so many levels. Maybe it's the emotions that both can so easily evoke? Maybe it has something to do with the primal nature at the core of both that strikes a chord in us in some way? Regardless of the reasoning there really is nothing as satisfying as finding the perfect album to fit the tone of the day that Mother Nature has set for you. So as I sit here on a dark, rainy, chilly Autumn day it just makes perfect sense to listen to the new Ides of Gemini album.
Constantinople is the newest full length album from L.A.'s Ides Of Gemini, released on the Neurot Recordings imprint. The fact that this album is out on the label founded by members of Neurosis should immediately tip you off to the fact that this is going to be something unique in style and substance. The overall sound is sparse yet powerful. It has this vibe of ancient darkness behind it, as if upon each listen you've perpetually stumbled upon some long lost ritual that you aren't supposed to witness.
The first thing though that struck me was Sera Timms (also of the exceptional Black Math Horseman) and her otherworldly vocals. Her voice soars over songs and immediately stands out as one of the most dynamic and downright perfect elements of each song. Fans of such occult rock outfits as The Devil's Blood and Blood Ceremony will immediately fall in love with this album, if for no other reason than that hauntingly beautiful voice. I truly can't say enough about how entrancing her voice sounds.
This is not to say though that this album should be lumped into the "occult rock" genre. The lyrics read like poetry and there are no obvious odes to Lucifer to be found. The album opens with what can only be described as a black metal riff however, then settles into this delicious post-metal meets doom vibe. The music overall is, at times, much more ambient than your average occult rock album as well. I was even reminded at certain points of bands like Amber Asylum (in fact at one point, upon first listen, I was expecting a cello to make an appearance). There is this sort of primitive and Earthen feel to this album that separates it from almost any other album you'll hear this year and makes it easily a must own.