Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Ides of Gemini - A Black Metal Aesthetic Without The Black Metal 

When referencing a genre, or in most cases a sub-genre or theme as genres grow to be too wide, there is more than a subset of technicalities a band must follow. A (sub)genre often possesses a certain aura. One of the most prominent vibes in black metal can lazily be described as "Burzumic". Obviously, this is a vast generalization, not every band that possesses this sonic quality has an obviously Burzum influenced sound and some may not be looking to Burzum at all for information - the reference is just a generalization that serves to give a general idea. This particular breed of black metal (which is pretty much the most prevalent vibe) is hypnotic, often fuzzy and atmospheric (even if the atmosphere comes from the distorted ringing of the tremolo picked riffs). 

Ides of Gemini's debut EP The Disruption Writ is intriguing because although it is undeniably not metal, let alone black metal, it gives me the same feelings as listening to a Burzum or Drudkh record would. It has that hypnotic, hazy vibe. No doubt Ides of Gemini are influenced by metal, seemingly doom as well as black. I see to remembered them saying that they were honoured to be on Neurot Recordings as they were all big Neurosis fans. While the black metal influence is overt on the tremolo riffing present on The Vessel & the Stake the simmilar vibe would remain even if tremolo sections were completely omitted from this EP. It should also be noted that the starting of the video I posted has an ambient section added to the start of the song, ambient is often used in black metal to create a sense of atmosphere, and here it is used in a similar manner. 

The Ep is not wholly unlike Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, although musically they are obviously very different releases, the vibe remains the same. That atmosphere, that feel is just so prevalent in both releases. It goes to show that a band does not have to go down a conventional route to attain a preconceived aura. Obviously this is an extreme example, the type of music Ides of Gemini is pretty freaking far away from black metal on a surface level, but dig deeper into the sonic landscape, and Ides of Gemini and Burzum aren't really that far off.

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