Archive for May, 2012

Album of the day: Ides of Gemini – Constantinople

Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Praise for Ides of Gemini‘s Constantinople from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: At the risk of repeating ourselves, there’s a visual component to this witchy blackened trio, that is certainly worth mentioning again, and seems to tie directly into the strange occultic vibe of the music. Imagine two willowy women, both beautiful and with long black hair, each wearing what seems to be an old white wedding dress, one at the mic, the other behind the kit, while the guitar player, quite willowy himself, sits in a chair hunched over his guitars. The trio remaining mostly motionless, but evoking a strange sort of vibe, like some ancient ritual, enacted for hundreds of years in different permutations, this one being in the form of a musical trio, the medium now a sort of blackened dirgery.

Not so much metal as slightly metallic, and as we mentioned in our review of Ides Of Gemini‘s debut, we found they seemed to have much more in common with Warpaint or Mazzy Star. But the opening of the first track definitely throws down a black metal gauntlet, unfurling a frenzied buzzing black metal riff, underneath which, the drums pound tribally, yet instead of exploding into some furious blast. The sound shifts into a sort of funereal march, all simple stumbling drums, doomy riffage, and then the vocals, mesmerizing and ethereal, but still powerful, the harmonies haunting, the sound blossoming like some blackened liturgical incantation, the overall effect quite mesmerizing.

The whole record’s a series of ritualistic sonic spells, driven mostly by the vocals, but constantly underpinned by simple blackened droned out riffing and driven by the spare martial drumming. All four of the tracks from the demo are re-recorded and presented here again, including our favorite, the utterly spellbinding ‘Resurrectionists’, which is essentially a gorgeous slab of indie pop slowcore, with a killer main riff / melody, and an insanely catchy refrain / chorus.  The sort of song that you’ll find yourself returning to again and again.

The new version (of this and the other three demo tracks) so much heavier, and so much more lush, wreathed in warm swaths of reverb and echo, as if these sonic rituals were being performed on a crumbling altar in some old stone cathedral, the listener hunched in an alcove, hidden by shadows, letting Ides Of Gemini’s mournful musical lamentations wash over them…

At 40 years old, Aquarius is the oldest independent record store in San Francisco. We try to only carry music we love, and we’re always searching for more new, cool, weird and wonderful music. All of which we then share with you, our loyal customers.

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Album of the day: Royal Thunder – CVI

Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Praise for Royal Thunder‘s CVI from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: Record number two from these witchy Atlanta heavies, part of, whether they like it or not, the new female fronted heavy rock movement, that includes loads of aQ faves like The Devil’s Blood, Loon, Jex Thoth, Blood Ceremony, Castle, Christian […]

Album of the day: Horseback – Half Blood

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Praise for Horseback‘s Half Blood from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: It’s always difficult to know exactly what to expect from Horseback, the one man black metal / drone / psych project of Jenks Miller, every record is different, and every record over the course of the album shifts constantly, yet […]

The Sleeping Shaman: Roadburn 2012 Review By Saúl Do Caixão

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Bloody Hell, another Roadburn review, I hear you cry! The reason I too am adding my proverbial iron to the fire is the same thing that makes this festival sell out in under ten minutes every year – of the four Shamanic disciples that attended this festival, we all saw […]

The Sleeping Shaman: Roadburn 2012 Day 2, 3 & Afterburner Review by Paul Robertson

Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2012

Before we do this thing a second time, I have a confession to make… I am a very bad journalist. They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and I’m pretty sure I’ll find that out first hand. There were a number of bands on day […]

The Sleeping Shaman: Roadburn 2012 Day 1 Review by Paul Robertson

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Undaunted, bloody, but unbowed after my first visit last year I made my way to lovely Tilburg once more to take on the beast known as ‘Roadburn’. The quest to reach Tilburg was somewhat longer and more arduous than last time, but I was aided by my trusty travelling companions […]

Hear It Here: Roadburn Festival 2012 Audio Streams (Bongripper, Chelsea Wolfe, GNOD and Orchid Among Others)

Posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

On the first day of Roadburn 2012, there were 26 different shows. On the second, 25. By the time Saturday ended, another 26 terrific sets had been delivered. And another 12 during the Afterburner. Obviously, only some kind of alien creature spawned by the imagination of Voivod‘s Michel “Away” Langevin […]

The Sleeping Shaman: Roadburn 2012 by Adam Stone

Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

No sleep till Roadburn. This wasn’t just a four day gig (which it kind of was), it was a road movie…that was never filmed. An epic drive courtesy of your ever grafting editor in one damn fine Transit camper van. All I did was navigate, badly. Shaman reviewer Paul ‘Robbo’ […]

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