The Beauty Of Gemina - Iscariot Blues
Gothrock, Darkwave This is the fourth album but the Swiss gothic rock/darkwave outfit, and with it comes a further shift in the projects overall focus. Their first two releases, strong as they were, had something of a 'sprawling' feel about them, like they were trying to pack every facet of their style into a single release. Since their previous album (At The End Of The Sea), they've shown a definite preference for the rockier aspects of their sound. This album cuts down the tracklisting to a mere 10 tracks (their shortest so far) and emphatically homes in on their direction of choice.

As someone who was drawn to this band by their synth-led recordings, you might have expected me to be somewhat disappointed with this stylistic shift, but nothing could be further from the truth. This album might very well be the strongest gothic rock recording I've heard in many years, and despite the reduction in use of electronics, there is still an impressive spread of stylistic influences at play here. Whatever form of dark guitar rock you happen to like, there's something for you here.

You may fall for the 'Joy Division Plus' post-punker 'Haddon Hall', the walls of effected guitar and resigned vocals of 'Voice Of Winter', or the straight-ahead middle-era goth rocker 'Golden Age'. It's worth mentioning that The Beauty Of Gemina aren't just a fanboy project trying to shoehorn in references to all their favourite bands, though. Every song twists their chosen style in a manner that makes a (relatively) cohesive album. Hard rock anthem 'Dark Revolution' would in many respect be right at home on a late-80s Cult album, if it wasn't for the atypical time signature. Works for me.

To be honest, there's some tracks here that couldn't really be defined as bona-fide 'goth rock' at all, and what a relief that is, too! Last thing we need is yet-another-band trying to fill in for a lack of a follow up to 'Vision Thing'. 'Seven-Day Wonder' does a sort of Garbage-esque electronic-infused indie sound, 'Badland' opens with a low-key bluesy acoustic twang before building into a noisy climax, and 'Stairs' is built around a hymn-like chord progression on organ, which is more of a salute to Pink Floyd than the kind of things requested by those people who scribbled 'Play Some Goth!' on club setlists. You know who you are!

The only synth-heavy track on the album is 'June 2nd'. The track feels a little 'uncertain' in it's early stages, spluttering rather than pulsing into life, but by the third minutes it lurches up a gear and ultimately proves to be as memorable as anything else here. The only track here that didn't win me over was closing number 'Last Night Home', the albums longest track meandering rather than surging toward it's conclusion.

But I'm not going to hold that against them - if you've read this far, you're obviously not just here to seek out kickin' industrial beats and throbbing arpeggios. And in that case, there's something on this album for you. You could pick a choice track from your download site of choice, but you'd be much better off buying the whole thing.
5
Brutal Resonance

The Beauty Of Gemina - Iscariot Blues

9.0
"Amazing"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2012 by Danse Macabre
This is the fourth album but the Swiss gothic rock/darkwave outfit, and with it comes a further shift in the projects overall focus. Their first two releases, strong as they were, had something of a 'sprawling' feel about them, like they were trying to pack every facet of their style into a single release. Since their previous album (At The End Of The Sea), they've shown a definite preference for the rockier aspects of their sound. This album cuts down the tracklisting to a mere 10 tracks (their shortest so far) and emphatically homes in on their direction of choice.

As someone who was drawn to this band by their synth-led recordings, you might have expected me to be somewhat disappointed with this stylistic shift, but nothing could be further from the truth. This album might very well be the strongest gothic rock recording I've heard in many years, and despite the reduction in use of electronics, there is still an impressive spread of stylistic influences at play here. Whatever form of dark guitar rock you happen to like, there's something for you here.

You may fall for the 'Joy Division Plus' post-punker 'Haddon Hall', the walls of effected guitar and resigned vocals of 'Voice Of Winter', or the straight-ahead middle-era goth rocker 'Golden Age'. It's worth mentioning that The Beauty Of Gemina aren't just a fanboy project trying to shoehorn in references to all their favourite bands, though. Every song twists their chosen style in a manner that makes a (relatively) cohesive album. Hard rock anthem 'Dark Revolution' would in many respect be right at home on a late-80s Cult album, if it wasn't for the atypical time signature. Works for me.

To be honest, there's some tracks here that couldn't really be defined as bona-fide 'goth rock' at all, and what a relief that is, too! Last thing we need is yet-another-band trying to fill in for a lack of a follow up to 'Vision Thing'. 'Seven-Day Wonder' does a sort of Garbage-esque electronic-infused indie sound, 'Badland' opens with a low-key bluesy acoustic twang before building into a noisy climax, and 'Stairs' is built around a hymn-like chord progression on organ, which is more of a salute to Pink Floyd than the kind of things requested by those people who scribbled 'Play Some Goth!' on club setlists. You know who you are!

The only synth-heavy track on the album is 'June 2nd'. The track feels a little 'uncertain' in it's early stages, spluttering rather than pulsing into life, but by the third minutes it lurches up a gear and ultimately proves to be as memorable as anything else here. The only track here that didn't win me over was closing number 'Last Night Home', the albums longest track meandering rather than surging toward it's conclusion.

But I'm not going to hold that against them - if you've read this far, you're obviously not just here to seek out kickin' industrial beats and throbbing arpeggios. And in that case, there's something on this album for you. You could pick a choice track from your download site of choice, but you'd be much better off buying the whole thing.
Apr 07 2012

Jonny Hall

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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