The way the two Sera Timms-fronted bands are set up, it’s hard not to compare the dormant (currently writing) Black Math Horseman and this new release from cerebral trio Ides of Gemini. Each share her soothsayer’s vocals that are tempered and resonant and they are most importantly, instantly, recognisably unique.
The similarities don‘t stop there; stripped down compositions with little embellishment, cymbal adverse heavily rhythmic percussion and a plough-like pacing, letting the music dig in thoroughly. Yet where Black Math Horseman are the doomsayers and deerslayers with their more prominent Om-isms and Tool riffs, Ides of Gemini are more perilous, there’s a leaner edge to their stargazing in comparison to the former’s earthenware.
They retain the weight-baring percussive strengths, this time provided by Kelly Johnston, but they don’t vent as regularly, the pacing is still a walk. It is when J. Bennet’s jangling riffs sear with a more blackened tone Constantinople steps up in to a rare gallop that they sound at their most ominous and threatening. ‘Reaping Golden’ heaves a great magnitude of heavy and Sera Timms’ gloomy divinations complement handsomely. It is without doubt that Timms is the centrepiece of this trio. Her bass works well in tandem with the sparse percussion forming a strong rhythm section of which everything relies, BMH and IoG are more rhythm than anything else. Her vocals are achingly beautiful and makes Constantinople stand out as a contender for a few year end lists. The end of the world never sounded so exquisite.
They only have their first EP up on Bandcamp, but it’s a good taster of what makes this record so good.
“If a rock band chooses a name like Riff Cannon either has the balls to keep the promises or is planning to commit suicide at the first gig! In the case of the Bostonian Riff Cannon band, promises have a lot of chances to be fulfilled!
Riff Cannon is a young band that released its debut full-length album, Mercury Mountain, in summer 2009.
The band’s sources of inspiration listed in myspace are as varied as the sounds contained in the debut album: Black Sabbath, Neurosis, Leafhound, Captain Beyond, Atomic Rooster, Cave In, Bloodrock, Hawkwind, Sleep, Torche, Dead Meadow, Pink Floyd, Electric Wizard, Witchcraft, Thin Lizzy, Om, Queens of the Stone Age, Led Zeppelin, Earth, Deep Purple, Groundhogs, Cactus, YOB, Witch, Pentagram… The album is highly enjoyable and varied and tracks cover styles from bluesy fuzzy stoner to heavy doom to space rock. I must say I enjoyed the riff-rich juicy, dirty stoner-doom tracks more than the spacey ones, although the latter are nice as well. I mean, they say “riff” and I want “riff” …
Definitely a band to check out!”
Reviewed by Mari (SludgeSwamp)