September 9th, 2012 | Album reviews

Amy Hagemeier

Ides of Gemini
Neurot Recordings

Constantinople will claw and dig at your psyche while simultaneously dragging you through a cold, dead forest, over remnants of once vibrant tree branches until it finally eases its grip and you find yourself unwittingly sinking beneath the earth, under its spell. See, the album is a cohabitation of contrasting styles of metal, shoegaze, and dark energy, making this listening experience an emotional, mind-numbing-trance. But this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be appreciated for the gloomy atmosphere and raw charm conveyed in its own unique multi-genre kind of way. Your inner, albeit obedient, beast is summoned on “The Vessel and the Stake.” “Starless Midnight” gives fuel to your still-unknown, mysterious dark mission, and “Slain in Spirit” attempts to pull you deeper under the clenches of its spell. The grip loosens with “Resurrections,” and you can sort of see a tiny flicker of light peering through the hot earth and enticing you from above. Some songs pull you up and then back down into a downward spiral of repetitive guitar riffs, and others are balanced out by deep, dreamy vocals. Even with an unlikely, yet interesting, clash of styles, there are moments where you completely lose yourself in the steady undertow of perpetual doom-and-gloom and wonder how you even got there. However the trio, consisting of J. Bennett (guitars), Sera Timms (vocals/bass) and Kelly Johnston (drums), do offer up a kind of melancholy enchantment you won’t soon forget – whether you want to or not.

-Tuesday Phillips