Ides Of Gemini / Bastard Of The Skies / Black Magician @ The Star & Garter, Manchester 20/09/2012
Black Magician kick off tonight with some Olde English Doom Metal as they describe it, they lay somewhere between the occult revival lot which seem to be popular right now, and early Prog worship, making it difficult to place them. The closet thing I can compare them to is Cathedral, but even that’s miles away. They offer something new which isn’t being produced at the moment. In the age of revival, no doubt in a few years we’ll be treated to a whole host of bands doing it, but for the moment Black Magician are the only ones throwing down this eerie style of early doom worship.
The venue is suffocated with incense as they take to the stage, they at first suffer some sound difficulties but eventually it is fixed and they are free to roam. The charismatic Liam Yates announces “Hear ye, hear ye, we are Black Magician and we play DOOM.” Before heading into his vocal assault, and he is right, they do! Half way through the set they veer off into introspective jam which adds some diversity to their set. They tick all the boxes for a band that will no doubt go on to do big things and are a joy to watch live.
Bastard Of The Skies are a band who I have seen countless times and who, to be perfectly honest, have never grabbed me, all this changed tonight. I’m not sure what is was, but the sound was perfect and their brand of apocalyptic sludge just seemed to click so well. The band, additionally, were on great form and as tight as possible delivering a blistering set from start to finish.
The vocals provided by Matt Richardson along with his horrific face pulling, where just as tormented as the music, you can feel the suffering. They seem slightly out of the place, in between these two bands as they are allot harsher, but all family outings need a black sheep and they certainly stamped their mark on this gathering.
Ides Of Gemini take the stage, unfortunately, to a rather thin crowd. The band, which features Sera Timms of Black Math Horseman fame, have recently released the stunning “Constantinople” and are touring up and down Europe in support of it receiving praise and adoration along the way. They seem slightly introspective on stage but all that melts away once she begins to sing. Anyone who knows either of her bands know that her voice is absolutely amazing as well as being incredibly haunting and she doesn’t disappoint live.
They make their way through material off the new album leaving most of the crowd in stunned silence. My one criticism is the set seemed just too short, I think they only played around 4 songs, which of course in our own little doom universe can be an incredibly long time, time melted away with the otherworldly noises being produced, so I’m not sure how long they played, however, I know we needed more, but then we always need more.
Scribed by: Drian Nash
Photos by: Lee Edwards