The follow up to 2014’s ‘Old World New Wave’ sees many changes in the Ides of Gemini camp. The trio are now a four-piece – with vocalist Sera Timms and guitarist Jason Bennett now joined by drummer Scott Batiste (of Saviours) and bassist Adam Murray (Sera used to also play bass but now just sings, and drummer Kelly Johnston-Gibson had to leave the band after an injury). The doomy quartet also now find themselves on Rise Above Records for the release of third album ‘Women’. With so much upheaval afoot, the important question to ask is how has this affected the band’s sound?

Well, with musical mastermind Sanford Parker at the helm of production, this record is Ides of Gemini’s most massive sounding release to date. Despite there being no additional instruments, an extra member has made their sound all the more impactful. The riffs sound heavier, even slightly thrashy in places with a keener focus on groove and power chords. It’s not a complete shift from their original doomy, gothic psychedelic rock, it’s just been injected with more confidence and their sound is all the more powerful for it.

The standout tracks on this record are definitely the two that feature guest vocalists – ‘Queen of New Orleans’ puts the dulcet tones of Clay Rendering’s Tara Connelly to beautiful use, while the stark, shivering vocals of Emma Ruth Rundle sets fingers along spines for ‘She Has a Secret’. It’s definitely the female voices of this album that are the driving force behind its potent energy, which makes the title ‘Women’ so completely apt.

(9/10 Angela Davey)