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Gemini Abyss - Claim of the Planet
Written by Doctor T.   
Saturday, 18 January 2014

Gemini Abyss - CD Review
Claim of the Planet

Gemini Abyss 

 

 

 

 

 

2013
Ravenheart Music
10 tracks
Mostly English lyrics
9.5/10

 

Gemini Abyss is a symphonic power metal band, with some solid links to the Gothic, from Warsaw, Poland. They haven’t been around long, since only 2011, but they seem intent on making a regular contribution to the Femme Metal scene. Of course, this is Poland and they have more than their fair share of Femme Metal excellence. The band cranked out their first release in 2011 entitled “I Would Die Just for a Feel”. Hah, I used that line a million times in my younger years, probably without as good a musical background, but with generally good results. Seems to have worked for the band as well, they got signed pretty quickly by Ravenheart Music and they quickly came out with the present release. It’s 10 tracks of pretty much driving Symphonic metal quite often presented in a B & B mode. I’m not always sure what Power metal is and how it differs from other types of metal, other than Doom metal, but I have no argument with the term here. I generally associate Power metal with a lot of guitars, and that’s the case here. But, the keyboard element is not to be ignored on virtually every track, sometimes seeming to take front and center. Nothing wrong with that. This is just good metal, no weak points far as I can see.

Bands originate in a lot of ways, sometimes it’s planned, and sometimes it evolves. Gemini Abyss came about because there was a significant deficiency in an existing model. The band explains: “The band was formed by three friends (Marcin “Czyżol” Czyżewski, Marcin “Games” Gamus and Tomasz “Wasyl” Wasilewski). They have been playing together for many years in many bands that played similar music as Gemini Abyss but there was always something wrong – musically or personally. After resolving their last project they thought of creating a band with a female lead singer where dark and heavy guitar riffs and hard drum punch combines with subtle keyboard melodies. But they needed a singer. When Klaudia came to the interview it was obvious that she is the right choice. After that the band was joined by Wojciech Sobierajski (lead guitar) and Maciej Malinowski (bass).” And, there you have it, wa la. . . .a Polish Gothic band evolves.

There’s always been an interest in Polish music on this site. In fact, it could be argued over a cold beer or two that SonicCathedral evolved from an interest in Polish music. It sure has driven my interest for a long time. And there’s a reason for that. You can take the music from its origins, the sounds of Closterkeller and Artrosis, to the more contemporary sounds of UnSun and Victorians and not miss a beat. Polish music has a distinct personality, a sound that captures the basics of this genre. And Gemini Abyss seems to capture this sound, and move it forward.

Now one of the things that has been relatively consistent with Polish music is that it is done in Polish. Maybe not that much recently but in its original form. And, that utilization of a beautiful language never hurt the sound, IMO. I won’t say that the message has been diluted with the use of English wording here, it hasn’t. But, you quickly get the feeling that they might have benefited from working with a true English speaker with the lyrics a little bit. We’ll talk a little about that with the lyrics from individual tracks, however, for most people, the excellence of the music will largely over power the deficiencies in the English lyrics.

The CD begins with The Abyss. Here we get the somewhat traditional intro to Gothic sounds, a symphonic intro that leads to a spoken word that sounds like it’s saying, “Enter here and don’t plan on a happy journey.” I could be wrong here but, given the rest of the lyrics, that seems to be the direction. It’s solidly in the realm of the Doom Gothic which works for me, but the remainder of the music doesn’t always stay in that direction.

From that intro, we move to a number of sounds that take a decidedly dark direction. The big track on the release is Cold Rain and this pretty much defines the general character of the release. They cover all the bases, solid metal, a fine symphonic backing and a dark female vocal to meet our Gothic needs. The lyrics can be interpreted several ways, you could argue that they could have used some better English translation or you could say this is the way a European culture should present those lyrics. Either way, the sound good in song:

WHEN YOU’LL DIE, I BUILD YOU THE MONUMENT OF DESPAIR
STAY, MAYBE YOU’LL BE THE KING FOR LONGER YET

COME, COME WHEREVER YOU’RE FROM
PARADISE LOST BECAME THE HOME OF YOURS
THAT’S ME WHO’S DYING, YOU WHO BUILDS THE MONUMENT
DESPAIR IN YOUR EYES, HAPPINESS IN YOUR SOUL

There is one song done in Polish, at least I think its Polish. The title is Aleja Gwiazd which pretty much has to be Polish. It sure isn’t Spanish. And, its one of the best on the release. The say it’s a cover, not sure who it’s a cover of but I can’t imagine the original being any better. Our Polish vocalist seems to be most comfortable with this, and maybe the language has something to do with it. But it’s a solid track, killer symphonic background supporting a solid vocal. Klaudia puts it all into this one and the results are spectacular.

There are times when Klaudia sings in English and it almost sounds Polish. The Story takes us to a B & B sound which is actually quite nice. This is one of the strengths of new Polish music. You continue to get some strong female vocals but they are accentuated by strong male death vocals. And there’s nothing I like better. The vocals, should you be interested, go something like this:

NOT THE ARROW, NOT THE STONE, THE AXE NOT EVEN
BUT THERED BEEN ONLY ONE TOO YOUNG TO SWEAR

HAPPINESS HAD BEEN BEING SEEN ARISED
THE MAN BEEN PROTECTED FROM A BLOW
TRANS-FIXED FOLD, FROM A BELT, OF HIS THRONE
SHINY LIFE HAD BEEN TURNER INTO DEATH

See what I mean about the lyrics. You would be unlikely to catch it in the recorded performance. You’re caught up in the music. But, it wouldn’t be hard to fix this kind of thing, something the band might want to keep in mind.

The band does a solid metal performance too. Master in the Dark shows us some solid guitar work. It also demonstrates the ability of our female lead to flow with alternative musical directions. The girl is pretty good. You might not understand the lyrics all that well, but it really doesn’t matter, you get the message at an emotional level. And that should work in most instances.

Interestingly enough, the CD ends with a track called “The End”. It’s a haunting sound. The lyrics are spoken. Klaudia goes dark and dusky here, over a haunting symphonic. There’s a great choral background, beautiful music to bring it all to a close. Not sure of the lyrics but they sure ain’t positive. . . you get the message that this is “THE END.” Kind of like the old Doors track. But very nicely done.

Well, you know I love Polish Gothic and this one sure doesn’t disappoint. They seem to have a feel for this kind of music. And, even if you can’t understand a word, you’ll get the message. And that’s what its all about.

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