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Gemini One – Per Aspera Award winner

Gemini One
Per Aspera
by Dave Nowels at 02 October 2019, 3:31 PM

GEMINI ONE is a German Post Rock 2009 founded initially as a solo project by Mathias Rudolph and joined periodically by Tobias Schmitt as he does here on “Per Aspera”. Released via Barhill Records, “Per Aspera” is an album of Post Rock genius. It's mysterious, atmospheric, brooding and smothering. It's at times beautiful and lifting and other times crushingly heavy. It's not what I expected, and therein lies it's heavy handed charm.

“CVII” opens beautifully, with a light distinctive guitar melody, and nice pedestrian-like percussion. Schmitt's bass arrives and things begin to rip asunder rhythmically. It's fascinating really, it's as though there is a core structure to the song, yet there are elements of an exploratory nature as well. The symbolism of the title, “CVII” is that it is the space shuttle Columbia's flight number, and in fact utilizes radio communications within the closing of the song and perfunctorily brings things back to center.

Part of the magic the duo spins here is their aptness to capture details other bands consider mistakes and accentuate them.  For example, the bass string vibrations within “Per Aspera”, It's raw, really raw, but ingeniously perfect. There are that the pace throughout “Per Aspera” takes on a YOB mantra-like meditive quality. “Primium Sanguis” near the 2-minute mark is a perfect example. The heavy riff here, followed by the picked melody, there and back again, is exhilarating and hypnotic. Though there are similarities within the compositions, there's very little in the way of repetitive riffs. Rather, in it's meditative qualities, each song changes slightly with each breath, growing, being and becoming.

This is music that creates more questions than answers. It's uncertainty and it's creators know it and regale in it. I can't point to any of the 4 songs as a highlight over any other. I'd argue that although the songs are tracked, that this is an album that compels the listener to consume as one 30 minute piece. I loved this release, and would encourage any Post Rock, Doom, Funeral Doom or Psych fans to immediately check it out. Easily another release worthy of an album of the year stature.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

2. Primum Sanguis
3. Per Aspera
4. Ad Astra
Mathias Rudolph – Guitar, Percussion
Tobias Schmitt  - Bass
Record Label: Barhill Records


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