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The Beauty of Gemina Retrospective II: Disruption

Ahead of their 10th studio album, «Songs of Homecoming», we explore The Beauty of Gemina’s history, development, and sound in a three-part retrospective.

On November 23rd, 2012, my perception of The Beauty of Gemina was shattered into a million pieces. The cracks opened wide and revealed a new future for the sound. It was a tender revolution spearheaded by a single show.

Ahead of their acoustic show in 2012 at «Altes Kino Mels». Photo: Nicola Troehler

As The Beauty of Gemina is about to release the band’s 10th album, Songs of Homecoming, I am listening to the previous albums again, revising firmly held opinions, and sharing past experiences with the band.

For this retrospective series, I went through old backup drives and folders and recovered some material that is no longer available online or has never been published.

The Beauty of Gemina Retrospective I: The Goth Years
Ahead of their 10th studio album, «Songs of Homecoming», we explore The Beauty of Gemina’s history, development, and sound in a three-part retrospective.

Returning from their acoustic show tour with the band Diary of Dreams through Germany, The Beauty of Gemina also played an acoustic show in Michael Sele’s home base, «Altes Kino Mels».

By then, Negative White was already in full swing, and my brother Nicola and I drove to this small city lying in the shadows of towering mountains. It was the landscape that inspired Sele to write Suicide Landscape.

Grew up in this shadowland
With a Suicide Landscape
Where the black birds are singing
Where the black birds are falling down

We arrived around 5 p.m. while the band was undergoing soundcheck. We immediately started documenting everything for a backstage report that would be published, unlike the first attempt at «Z7» three years prior.

The band and crew are extremely focused. There is tension in the air. The old cinema is often a rehearsal room for the band, and many memories are revived here. That’s why perfectionism goes down to the smallest detail when choosing the microphone: «Doesn’t the other one sound a bit better?»

The concert then marked a significant change for The Beauty of Gemina and everybody familiar with the band. It was an experience beyond what words can express. It was nothing short of a reinvention, a rebirth of their music, their sound. The band intentionally or accidentally shattered their image and trajectory into pieces.

Golden Age trots away, drawing the concert onwards with feather-light leaps and unusually bright sounds. This is followed by Hunters, an unconventional and, above all, very unwieldy piece of music from the debut Diary of a Lost. In the acoustic adaptation, it approaches with heavy, pounding piano steps. The hunter approaches slowly, but there is still no escape! Where rock shows are characterised by a virtuoso guitar solo, a long instrumental now captivates. Even now, the fear that the song conveys can stretch its cold, thin fingers into the room.

The musicians on stage are experts, and violinist Rachel’s stress has evaporated. The fresh guise of the songs makes the concert particularly exciting and varied. It’s as if you’re seeing the band for the first time and don’t know what’s coming.

Photo: Nicola Troehler

However, what was foreshadowed by this acoustic concert should grow into a full-blown disruption culminating in The Myrrh Sessions, the album with acoustic interpretations released in February 2013. Even today, this album is phenomenally good with this one flaw I already pointed out in the initial review: The already acoustic-heavy Stairs is an unnecessary addition to the otherwise flawless record.

Otherwise, I still stand by my conclusion:

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