PICK OF THE WEEK: Timms focuses on struggles women battle in society on ‘Death Magick Mother’

Photo by Kristin Cofer

Go online and try to post a blog or a comment in support of women and watch the backlash come rolling in from the keyboards of cowards. You can guess all the buzzword insults that will get hurled your way (we’ve been treated to all of them on this site) because apparently the idea of a strong woman, or one that’s simply treated like a human being is just too much for some people’s comfort.

And that’s just on the Internet, where faceless people troll. That meanness and outright hostility toward women exist in real life. Especially in this country, women’s access to basic health care, especially if they’re living in poverty and with lower income levels, their access to fair pay, and their negative positioning politically is baffling. It’s 2017. You’d think we’d be way beyond this by now. But our society continues to devolve, and Sera Timms absorbs that very emotionally and personally. Under her Black Mare banner, she is taking on those volatile topics on “Death Magick Mother.” This current political climate is particularly troubling, as one political party essentially looks to rip basic services from women, and Timms stares that right in the eye. Oddly, the music is not angry or violent or vicious. Instead, it delves more in the deathrock realm, coming off as darkly reflective and aware. It’s her not having to show sharpened teeth or making threats. Instead, it’s a direct psychological shot to those who actively work against her, as she sees you, follows your every step, and poisons you with her words.

“Ingress to Form” has guitars spiraling, dark bass leaving oil slicks, and a definite deathrock vibe. Timms slips into dreamscape singing, as the sounds seem to vibrate around your head, and the music brings on the deep nighttime. The final moments have a nice flow, with soaring singing and the sound bleeding away. “Femme Couverte” has a dark vibe, as the singing flutters, chunky guitars veer in, and the whole thing takes on a grimy film. The music is cool and trickles, as it breaks down and opens the door for deep singing to mix into the feverish oddness. “Death By Desire” has piercing guitars as it works into slow, moody terrain. Guitars gush strains of death, as the intensity picks up, and the playing pounds your flesh.

“Coral Vaults” starts with thick basslines recoiling, as an off-kilter melody is unleashed, and the guitars begin to threaten. Singing floats over the din, as weird sound interference bubbles to the surface, the riffs cut through that, and a slightly surfy curve leads to the end. “Babylon’s Field” is poked open with cold guitars that make it feel like a freezing drizzle. The riffs continue to sharpen, leading into foggy, gazey playing and melodies that aim to cut you down. “Kala” unleashes ominous guitars, as moody tones meet with powerful singing. The music feels like ink sinking through the sea, as darkness rises up and envelops all. Closer “Inverted Tower” begins with a dialog where Timms imagines putting out a fire between the eyes of an oppressor before the music surges and vibrates. Dark waves lap over the ground as noise settles in, and static chars. Desperate calls rip from Timms’ mouth, as if she’s tearing through fire for answers, while the song reverberates and fades away.

Timms has had an extensive career with bands including Black Math Horseman and Ides of Gemini, but “Death Magick Mother” is her most striking, from-the-bloody-heart recording of her life. She is not letting anyone steamroll her or others, and she is using Black Mare as a means of protest and warning. This is a moving, shadowy record that not only sounds amazing but should have like-minded people rising up and fighting alongside her.

For more on the band, go here: http://theblackmare.com/

To buy the album, go here: https://magicbulletrecords.bandcamp.com/album/black-mare-death-magick-mother

For more on the label, go here: http://www.magicbulletrecords.com/site/