Gemini Syndrome return to continue their journey from Lux to Memento Mori.
It was back in 2013 that Gemini Syndrome made their debut into radio play and becoming a staple of the rock festival scene with their debut album Lux, spearheaded by the single Stardust. Since then the band has earned an extremely dedicated fanbase in a short time due to the group’s fantastic live performances and deeply written music. Now after some new members have joined the band we are presented with their 2nd of a trilogy of albums. Their debut album Lux, meaning “Birth”, will be followed by Memento Mori, meanings “Remember We Die”. These themes are consistent throughout Gemini Syndrome’s music along with the deep rhythm and unique vocals of Aaron Nordstrom. While not exactly Cradles of Filth levels of depressing and dark, Gemini Syndrome is capable of bringing the mood down and making you think through relatable lyrics while still keeping the speed and volume up. This is due in part to the fantastic rhythm section of Brian Steele and Alessandro Paveri. It’s the low and deep beat that these two create that carry much of Gemini Syndrome’s sound and reflects so well with Nordstrom’s vocals.
Coming into Memento Mori, there is a certain standard that the band has already set from their 2013 debut. With an already unique style, fans and other listeners who have heard Gemini Syndrome have an instantly recognizable sound to compare to whatever the band will bring next. The thematic level that the band is capable of bringing will be expected by many “synners” as they are called. The opening track Anonymous with its accompanying 360 music video puts aside the questions on if the band will continue the same deep thematic elements of self-reflection and thought. It’s instantly recognizable and what synners expected from the band. The album opener sets the tone with Nordstrom’s singing completely reverberating through your listening experience and it carries this entire track. The piano notes add an ominous feel as connecting verses and the drum work from Brian Steele is prominent and adds the volume until Nordstrom cuts loose and growls in his screaming in the bridge and final chorus.
The first song on Memento Mori leads in to the translated title track, which also leads into the following track Zealot. Throughout most of this album there is a carrying feeling that the mood flows seamlessly over. Tracks do not feel out of place and you aren’t taken out of the experience. The deep, low, hard hitting drum and bass are visceral and it feels like your ear drums are being hit while listening. These loud and vibrant tracks are frequent and the standard on Memento Mori. Even in the quieter interludes that allow for a more melodic peaceful moment to take place, they still do not break away from the overall mood and flow of the album. There is a dark atmosphere that despite its tone and topics, still feels very energetic and forceful.
The drive from verse to chorus in songs like Zealot, Sorry Not Sorry and Awaken have this gradual build that makes the high points feel like this big moment. It doesn’t have the standard rock feeling as much as it has a true build up and climax in each song, whether that’s a few lyrics, a full chorus, an electronic effect, or a vocalist screaming his throat out. The only drawback of the album is that when listening from beginning to end you will feel a zone out effect. The deep rhythm and overall mood when played for too long will cause you to forget which song you are listening to after a while, especially in the second half of the album. Even when that happens though it still doesn’t take away from the overall feeling of the album and doesn’t lessen any element in the music.
It’s difficult for a band to gain a dedicated fan base that sticks with them after their debut album and especially with a big gap until their next release. It shows a lot of grit and talent when musicians are able to keep going and still deliver on expectations. Gemini Syndrome have proven that they are capable of being consistent. Overall, Memento Mori successfully continues both the trilogy of albums AND the career of Gemini Syndrome in positive ways. It will not disappoint anyone who enjoyed the 2013 release and the future looks bright for the band and all of its synners.