For the hardcore music fan, the anticipation of a new album can be compared to a child waiting for Christmas to come and unwrap all the presents Santa had left. For me, Lux from Gemini Syndrome is one of those albums. When I opened this pretty package, I found 12 presents; each unique in their own way, but as a collaboration this will be one of those that you will cherish for a lifetime. Pretty strong words for a debut album, but well deserved. Lux takes you on a musical journey of life experiences: its high’s and low’s, love gained and lost, feelings of helplessness and hope. It will have you flying by the seat of your pants. It will also bring you to your knees.
The album wastes no time kicking into high gear with “Pleasure and Pain”. There’s an incredible amount of energy here, both musically and lyrically. The intro immediately starts the blood boiling with its thunderous guitar rhythms and heavy drum beats building up to total bliss when lead singer, Aaron Nordstrom rips an all out scream. His voice is strong, but not overbearingly harsh. Back-up vocals are clear and harmonious. I compare this song to what it would feel like riding tandem in an F-16 fighter jet taking off an aircraft carrier. You know it’s coming, but still that doesn’t take away the thrill of it. You’re excited and scared at the same time, yet you have no control of the situation. And once you’re airborne, the fun has just begun as the g-forces pin you against the seat, you lose your breath, your heart beats uncontrollably fast and you feel the blood rushing out of your brain. The view from above can be demanding at times, yet some moments are peaceful and calm. The experience is incredible all the way until the catch cable grabs the plane and it comes to an abrupt halt back on the flight deck. We’ve only completed the first song!
Things get more personal with “Basement”. A song about playing with the cards you are dealt in life, self-acceptance. The lyrics, “I never wanted this, I never asked for this, but this is what you gave me” is a conversation Aaron had with God. What’s cool about it is that everyone can relate to it, as we’ve all had that same talk at some point in our lives. The drums here are definitely worth mentioning, very technical and controlled. A great job by Brian Steele Medina.
A pleasant surprise is “Stardust”, a personal recollection of life experiences in which there are no regrets. There’s a positive vibe here and the song is upbeat, if not danceable. A track that I couldn’t help but play over and over is “Mourning Star”, a power ballad about making the most out of your life while you’re alive, living each day to it’s fullest. The vocals here are just beautiful; clear and controlled. Perhaps my favorite track on the entire record is “Left of Me”, a song about a family that’s been torn apart due to a divorce. The character in the song calls out to both his mother and father for help, only to find that they both walk away from him, leaving him alone and helpless. A strange song to call a favorite, I know. But what I really love are the guitars here, particularly the bass. Alessandro “A.P. Paveri is at the top of his game here. I would rank him as one of the top bass players in the world today. Give this album a listen and you will see what I mean. The lead and rhythm guitars by Mike Salerno and Rich Juzwick blend together so naturally, it’s beautiful. Lux by Gemini Syndrome on Warner Bros. Records quickly made it to my favorites list, I’m sure they will be on yours too!
What I really like about Gemini Syndrome is their ability to gel together as a band, though they all stem from very different backgrounds. It is clearly evident to one’s ears on the record, and more so in person. I have had the pleasure of meeting Gemini Syndrome in person and spending some time with them for an interview. They are soft-spoken, humble, without a trace of arrogance, and they are just fun to be around. They are clearly a people’s band, catch a live show when they come to your area and you’ll see for yourself. They put on an incredible show and they just love to watch the crowd get into their music!
For a list of tour dates and to pre-order this album, check out their website for more information. The album will be released on September 10, 2013.