Hi guys DF here aka Arly Borges. Me and a friend recently finished co authoring an album review for a new music/gear site we both write for by the name of Audio360. Hope you all enjoy the article and feel free to post any questions or comments below.
We are all the light of the sun and the moon
And we will be the same as one
You are just the reflection of all that you see
And you are always alive in me
We are only one in the same
In pleasure and pain”
~from “Pleasure and Pain” (as recorded by Gemini Syndrome)
Lux, the debut LP by Gemini Syndrome.
The first time I heard Pleasure and Pain little flashes of life filled my mind; Kung Fu and glow sticks, Jim Beam amongst tourists, tiny rehearsal spaces, sleepless nights in slurred conversation, and the glimmer of dawn in grimy Hollywood that brings renewed purpose no matter what 4 am might have been whispering from the darkness of life.As the music reaches a furtive climax a growled line sent a shiver up my arms, “I am aware I’m vicious.” A melody at odds with that line emerged from the final chorus, and I realize the truth. I am vicious too, we all are. That is illumination, and not so coincidentally the name of Gemini Syndrome’s debut Warner Brothers album “Lux” is by definition the unit of measurement of illuminance.
Gemini Syndrome is an alternative metal group composed of 5 talented people hailing from the LA music scene. The group is comprised of vocalist Aaron Nordstrom, guitarists Rich Juzwick and Mike Salerno, drummer Brian Steele Medina, and bassist Alessandro Paveri. If a couple of these names sound familiar it’s because Aaron Nordstrom originally earned his metal chops as guitarist for OTEP all the while Brian Steele Medina paid his dues banging on skins for TOIZ. Originally formed in 2010, they spent their first formative year working gigs in LA’s infamous Sunset Strip as openers for bands such as Nonpoint and Murderdolls. Word spread, fan base increased, the “I” EP began to change hands among the metal faithful and eventually a contract would be signed leading to the creation and recording of their debut full-length album, the newly-released "Lux" LP.
Our review process here at Audio360 is unique in that two people collaborate on the reviews. In this case that becomes interesting because I, Kevin, have actually been friends with Aaron Nordstrom for roughly 10 years when we both relocated to Los Angeles to pursue our individual musical goals while Arly had never heard the music until the review. Having lived with both the man behind the lyrics and some of these songs for years it was enlightening to me how someone brand new to the music came to grips with it’s visceral grip on the body and the gentle tendrils it wraps through the mind.
Speaking on two levels, about differing emotions, and contradicting thoughts is where Gemini Syndrome dwells, as in truth do we all. Aaron was coming from a very dark place in life when he starting writing lyrics for this project, and it shows as that emotion is palpable, but hope is equally present along side the despair. This ability to move forward towards a glimmer of light is actually something Aaron helped me learn as a person through his friendship and it is present here for all to see.The real power here is reality, not a single word or emotion is feigned.
As an album “Lux” is very much an emotional rollercoaster. It’s a collection of music that drags the listener painfully kicking and screaming through the darkness into the final release of the healing light. I find it interesting that the Lux album seems to always, in one shape or another, guide the listener into polar opposite fields, think of it along the lines of duality within the soul, coupled with mysticism and the emotions created by such opposite degrees. Throughout the “Lux” album’s twelve tracks, the band has chosen to use various imagery and myths. So in many ways, it is very much a concept album. Further, each track is designated by a symbol which represent the universal cycles of time.
For me, Lux is meant to be listened to as a whole and slowly digested by the listener - and is not a loose collage of bits and pieces loosely thrown together. The opening two tracks “Pleasure and Pain” and “Basement”, also the first two singles released from “Lux”, are a wonderful mix of melodic modern metal with a mix of metalcore screamo and clean vocals that hit the listener hard and grabs his/her attention. From there the listener is greeted with the rough, visceral, trashy riffs from “Falling Apart” followed by the even more hypnotic riffs of “Resurrection”.
As you delve further into the album with songs such as “Stardust”, “Mourning Star” and “Left For Me” you’re greeted with a rather heavily layered melodic serving of overly aggressive riffs and hard heartfelt aggression. “Mourning Star” for me sums up the album. It is the microcosm in the macrocosm, the soul from which the light is seen through the pain. The highlight for Arly is the song “Pay For This” which brings up memories of Tool. Songs such as “Laterus”, “Schism”, “Vicarious” and “Aenema”, for him, have always connected deep and “Pay for This” is no exception.
As “Lux” winds down into it’s last leg of the journey the listener is treated to some interesting musical and lyrical experimentation ala progressive/industrial with “Take This”, “Babylon”, “Syndrome” and the ending title track “Lux” which lyrically echos “Mourning Star”.
The packaging of the CD is also amazing, each song receiving it’s own artwork along with lyrics. The band conceived the artwork together and I truly hope Warner Brothers sees fit to release this album on vinyl as it would be a piece of art in a 12 inch gate-fold with possible picture disc.
In an era where alternative rock/metal bands have become a dime a dozen Gemini Syndrome show the potential to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. Unlike many others their lyrics and music is designed to induce and challenge the listener into deeper thought.
If you’re into bands such as Tool or Disturbed, “Lux” is a must listen album. Arly and I have no problem in saying this is one of the better albums and Gemini Syndrome is one of the better new bands of 2013.
“If you knew what it meant to me
to make it through tonight
you would be a mourning star
and guide me through this life”
~from “Mourning Star” as recorded by Gemini Syndrome
Highly recommended to help you make it through tonight! Very well done gentlemen.
Re-posted in its entirety from