Live at The Whisky A Go Go
West Hollywood, CA
October 30th, 2017
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
Gemini Syndrome return to their home town the day before Halloween touring in promotion of their latest album, "Momento Mori". Since the album came out over a year ago, the alt-metal, industrial influenced quintet have been touring non stop.
I saw them just after the release of the album up the street from here and was very impressed with what, for me, was a brand new discovery.
A year later, the impact of that album has not worn off and I was excited to see them again and hoping they would favor this album more heavily in the set listing... I was not disappointed.
Where last year their debut album "Lux" featured predominantly with only a few tracks from the "Momento" release getting played, this concert was the exact opposite with them touching on "Lux" for five of the songs but the remainder being from the latest release.
Their sound blends heavy atmospherics and synthesized sound scapes combined with layers of modern metal guitar work punctuated by a stellar vocalist with a diversified delivery.
One of the things that shines through contemporaries in this area is the esoteric and challenging lyrical values that permeate every song. Song subject matter ranges from consumerism, materialism, narcissistic behaviors, eternal damnation (or salvation), to other universal truths that define and defy our existence.
The band is centered around the trio of Aaron Nordstrom, the iconic lead singer, Brian Steele Medina on percussion and Alessandro "AP" Paveri on bass guitar. They also utilize two guitarists; Daniel Sahaguin and Miguel Rascon to build their powerful and lush sound.
They opened the set with "Pleasure and Pain" from the "Lux" album which was a heavy-duty song to tenderize the audience a bit and start out with a lot of energy. This led into "Resurrection" from that same album before moving into some of their latest material.
"Zealot" is a great anthem with the resounding chorus, "We don't believe in you..." deflecting and countering religious fanaticism from any sect or denomination.
"On Point" followed with a like-minded attack on attention seeking, narcissi tic behavior. The subject is always "so on point" and is always right but is incapable of actual empathy or listening.
Returning to their debut for the moving "Mourning Star" they followed that up with "Sorry Not Sorry". This song directly addresses materialism and acting superior due to economic status but in truth "you can't take it with you" and people that live through their possessions are missing the point of existence itself.
"Basement" is definitely one of the hits from the "Lux" release and was a favorite with the audience. It is a dramatic song that pulls the listener in and makes you understand what it feels like at the bottom.
Moving back to "Momento Mori", they did two uplifting and existential songs in a row with "Awaken" and "Eternity". Addressing the soul and existence has always been one of the most powerful attributes of art and music and Gemini Syndrome excel in moving sonnets that peer into the mysteries of the universe and offer insight
"Anonymous" is a modern day anthem for the masses that live and struggle in this world today. It poses questions of life and answers with "we are everyone, we are anyone, we are anonymous" which it often feels like in the political and global climate we find ourselves in. Heartless apathetic people with old money and lost values are steering the ship right off the cliff to extinction and worse, complete lack of soul.
"Momento Mori" translates to "Remember We Die". This was a saying from our past that was meant to remind people to live pious lives and be cautious with how they acted and treated others. The pursuit of worldly belongings, wealth and power in the end amount to nothing as we all die and leave it all behind.
They finished up the set with "Stardust" from the "Lux" album which sums up what ultimately we are made from and will return to.
It was a great set, powerful and energetic, while also being thoughtful and reflective. I think these guys are really a great band and look forward to what they have to bring in the future.
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