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Gemini Syndrome to Release New Album August 19th!


Prepare yourselves, Synners - everything you thought you knew about GEMINI SYNDROME is about to become a lot deeper, a lot darker and, ultimately, a lot brighter. But to get there, we'll have to navigate through their new album Memento Mori, a vast sophomore effort that fulfills every wanton need fans have come to expect from the alternative metal mavens, while introducing a parallel universe of twists, turns and musical convocations. This is next level stuff - open your mind and prepare for the trip...

"There comes a point where you start to question whether art imitates life, or life imitates art," wonders frontman Aaron Nordstrom aloud as he starts to recount the path that got GEMINI SYNDROME to Memento Mori, the much-anticipated follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut Lux. It was a path that proved darker than the band could ever imagine, yet one that resonated with the strength of their message and the epic scope of their vision - a vision that, before now, they haven't shared.

Translated from Latin, Memento Mori means "Remember That You Have To Die" - and that is, quite bluntly, the message behind the 15 tracks that are equally inspired by religious extremism, the mystery schools, and life in the 21st Century. There was a question as to how far the band wanted to push their message, but that question didn't last long.

"You reach a point where you either hold back, or cross the line and have faith that you're not biting off more than you can chew - we knew we had to cross the line on this record," says drummer Brian Steele Medina, along with Nordstrom the creative genesis behind GEMINI SYNDROME since the band formed in 2010. "While half these songs are in retaliation against a culture of oppression and the other half address an introspection of self, they all bring us back to the same message: Live your life as full as you can, because one day you're going to die. The album opens with 'Anonymous' - a call to action that shines a light on the forces that are trying to divide us as a society. We live in a world where madness is happening all around us - are you going to put on your monkey suit and fumble your way through, or put on your bullet proof vest, face the world and take responsibility for your life? We need to appreciate and relish every moment we have in this life, it's precious. That's the message of Memento Mori."

Which begs the question, is the new album a concept album? Before we could even get the words out of our mouth, Nordstrom jumps in with unequivocal certainty. "Yes, it certainly is, and it was intentional." This is where everything we've already learned about GEMINI SYNDROME comes eerily into greater focus.

"It's been our concept from the start to have three albums that represent birth, life, and death/ rebirth. Lux was birth/light. It represents coming into the universe - an awakening. Momenti Mori is the second part of a trilogy - life/the journey. And the third record will be death/rebirth into infinitum."
Now is where things get really strange - or fall perfectly into place. "Zealot" was inspired by an incident in Arizona where extremist Christians were protesting outside a mosque, and another Christian group stepped in to buffer the two groups and protect the rights of the Muslims.

After several hours of recording vocals to the track, Aaron took a break, and upon leaving the vocal booth saw the Paris attacks unfolding on television. "I just went outside and cried," says Nordstrom, with a tremble still evident in his voice, "then I went back inside and finished the song." But it only gets eerier from there. Inspired by the Paris attacks, the band wrote "Anonymous," the album opener, and the only song actually written in the studio - while recording the vocals for that track, the frontman stepped out of the vocal booth to grab a cigarette just as news of the San Bernardino attacks broke on television.

Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? The question became profound throughout the recording of Memento Mori, lead single and title track "Remember We Die" becoming the band's mantra.
"Fuck the money, fuck being rich, fuck having the Maserati that I can't drive anyway," Nordstrom says in an agitated voice. "This song I'm recording, right now, with these lyrics that came from my heart and soul... and the exact same thing that I'm singing about is happening in the real world. I don't know if it was inspiring, terrifying or both... There's a message, and we aren't bashful about making sure people get it - we're all going to die, so I want to make sure that whatever the fuck I do here, while I'm here, means something to somebody."

Which takes us back to the start, to the concept GEMINI SYNDROME was bred from, as well as the Synners tag that their fans have embraced as a family and movement. "'Anonymous' taps into that hacktivist mentality, a community that's trying to make a difference - which is exactly what we are trying to do with this band," Nordstrom continues, with Medina adding that "our fans - the Synners, have created their own secret society. This band lets us take our good intentions and give them a footing - none of us are perfect or drink our own Kool-Aid, but we still have an opportunity to create something very special and make a difference."

I am just a little creature crawling, trying to find a place where I belong, sings Nordstrom in "Awaken" - in the end, capturing a sentiment that we all feel. "The message can be overwhelming, but we are trying to shine a light in the darkness. This album is about death, but we don't want it to be so morbid that it's death metal... on the contrary, it's life metal. Let death remind us to cherish the life we have."

"With everything we've been through in our lives, Memento Mori is the manifestation of all that pent up energy and experience," sums Medina. "This is where we start to figure it all out... and in the process, think of new questions to ask. The final line of the album - we will all be brought to light - is repeated three times and invites the concept of the third album - you see the light, you are there... where do we go from here?"

--Paul Gargano (June 2016)

- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

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