Gemini Five - Black: Anthem

I was really looking forward to this one as I was very impressed with Gemini Five's debut album Babylon Rockets and after the first track I thought, yup - that's how I remember them. Tracks two and three, yup - that's still how I remember them.

So where is Black Anthem different to Babylon Rockets then? Well actually, I'd say it was just an extension of the Swedish glamster's debut album but given that it's their second release, it's naturally more refined and a lot more attention has gone into the production. One thing I loved about Babylon Rockets was that it was fresh and raw like a lot of bands' debuts and that is something that with a little maturity under their belt, Babylon Five have understandably but sadly failed to keep some sort of grasp of.

All that said, the album isn't too bad and if you liked Babylon Rockets then you will probably like Black Anthem - but don't expect a great deal to be different. The songs are strong enough to hold their own but there is little diversity between them and I feel that they are perhaps trying to edge towards a Nine Inch Nails and Manson sound if tracks like Sinner Parade and Flesh for Fantasy are anything to go by.

'If it ain't broke don't fix it' seems to be the approach that Gemini Five have stumped for here. All of the songs are melodic and have strong guitar riffs, which make them instantly likeable but I don't know about the longevity of appeal. It would certainly merit a few plays and that's perhaps where I do it an injustice as when you review a lot of bands, you don't always have a third or fourth chance to listen to a CD and hear things you missed the first time round. With Black Anthem though, nothing terribly exciting or different jumps out at me straight away as it does sometimes with other bands.

It may seem like I don't like this album, that's maybe not fair as I am a big fan of Gemini Five, I just expected a little more from their second album and I thought they would have moved on in style slightly. All in all, fans will like this one and they will no doubt buy it, however I think they will prefer the debut album, which is what I would recommend to those yet to pick up something by Gemini Five.

by Grant W.

Visit the Gemini Five Website