Album Review: MGT – “Gemini Nyte”
It’s fair to say that 2017 was an incredibly busy year for the former Mission guitarist, Mark Gemini Thwaite, between appearances at Wave Gotik Treffen, Proud Camden, side projects, and recording this, his sophomore album Gemini Nyte, due for release on February 23rd on Cleopatra Records.
While the debut, Volumes was pretty heavy laden with guests, Gemini Nyte is mainly a solid band affair, featuring Mark, Ashton Nyte, who had previously featured on some tracks on Volumes, along with Big Paul Ferguson of Killing Joke fame on drums. Lol Tolhurst and Pearl Thompson (The Cure) and Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory) also feature as guests on the album.
All the Broken Things, which served as the first track released from the album, starts us off. While Volumes started on a mellow note, Gemini Nyte fires the album on all cylinders, so if you were a fan of Jesamine from the previous album, then you’re off to a good start. Every Little Dream served as the second release only a few weeks ago, and serves as the accessible, radio friendly track on the album to introduce to someone who may not be aware of MGT.
Dystopia delves into the darker side, which can be a brave direction to go after ten minutes of familiarity, but it works. It doesn’t stray from the path too much though, and provides a key lead in to Trading Faces, a ballad showcasing the desperate side of Nyte’s vocal range, while giving Mark a chance to show off a more gentle side to the guitar, rather than shredding for the sake of it. Everything Undone will give you some food for thought; if you couldn’t see Mark’s influence during his time with The Mission, you’ll hear it here.
The Reaping (Reprise) is familiar in title only, it’s gotten a re-work compared to it’s Volumes counterpart. Big Paul’s drumming in particular is a welcome addition next to a cleaner guitar sound. It’s a nice upgrade to the track, without taking away from the original, so you do not want to make the mistake of skipping it thinking you’ve heard it before. We get treated to a cover of Soft Cell’s Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, not always a safe choice, but Nyte’s vocals more than do it justice, maintaining the brooding and desperation of Almond’s original.
Armageddons Sideshow is the ball breaker on the album. It has the tempo, the shredding and you can hear how Ashton has grown into his role with MGT. The comfort is there, and it’s obvious. Waiting For A Sign and Hide Your Secret would have been more than enough to close the album out, but we’re given a cherry on top with a cover of Stone Temple Pilots’ Atlanta as their tribute to the late Scott Weiland who tragically passed away at the end of 2015, and a tribute that he would not only appreciate, but would very much approve of.
Gemini Nyte isn’t an album that’s going to fall under the sophomore slump category by any means, if anything, it’s the exception to the rule. If you like your goth along the likes of HIM or The 69 Eyes, or if you like it more old school, there’s something for everyone here.