With Gemini — an EP that covers as much emotional territory as its title suggests — Los Angeles band Zeistencroix brings a powerful brand of industrial heavy rock that evokes single-toned melodic trend-setters like Depeche Mode while channelling the raw energy of Nine Inch Nails. More than that, Zeistencroix’s frontman Orlando Draven brings unique throat singing to the metal genre, giving the band their signature original flair.
Zeistencroix make sure to keep atmosphere at the forefront of their sound. Electronic washes and a dusting of something mystic in the synths adds a level of surrealism to “Valley of Death” that is pushed into the dark by ambient guitars.
Almost midway through, the EP takes a distinct shift with “Saturated” and “Dantes”, when the throat singing is introduced in a flow of chaotic full-metal instrumentation. It’s busy chaos that will get every metal fan thrilled — the innovation rumbles through you. “Rage” concludes Gemini with the power of the more intense songs, but a return of the melodic focus present on “I Need You Tonight”.
Gemini is two-sided. The album starts in one place, then slowly and expertly releases lushness in favour of power — the transition is swift, but not without precision, and has a world of nuance that metal fans will revel in.