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Release date: June 24, 2016
Mark Gemini Thwaite may not be a household name, but odds are good you’ve heard his work, even if you’re not aware of it. The Birmingham, UK guitarist has recorded with gothic rock legends The Mission and Peter Murphy (Bauhaus), as well as hip-hop artist Tricky, Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, Alanis Morrisette, The Black Star Riders, alt godfather Gary Numan and Roger Daltry (the Who) to name just a few. His work has taken him all over the world of rock music, and literally all over the world sharing stages with more recognizable names than Billy Idol can sneer at. With more than twenty releases under his belt, MGT has finally given fans his first debut album, Volumes.
For the first recording to bear his name MGT teams up with a variety of vocalists to create an outstanding gothic rock album. Opening with “Knowing Me Knowing You,” a track graced by the talent of HIM frontman Ville Valo, MGT creates brooding songs with melody and tension, bringing gothic elements into a strong rock song. This dark thread weaves its way through each track on Volumes. Thankfully, other genres are sprinkled into the mix to add depth and color. “Another Snake In the
Thankfully, other genres are sprinkled into the mix to add depth and color. “Another Snake In the Grace” features Wayne Hussey of The Mission, and sounds like a Nine Inch Nails track on the more accessible end of the industrial giants’ musical spectrum. “Black Heart” treads into industrial territory as well, and is highlighted by Erica Nockalls’ (The Wonder Stuff) soaring vocals. “Sweet Valentine” opens with the air of a Valor Kand era Christian Death piece before moving into a more rock oriented flow. The mix of styles and contributors adds depth to these songs while still allowing them to gel together into a cohesive album.
More than anything, Thwaite proves he is a master of rock songwriting. “Drive And Forget” provides a counterpoint to these hard-edged songs with an acoustic ballad sung by Ricky Warwick of Black Star Riders/Thin Lizzy. It’s a beautiful song, with a shimmering flow that brings to mind the solo work of Johnny Marr of the Smiths. “Jesamine” is an expertly created rock song, rising and falling as MGT creates shifting energies throughout the track. “The Reaping,” like “Jesamine,” features The Awakening’s Ashton Nyte on vocals, and boasts a huge rock chorus. Thwaite’s take on gothic rock disregards neither the brooding common to the genre, nor the power and majesty of heavy rock.
Volumes is incredibly executed album. Excellent production allows the sophisticated arrangements on these songs to take the listener on a trip from deep, dark places to bright pinnacles, and back. MGT’s first solo outing is a powerful collection of superbly crafted songs.
Reviewed by Jim 1340