Not bad, just not really good, either.
One thing can certainly be said about Gemini Five, they have a lot of different influences. From sleazy eighties hard rock, to Marilyn Manson-esque nu-industrial, via standard gothic rock and some punkish touches. 'Making Love Song' has an intro so close to that of Mr. Manson's 'The Fight Song' that it's almost plagarism, while the drum machine intro of 'Flesh For Fantasy' tricks the listener into expecting a typical piece of industrial, before morphing into some sort black clad, eyeliner wearing Aerosmith tribute band. 'Black Anthem' is a solid and catchy album, but it does have its faults.
Initially, I really liked this album. Catchy, melodic, it ticked all the right boxes. Sleazy metal tracks and acoustic ballads, impressive guitar solos and gothic synthsm, all fight for the listener's attention, creating an album that is, at first anyway, something really special. But then, somewhere around the halfway point, it all just fell rather flat. The songs appeared dull, repetative, and at times downright annoying. At first I thought this might just be the kind of album that needs to be listened to in short bursts, rather than as a whole. There's nothing really amiss from tracks like 'Insane Is Sane', but the last few songs on the album really grate. Listened to on their own, without the redeeming first half of the album, they seem even worse.
Fortunately, there are a hefty thirteen tracks on offer here, and over half of them are pretty decent. While it all takes a nosedive for the last quarter of an our or so, there's still plenty of above average hard rock on offer. Tracks such as the acoustic number 'Heaven Come Undone', while standard "booo...doesn't Christianity SUCK?!" nonsense, is a very pleasant listen, atmospheric soft rock undercut by a sinister atmosphere, with the kind of catchy chorus that Gemini Five seem to excel at writing. It's all a bit shallow and simplistic, and not the kind of thing that can be listened to repeatedly all day (well, without causing horrific boredom), but it's also far better than much of the goth-pop-rock stuff that's out there at the moment. There's enough variety on here that most people will probably enjoy the odd track, although you might be better off skipping the last four or five tracks and considering it a slightly overblown EP.