1. Dusk Till Dawn
3. Your Saviour
6. The Allmighty
7. Beauty After Midnight
Gothic Electronic Metal – 8,6/10
Though this album is by no means the first Gothminister effort and therefore not at all the first album to combine trance-infused industrial with a dark gothic flavour, it is by far the best I ever heard. The band and the genre are very much underground now about ten years after their peak, but there’s still some high-quality music produced here.
The band, usually dressed up like any gothic band, with white faces and dark accents, has blended the pumping industrial with gothic on this album better than ever. There’s a great balance between danceable tracks and metal tracks, which means more diversity and that is mostly what makes or breaks an industrial record, although I must admit vocalist Bjørn Alexander Brem’s low, crunchy voice is a love-it-or-hate-it factor. Opener “Dusk Till Dawn” reintroduces the trademark Gothminister sound with trance-rhythms covered with a heavy metal guitar to make the metalheads approve it as well. The explosive sing-along chorus makes a fine and memorable opener to the band’s finest album yet. Lead single “Darkside” totally differs from that formula and sounds more like a radio-friendly but very catchy single with a stronger gothic ambience. It is however the song that got me into Gothminister and still stands tall with its amazing chorus and climax. We get back to the pumping industrial with “Your Saviour”, which plods along nicely in the shadow of “Dusk Till Dawn”, whereas “Freak” sits strongly in the shadow of “Darkside”, both sharing a similar structure and atmosphere. “Sideshow” finds good compromise between the four tracks and has really commanding verses with a chaotic and symphonic chorus and features, once again, a great climax in the bridge.
The second half of the album is a lot more experimental for Gothminister’s customs. “The Allmighty” is a resting point on the album with a small choir of female voices taking care of all the vocals, which they do very nicely. Even better is the transition to “Beauty After Midnight”, which amplifies the contrast between the nice and peaceful and the once again pumping trance-like fury. This is my favourite song of the album as it features once again a great danceable rhythm but soon turns into pure metal fury in the verses. The chorus is good, but I feel it could’ve been better as Brem doesn’t really sing as powerful here as he does on practically every other song he recorded, which is a shame. We are given an electronic ballad with “Emperor”, which starts off with a peaceful melodic theme before it goes into the hypnotic electronic beat that lays the foundation for the verses. The melodic intro is eventually used as a bridge, which is the intro to a very powerful chorus, thus making this one of the album’s highlights as well. And before we know it we have arrived at the album closer “Mammoth”, which has a much more conventional industrial vibe to it, but still carries that Gothminister sound and an even epic ambience in the chorus. It also features this powerful line in the chorus: ‘the Minister will watch over your soul’. It was a rather short album, perhaps due to lack of material, but clearly the band saw this too and recorded a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and included it on the album. This song is perfect for the band to convert it to their sound, but I wouldn’t have missed it.
In the end I am more than thrilled for having met the music of Gothminister. It is by far one of the more original and inventive industrial acts today. I highly recommend the band and their sound to anyone in for danceable metal and gothic looks.
Strongest moments: “Darkside”, “Beauty After Midnight” and “Emperor”.
2 days ago