Gothminister – ‘The Other Side’ (AFM Records) Print
CD Reviews
Written by Jonni D   
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 04:00

Gothminister artwork‘Tis the season for darkness and delight! Here to meet the people’s need with camp abundance is Gothminister with a sixth full-length release, ‘The Other Side.’   The brain child of Norwegian frontman and multi-instrumentalist Bjørn Alexander Brem, Gothminister’s follow-up to 2013’s concept project ‘Utopia’ is a far more streamlined and consistent affair. Thanks to experienced, economical song writing and one gargantuan chorus after another, ‘The Other Side’ is yet another malevolent treat from the cleric of shadows.

 

Lawyer by day, frontman by night: there has always been an enjoyably enigmatic duality to Brem. “I have left God behind, for I have darkness on my mind”, he declares on opening track ‘Ich Wille Alles’, setting the lyrical tone for the entire album. His affinity for all things classic horror and his oration of apocalyptic imagery decorates the heavy industrial backdrop, which sounds massive thanks to the exquisite production job, courtesy of Henning Verlage.

 

With a significant upping of the orchestral element, ‘The Other Side’ synthesizes weighty guitars with a luscious symphonic touch on tracks such as ‘Der Fliegende Mann’ and ‘Ich Wille Alles’; both also prime examples of Gothminister’s flitting between English and German, the latter a region where the fan base is particularly sizable. The lead riff on ‘Der Fliegende Mann’ is indicative of just how heavy the record can be at times, with the orchestral element evoking the more formidable end of thrash influenced power metal. Elsewhere, ‘The Sun’ is a driving, dark new wave track with female accompaniment and pulsing synths, with Brem just about out-gothing Gary Numan. However, ‘Aegir’ is easily the standout moment; clean octave guitar runs along with a sultry Peter Steele style vocal delivery leading into an ascending refrain.

 

 

From the Ministry-esque insanity of ‘Somewhere In Time’ and ‘We Are The Ones Who Rule The World’ to the symphonic bombast of ‘Red Christ’, Gothminister perfectly marries pop sensibilities with an impressive array of stylistically diverse electronic-tinged hard rock. Deliciously macabre from start to finish, 'The Other Side' is a fine jumping off point for those unitiated in the back catalogue of industrial's dark priest. While there has been much fanfare over a certain self-proclaimed God of Fuck's recent comeback album, there's only one record that you owe it to yourself to soundtrack any ghoulish festivities this All Hallows' Eve.

 

‘The Other Side’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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