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Gothminister - 'The Other Side' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/38/57/95/gothminister-the-other-side-75-1520632177.jpg Hot

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Everything here is bold, brash and threatening, but in truth that's the problem.

Five years have passed since Gothminister released 'Utopia', an album that thoroughly established their Gothic Industrial blend. By way of reintroduction, the part German, part English opener to album number six – 'The Other Side' – finds 'Ich Will Alles' ('I Want It All') living up to the band's name. It's a straight-ahead slap of Goth 'n' Roll strongly aligned to the slam of Rammstein. Could there be any more of a Germanic boom and crash of Industrial Metal?

That Gothminister are Norwegian may come as a shock. The multi-lingual theme continues for much of 'The Other Side', a short album that barely struggles beyond EP length, deciding that its brevity allows it to play things just a little too safe. Don't get me wrong, everything here is bold, brash and threatening, but in truth that's the problem. There's little room for subtlety or variance, although 'We Are The Ones Who Rule The World' does add a Dance beat to proceedings, introducing some Rob Zombie-like seductions to the mix, as a welcome female voice lessens the overtly masculine chest beating.

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A slinking of Type O Negative's much missed melancholy is brought to 'Aegir', yet you can't help but feel that it's the much more obvious Rammstein homage of 'Der Fliegende Mann' ('The Flying Man') where Gothminister feel most at home; the likeness occasionally slipping too near idolisation. That said, there's little doubt that 'Taking Over' is a solid, groove-laden piece of synth-driven Metal, or that singer Bjørn Alexander Brem brings an enigmatically believable delivery. It's just that it's difficult to pretend that whether through the slightly Kamelot-like 'Day Of Reckoning' or the more dramatically inclined 'Somewhere In Time', that you haven't heard it all before.

If you have a predilection for the Goth-tinged, Industrial-driven, Symphonic-infused visions of any of the bands mentioned above, while holding a seriously strong adoration for all things Rammstein, then Gothminister may well be your new love. However, be warned, if you intend to sample before you buy, dig a little deeper than the album's aforementioned lead track '...Alles' because there's no denying it's a beauty, or things slither gently, although not terminally downhill from there.

Steven Reid

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