Friday, May 24, 2013



AFM Records

Gothminister are a Norwegian quartet that, for lack of a better description, play goth-flavored industrial rock/heavy metal. On "Utopia", the group's fifth studio album since forming in 1999, the band's lead singer, Bjørn Alexander Brem, taps into his personal nightmares for a concept album. With Icarus (guitars), Turbo Natas (guitars) and Chris Dead (drummer) joining him (Bass? We don't need no stupid bass!) the band set out to not only make a concept album, in and of itself not as easy as it seems folks, but (on the limited edition CD/DVD version) also a horror/concert film (DVD)! With all of that running through my brain I was fully prepared to loath this release. I must admit though to being wrong. Not unusually I know (just ask any/all my former lovers), but I was really, truly pleasantly surprised with this one. For times sake I'll throw out some names (Ministry, N.I.N. Rob Zombie, Type O Negative, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Alice Cooper, etc.) and have you magically mix everything in  your mind's eye. Got it? Or at least a vision of what I'm getting at? More or less Gothminister takes those bands & artists and, with a careful eye set on trying to carve out their own niche in this world, sets about writing music that acts as a soundtrack for the doom and gloom crowd. The album, which was produced by Bjørn Alexander Brem, mixed by Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Nile) and mastered by Alan Douches (The Misfits, Dillinger Escape Plan) is not without it's charm and, as concept albums go, there's more then enough to pull you into Brem's nightmare."Utopia" is probably a misleading title (In both the sense of where this nightmare leads and the album's overall effectiveness), but it keeps you intrigued to the very end so that says something about it's cold embrace.

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