AFM Records)

This is the first time I’ve heard a Gothminister album, and apparently it’s their heaviest yet; or so I’ve been told. I was at least aware of the band in name when they began as a Goth/electronic act, but adding metal elements into the mix definitely makes the album a winner for me. Utopia’s concept is immense, spanning well over the length of the disc and spilling out onto a feature-length concert film ala Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson, which is only available on the limited edition version of the disc. I must say that I’ve never heard of a band including a full length film with their limited edition (alright, so maybe the new Black Veil Brides album did just that) and consider it a welcome decision, rather than adding just a few extra bonus tracks to the disc as per the norm. As for the band’s performance on the disc, the material here is very much in line with The Deathstars and fans of their work should be pleasantly delighted with “Someone Is After Me”, “Horrorshow” and “Boogeyman” for starters. Yet there’s also some deep Goth influence here, in that it has the same sort of deep vocal croons that former Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele was known for on songs like “Nightmare” and “All Alone.” To be perfectly honest, there isn’t a bad track on Utopia and anyone who’s into industrial metal with a gothic edge and Rammstein grooves should be pleasantly pleased with this effort. Orchestration also appears here and there, but doesn’t sound like it’s overbearing as most of these songs seem to benefit from it. In this reviewer’s opinion, this is without a doubt one of the best Goth/industrial albums that I’ve heard in years and I’m a fiend for this stuff; so I definitely know what I’m talking about. These Norwegians have done what several Germans, Swedes and Russians have been unable to do: jumpstart the lackluster Goth/industrial scene. I’m even hearing some Ministry influence on “Eternal” and that’s always a good sign in my book. Gothminister prove that they’ve got what it takes to stay afloat in the increasingly overcrowded electronic metal scene and this effort is truly noteworthy. Once again, a full length concert/film is included with the limited edition version of this release, so make sure that you pick that up if you’d like to watch these guys in action. (Eric May)

Purchase Utopia here:
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