The Other Side
(AFM Records)

After a lengthy tenure, Germany’s Gothminister have returned with a new recording. Having been smitten with their last album and stageplay Utopia nearly half a decade ago, The Other Side seems to follow perfectly with the mixture of weighty industrial and melodic Goth rock that the band have been pursuing for several years now. Though the disc is short – really short, to be honest; the performance remains stellar and memorable throughout. That being said, nearly every song on the recording would fit at home with the radio’s three-minute single manifesto and that strikes me as a bit surprising. There are only ten cuts here and one of them barely encroaches on the three-minute mark with the longest barely hitting the five minute mark. Why the band chose to do such a stripped down selection of material is beyond me, but it could be very well due to the fact that outside of music, Gothminister is extremely busy these days representing German law. In any case, The Other Side is no wash. It’s just feels like more of an EP recording.

Having firmly hammered down the shortness of this record, I’ll say that it starts and finishes notably, with a hard-hitting Rammstein meets Type O Negative influenced opener titled “Ich Will Alles.” The chorus is quite infectious and was stuck in my head for a week after hearing the initial stream. I think the real beauty in this track is that it takes such a common German industrial approach and adds an unexpected Gothic element within the deep croons and unconventional chorus lines. In other words, it feels like a band inspired by Rammstein and similar acts in this style; rather than just copying the style as a trend. “The Sun” also features a catchy chorus line, rolling right in line with the thick Goth rock that we’ve expected from this artist since the debut. “Der Fliegende Mann” follows the same German militaristic thrash element, though it doesn’t offer anything ultimately different or special from the material that they or their peers have performed before. “Aegir” however, sounds a little bit different. The piece is essentially a dark ballad with a nearly shouted chorus. It feels a bit pop, but not in a dissatisfying sense. “Red Christ” brings on classic industrial coupled with yet another catchy chorus, which this thing is jam-packed with. The Other Side is definitely a sing-along album. “We Are The Ones Who Rule The World” features a female vocal element, though is actually quite crunchy despite the light-hearted chorus. I like this idea, because it gives us both sides of Gothminister in one short package. Unfortunately, this is also the shortest song on the album and could have been expanded upon a little more.

I will end my observation here, as not to spoil the album any further. Though I can safely say that there is more than enough quality material offered within the allotted time to appeal to Gothminister fans worldwide. Though not just Gothminister fans of course, as several fans of Goth rock or Gothic industrial might also find something in this one. It’s a great gateway, especially with it’s occult lyrical nature (that seems to be the theme of this one) that places it perfectly for an October release date. Even though five years have passed between Utopia and this one, The Other Side is proof positive that the band are not wearing themselves thin, instead choosing to mature and age their sound gracefully. That’s fine, because this old Goth loves it.

Purchase the album here.


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