Hailing from Oslo, Norway, Gothminister has been at the forefront of Gothic Industrial Metal since 1999. Led by Bjørn Alexander Brem, the project has built a strong fanbase through live performances, and releasing quality music, and now Gothminister return in 2022 with their long overdue album Pandemonium.
A band that released a steady diet of material between their 2003 debut album Gothic Electronic Anthems through 2017’s The Other Side, it has been five long years since that time. In fact, this is the longest span Gothminister has gone without releasing any new material…. so, the big question is, was all the wait worth it? Released to the world out on October 21st through AFM Record, the answer is, yes Pandemonium was worth it. Coming at you with ten new tracks, lasting a little over thirty-five minutes, it hits all the right notes as they discuss darkness, death, blood, and pain.
Morbid subject matter to the average citizen, for fans of this genre of music it is nothing taboo nor unusual, and Gothminister certainly does not let you down. It all begins with the short, but sweet intro of “Abgrund (Abyss)” opening the gates of hell and welcoming you in. A good start, the album then continues with the rich, catchy arrangements and thriving rhythm of the title-track. From here “Demons” brings on Synth-pop elements that are matched with an irresistible chorus before “Star” hooks you in with a very addictive melody.
Then you have the slow buildup of “Sinister,” the seductive sway of “Kingdoms Rise” and the ominous sensation of “Bloodride.” This is before the heaviness of “Norge” marching forward with a ton of gloom and doom, the more rapid “Run Faster” bringing on some pure Metal inclinations, and the empowering “This is your Darkness” closing out the album with a bang.
In all, Pandemonium is a catchy album that unifies Metal, Gothic, and Industrial stylings nicely. The thing with Gothminister is, it does not matter how dark and evil their music and image might be, because there is also an equal amount of hope and light swinging each of their arrangements. And honestly, this is what makes them so incredibly special and their music so very compelling. Five years in the making, and again, yes well worth it, Cryptic Rock gives Pandemonium 5 out of 5 stars.