Monday, July 15, 2024

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Gothminister’s Latest LP Is An Intriguing Addition To 202’s Field Of New Hard Rock, Metal Albums

Early last month, goth-industrial act Gothminister released its latest album, Pandemonium IIThe Battle of the Underworlds to the masses courtesy of AFM Records.  The album’s release, which came less than two years after its predecessor, Pandemonium, also happens to be part of the band’s 25th anniversary.  Considering this matter, Pandemonium IIThe Battle of the Underworlds proves an intriguing way for the band to mark the occasion.  That is proven in large part through its featured musical arrangements, which will be examined shortly.  The story at the heart of the record (yes, story) also plays into that intrigue.  It will be addressed a little later.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted plays its own key part to the whole of Gothminister’s latest offering.  All things considered they make Pandemonium IIThe Battle of the Underworlds perhaps not the best way for the band to celebrate its quarter century mark but still worth hearing at least once.

Pandemonium IIThe Battle of the Underworlds, is an intriguing presentation that will find a very targeted audience among the band’s established fan base.  That is due in large part to the album’s featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question continue the evolution of a sound that the band (the brainchild of its founder and front man Bjorn Alexander Brem) has been honing throughout its more than two-decade life.  Yes, the clear comparisons to works from the band’s fellow German rock act Rammstein are there once again (as is evidenced through the combination of Brem’s vocals and the heavy guitars and equally steady, pumping drums throughout the record.  At the same time, the Peter Steel-esque deep bass vocals that at one time were so prevalent are almost nonexistent here.  It is a nice change of pace.  There also seems to be more focus on electronic elements this time out than in the band’s existing catalog.  That is not to say that the band’s existing albums do not have that focus.  It just seems more present in this album that in those records that came before Pandemonium II.  Keeping all of that in mind, there is plenty of familiarity in the album’s musical arrangements along with some sign of growth from the band.  That alone is certain to engage the noted audiences.

While the musical arrangements are sure to engage and entertain Gothminister’s established audiences, the record’s lyrical content will do much the same.  The story in question is part of a bigger story that was started in Pandemonium.  The evil King Gothminister has been brought back to life and is out for revenge, so to speak.  This leads to a battle between his own evil forces and those of another underworld organization, thus the album’s title.  On one level this is a story that will appeal primarily to Gothminister’s established audiences.  At the same time, it could also be problematic in that maybe not all of the band’s established audiences have taken in Pandemonium just yet.  That means those listeners will have to go back to said album and take in that record first.  Not everyone is going to want to have to commit the extra time for that.  On another level, considering the nature of the overarching story, it will even more segregate audiences because it is such a dark, gothic tale.  To that end, it ensures that only the band’s established audiences and goth rock and metal fans will find appeal herein.

While the story featured in Gothminister’s latest album is limiting to its appeal, that is not enough to doom the album.  The record’s production will appeal far more widely.  Thanks to the work of those behind the boards, the richness in the vocals expertly compliments the power in each song’s instrumentation.  The result is a presentation that from beginning to end, brings out the best of each song’s musical side.  The balance of the keyboard lines and guitars works just as well as that of the rhythm section with those primary instruments throughout.  The result is a record whose aesthetic appeal really serves surprisingly as its foundation.  That is because it makes each arrangement so immersive even among the more casual goth rock and metal fans.  Keeping that in mind, the overall musical side of Pandemonium II makes for reason enough for audiences to hear the album at least once.

Pandemonium IIThe Battle of the Underworlds, is an intriguing addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums.  The record will find a very targeted appeal among Gothminister’s established audiences and casual goth rock and metal fans.  That is proven in large part through its musical arrangements, which continue to evolve the band’s specific sound.  Once again, the arrangements make themselves relatively easily comparable to works from Rammstein.  At the same time, the Type O Negative comparisons that were so prevalent in the band’s existing albums are nowhere to be heard here.  What’s more, there is also seemingly more electronic leaning this time out than in the band’s previous records.  That collectively gives audiences reason enough to take in the album.  The production of those arrangements brings out the best of each element within each song.  Keeping that in mind, the album proves itself an interesting presentation in its own right, even with the limitation posed by the record’s lyrical content.

Pandemonium IIThe Battle of the Underworlds is available now through AFM Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at: