Hailing from Norway, Gothminister are tapping into a sound that more than anything is central European. Let me put it this way: if you happen to be a big Rammstein fan, you will not turn away immediately from ‘Happiness in Darkness’.
Right from the outset, the bang-on opener Dusk till Dawn shoots off the party with a heavy Rammstein groove which is also so blatantly there on the third track, Your Saviour. The second tune on the disc, Darkside, is the single and video track of the album. It’s not quite as close to the German peers as the surrounding tracks, but has a nice groove all of it’s own (go to the band’s MySpace and watch it – Miss Sweden 2006 is in it…).
Freak and Sideshow are not quite as great – a messy business in my ears, the latter with a misplaced bout of keyboard symphony orchestra slapped in there. The next tune, The Almighty, is on the other hand at first a beautiful little piece with female vox and bells that turns into a Euro techno section and then a full on techno metal assault. This I like - and I’m sure the underground dance floors around Europe will as well.
The next two tracks go by fairly unnoticed, whereas second-to-last, Mammoth, is, very appropriately a heavy goth rocker.
To finish off the whole thing is a cover of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and…well, as controversial as Gothminister have probably figured it would be to do this song, as uninspired do I find their version. When I read the track list I hoped that it would be a (a-hem) thrilling, cool version, but honestly, compared to Jackson’s own version, Gothminister’s sounds like a happy-go-lucky techno-rock version and not the least scary.
On the whole an approved third effort from the Norwegians, but not without a dent here and there.