I’ve been waiting to see Gothminister for a while, and they really didn’t disappoint last night. Little room, of course, for their legendary stage antics and costume changes, so the Gothminister himself stuck to just the one outfit. No real problem, as it was still a treat visually, and even better was the music.
What was a little surprising that as support they got a lot of time – not that the good-sized crowd appeared to be complaining! Not a single one of their “dancefloor” tracks missed, as well as a couple of ballads, so picking highlights from the set is bloody hard. But let’s have a go, eh? Opener Dark Salvation was every bit as good as hoped, Hatred sounded fabulously vicious, as did Forgotten, while old favourites Angel and Gothic Anthem both sounded wonderful. The idea of siding with the dark one never sounded as good as Devil, or the dark atmospheres of Nachtzehrer.
Also surprising was just how familiar with their material most of the crowd were – even the band appeared to be surprised by the ecstatic reaction to the intro for March Of The Dead. The reaction was justified, though – it still remains by far their best song! The rather Rob Zombie-like (but none the worse for it!) Monsters followed it (and as it is the new single, I can’t wait to see the video!). Last song was Happiness In Darkness – and I think we could quite happily have had them onstage for another half-an-hour or so if we could!
Quite how they have remained in well-kept secret status, with little major recognition (at least in the UK), totally mystifies me. All it would take is something of a push, surely? So come on!
I kinda feel sorry for Mortiis. Both times I have seen him now he has been upstaged by the support acts (last time it was Panic DHH), and then this year as well all the media attention has been on his old bandmates (Emperor reforming, Ihsahn‘s solo stuff, the return of Zyklon…). So something to prove, perhaps. No new material to promote, either, just another tour in support of his album The Grudge.
He’s on rampaging form, too, sweeping onto the stage and straight into a searing Decadent and Desperate with barely a pause. Way Too Wicked followed it, and somehow was lost in a somewhat muddy sound. That was righted later on, but made the set sag a little. The band is ultra-tight, with all the twists and turns made with no hitch whatsoever. Mortiis, though, could often barely be heard – even when speaking between songs.
As per last time, nothing was played from before the last two albums, which is perhaps not all that surprising. What was interesting was the new stuff played, which had even more guitars and much less electronics. The wheel turns full circle after all, perhaps? Other highlights – the intensity of The Grudge, Parasite God and the closing Smell The Witch – which despite the crap title is probably his best track of all. So all told, good, but not as good as the support!