Defining Gothic Metal: The Truth And Lies Of The Scene


Written by: DerRozzengarten
Published: 23.05.2006


"First and Last and Always", to name a specific metal genre as gothic, which makes the oh-so renowned and overabused gothic metal term, this specific metal genre MUST have references and influences from the gothic rock/dark wave scene from the 80s. Apparently, without any second thought and a shadow of doubt, many bands from this so-called commercial and big scene are not gothic metal because they have not a single reference from the gothic rock/dark wave scene of the 80s. It really is something funny for metalheads that know nothing about this scene to speak about gothic music. But what is even more funny is the fact that part of the metal scene dislikes goths and when you ask them "which people do you refer to as goths?" you get the answer "those people, man, that paint their eyes black and listen to Marilyn Manson endlessly", even from this you can get that a big part of the metal scene really has nothing to do in knowledge and experience about the gothic subculture, its bands and its audience. And thus this over-confusion passes in the gothic metal scene.

You see, the gothic subculcture has all these chicks dressed in black, with the cute faces, the beautiful make up and stuff, yes, I know, they are beautiful, I adore them as well, but, sadly, when a female-fronted metal band starts sounding a bit more symphonic/atmospheric or even a bit melancholic and has a female singer, preferably cute that stands as the front of the band and wears all these beautiful scarlet or velvet or black dresses with flowers and stuff, people start referring to this band as gothic metal, for no reason apparently. A female singer that has a more obscure and "poetic" dress-code won't make a band a gothic one, apparently, it's the music that matters, not the supposed dress-code. And so we come to bands like Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Epica, After Forever and so on, well, these bands have nothing to do, more or less each one of them (or used to have a slight reference but they have nothing to do anymore), with the gothic metal genre, the only common thing they have as bands is that they are female-fronted, does this make them gothic metal? No, for fuck's sake no! Ok, they have their own atmosphere each one of them, they have some strong female vocalists, some good tunes, others more others less, but that's all people; no gothic elements, no gothic metal.

If you want some bands with female vocalists that actually play gothic metal then you should definitely check Tristania of the first era (who can deny that "Widow's Weeds" has gothic rock elements? I'll give the answer, no-one can because these elements are present in the guitar work; and let's not forget the gothic rock guest male vocals on "Angellore" ), Theatre Of Tragedy of the first three releases, yes, they are gothic metal, and not because Liv Kristine used to wear black dresses and have that absolute female gothic look, just check the music, apparently gothic metal, then come Trail Of Tears, their first releases are also strong and gothic metal, really good work and it seems to me at times that the gothic metal scene including female vocals blossomed in Norway, judging from the bands I mentioned above. And of course I shouldn't skip to mention Sirenia, the band Morten Veland formed after he left Tristania, another wonderful gothic metal act, with intense gothic rock elements, even the hat in the vein of The Sisters Of Mercy/The Fields Of The Nephilim is present, hehe (if you don't believe me ask Mr. Veland and check Elusive's debut album, "Destination Zero", to see which are his influences; for the history, Elusive are a rising gothic rock act from Norway and Veland played the guitars on this album) and of course I shouldn't skip to mention Beseech, they have female vocals as well in their compositions, but they are a 50%-50% female-male fronted band now, with balanced male and female vocals. Just check their first two releases, pure romantic gothic/doom metal with The Fields Of The Nephilim references being too intense, both in guitar parts filled with gothic rock riffing and vocal lines in which the first singer of the band sounds like a reincarnation of Carl McCoy. And of course I shouldn't skip to mention As Divine Grace from Finland, they used to be a romantic doom/death metal act but with years they became more gothic metal oriented, with female vocals, a really strong band that sadly disbanded.

You know, a band to be called gothic metal must have references from the gothic rock/dark wave scene as I said above, which means, Christian Death (with Rozz Williams on the vocals of course, hehehe! Or Valor of "Atrocities", it was an awesome album, i have to admit it! And why not "Sex & Drugs & Jesus Christ", their last really strong album with Valor!), The Mission, The Sisters Of Mercy, The Fields Of The Nephilim, Bauhaus, early The Cult, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Clan Of Xymox, Virgin Prunes, early Dead Can Dance etc must be present, with each band sticking to its own references. And what the history has shown to me is that whenever gothic rock acts started turning heavier and more metal-oriented they made far better work from gothic metal acts, because gothic rockers really know what to do, they have the feeling in their blood, it's flowing, they know how to express it correctly and make it sound heavier if they want to enter a heavier sound stage. And of course I will mention some gothic rock/metal acts and first and above all one of the best gothic acts of the 90s that most of you don't know, DREADFUL SHADOWS, listen to them to feel the decadence, the sorrow, the pain, the gothic aesthetic, the gothic feeling from a band that released four great albums and with every album it tended to sound steps further, reaching "The Cycle" where more modern references made their appearance. After Dreadful Shadows sadly disbanded Sven Friedrich and Norman Selbig of Dreadful Shadows formed Zeraphine, another wonderful gothic rock/metal act with a more modern approach of course. Another fabulous gothic rock/metal act have to be Scream Silence, at times tending to sound like Dreadful Shadows, but they tended to perfect their own sound, their first two album are the most metallic ones and the other three are heavy still, but more gothic rock definitely; at times they tend to have a doomy feeling as well. Secret Discovery is a good band as well, moving in pure gothic rock in their early years and from a moment and on they started sounding a lot more metallic. Also, Love Like blood is a gothic rock band ,one of the best if you ask me, they have released some really strong opuses during the first half of the 90s, in the second half of the 90s from a moment and on they started sounding heavy and "Snakekiller" is a good gothic metal/rock album. Take Garden of Delight now, one of the best gothic rock acts of the 90s, they released in 7 years 7 albums with 7 songs each one of them, they disbanded afterwards, after the first circle had ended. They came back in the 00s, stronger, heavier, more powerful, but above all gothic rock. After 4 albums they formed Lutherion and they definitely are gothic metal/rock now, sounding really heavy, gothic rock-oriented and with an electro touch as well! Most and above all I shouldn't forget to mention the metal approach of Carl McCoy, first with The Nefilim in the second half of the 90s and recently with the dynamic come back of the Fields Of The Nephilim. "Zoon" of the Nefilim was a brilliant piece of thrash/death metal blended with strong doses of gothic rock in the renowned McCoy n' Fields vein and "Mourning Sun" of The Fields Of The Nephilim is an album of pure gothic rock/metal, a really strong release to show to the gothic metal scene who can rule the scene in no time. And let's mention NFD, a The Nefilim oriented project, heavy enough and always gothic rock and another project from members of The Nefilim, Saints Of Eden, gothic rock with heavy doses of metal and electronic/industrial elements, sounding really heavy and definitely really strong!

Now concerning some gothic metal acts I should mention Evereve of their first era with Tom Schedotschenko, heart-rending, twisted, mourning gothic metal from the pits of Hell, utterly desolate and melancholic, with the ideal references! After the suicide of the singer a new singer came on board and they released an easier album, gothic metal still, afterwards they started moving in more electronic soundscapes. Darkseed as well, they definitely had gothic-oriented references in albums like "Diving Into Darkness" and "Give Me Light" etc, a good band definitely. Paradise Lost OF COURSE and no matter how much doomsters hit their asses on the wall and point out that "Gothic" is doom/death metal I will always be there to be a pain in the ass and their closed mind to point out that it is one of the first pure gothic metal releases, not because of the name, "Gothic", but because of the music. Listen carefully, the gothic rock references on the guitars are too obvious, where Sisters Of Mercy stepped Paradise Lost found water. The orchestrations have a Celtic Frost sense from the "Into The Pandemonium" era and a dark wave aesthetic as well along with the fragile female vocals that seem to have come out of the 80s dark wave scene. Sure, it has a doom sense, but think about it more. Paradise Lost continued as a gothic metal act after "Shades Of God" (which was doom metal at all costs) releasing many fabulous albums like "Draconian times", "Icon", "One Second", "Paradise Lost" etc, one of the best acts of the gothic metal scene. I shouldn't skip Lacrimosa, one of the most important acts of this very scene; i have heard/read that they are progressive gothic metal, this statement always sounded funny to me from people that really have absolutely nothing to do with the scene. Tilo Wolf is a pure genius, from the gothic-death rock/dark wave oriented first releases of Lacrimosa to the historic moment when Anne Nurmi entered the band and Lacrimosa started becoming metal, gothic metal of course! Because the references remained, the doses of classical music became too obvious and one of the characteristic parts of the sound of the band. Generally they kept the Lacrimosa feeling alive, they just became one of the most quality, recognisable and best acts of the scene. Lacrimas Profundere, from a romantic doom/death metal act they started slowly and steadily incorporating in their sound gothic references reaching nowadays where they are a goth n' roll act, slightly metal, more of a rock band, gothic rock with a poser attitude. And since I mentioned the poser attitude of Lacrimas Profundere I shouldn't skip at all to mention The 69 Eyes, a non-metal band, they are goth n' roll as well, at some times offering more more romantic gothic rock like on "Paris Kills", at others more hard rock/gothic rock having several references from the 80s/early 90s. Where the Sisters Of Mercy left "Vision Thing" and The Cult left their releases Jyrki, Jussi and their companions stole them and found out many useful things for the now-sound of The 69 Eyes and Jyrki where Ian Astbury and the singer of LA Guns stood proud stole a bit of their pride to form his stage presence. So no, The 69 Eyes are not metal, poser gothic rock or goth n' roll yes, definitely. A! Beyond Dawn's "Pity Love" shouldn't be missing from here as well, an album having the decadence of doom, references from the doom metal scene and of course intense The Sisters Of Mercy passages, both in structure and guitar parts, but always tending to present them through their very own and unique avant-garde prism. I shouldn't forget to mention, just for the history, that Beyond Dawn during that period were supporting the Sisters Of Mercy at some of their shows, not a coincidence, is it? I shouldn't skip Tiamat, they had a good course changing their sound from album to album, progressing positively, and as you all noticed they had their gothic rock-driven moments as well. Their latest release to date "Prey" was a metallic gothic rock worship with Edlund's haunting vocals entrancing the atmosphere, "Skeleton Skeletron" had also a gothic rock air, quite modern in sound, good enough but nothing awesome and "A Deeper Kind Of Slumber" which was a mixture of psychedelic rock with gothic rock and stuff, good work! And some of you that may know, Johan Edlund has a gothic rock oriented band, Lucyfire, good stuff. Also, The Babylon Whores, not many know them, but they are awesome, a metal-driven Christian Death worship band, they know what they are doing, really good act! Another bright example of a band that injected intense 80s gothic/dark elements have to be Portugal's finest and most known act, Moonspell, with bands like "The Antidote", "Sin/Pexado" (a very underrated album), "Darkness And Hope" and "Irreligious", they have to be one of those bands that interpret gothic metal in a really good and personal manner! Also, a new band around that had quite an impressive course so far with their two releases are definitely The Vision Bleak, travelling through the corridors of nightmares, drama, horror and gothic decadence they offer a new and fresh air to the scene! Also, Yearning from Finland are doing a good job with their esoteric and beautifully adorned by sadness and esoteric emotions gothic/doom metal. Last but not least Kreator's "Endorama" is a thousand times more gothic metal than all those so-called gothic metal bands that are being referred as gothic metal by the silly music press and the audience that knows nothing about what is gothic, doesn't "Endorama" sound so gothic metal to you? Change scene! It's so simple!

The problem with the gothic metal scene doesn't end here, there are two more problems with the scene except for the female-fronted bands that are mostly being referred by both press and audience as gothic metal and of course i'm referring to part of the Visual Kei scene and the Suomi Metal scene with bands tending to sound romantic, melancholic or suicidal, moving in metal/rock soundscapes with common road on their course being the melancholy factor. Concerning the Visual Kei scene with bands like Moi Dix Mois, Malice Mizer and stuff, they have an intense gothic aesthetic in their appearance, but this is the most gothic part of their existence, their music apart from some keyboard-driven really dark passages has nothing to do with the gothic rock/dark wave scene and the Bauhaus references in those bands that i have read somewhere is definitely non-existent and i know Bauhaus really well to not recognise them in a band. Well, part of the Visual Kei that is being referred as gothic metal could be the Japanese option of gothic metal, somethng different, something "foreign" to the European scene/audience, so I won't be absolute in this case. I have to admit, anytime with the hand on my heart, that those Visual Kei bands are more gothic than all the other female-fronted or Suomi "we're supposed to be gothic" metal bands will ever be, both in reality and dreams. And let's move to the Suomi metal scene, believe me, I used to be a huge fan of this very specifc scene supporting bands like HIM, Entwine, For My Pain, Poisonblack, Charon, Sentenced, Lullacry, To Die For etc, I still support Entwine, HIM and To Die For because all those three are bands that have a lot to offer in my opinion, but really, where did you people find all these gothic elements in their compositions? You can always inform me because I'm craving to know more about gothic music and I would love to find out where all these elements hide and I can't find them. I had read somewhere that Sentenced were gothic metal and on their latest releases they became gothic rock, HA HA! I mean, how funny is that? Only a metalhead that knows nothing about the gothic scene would ever say that, and a metalhead was indeed the person who said that. Ignorance is bad, definitely bad, and in this case ignorance has caused a lot of harm, something that disgusts me seeing it going on more and more day by day.

Well, I got bored writing and I think you'll get bored reading too, so I will stop for now, but I will have to warn all of you i-know-it-all metalheads (to avoid misunderstandings, I'm not referring to every single metalhead, but to a specific part of it) that will give my article a shot, "if the truth hurts, prepare for pain". Kisses!

"Lipstick on my cigarette…"



 


Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments page 2 / 3

Comments: 77   Visited by: 184 users
27.05.2006 - 20:46
Vanwarp
Many people who don't get this genre and style of music tend to accuse gothic rock or gothic metal bands of lacking originality and creating nothing but more of the same music time and time again with very little progression from one album to the next. The thing is, the exact same argument can be said just about any artist playing in any one particular genre and style of music. They're all pushing the same kind of music, over and over, album after album. The way I see it, you either like a certain particular genre and style of music or you don't. It's as simple as that. Modern Gothic Metal bands who use synths and drum loops and other influences to enhance their music are only trying to be original and create something that is perhaps a little different than what has already been done by gothic bands of the past. There's nothing wrong if a band wants to stay true to a particular genre and style of music of yesteryear, and you can call them gothic revivalists if you want, but bands will continue to use modern influences...besides, do you honestly think that bands from the 70's and 80's would not have used synths and drum loops if they would have been available? Some would have, I'm sure! So, if I think modern gothic metal rules, good for me. And if you think that gothic rock rules, more power to you. And if you are stuck in gothic influences of yesteryear, there's nothing wrong with that either. To each his own...personal taste in music.
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"Only sick music makes money today." Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 - 1900)
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28.05.2006 - 15:07
Jonathan Tweet
Account deleted
90% of the time when you read band interviews and they are asked what style they classify themselves as, the band replies "we don't like being labeled, we just try to play our own metal". This article is way too long-winded considering its bloggish tone and writing style. I only read multi-page essays if they have are written well and have several good points. I know it's a pain in your ass when people say After Forever is gothic but that doesn't take 3 pages to explain.
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28.05.2006 - 15:27
Silhouette
A very nice and intelligent article (though it took me some time to find enough free time to read it )!

I do listen to Epica, After Forever, Within Temptation and those kind of bands, but I consider them to be simply metal bands with a lot of symphonic elements. Not gothic metal!

Now we just have to make all the confused metal heads read this...

Great work!
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30.05.2006 - 10:59
Zeraphine
Lazy Bastard
@Jonathan Tweet... than how much does it take to explain since most of the people still think gothic metal is that commercial genre where you can find only cute female fronted bands with keyboards and operetic vocals? i'd say if anyone would like to learn a bit about true gothic metal this article is perfect for them. not only the article but also listening to the bands mentioned there and of course to their influences.

to Rozz... many thanks for the great article and the wide band list. much of those bands i already heard and am addicted to ( ) but i still have so much to learn... i'd need 9 lives to listen to all the good music in the world. )
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30.05.2006 - 11:23
Zeraphine
Lazy Bastard
@robbiru... i just read your post so a reply to you too... gothic architecture and gothic literature has nothing to do with gothic music. what you're talking about is medieval music and medieval music is not gothic music.

*note: how come i'm not allowed to edit my own comments but i am allowed to edit Rozz's comments? O.o
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30.05.2006 - 13:44
Elijah
Dance, bitch!
Remember, you don't have to be kvlt to be an elitist prick.

I read the article, and it doesn't really have an impact. I'll still call them "gothic metal", since it's just a catch all phrase in the same vein as something like "death metal", instead of researching for ages for a "proper" genre name.
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30.05.2006 - 14:20
Anna Varney
Account deleted
Written by Vanwarp on 26.05.2006 at 03:23


Goth metal first emerged during the early to mid-'80s, centered around Los Angeles' so-called "death-rock" scene headed by Christian Death. Many goth metal bands have since sprung up in both America and Europe, with the tongue-in-cheek Type O Negative breaking out to a wider alternative metal audience in the '90s. During the latter half of that decade, goth metal also proved to be an important influence on black metal bands searching for new ways to darken their sound.


if christian death was gothic metal then i am the pope.And i can assure you for that,I am not.
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30.05.2006 - 15:58
DerRozzengarten
Odysseus
@Vanwarp: First of all dude, are you trying to act smart? I can always search around and try to find something as you call it "Decent" and post it, but I sat down through my experience with the scene throughout the years and wrote my opinion on gothic METAL, I never tended to define gothic rock in my article because that's another BIG story. I dislike smart asses, I will be honest, but I will give it a shot because there were parts of your post including the article you found that actually made me laugh and above all made my day! And first and last and always, if you wanted to oppose me you could have tried with your own words, not some cheap words you found somewhere and you called them "Decent".

Concerning The Gothic Rock Part Of The Article:

First of all, Bauhaus were gothic rock influencial, very important to the bands that soon would rise, that's so true, but their music, except for gothic rock influencial, is post-punk driven dark/new wave, depending on the album and the song of course, one of the most important acts of the batcave movement along with Alien Sex Fiend, hehe! And their lyrics were an Edgar Allan Poe reincarnation, Bauhaus like a new generation of cursed poets gave to the night a new meaning and a new era of morbid conspiracies, nightmares, fearful stories etc took hold. But where the hell did you come up with the Sisters Of Mercy being active in the 70s? Bauhaus yes, but The Sisters Of Mercy? That was a hell of a funny joke! Their first demo was released during 1980 and as far as I am concerned it is not a part of the 70s, The Sisters Of Mercy were clearly an 80s band and the releases that made this band well-known were in the 80s, not their non-existent 70s work. And now one of the silliest things i ever heard, HIM created a new gothic rock sub-genre? Are you serious? Don't tell me you are because I'm not going to take you for serious. Love Metal, you consider it a genre? And above all, a new sub-genre of gothic rock? Please, do the world a favor and… commit suicide! As for The 69 Eyes, their gothic rock references are too intense to be ignored, but they are not part of any kind of love metal or whatever silly sub-genre of gothic rock you consider it, they have references both from the glam/hard rock scene and the gothic rock scene of the 80s, harmonizing both elements in their sound and thus their sound is really interesting and has a lot to offer, but please, no love metal! And above all they have nothing to do with HIM except for the fact that Ville Valo has done some backing vocals on some of their songs and took part in a video clip!

I won't say that the gothic rock genre was popular, but it definitely had its important fanbase, and this fanbase didn't grow with bands just like HIM, they are not gothic rock, easily. You brought an "article" to talk about gothic rock, right? Show me gothic rock bands! Show me some! Where are The Cult, huh? I don't see Nosferatu, they are almost as cult as The Sisters Of Mercy, The Fields Of The Nephilim and The Mission! Where are Garden Of Delight/Lutherion, Corpus Delicti, Love Like Blood, Dreadful Shadows, Desire, Two Witches, Inkubus Sukkubus, London After Midnight, Die Laughing, Children On Stun, Rosetta Stone, Funhouse, Ostia, Malaise etc, instead of those you mention HIM, are you really serious? And also, Siouxsie And The Banshes and the Cure never and when I say never I mean NEVER became full-on goth bands, from post punk, Siouxsie was definitely more post punk on her first releases whereas the Cure more new wave, but still post-punk, and then both bands became dark wave, with albums like "Juju", "A Kiss In The Dreamhouse", "Pornography", "Faith" and "17 Seconds". They were definitely influencial for the gothic rock scene, but never gothic rock, a friend of mine had even interviewed Lol (lol) Tolhurst, an important member (drummer up to "Pornography/keyboardist up to 1989) of The Cure and he had answered in the question "Do you listen to gothic? How near do you feel to bands like Bauhaus or The Sisters Of Mercy or groups like them that appeared in the UK scene of the 80s?": "Even the fact that we were not London citizens proves that we never were part of this scene. I'm glad for this and also for the fact that this scene is "dying" and so its groups." Not something you'd listen from a person of a gothic rock or whatever band. I wouldn't disagree though on the fact that their make-up and dress-code became part of the gothic subculture dressing. It's true that Siouxsie and the Cure approached a more let's say pop sound after their darkest diamonds, but still, as I said above, they were not gothic rock and thus they didn't help into making the scene more popular.

As for the Mission, I wouldn't say they became more pop-oriented, they were playing more emotional gothic rock but they weren't more popish, they might wanted after "Carved In Sand" to attain a stardom status, but they were not pop-oriented in their approach, don't tell me that "Masque", an album of which I am a big fan, is more pop-oriented, it's definitely more experimental and different and in a question I had done on Wayne Hussey a question concerning this album that it was the first album of The Mission on which his lyrics were not written under drug influence and he also had said that this album was something different, more experimental! "Neverland" and "Blue", I haven't listened to "Blue", but "Neverland" was quite an experimental electro-driven work as well, not something to appeal to a wide audience, it had though one of the most beautiful and really personal to me songs, "Daddy's Going To Heaven Now". As for The Sisters Of Mercy I will have to agree, they became heavier on "Vision Thing", Fields Of The Nephilim on their latest work in their legendary first period were more atmospheric, not heavier definitely, "Elizium" has to be one of the most thrilling yet so atmospheric and tranquil albums ever, such captivating dark and serene aesthetic! As for Christian Death, a band of which I am a huge fan they had almost the same heaviness in the 80s, since 1981 up to 1989, with or without Rozz Williams, in the 90s things were different and they became heavier, more metal-driven with their heaviest work being "Lover Of Sin" which was black metal and sucked, in my opinion.

"By the end of the '80s, the original goth-rock movement had ceased to exist", by the end of 80s the knowledge of the one that wrote this article ceased to exist, with all my respect. It's pretty much obvious that in the first half of the 90s many gothic rock bands appeared, they might have had intense elements from the legendary 80 acts, but somehow they tended to differ in the trained ear of the gothic rock listener. For sure there were bands that had a cross-over sound, just like the really good Saints Of Eden, with industrial, metal and gothic rock elements, the dark wave scene mainly always had an 80s approach since its beginning, especially the dark wave school of Clan Of Xymox created, only the production changed throughout the years.

Concerning the gothic metal part of the article:

First of all, what do bands like Sentenced and After Forever have to do with gothic metal? I'm really curious and full of desire to find out. "Gothic metal bands tend to write songs with a slightly more orchestral feel to them." Not necessarily, that's why people confuse and relate symphonic/orchestral feeling to gothic metal and confuse the scene with female fronted symphonic bands. The "beauty and the beast" style is not always part of gothic metal, not every band with this vocal marriage is gothic metal and I can't understand what do Karyn and Angela Gossow have to do in a gothic metal article. "Goth metal first emerged during the early to mid-'80s, centered around Los Angeles' so-called "death-rock" scene headed by Christian Death." Ha ha ha ha! Death Rock gothic metal? Ha ha ha ha! Since when? If only Rozz Williams was alive to read this… I would love to see the expression on his face. Death Rock from the side of Christian Death was punk rock influenced, from the underground American punk rock scene of that era with bands like The Adolescents (the band from which Rikk Agnew passed on the guitars of Christian Death) etc, influenced as well from Dadaism and surrealism as artistic movements, offering a macabre and dark image as well as the atmosphere of the music and the lyrics. Samael gothic metal? Lalalalala! But anyway, i talked about my views on gothic metal in my article, i won't sit down and write more.

@Jonathan Tweet: Hey tweety,

@VaronoZz: Thanks a lot for your positive words, I'm glad you enjoyed reading it and I'm glad we agree in most parts, it's really good finding people with similar beliefs in this topic.

@robbiru: I own original Ulver's "Kveldssanger", it's a truly amazing album, I really adore its folk and medieval aesthetic, but it's just medieval/folk music to me. I respect your opinion, it's a good opinion nevertheless, well-expressed as well, but I just have my own point of view on gothic ROCK/METAL. I listen to neo-folk music, as it is being called, bands like Death In June, Blood Axis, Current 93, Of The Wand And The Moon, Strength Through Joy etc, some awesome bands that express "feelings/history/emotions/rage/hate/joy", not necessarily with acoustic instruments of their times, but with acoustic instruments in general, having an intense sense of olden times in their lyrics, atmosphere and emotions, adorned with a touch of intense nostalgia. Anyway, thanks for reading my article and expressing your very interesting point of view.

@Wynter:

@Silhouette: Thanks a lot mate for taking the time to read it, I admit, it was lengthy, but oki doki, you made it and I'm glad you enjoyed reading it and taking it into consideration. It sounds awesome to me that you don't consider the bands you mentioned as gothic metal!

@Zeraphine: Iu!! Thanks a lot for reading the article and commenting! It means a lot to me, you are one of those persons that know a lot about the gothic scene and it's something I admire and enjoy!

@Anna Varney: You silly! Christian Death were gothic metal during the 80s! Works like "Death Wish", "Only Theatre Of Pain", "Catastrophe Ballet", "Ashes", "Atrocities", "The Wind Kissed Pictures" and "The Scriptures" were definitely gothic metal! Death Rock isn't Gothic Metal and i agree that you're not the pope! XD "Sex And Drugs And Jesus Christ" (1988) was a kind of a heavier release, could be gothic metal, but ok. "Jesus, Where's The Sugar?"
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Dec. 30, 1334.

...And the whiskey and wine entered our veins when blood was too weak to carry on.
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30.05.2006 - 21:46
BloodTears
ANA-thema
I agree with most of what you said, specially the part where u say Love Like Blood is one of the best gothic bands ever (the voice is carismatic). And its true that if we cant find any trace of influences from 80's bands like The Mission, Bauhaus, London After Midnight, The Cult, Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, Siouxie or Joy Division even, then there is no point in calling them gothic in my opinion. Im not saying that there would have to be copies of it, but some of the influence yes because that was the time "gothic" came to live in terms of musical definition.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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30.05.2006 - 21:58
Zeraphine
Lazy Bastard
awe shucks i still need to know more!
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31.05.2006 - 14:13
Anna Varney
Account deleted
Written by DerRozzengarten on 30.05.2006 at 15:58


@Anna Varney: You silly! Christian Death were gothic metal during the 80s! Works like "Death Wish", "Only Theatre Of Pain", "Catastrophe Ballet", "Ashes", "Atrocities", "The Wind Kissed Pictures" and "The Scriptures" were definitely gothic metal! Death Rock isn't Gothic Metal and i agree that you're not the pope! XD "Sex And Drugs And Jesus Christ" (1988) was a kind of a heavier release, could be gothic metal, but ok. "Jesus, Where's The Sugar?"

I actually meant this XD
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31.05.2006 - 14:15
Basso
Account deleted
Written by DerRozzengarten on 24.05.2006 at 15:29

.... a guy with an emperor t-shirt near me said to his friend "look at this, he looks gay wit hthe gothic t-shirt, nightwish suck", i found it funny ....


Omg that is almost like trash talking Emperor. Go listen to your Goth-nightwish! (phun intended).

Great article. Was kinda poorly structured but you understand the important stuff and gain more knowledge about the Goth genre in itself. Always good to learn something new.
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31.05.2006 - 18:03
Vicsor
Account deleted
Ok finally i could read the article (i havent read the answer to the definitions someone put in, cause that aint a comment, its an article itself) so i can say some words to Rozz, cool job dude. Clearly one of the biguest topic/forum idea/arguments the so much wanted label GOTHIC METAL is still on, its still "fashion", and its well described in your article.

I wanted to tell you about my development in the gothic metal territory and found that my bro Dismal just experienced the same walkthrough, doesnt surprise me at all cause we have a long list of confrontations on the same bands.... to resume it all, sumi & symphonic metal lables were so necessary that it was too l8 when we started to use them, specially suomi, pity there

So without the 80´s background, without half the 90´s transition, i came to the same conclusion as most of you guys, and still get angry when i see Agalloch or Before the Dawn called "dark gothic metal" in other sites, FFS.

So ty Rozz, i ve discovered some bands thanks to your reviews, like Fields of Nephilism (thou it aint enough for me lol), and keep up the good work.
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31.05.2006 - 22:18
SirHooke
Long article, but hey, was worth reading. I don't really agree with you but I'm not going to argue with you Because I know what it would lead to (my girlfriend is a fan of nearly all those bands you listed under gothic rock and metal, while I don't like them ==> discussions )Anyhow, one thing I still wonder about; how did those gothic rock bands from the 80's get named gothic in the first place?
(BTW, I think The Cure, Joy Division, etc are New Wave)
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02.06.2006 - 19:17
_HIV_
emm ... okj who realy listens to gothic metal?
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02.06.2006 - 22:02
Vanwarp
No, not trying to be smart, merely trying to make a point. Gothic Rock and Gothic Metal is defined by many and each one of them with some important dissimilar opinions. Are we to assume that YOU have the definitive answer and that everybody else must be wrong? You article states "the truth and lies of the scene." Want to talk about who is being smart now, or pompous and obtuse?

Furthermore, you failed to notice my second comment which I'll repeat here again with some additional details:

Many people who don't get this genre and style of music tend to accuse gothic rock or gothic metal bands of lacking originality and creating nothing but more of the same music time and time again with very little progression from one album to the next. The thing is, the exact same argument can be said just about any artist playing in any one particular genre and style of music. They're all pushing the same kind of music, over and over, album after album. The way I see it, you either like a certain particular genre and style of music or you don't. It's as simple as that. Modern Gothic Metal bands who use synths and drum loops and other influences to enhance their music are only trying to be original and create something that is perhaps a little different than what has already been done by gothic bands of the past. There's nothing wrong if a band wants to stay true to a particular genre and style of music of yesteryear, and you can call them gothic revivalists if you want, but bands will continue to use modern influences...besides, do you honestly think that bands from the 70's and 80's would not have used synths and drum loops if they would have been available? Some would have, I'm sure! So, if some people think modern gothic metal rules, good for them. And if you think that gothic rock rules, more power to you. And if some prefer the gothic influences of yesteryear, there's nothing wrong with that either. The more bands experiment with new technology, the more subgenres of music we will have. Whether you like it or not, that will include gothic metal subgenres. Ask 10 people to give you an opinion of After Forever's music and to tell you what genre and style of music it is? Surely some people will identify SOME of their music as gothic metal! Besides, personal taste in music is subjective...

In the end, your article defines nothing, it is narrow-minded, leaves no room for originality and creativity. You should have titled it: "The Truth and Lies of DerRozzengarten"!
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"Only sick music makes money today." Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 - 1900)
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04.06.2006 - 21:56
SirHooke
@Vanwarp
They already had drum loops in the 80's; the Sisters Of Mercy didn't have a drummer; but used a computer (Dr. Avalanche) (wich is actually a reason I don't like them )
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05.06.2006 - 07:57
Doomed Lover
Great article with a shit load of information , but i cant help myself but wonder about a few things, ?????? after forever's prison of desire, (The almighty "Therion":banger:), The Gathering, Macbeth, Theatres Des Vampires, Type O Negative's Bloody Kisses & October Rust :necro:, Evergrey, Nevermore, Trail of tears, Lake of tears, Crematory, Draconian, Orphanage, Beseech, Darkwell, . ...........................and i didnt even mention the newbies like Misery Inc., Leaves Eyes, & Venin Noir. So what's my point !!!!!!??????? I got NO point , i just think that Gothic metal in particular is very hard to describe or limit to certain criteria by which you can sort out the so called true gothic from the wanna be gothic bands, I mean both Fields Of The Nephilim & Epica; whether we like it or not; do in fact share the term gothic, which is quite ridiculous if u ask me as they clearly have nothing in common :gunner:. I for one am thankfull that god created moonspell, now if u excuse me, i got myself a memorial to dwell on :metal::banger2:
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U can like any colour u want as long as it's BLACK
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05.06.2006 - 16:56
wolfborn
Well the point is that bands like (for example) After Forever, Epica, The Gathering are not gothic metal. Rather atmopsheric metal. The point is also that gothic metal bands are not hard to define at all - You have to be able to hear the influence of both gothic rock and metal genres in their music, and that's it. Which leads to the fact that you most likely have to know the goth rock bands of the eighties, and have the ability to define metal, to be able to tell what is gothic metal and what is not. Gothic metal is crossover music, where you mix influnces from 2 diferrent genres: goth rock and metal.

I don't think that there is wanna be gothic metal bands out there. They don't call themselves gothic metal, since they know that they are not. The problem is that the fans are confused due the fact that media, record labels (and the industry in general) have misused and raped the words "gothic metal" for over a decade now, and there's a generation(s) of metal fans out there, who have got misinformation due this. This is why there are so many fans, who use the words without knowing the true meaning behind it.
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www.myspace.com/deathstyler
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07.06.2006 - 12:31
wolfborn
I think some people have been looking for a discussion place for gothic metal, where the topics wouldn´t go too much out of the theme. Dunno if this is gonna be a working solution, but I opened up a new cult at vampirefreaks.com. http://vampirefreaks.com/cult/GOTHIC-METAL

Check out the instructions and if it feels like that it´s gonna be your place, then join in. Meanwhile, watch out, there´s other cults with somehow similar names, but totally different themes.

Well, I added Rozz´s article there as one of the links, I hope that´s ok?
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www.myspace.com/deathstyler
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07.06.2006 - 13:49
Doomed Lover
After repeatedly playing After forever's Prison of Desire, I must say that its not fair to ban them outa the gothic metal scene:nono:. If you listen to songs like Black Tomb, Leaden Legacy and Beyond Me, I think, in my humble opinion, that u'll find em full of gothic elements with all the grawling vocals:devil:, heavy deep guitar riffs and anguish lyrics:suicide:, they have managed to separate themselves from the likes of nightwish and within tempataion. Don't get me wrong here, my fav bands are moonspell:bow: and tiamat:dcool:, but i just hate to see good work gone unappreciated. Gtg back to dwell on memorial, cant get enough of it, can anybody !!!??
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U can like any colour u want as long as it's BLACK
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08.06.2006 - 09:37
Mindheist
No Longer Human
"First and Last and Always", to name a specific metal genre as gothic, which makes the oh-so renowned and overabused gothic metal term, this specific metal genre MUST have references and influences from the gothic rock/dark wave scene from the 80s"...

I must say that this part of your article is completely righteous,and to be clear,many of those who listen to Gothic Metal know perfectly that's inspired from Newwave...Moreover,many consider Depeche Mode as a gothic Metal band.
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08.06.2006 - 22:33
Vanwarp
Defining traditional gothic rock is not so difficult. Defining traditional gothic metal is perhaps also not so difficult. But, trying to find a modern definition of gothic metal is another thing entirely, because the genre is so loosely defined today. This is very true and not just in gothic metal but in many other metal sub-genres as well. Take Folk Metal or Viking Metal, Symphonic Metal or Symphonic Death Metal or Symphonic Power Metal. Labeling music from one band one way or another is becoming a challenge as bands continue to mix influences. Defining sub-genres is also becoming increasingly difficult as many bands continue to evolve refusing to remain within the confines of one particular genre and style of music.

So you might have a band today with multiple albums that might very well be found in several different metal sub-genres. Take Green Carnation, Katatonia, Opeth, all have created albums (Acoustic Verses, Brave Murder Day, Damnation) that would be very difficult to categorize under the primary genre that each individual band is mostly known for. So, categorizing all of their music under only one definitive sub-genre alone is ludicrous, yet that is exactly what we find on countless music sites. This is what I think is happening in gothic metal right now where you might find some bands going the atmospheric gothic metal route while others are moving more towards symphonic gothic metal or towards the trendier darkwave influences.

In any event, bands are pushing the boundaries of gothic metal as it was known in the early 90's. The music is evolving, that doesn't mean we won't find any bands still doing "traditional" gothic metal...just like we still have modern bands still doing traditional heavy metal (Dream Evil).

DerRozzengarten's article is nothing more than a little history lesson on Gothic Rock and Gothic Metal. The article deos not describe what traditional gothic metal should be, it only made reference to the early influences of Gothic Rock and Gothic Metal. If you research the subject of gothic music you will find 10 different definitions of gothic metal. Every metal website has their own personal definition just as every fan will have his own personal preferences and influences and thus his own personal definition of what is gothic metal to him?

So what can we conclude exactly? By 2010, we will have a variety of gothic sub-genres to choose from:

- traditional gothic rock (or gothic revivalists);
- traditional gothic metal (or gothic metal revivalists);
- modern gothic rock;
- modern gothic metal;
- symphonic gothic rock;
- symphonic gothic metal;

and so on and so forth...

Vanwarp
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"Only sick music makes money today." Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 - 1900)
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09.06.2006 - 22:15
Zeraphine
Lazy Bastard
@Vanwarp... oh would you just cut the crap already? i don't think Rozz's intentions was to actually give a precise *definition* to gothic metal. he advices us to do what's supposed to be done: to listen! to listen to the influences and the "influenced" of the gothic metal scene.

and what the hell is modern gothic rock/metal? it's GOTHIC ROCK/METAL for crying out loud, not traditional nor modern just plain, good ol' gothic rock/metal, no matter the skills and synths used. bands like After Forever, Epica, new Within Tempation, etc etc can't be called modern gothic metal because they're not.
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10.06.2006 - 05:22
Vanwarp
Written by Zeraphine on 09.06.2006 at 00:00
...bands like After Forever, Epica, new Within Tempation, etc etc can't be called modern gothic metal because they're not.


And DerRozzengarten also stated:

Quote:
...bands like Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Epica, After Forever and so on, well, these bands have nothing to do, more or less each one of them (or used to have a slight reference but they have nothing to do anymore), with the gothic metal genre.


You obviously share the same view. So, If they have nothing to do with the gothic genre anymore, then what genre would you now classify their new music as being? I'm just curious...

Creating new music categorizations seems to be a trend today. My point was simply that just because a band uses modern influences, it doesn't necessarily mean there not creating gothic music. You can call it anything you want, but if the influences are gothic in nature it's still gothic music. Lacuna Coil's Karmacode contains a lot of American nu-metal influences, but some of the music still contains gothic overtones. Some will call it metal and some will call it gothic. So, who's right and who's wrong? And maybe nobody's wrong depending on their own definition of metal and gothic metal, they might all be right from their own point of view!

DerRozzengarten is saying that many MODERN gothic metal bands are not gothic at all and I have a problem with that point of view. If he would have clearly defined gothic metal to begin with, we might not be having this particular conversation at all...
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"Only sick music makes money today." Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 - 1900)
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10.06.2006 - 10:20
wolfborn
Van: These bands (Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Epica, After Forever and so on) were always part of the atmospheric metal movement that started with The Gathering in mid 90'ies. These kind of bands were never gothic metal. At one point record labels started to sign these bands and I guess it was easier, or commercially more valuable, to promote these bands as "gothic metal", rather than atmospheric metal. So basically they sold the bands with false words and it worked out. Unfortunately it has created a lot of confusion in the scene and most of the people have got totally wrong picture about gothic metal due this.
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www.myspace.com/deathstyler
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10.06.2006 - 12:05
Vanwarp
Written by wolfborn on 10.06.2006 at 10:20

Van: These bands (Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Epica, After Forever and so on) were always part of the atmospheric metal movement that started with The Gathering in mid 90'ies. These kind of bands were never gothic metal.


Then how do you explain that Metal Storm has them categorized as follows:

After Forever - Symphonic Gothic
Epica - Symphonic Gothic Metal
Lacuna Coil - Gothic
Nightwish - Symphonic Power Gothic
The Gathering - Atmospheric Gothic
Within Temptation - Symphonic Gothic

Are you telling us that the hard working folks at Metal Storm are all wrong?
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"Only sick music makes money today." Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 - 1900)
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10.06.2006 - 15:57
wolfborn
Yes, if you ask me, these are totally false descriptions. No matter how hard they worked to come up with these. None of the bands are gothic metal bands. I think that none of the descriptions fit in. If you replace the word gothic with metal, you might get a bit closer to the truth.
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www.myspace.com/deathstyler
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10.06.2006 - 16:27
Vanwarp
Written by wolfborn on 10.06.2006 at 15:57

Yes, if you ask me, these are totally false descriptions. No matter how hard they worked to come up with these. None of the bands are gothic metal bands. I think that none of the descriptions fit in. If you replace the word gothic with metal, you might get a bit closer to the truth.


The truth according to you...OK! Personally, I'm with Metal Storm on this one. And just so you know, I don't always agree with all of Metal Storm's music classifications, but at least they're including the general "inluences" when categorizing bands. This I like a lot!

And about those false descriptions...

Obviously, Your definition of gothic and mine and Metal Storm's (and anybody elses for that matter) differs. That difference of opinion will result in some dissagreements. But, and this is the important part, your truth is not necessarily my truth and vice versa.

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"Only sick music makes money today." Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 - 1900)
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11.06.2006 - 15:40
Vanwarp
For information purposes, I did find a chart of "The History of Metal (and some other related musics)"! It was created in 2001 and probably needs to be updated already but it's definitely a good starting point for music references and classifications. The author is Eric Lestrade and here is the link to it:

"The History of Metal"

You'll notice that everything started out with the 60's Blues Rock scene. If you follow the chart you'll arrive at a couple interesting points. The first one is: Blues-Rock, Heavy Metal, NWOBHM, Gothic Rock, Gothic Metal and here they have the US band Christian Death listed as an early 80's influence and reference point. The second one goes from Blues-Rock, Heavy Metal, Doom, Doom-Death, and from here you'll find Gothic and Atmospheric Metal. So according to this study, gothic music does originate from two separate and very distinct influences. Makes sense to ME!
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"Only sick music makes money today." Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 - 1900)
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