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  • Gothic Metal

    Gothic metal music is a genre that emerged from the heavy metal scene in the mid 90s as a blend of the doom metal and death metal genres in Europe. There is a bit of debate over what the actual definition of the genre truly is between the media and the fans of the genre. Many older fans along with performers of the genre believe that the scene is a specific abstraction of the classic rock scene and gothic fiction. But the newer fans of the heavy metal scene dispute this idea, and have sided with the ideal that any female fronted band of the metal scene is in all actuality apart of the gothic metal genre. Despite these arguments, the genre has many characteristics in which are used to label the music as apart of the gothic metal scene.

    There are two main characteristics however, the vocals and the instrumentation. Many bands will have dual vocalists, with female singing and growls in the background, while many others will have only one singer who carries an almost dramatic tone. The instrumentation is focused heavily upon complex guitar rifts with varying tempos and a distorted sound, and the use of modern electric keyboards. Taking a large amount of influence from sub-genres of heavy metal such as doom metal, death metal, and black metal, the music can vary between aggressively fast and heavy and slow. One instrument found often in gothic metal, surprisingly enough, is the acoustic guitar.

    The riffs played on the acoustic are notably just as technically complex as those being played on its electric counterpart. Lyrical content of the genre is found to be very tragic, focusing on romantic themes and tales of fantasy that usually end poorly for at least one, if not all the people involved in the story. The settings of such fantasies in the genres music are depicted to be in many different times and areas, such as the Dark Ages, and Victorian or Roman eras. These romantic fantasies are not a prerequisite of the scene, but are simply themes of many different songs. Rather than writing separate songs for their albums, many bands of the genre actually write as if they are creating a book, making the songs intertwine into a storyline, this is also called a “concept album”. This is a form of musical writing that inspires the fans to listen to all the songs, as if reading chapters from a book, so that they will hear the entire story rather than only listening to certain songs on any given album.

    It was in the 90s that a number of younger bands from Northern England and also Sweden took inspiration borrowed from the early forms of death metal music and blended it with music from doom metal bands, more notably bands like Black Sabbath. The first form of gothic metal music emerged from this blend of styles, and became known as Doom-death music, and bands like Tiamat, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost were notable for their works that were considered to be apart of this new style of music. Many other bands that began in the death and black metal scenes began to move into a more doom-death style, such as the more famous bands Theatre of Tragedy and Moonspell. Bands like Fields of the Nephilim and Sisters of mercy helped to create and influence the early gothic metal bands with their romantic imaging and feel to their music, coupled with the gothic rock and darkwave atmosphere and sound of their music.

    Gothic metal emerged in the early 90s with the bands Paradise Lost, Tristania and Theatre of Tragedy creating romantically themed lyrics around the doom-death sound of their vocals and guitar styles. Leaving the more depressing themes of their original music, they began to blend more classical and warm characteristics to their lyrical content, and from there the gothic metal scene was born. Bands of the genre include Aion, Asrai, Dakrua, Darkwell, Euthanasia, Flowing Tears, For My Pain…, Krypteria, Lacuna Coil, Mortal Love, On Thorns I Lay, and Within Temptation.

    Avant-Garde

    Avant-Garde music is commonly referred too as experimental music, and the terms were actually coined by a composer named John Cage in the year 1955. It was created as a term to describe any and all music that challenged the accepted status or standing of what music was supposed to be. The term experimental has […]

    Death Metal

    Contrary to popular belief, Death Metal is not just a bunch of smashing, growling, and banging on things like Paleolithic attempts at music. Sometimes Death Metal is even said to use ‘Cookie Monster’ vocals, for obvious reasons. The growling, “death grunts” are one of the key elements of Death Metal, however, vocals are not limited […]

    Punk Rock

    Punk rock music is a form of rock that formed as an anti-corporate genre in the mid 70s. Beginning its development throughout the US, UK, and Australia with bands like the Ramones, Sex Pistols and The Clash in the years 74 through 76, punk rock soon began spreading across the entire world by 1977. Bands […]

    Trip Hop

    The one thing that all, or at least most, Trip Hop artists have in common, apart from their musical style, is that they all have the same hate for the name ‘Trip Hop.’ This has been called a phenomena, by other sources, but if your name went from something classy like the Bristol Sound, or […]

    Emo

    Emotional rock, and the wide distribution of followers, are not gothic or even a closely related subculture of the general goth trend. Despite what the media may want you to think! The emo scene has had three waves of its trend and is in the height of its third now. In the mid 1980’s the […]

    Riot Grrl

    When most people hear the words “Do It Yourself”, the first thing that comes to mind is a home improvement project. They usually think of a man, usually in a tool belt, taking measurements around a dilapidated house, trying to envision an improvement on the structure that stands before him. “Do It Yourself”, in this […]

    Grunge Rock

    Grunge music originated in the 1980’s by a few different bands around the area of Seattle, Washington, and is a different style of alternative rock. It was inspired by a few different forms of metal and punk music, and is identified mostly by angry lyrics, many of which were directed at the general form of […]

    New Wave

    New Wave was a music genre that was a form of rock music during the later years of the 70s up until the middle of the 80’s. Branching off of the punk rock scene as a hit towards the more popular music of the 70s, the new wave genre blended influences from multiple other genres […]

    Black Metal

    The Black Metal sound and style was influenced mainly by its “First Wave” as it’s called, although this actually refers to when the first hints of Black Metal were introduced on the music scene in the 1980’s, by mainly Thrash Metal bands, like Venom and Bathory. Other influential, late 80’s bands were Hellhammer, Bulldozer, Celtic […]

    Dark Ambient

    Before one can get into Dark Ambient music, one has to have a firm understanding of what Ambient Music is. The best definition of the Ambient Music genre was given by the music theorist, Brian Eno: “Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must […]

    DownTempo

    The DownTempo genre of music is often confused with Trance, or IDM, –Intelligent Dance Music, but does in fact have its own particular style. Unlike ambient, DownTempo does have a beat and groove to it. Trip Hop is closely compared to DownTempo or lumped in under the term, however DownTempo is usually slower than Trip […]

    Post-Punk

    Post-punk is an inner-directed and more experimental form of punk rock, though its roots are deep in the punk rock scene. The Genre developed in the late 70’s, riding on the heels of the outbreak of the punk rock genre that occurred in the middle of the 1970’s. Post-punk is accredited with having made the […]

    Math Rock

    Math rock is a genre of music that developed in the late 80s and emerged from the experimental rock music scene. Usually characterized by its non-conforming rhythmic structures, the start/stop flow of its motions, and its more often than not angular and conflicting rifts. While most rock music bands will use a very basic 4/4 […]

    Gothic Doom

    Once the gothic metal scene was up off the ground and really rolling, bands started to get more popular inside the genre. Some bands went the way of symphonic metal, while others moved in the opposite direction instead and slowed downed, adding much more gloom into their style. This also meant that the typical “beauty […]

    Indie Rock

    Indie rock music is a genre that split off of the alternative rock scene and is found mostly within the independent underground scene of the music industry. Indie rock, which is actually a shortened term meaning “independent rock”, was originally coined for the use of categorising rock bands who signed with independent labels, or whom […]

    Gothabilly

    Gothabilly music is actually a blend of words that refers to the mixture between the rockabilly music scene and the Gothic or Goth lifestyle. While many bands of the Gothabilly genre include darker themes ranging from the occult and vampires or vampirism, to horror and themes revolving around depression and violent behaviour, they are not […]

    Hardcore Techno

    Hardcore techno music is a genre of electronic music that emerged in the early and mid years of the 90s in locales like Newcastle Australia, Rotterdam Netherlands and Frankfurt Germany especially. Music considered to be Hardcore techno is usually identified by its fast tempo and the distorted yet rhythmical industrial type beats. The genre is […]

    Industrial Rock

    Industrial rock is a genre of music that emerged by blending industrial music and subgenres of the rock scene like Hardcore, Punk, Oi, and Hard Rock. Industrial rock bands will mostly utilize instrumentation found in almost all other forms of rock, including drums, bass guitar, and electric guitar, along with other electronic equipment such as […]

    Camp (Style) Music

    Camp music is a genre that is quite popular that sprung up before the 60s. Its lyrical content is mostly directed at the ridiculousness and triviality of common suburban life. The band called The Tubes, a theatre rock band who were based in San Francisco California, for example, were highly popular in the late 70s […]

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