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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.

    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 […]

    Slowcore

    Slowcore is a genre that is also sometimes referred to by the name Sadcore. A sub-genre of the alternative rock music scene, slowcore was a form of music that was created from the slow tempo and much more downbeat style of melodies that were found in the indie rock scene of the late 80s. Some […]

    Cold Wave

    Cold Wave was originally a French genre of music, referring to a fusion of both Dark Wave and Post Punk. Dark Wave, discussed in an early article can be defined as the early goth scene; originating from darker New Wave. A gloomier New Wave, with lyrics oriented on more morose subject matter, sometimes philosophical, or […]

    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 […]

    Vampire (Style)

    Without it’s own classification, many songs have been labeled vampire music. Songs written about vampires usually come up under this label. But many of these songs have come under an already made genre such as classical, rock or gothic. Movie and television soundtracks seem to fall under this umbrella genre as well, such as the […]

    Deathrock

    Goth and punk rock spawned many subgenres when it was in full swing, and even while it was first emerging in the late 1970’s. One of the subgenres that was re-introduced while Goth rock was developing was Deathrock. One of the things that make distinguishing Deathrock from Goth rock so difficult, is because it overlaps […]

    Grindcore

    The first styles of Grindcore emerged as the stylic continuance of Crust Punk, and Crust Punk is a sub-genre of Hardcore Punk. It’s almost like a family tree, if you can picture it that way. Think of it like, Hardcore Punk, and Thrash Metal get married, and have a baby. Their baby is Anarcho-Punk. Anarcho-Punk, […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

    EBM

    Electronic Body Music, –known as EBM, because …you know, it’s shorter, –is exactly what its name implies. EBM is a dance-able form of electronica, blended together from Electropunk from Germany, and Industrial from England that emerged around 1984. The genre was influenced by artists like  Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft, Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle, and some of […]

    Geek Rock

    Geek rock is a music genre that emerged from the alternative rock scene. And though the genre has been around for a while in its own right, the term “geek rock” is actually a fairly new label. Unlike most other music genres, the actual title ‘geek rock’ is used lightly in terms of the style […]

    Dark Cabaret

    The Dark cabaret genre mixes the principles of the daring German Weimar-age cabarets and burlesque shows from the 20s, with the grim and dark styles of the post 70s gothic culture and music scenes. The genre is usually labeled by the deep and sensual vocals, usually appearing with scant piano playing and strings instruments such […]

    Garage Rock

    Garage rock is a genre of music known for its more raw form of the rock music scene. It emerged into widespread popularity in America and Canada in 63, and stayed highly popular until about 67. In its beginning garage rock was not actually seen as a separate genre of music, and it was in […]

    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 […]

    Horror Rock

    Horror rock refers to any number of different bands, styles, sub-genres or mainstream genres. It’s usually used as a name for Death Rock, –and that’s pretty confusing too, since Death Rock later became Gothic Rock, and then the traditional Death Rock was extracted from Gothic Rock, and is now in the process of ressurrection, –Horror […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

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