Gothic Metal

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Gothic metal or goth metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music. Gothic metal combines the aggression of heavy metal with the dark melancholy of gothic rock. The genre originated during the early 1990s in Europe as an outgrowth of death/doom, a fusion of death metal and doom metal. The music of gothic metal is diverse with bands known to adopt the gothic approach to different styles of heavy metal music. Lyrics are generally melodramatic and mournful with inspiration from gothic fiction as well as personal experiences.

Pioneers of gothic metal include Paradise Lost, Theater Of Tragedy, The 3rd And The Mortal. Other pioneers from the first half of the 1990s include Type O Negative from the United States, Tiamat from Sweden, and The Gathering from the Netherlands. Norwegian band Theatre of Tragedy developed the "beauty and the beast" aesthetic of combining aggressive male vocals with clean female vocals, a contrast that has since been adopted by many gothic metal groups. During the mid-1990s, Moonspell, Theatres des Vampires and Cradle of Filth brought the gothic approach to black metal. By the end of the decade, a symphonic metal variant of gothic metal had been developed by Tristania and Within Temptation.

In the 21st century, gothic metal has moved towards the mainstream in Europe, particularly in Finland where groups such as The 69 Eyes, Entwine, HIM, Lullacry, Poisonblack and Sentenced have released hit singles or chart-topping albums. In the US, however, only a few bands such as Lacuna Coil, Evanescence have found commercial success.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_metal

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • DippoMagoo


gothic metal top albums

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THEATRE OF TRAGEDY Velvet Darkness They Fear Album Cover Velvet Darkness They Fear
THEATRE OF TRAGEDY
4.59 | 15 ratings
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MOONSPELL Under Satanæ Album Cover Under Satanæ
MOONSPELL
4.49 | 16 ratings
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TRISTANIA Beyond the Veil Album Cover Beyond the Veil
TRISTANIA
4.59 | 6 ratings
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SAVIOUR MACHINE Legend, Part I Album Cover Legend, Part I
SAVIOUR MACHINE
4.49 | 6 ratings
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LACUNA COIL In a Reverie Album Cover In a Reverie
LACUNA COIL
4.30 | 15 ratings
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LACRIMOSA Inferno Album Cover Inferno
LACRIMOSA
4.36 | 9 ratings
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CRADLE OF FILTH Cruelty and the Beast Album Cover Cruelty and the Beast
CRADLE OF FILTH
4.19 | 26 ratings
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THEATRE OF TRAGEDY Aégis Album Cover Aégis
THEATRE OF TRAGEDY
4.22 | 11 ratings
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CRADLE OF FILTH Midian Album Cover Midian
CRADLE OF FILTH
4.16 | 17 ratings
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LACUNA COIL Halflife Album Cover Halflife
LACUNA COIL
4.31 | 5 ratings
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CREMATORY Illusions Album Cover Illusions
CREMATORY
4.38 | 4 ratings
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SAVIOUR MACHINE Saviour Machine I Album Cover Saviour Machine I
SAVIOUR MACHINE
4.29 | 5 ratings
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gothic metal Music Reviews

TYPE O NEGATIVE Slow, Deep and Hard

Album · 1991 · Gothic Metal
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UMUR
"Slow, Deep and Hard" is the debut full-length studio album by US doom/hardcore/goth metal act Type O Negative. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in June 1991. After crossover thrash metal act Carnivore disbanded in 1987, lead vocalist/bassist Peter Steele teamed up with keyboard player/producer Josh Silver, guitarist Kenny Hickey, and drummer Sal Abruscato to form Type O Negative. Type O Negative was formed in 1989 under the New Minority monicker, then changed their name to Repulsion, then to Sub Zero, and finally to Type O Negative.

Type O Negative is mostly known for their doomy, goth oriented, and melancholic sounding music, but the material on "Slow, Deep and Hard" is quite different from the material on their later releases. The black sarcasm which is also a trademark of the band´s sound was there from the get go though. "Slow, Deep and Hard" is in fact drenched in it.

Stylistically the music on "Slow, Deep and Hard" is a combination of crushingly heavy doom metal riffs, feedback noises, industrial effects and repetition, atmospheric keyboards, hardcore punk sections, and a slight nod towards goth rock. The vocals by Peter Steele are raw and delivered with fierce conviction and caustic aggression. It´s very seldom he sings using his low register clean voice, which is otherwise a trademark on later releases by the band. There are also loads of riot gang vocals and other types of backing/harmony vocals on the album.

The lyrics are also worth a mention as they are dealing with themes like cheating women, extreme hatred, retribution/revenge, suicide, depression, and immigrants, which are all serious topics, but put through the sarcastic (and often quite humourous) Type O Negative machine, the listener is left either laughing, repulsed, or something else entirely. It´s the kind of lyrics that´ll probably leave most listeners with a feeling of unease and insecurity on whether or not the band really means what they are saying. The diatribe against immigrants in "Der Untermensch", which earned Type O Negative a ban in Germany, is lyricwise probably the most controversial track on the album, but the violent description of putting a pickaxe through the faces of the protagonist´s cheating girlfriend and her lover in "Xero Tolerance", or the jackhammer rape in "Prelude to Agony", are probably also going to raise a few brows.

The 7 track, 58:38 minutes long album is thematically a concept release if you ignore/exclude "Der Untermensch", which has little to do with the other tracks when it comes to lyrical content. The overall story is that the protagonist (which is allegedly build on Peter Steele and his experiences and emotions) suspects that his girlfriend is cheating on him and the subsequent depression and agony he is going through as a consequence of that as described in the opening track "Unsuccessfully Coping With the Natural Beauty of Infidelity". He then finds out for sure in "Xero Tolerance", where he follows his girlfriend and experiences her having sex with another man. Hence his fantasies of killing her begins, and they are continued in "Prelude to Agony", which is a track that combines despair over love and extreme torture scenes. The industrial noises of "Glass Walls of Limbo (dance mix)" probably symbolises a full scale breakdown of the protagonist and then there´s one minute of silence in "The Misinterpretation of Silence and Its Disastrous Consequences" before the protagonist contemplates suicide in the closing track "Gravitational Constant: G = 6.67 x 10?8 cm?³ gm?¹ sec?²".

The tracks are generally very long (two of them exceeding 10 minutes in length) and they are not vers/chorus build. At least not in a traditional sense although there are clear memorable chorus parts. The almost blatant disregard for conventional song structures works really well for the band though, and I dare say that most tracks feature semi-progressive structures with many surprising twists and turns.

The sound production is also rather unconventional with the distorted bass being pretty dominant, while the guitar often functions more as backing to the bass than the other way round. Both feature a rather distinct buzzing sound. The sound is quite cold and fits well with the atmosphere of the music and the lyrical themes. So all in all "Slow, Deep and Hard" is a very interesting debut release by Type O Negative. It´s unique sounding both in terms of the metal scene in general and in terms of the band´s own discography. Although it´s obviously a very immature release in some ways (as an example some of the transitions between sections aren´t exactly composed in the most sophisticated way), it´s still a high quality release and with the added original sound and style a 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.

TYPE O NEGATIVE The Origin of the Feces

Live album · 1992 · Gothic Metal
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siLLy puPPy
TYPE O NEGATIVE was a strange band indeed. After releasing only one album they did something very bizarre and released their second album which was basically a faux live performance where they recorded it in the studio but presented it as if it were in front of an audience like perhaps in Brighton Beach! They went so far as to add crowd noises and interact with fake audience members and even stop the venue because of a bomb threat. This is all the doings of Peter Steele the crazed vocalist, bassist and lyricist who had a knack for rubbing everyone the wrong way and he succeeds again with THE ORIGIN OF FECES, which admittedly is a clever play of words on Charles Darwin’s “Origin Of Species” and to top it off the original album cover donned Steele’s anal sphincter. Luckily i picked up the remastered version that has the much better green skeletons dancing, in fact it is a painting by Michael Wolgemut called “The Dance Of Death” from 1493.

Many of the tracks were on their debut album “Slow, Deep And Hard” but here have been deliberately renamed, i guess to fuck with out minds or something.

- "Unsuccessfully Coping With the Natural Beauty of Infidelity" is renamed "I Know You're Fucking Someone Else" - "Gravitational Constant: G = 6.67 x 10-8 cm-3 gm-1 sec-2" is renamed "Gravity" - "Prelude to Agony" is renamed "Pain" "Xero Tolerance" is renamed "Kill You Tonight"

Ugh. What can i say about this one? I can’t say i really like it. All the smoothness of the band’s studio albums is missing here and this does indeed sound like a live recording and that’s part of the problem right there for me. I tend not to like live recordings unless they are absolutely spectacular and this i’m afraid is not. It sounds more like a punk band most of the time and the gothic touches are not as strong as i would like. I really don’t find the material here extremely interesting either. The songs are fairly generic and Peter Steele comes off as a drunken buffoon who lives in his own universe. I have to admit that the whole is a laugh the first time around but i don’t find this one to have much staying power. On the newer copy there is an excellent gothic doom version of “Paranoid” by Sabbath and it only rubs it in how un

THE HOUSE OF CAPRICORN Morning Star Rise

Album · 2014 · Gothic Metal
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UMUR
"Morning Star Rise" is the 3rd full-length studio album by New Zealand doom/goth metal act The House of Capricorn. The album was released through Svart Records in November 2014. It´s been some years since the release of "In the Devil's Days (2011)", but The House of Capricorn makes a welcome return with "Morning Star Rise".

The band have obviously developed their core musical direction on "Morning Star Rise" and also honed their skills in the process. The strong and quite dominant Type O Negative influence which graced "In the Devil's Days (2011)" has been toned down considerably. Actually to a point where it´s only the 9:32 minutes long closing track "Dragon of Revelations", which features that particular influence. The band´s doom metal leanings have also been toned down and while there are certainly heavy beats and riffing enough on the album so satisfy listener´s with a preference for that, it´s only "Ashlands" and the above mentioned "Dragon of Revelations" that can be labelled doom metal. The remaining part of the album is closer to the gothic/doom rock style of Babylon Whores, which means a hard edged "black leather jacket/shades" type of gothic metal style, and not the more soft eyeliner type goth metal. In other words this is pretty badass occult themed (check out song titles like "The Road to Hell is Marked" or "In the Light of Lucifer") gothic metal with an attitude. Sisters of Mercy is of course also a valid reference.

There´s a dark rock´n´roll atmosphere to the album, which is created by a generally energetic pace (except on the two doomy tracks on the album, which are both slow and epic in nature), hard rocking riffing, rock´n´roll style guitar solos, and an attitude filled vocal performance by Marko Pavlovic. It´s not that this style is completely new to The House of Capricorn, as they´ve explored it some on their first two releases, but they´ve really embraced it fully on "Morning Star Rise". The two doomy tracks, which in this respect, are the odd ones out, still fit with the overall musical concept though and they are great for the variation and flow of the album.

The band are well playing and the vocals are delivered with both passion and conviction, and they are relatively varied too, which often provides the music with an extra dimension. "Morning Star Rise" also features a strong, powerful, and organic sounding production, which suits the music well, so upon conclusion it´s quite an entertaining quality release by The House of Capricorn and definitely their most memorable album so far. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

LACUNA COIL Unleashed Memories

Album · 2001 · Gothic Metal
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siLLy puPPy
LACUNA COIL continued their transition started on the EP “Halflife.” The band have always delivered their own brand of melodic Gothic metal with particular emphasis on Cristina Scabbia's sweet sensual vocals however on the male vocal side Andrea Ferro who delivered more death metal growls on previous works doesn't do as much here thus leading the band into a more accessible sound that would propel them into one of the more popular and commercially successful bands under the Goth metal world. The emphasis on UNLEASHED MEMORIES is purely on the mid-tempo melodic developments that pretty much lend support to the vocals, mostly of Cristina alone.

Personally I don't find this direction as satisfying as that which came before. Although I cannot claim that I really dislike any of the tracks on this album, I feel there are too many that simply run together without really distinguishing themselves from the others. Too much mid-tempo and not enough surprises. I find the first few tracks to be fairly uninspiring and for me the album starts to pick up on the second half of the album beginning with 1:19 when we get some beefier guitar riffs and something a little different including the “Beauty and Beast” effect more common on earlier albums. Overall not a bad album but not enough truly killer cuts for me to get super excited about as well.

LACUNA COIL Halflife

EP · 2000 · Gothic Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Following a pattern of releasing EP then full album LACUNA COIL put out their third release HALFLIFE as an EP. This five song lovely still utilizes the “Beauty And The Beast” affect from their previous work but this is also a transitional album that sees Andrea Ferro belting out clean vocals as well which would lead the band down a more mainstream path that would result as one of the more successful bands lumped into the Gothic metal camp although I don't find this to sound very Goth at all as it seems more symphonic with some death metal parts and still leans somewhat in a slightly progressive direction.

HALFLIFE is also the debut of guitarist Marco Biazzi who would become a key member in the classic lineup. This EP was originally only released in their native Italy but is available as bonus tracks elsewhere on the following album “Unleashed Memories.” I like the sound of Lacuna Coil in general but they seem to have a lot of tracks that sound too similar for my tastes but on this short little beauty there is some diverse elements that make it a really good listen. I love the guitar tones and the ranges between the alternating female and male vocals. Basically I find a lot of mid-tempo music to lack a bite that really excites me but this one seems to for whatever reason!

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