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

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
4.54 | 13 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
4.29 | 14 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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LACUNA COIL Unleashed Memories Album Cover Unleashed Memories
LACUNA COIL
4.25 | 12 ratings
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LACUNA COIL Halflife Album Cover Halflife
LACUNA COIL
4.46 | 4 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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SEIGMEN Total Album Cover Total
SEIGMEN
4.40 | 4 ratings
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THE SINS OF THY BELOVED Lake of Sorrow Album Cover Lake of Sorrow
THE SINS OF THY BELOVED
4.28 | 6 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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gothic metal Music Reviews

THE GATHERING Mandylion

Album · 1995 · Gothic Metal
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UMUR
"Mandylion" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Dutch doom/goth metal act The Gathering. The album was released through Century Media Records in August 1995. There´s been a very important change in the lineup since the release of The Gathering´s second full-length studio album "Almost A Dance (1993)" as male lead vocalist Niels Duffhues has been replaced by female lead vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen. This would have a major impact on the band´s future sound and consequently also on their popularity. The addition of Anneke van Giersbergen to the lineup meant that The Gathering suddenly sounded very original for the time. You won´t find many doom/death metal releases from 1995 featuring a female lead vocalist. For the most part female vocals were used for effect by the band´s contemporaries, and only in short sections or on specific tracks on an album. So instead of being reduced to a footnote in the history of the early nineties doom/death metal scene, forever being overshadowed by acts such as Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, The Gathering branched out and tried something different. And they succeeded.

The instrumental part of the music on "Mandylion" has changed quite a bit since "Almost A Dance (1993)" too and has become much more accessible, memorable and melodic. Anneke van Giersbergen´s distinct, powerful and emotional vocal style brings a much needed improvement to the sound of the The Gathering. She is arguably one of the most unique sounding female vocalists in metal. The music is heavy and doomy at times but always with melodic vocal lines and dominant melodic keyboards courtesy of the very skilled keyboard player Frank Boeijen. The song structures are fairly simple for the most part, but the band almost always have a little section or detail up their sleeve to spice things up.

The sound production is grand and suits the music well, the musicianship are on a high level, and the songwriting is memorable, so all in all "Mandylion" is a quality release. The first part of the album with tracks like "Strange Machines", "Eléanor" and "In Motion #1", is especially strong, while the last part of the album is slightly less interesting, but still entertaining. Overall a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating isn´t all wrong.

ARKAN Sofia

Album · 2014 · Gothic Metal
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J-Man
With their 2011 observation entitled Salam, French metal act Arkan impressed me with their ability to follow many melodic death metal conventions, while still incorporating a Middle Eastern flair that is largely unheard of in this genre. The result was an album that felt familiar enough to instantly click with its listener, but also broke enough rules to leave a lasting impression. 2014's Sofia, the band's third full-length, follows down the same path of its predecessor, though I would argue that Arkan sounds even more unique this time around.

Like Salam, Sofia's main selling point is its Middle Eastern-influenced approach to metal, and although other acts like Orphaned Land and Myrath have similar gimmicks, Arkan sounds unique even when placed next to their stylistic brethren. Sofia is also perhaps the band's most adventurous album to date - the melodic death metal part of the band's sound only sparsely appears here, and it seems as though the band is now playing a Middle Eastern-inspired brand of gothic metal, rather than melodeath. Death growls are used sparingly, and the focal point here is the distinct and angelic performance of vocalist Sarah Layssac. Consequently, Sofia lacks some of the "bite" that impressed me on Salam, but it is also the band's most mature and stylistically consistent album to date.

Whether you enjoy Sofia more or less than Arkan's previous outings ultimately depends on your preferences. If you are a gothic metal fan looking for a unique foray into the genre, Sofia will undoubtedly impress you, but if you (like me) were more into the band's melodeath-focused tracks, this may leave you a bit unsatisfied. Regardless of your preferences, however, there's no doubt that this is a well-performed, well-produced, and extremely catchy album from Arkan. Recommended!

LACRIMOSA Stille

Album · 1997 · Gothic Metal
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Warthur
I always find Lacrimosa's albums a decidedly hit-or-miss proposition, and Stille is a perfect example of this; coming out a couple of years after Inferno, which perhaps is my favourite Lacrimosa release, I find that it adopts a grandiose pomposity not justified by the gravitas of the music offered. The vocals present don't quite attain the operatic quality they're groping towards, the classical and metal influences are both drab and fail to grab the listener's attention, and on the whole the music seems sparse and minimalistic where it really cries out to be rich, lush and baroque. In short, it seems to consistently fall short of the standard it sets for itself.

MIRZADEH Desired Mythic Pride

Album · 2014 · Gothic Metal
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Time Signature
Symphonic visions of madness...

Genre: symphonic Gothic metal / melodic black metal

Formed in 2000, the Finnish act Mirzadeh probably qualify as veterans now. Desired Mythic Pride is their third full-length effort, and they also have a number of underground releases under their belt. Desired Mythic Pride lyrically deals with life and reality (and myth) of ancient Finland, which is definitely a concept that is intriguing in its own right.

Musically, the album falls somewhere between melodic black metal, Gothic metal, and symphonic metal. The record is teeming with melody, and virtually every song contains layers of keyboards on top of the more traditional metal instrumentation, and this adds a symphonic and epic effect which definitely suits the lyrical theme of the album. While there are elements of black metal in the form of some well-timed blastbeat-and-tremolo sections, the music on Desired Mythic Pride - bar the symphonic element – actually has more in common with dark power metal than both black metal and "standard" Gothic metal. A good example of this is 'Myrkkymieli'. In fact, the primary black metal aspect of this album is Mirox's screechy vocals. The album is neatly concluded with 'Rise with Norther Witchcraft', which pretty much summarizes all the stylistic elements on the album.

The production is crisp and pristine, as it should be. A kvlt lo-fi production simply would not suit this kind of music. The musicianship is also quite impressive in terms of its tightness and precision. As mentioned Mirox provides your typical harsh black metal screeched, and these are combined with growls and clean singing. I really like his clean singing voice, which reminds me of a more powerful version of a Danish singer-songwriter called C.V. Jørgensen.

Despite all its attractive points, this album is, at the end of the day, not quite my cup of tea. I acknowledge Mirzadeh's impeccable musicianship and songwriting skills, but the epic and symphonic elements just do not work for me, and I can think of artists, such as Dimmu Borgir, and Carach Angren, that are much more successful at combining black metal and Gothic metal with the symphonic approach. I think that this album would probably have been more up my alley, had the keyboards been completely absent and had Mirox stuck to his clean singing voice.

Still, if you like melodic black metal and Gothic metal with epic and symphonic elements, then I definitely recommend that you give Desired Mythic Pride a listen; it does have a lot of good things to offer, and the competent musicianship and professionalism of Mirzadeh cannot be overestimated.

(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)

DARKSEED Diving Into Darkness

Album · 2000 · Gothic Metal
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Warthur
Taking their death-tinged gothic metal style into a somewhat more cybernetic and spacey direction (thanks, in no small part, to Stefan Hertrich's electronic contributions), Darkseed when they recorded this album were reduced to a trimmed-down lineup of Hertrich and two guitarists (with former member Willi Wurm providing drums here solely in a guest capacity), but this first album since the departure of their longterm bassist Rico Galvagno is sufficiently successful that it's no surprise that the group put out a few more albums with this trimmed-down lineup before fleshing their numbers out again in the mid-2000s. Gothic metal fans who like a little sci-fi with their eyeliner may enjoy this one.

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