This is a article we picked up by Peek-a-Boo Music Magazine—because at the offices of KICK*ASS*METAL the albums
The Sweetest Condition “Edge of The World” and the Sweetest Condition “We Defy Oblivion”  are albums in our top 100 albums of all-time stack, and the way it looks these albums in our opinion, are just 2 of the greatest albums of all-time. And this article is here for posterity. Meaning this is a educational article….and here for future generation of World-Class Music fans to enjoy !!!
Make no mistake KICK*ASS*METAL is a Gothic Metal/Avant-Garde AGE publication, and consider this page as a Gothic Metal publication, based on the Keyboard/Synthesizer/Industrial/ Symphonic side of things and Jason Reed Milner is a top 10 keyboard player of this era and perhaps of all-time…  KICK*ASS*METAL is specialized press for the GOLDEN AGE OF TRUE NORWEGIAN GOTHIC METAL — January 1st 1993  to June 2th, 2004. The Sweetest Condition belongs in these pages, and they hail from Nashville, Tennessee…!!!!    

In our series Peek-a-Boo Music Magazine asked Leslie Irene Benson of the very fine synth act The Sweetest Condition to name those ten records that changed her life…

When selecting my top 10 favorite albums of all time, I had to travel down memory lane a bit and examine the most pivotal moments in my life and the music that influenced those moments. What albums had a lasting effect on me? Which ones spent the most time on rotation on my stereo over the years? Which ones did I find essential to helping make me who I am today?
To say that most of my favorite albums fall under the umbrella of goth-industrial music is a lie. I’d say it’s about 50/50. Of course I grew up listening to the classics—Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy and The Cure—but I also appreciate artists from other music genres that have shaped me, as well. Some of my major influences include David Bowie, Joan Baez, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Blondie, Billy Idol, Lou Reed, The Doors, Michael Jackson, and the list goes on. But for this article, I’m going to focus on some of the albums in particular that have stood the test of time. So in no particular order, here it goes.

DEPECHE MODE – Songs of Faith and Devotion
I have a strange addiction to Depeche Mode, hence my band’s namesake (The Sweetest Condition). Depeche Mode’s dichotomy between spirituality and sexuality formed the basis for my own musical journey. Each time I listen to Depeche Mode, I learn something new about myself. There are mysterious layers of infinite wisdom inside the lyrics and that low sultry croon from Dave Gahan, while Martin Gore’s exotic, quiet presence and genius touches each note. Songs like One Caress and Higher Love are a part of me, like gospel to all the fucked up relationships I’ve endured. I could list almost every Depeche Mode album as a favorite here (Violator is a close second), but this is the one I keep coming back to—the one I was first introduced to and fell in love with so many years ago.

NINE INCH NAILS- Pretty Hate Machine + The Downward Spiral
When I was a teenager, I discovered Nine Inch Nails. To be honest, his music videos scared me a little, but I was also deeply intrigued. Trent Reznor’s violent, rough, sweaty thrashing movements and his in-your-face messages were like a siren song. (I’ve had a thing for long dark hair ever since.) Head Like a Hole and Closer became anthems I’d secretly sing when my parents weren’t paying attention. And an underappreciated track is the instrumental A Warm Place. It reminds me of my first love. I lost him to suicide in 2011.

SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES- Through the Looking Glass
The Passenger, originally written by Iggy Pop, was always my favorite song from this album by the iconic voice of the post-punk generation. Siouxsie’s unique inflection and catchy, rhythmic style always appealed to me. I was also in awe of her cover of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit from 1939, a highly controversial and emotional song about prejudice and hate crimes. Siouxsie is a strong musician, but she also shows her fearlessness by tackling tough subjects. On a lighter note, she also made gothic fashion glamorous. Her Cleopatra eyes are still highly recognizable and replicated. I know, I’ve tried!

BAUHAUS- 1979-1983 Volume One
I began listening to Bauhaus a few years before Columbine gave kids wearing trench coats and combat boots a bad name. Back then, my friends and I were just trying to find ourselves. We felt empowered by the dark beauty of Peter Murphy’s haunting voice and complex, poetic lyrics. Songs like Hollow Hills, The Passion of Lovers and Silent Hedges gave me goosebumps. The music has stayed with me for two decades. A few months ago, I met my hero face to face during his Stripped-tour. Peter was a complete gentleman. And to me, he will always be music royalty.

Back when friends traded mix tapes and CDs to share new music, I borrowed a copy of Serpentine Gallery and found a new sound I had never known was missing in my life. I listened to the album for many months. It was brilliant. Moody, dark and feminine… It embodied everything I was feeling at the time. I especially loved Dissolve. The haunting vocals and symphonic-industrial tone stuck with me. It’s a great listen even 20 years later, so much so that I recently picked up a copy of the limited edition vinyl, still available on Cleopatra Records.

There are so many great albums by The Birthday Massacre, but the high-quality production of Hide and Seek makes it an essential one. It’s an album I play on all road trips. I love the aggressiveness of songs like Down married with the danceable 80’s feel of Calling. Other personal favorites are Leaving Tonight, Playing with Fire and Need. Chibi, in fact, had a huge influence on The Sweetest Condition’s debut album, Edge of the World. I invoked her dark playfulness on a few songs, including Control and Without You. I also thought of Chibi when I recorded the callbacks on Nein Nein Nein, a song from our upcoming second album We Defy Oblivion which will be released on Bandcamp later this year.

SHINY TOY GUNS – We Are Pilots” (2006)
Although Shiny Toy Guns wouldn’t necessarily consider themselves synthpop, they were definitely my first introduction to the genre. Packed with synth-infused, danceable, upbeat songs led by dual male-female singers, We Are Pilots is full of earworms. You Are the One and Don’t Cry Out are the ultimate love songs, and Le Disko is a guilty pleasure. I saw Shiny Toy Guns perform the album live when I worked as the music editor of NUVO Newsweekly in Indianapolis, Indiana. They gave a great interview, and I grew to respect the band for growing from the grassroots level. Their music is brilliantly catchy, and they care about their fans. Carah Faye is another hero of mine. She is a powerhouse on stage and such an inspiration.

OVER THE RHINE – Films for Radio
I entered the music realm teaching myself how to play guitar at age 15. So as an early singer-songwriter, I felt a connection with alt-folk artists. The classics like Joan Baez gave me a sense of the importance of storytelling and melody, and having grown up in Ohio, I felt a kinship with an up-and-coming duo in my own backyard, Over the Rhine, from Cincinnati. Performing bluesy, tenderhearted Americana, the angelic vocals of Karin Bergquist and the magic melodies by pianist and wordsmith Linford Detweiler drew me in for a lifelong love affair with their music. Their songs are carefully crafted like poetry or fine wine. I’ve been a loyal fan of Over the Rhine since the first time I heard Good Dog Bad Dog from 1996. But Films for Radio includes my favorites: The World Can Wait, If Nothing Else, Give Me Strength and When I Go. More than 10 albums later, I’m still giddy every time I hear them. They recently played an intimate show at the Franklin Theatre near Nashville, Tennessee. I sat at a table in the front row, soaking up their stories and laughter. It was like being at a family reunion. These songwriters are simply some of the most talented alt-folk musicians alive today. Hands down.


MURDER BY DEATH – Who Will Survive and What Will Become of Them?
Coming from a background in creative writing, I deeply appreciate the way words can give greater depth to music. So when I found Murder By Death, an indie band from Bloomington, Indiana, with a frontman that reminded me of a hipster Elvis (in a good way) and a perfectly gloomy female cellist, Sarah Balliet, I was hooked. This concept album, in particular, has a unique lo-fi, Western-tinged feel that tells a story of man versus evil. Take it as you may. Listen to the lyrics by Adam Turla on The Devil in Mexico: “It’s so fucking cold in here since you brought in the snow.” Turla has said the album is meant to evoke the “feeling of sitting around telling ghost stories.” At the time, he was a religious studies major, so he “tied in a lot of weird religious stuff.” That’s probably why it speaks to me so much. “Someone say a Hail Mary for this house. Bless the corners, and burn the devil out.” I love songs about sin, salvation and sex … Anyone else sensing a theme here?

THE CRANBERRIES – Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? + No Need to Argue
As many Gen X-ers, my introduction to Irish alt-rock band The Cranberries was through their first hit, “Linger,” on MTV. Dolores O’Riordan has since become my favorite female vocalist of all time. I have a soft spot for songs like Dreams, Wanted, I Will Always and Empty. But Zombie is my all-time anthem (and my go-to on karaoke night). When I was an angtsy pre-teen, I listened to The Cranberries on my walkman and sat in the shade under my favorite tree daydreaming, thinking of the future and trying to overcome all my childhood fears. I played these albums back to back for years. The Cranberries helped me survive adolescence. I owe them a lot. Thanks guys!


For this list, I left out a lot more albums that changed my life. It was a difficult process to try to narrow it down to just 10 albums. So much good music has affected me in indescribable ways. For instance, VNV Nation and Covenant were there for me during my wilder college years, but those are tales for another time. Thanks for reading, and thanks for listening.

Didier BECU
December 1oth, 2016


Leslie Irene Benson * The Sweetet Condition — has a few videos which are favorite over @ the KICK*ASS*METAL offices

THE BELOW top 100 Gothic Metal/ Gothic Release is from a previous KICK*ASS*METAL article found else where with-in this fanzine…and these top 100 list vary from Publication to Publication, so we recommend everyone read as many articles for your personal on-target personal taste publications as your can…!! For every 2 classic albums there is always a 3rd albums that is a companion piece to the other 2, so if you look hard enough you will find it…this top 100 list is from KICK*ASS*METAL Gothic Metal experts….ie true fans of the genre…!!! The Sweetest Condition, on this list is in the S section since this list is alphabetical




….GOTHIC adjective noting or pertaining to a music style characterized by a gloomy unsettling setting, grotesque, mysterious, or violent events, and an ominous atmosphere of degeneration and decay….

As  Divine  Grace  • Lumo

As Divine Grace  •  Supremature

Artrosis •  Fetish

Avatarium • Avatarium

Avataruim • The Girl With The Raven Mask

Babylon Whores  • Cold Heaven

Babylon Whores  • King Fear

Babylon Whores   • Death of The West

Beseech •  … from A Bleeding Heart

Beseeh   • Black Emotions

The Birthday Massacre • …all releases…

Beyond Dawn (NORWAY)  • Pity Love

Blues Pills • Blues Pills

Blues Pills • Lady In Gold



The Bronx Casket Co. • The Bronx Casket Co.

The Bronx Casket Co. Sweet • Home Transylvania




Cadaveria  • Horror Metal

Celtic Frost  • Into the Pandemonium

Christian Death  • Atrocities

Christian Death  • Sex & Drugs & Jesus Christ

Christian Death  • American Inquisition

Cradle of Filth •  The Principle of Evil Made Flesh

Cradle of Filth  • Dusk… and Her Embrace

Cradle of Filth  • Cruelty and the Beast

Cradle of Filth  • Midian

Cradle of Filth  • Damnation and a Day

Cradle of Filth  • Nymphetamine

Cradle of Filth  • Thornography

Cradle of Filth  • Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder

Cradle of Filth  • Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa

Cradle of Filh  • The Manticore and Other Horrors

Crest of Darkness  •The Ogress

Crest of Darkness  • Project Regeneration

Crest of Darkness  • Evil Knows Evil

Crest of Darkness  • Give Us The Power To Your Evil

Coven  • Witchcraft Reaps Souls and Destroys Mind


Coven  • Jinx

Covenant  • Nexus Polaris



Darkseed  • Give Me Light

Darkseed  • Diving Into Darkness

Dead  Can Dance  • Dead Can  Dance

Death Penalty • Death Penalty82′








Devilment • The Great And Secret Show

Devilment  • II The Mephisto Waltzes

Dimmu Borgir   • Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia

Dimmu Borgir • Death Cult Armageddon

Dismal Euphony  • All Little Devils

Dismal Euphony   • Lady Ablaze







Dismal Euphony  • Python Zero

Dreadful Shadows  • Estrangement

Dreadful Shadows  • Buried Again

Dreadful Shadows  • Beyond The Maze

Dreadful Shadows  • The Cycle

Elusive  • Destination Zero

Elis  •  Gods Silence, Devils Temptation


Elis •  Dark Clouds In A Perfect Sky

The Empire Hideous • Only Time Will Tell

Evereve •  Seasons

Evereve  • Stormbirds



The Fields of Nephilim  • Elizium

The Fields of Nephilim  • Fallen


Garden of Delight (deutsche)  • ENKL’s Temple

Garden of Delight (deutsche)  • Epitaph

Garden of Delight (deutsche)  • Sargonid Seal

Garden of Delight (deutsche)  • Necromanteion IV

Garden of Delight (deutsche)  • Symbol And Vision

Garden of Delight (deutsche)  • Scheoul

Garden of Delight (deutsche)  • Paradise

The Gathering •  Mandylion

The Gathering • Nighttime Birds


The Gathering  • In Motion DVD

Graveworm • Engraved In Black

Hazel Und Gretyl •…all releases…





Ides of Gemini  • Old World New Wave


 Jack•Off •Jill    • Clear Hearts Grey Flowers






Kreator (GERMANY)  • Endorama


….yes this Kreator released one of the GREATEST GOTHIC METAL ALBUMS OF ALL-TIME….




Lacrimas Profundere  • Memorandum

Lacrimas Profundere  • Burning : A Wish

Lacroisma •  Inferno


Love Like Blood * Exposure

Love Like Blood * SnakeKiller

Lucifer • Lucifer I


Lucyfire * This  Dollar Saved My Life At Whitehorse

Lutherion * Kosmogensis



Marilyn Manson  • Anti-Christ Superstar

Mercyful Fate Melissa

Mercyful Fate Don’t Break The Oath

Macbeth * Vanitas

Moonspell Irreligious



Nefilim  • Zoon

NFD  • No Lost Love

NFD  • Dead Pool Rising

NFD  • Deeper Vision

Notre Dame • Coming Soon to a Théatre Near You!!!

Notre Dame • Vol 1 Le Théâtre du Vampire

Notre Dame  • Nightmare Before Christmas

Notre Dame  • Demi Monde Bizarros


One-Eyed Doll  • Witches




Paradise Lost   • Gothic

Paradise Lost   • Draconian Times


Riti Occulti  • Riti Occulti

Riti Occulti •  Secta

Riti Occulti • Elenor Rigby




Riti Occulti • Tetragrammaton

Savn  • Savn




Secret Discovery * Philarmonic Diseases

Secret Discovery * Slave

Scream Silence * To Die For

Scream Silence * The 2nd

The Sweetest Condition   • Edge of the World

The Sweetest Condition   • We Defy Oblivion



Theatre of Tragedy * Theatre of Tragedy

Theatre of Tragedy * Velvet Darkness They Fear





Theatre of Tragedy * Aégis

Theatre of Tragedy * Storm

Theatre of Tragedy * Forever is The World


Theatre of Tragedy •  Last Curtain Call DVD

Theatres Des Vampires of Night Breed of Macabria

Theatres Des Vampires • Candyland

Tiamat * Wildhoney

Tiamat * A Deeper Kind of Slumber

Tiamat * Prey

Tiamat * Judas Christ

Tiamat * Skeleton Skeletron

Tristania * Widow’s Weeds

Tristania * Beyond The Veil

Tristania * World of Glass

Tristania * Ashes

Tristania * Illumination

Tristania * Rubicon


Tristania * Darkest White

Type o Negative • ….all releases…..







Pale Forest * Exit Mould

Paradise Lost * Gothic

Paradise Lost * Shades of God

Paradise Lost * Gothic

Paradise Lost * Draconian Times

Paradise Lost * One Seconds



Yearning * With Tragedies Adorned

Yearning * Plaintive Scenes

Yearning * Frore Meadow

Yearning * Evershade

Yearing * Merging Into Landscapes

The Vision Bleak * The Deathship Has A New Captain

The Vision Bleak * Carpathia * A Dramatic Poem

The Vision Bleak * The Wolves Go Hunt Their Prey

The Vision Bleak * Set Sail To Mystery

The Vision Bleak * The Witching Hour

Zeraphine * Kalte Sonne

Zeraphine *Traumaworld

Zeraphine * Blind Camera

Zeraphine * Still

Zeraphine * Whiteout


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…”    








……………….IN GOTH WE TRUST……………………..

……………ONLY GOTHIC IS REAL……………………..