Gothic metal

Gothic metal

Infobox Music genre
name =Gothic metal
bgcolor =#BB0022
color =white
stylistic_origins =Death/doom
Gothic rock
cultural_origins =Early 1990s, Europe
instruments =Vocals - Electric guitar - Bass guitar - Drums - Keyboards
popularity =Europe since the late 1990s
derivatives =
subgenrelist =
subgenres =
regional_scenes =England, Finland, Norway,
Germany, Italy, The Netherlands
other_topics =List of gothic metal bands

Gothic metal or goth metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music. In some instances it combines the aggression of heavy metal with the dark melancholy aesthetics 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, My Dying Bride and Anathema, all from the north of England. Other pioneers from the first half of the 1990s include Type O Negative from the United States, Tiamat from Sweden, Sepolcrum [cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=Sepolcrum |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-08-19] from Italy, 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, Nightwish, and Evanescence have found commercial success.


Gothic is a term that is "difficult to pin down". [Baddeley 2002, p. 9] Some commentators have suggested that there is an underlying Goth ideology, mindset or a set of common values but there is "little agreement about precisely what this might involve". [Punter 2004, pp. 61–2] The author Gavin Baddeley describes the gothic aesthetic in the following way.

The term gothic entered heavy metal music with the release of Paradise Lost's "Gothic" album in 1991.cite web |author=Köninger, Rainer & Melzer, Alex |title=Do You Speak Metal? |url= |publisher=The Metal Observer |accessdate=2008-05-06] Since then, fans have often been at odds with one another as to "which bands are, or most definitely are "not", authentically Gothic". [Baddeley 2002, p. 271] Some musicians have disputed that their bands should be labelled gothic metal, including Rozz Williams of Christian Death, Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish [cite web |author=Hall of Metal |title=Interview with Tuomas Holopainen and Anette Olzon of Nightwish |url= | |accessdate=2008-03-16] (although Marco Hietala concurs with the gothic metal description [] ), and groups such as After Forever [cite web |author=McCormack, John |title=Interview with Joost Van Den Broeck of After Forever |url= |accessdate=2008-05-07
] and HIM [cite web |author=Haack, Melanie |title=Interview with Ville Valo of HIM |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-07] .



The music of gothic metal is generally characterised by its dark atmosphere. [cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title=Gothic Metal Artists |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-06] The adjective "dark" is commonly used to describe gothic music in general while other terms that are less frequently used include deep, depressing, romantic, passionate and intense. [Gunn 2007, p. 44] Gothic metal has also been described as "a combination of the darkness and melancholy of goth rock with heavy metal".cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title=What Is Heavy Metal? | |url= |accessdate=2008-05-06] All Music Guide defines the genre as a fusion of "the bleak, icy atmospherics of goth rock with the loud guitars and aggression of heavy metal" and further notes that "true goth metal is always directly influenced by goth rock - ethereal synths and spooky textures are just as important as guitar riffs, if not moreso".

Gothic metal is a varied genre with bands pursuing many different directions, from "slow and crushing variations" to "orchestral and bombastic". The doom metal background of early pioneers like Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride has been taken up by groups like Artrosis, [cite web |author=Arancio, Dennis |title="In the Flowers Shade" Review |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-06] Ava Inferi [cite web |author=van der Wal, Kim |title="The Silhouette" Review |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-06] and Draconian. [cite web |author=Fox, Erin |title=Interview with Anders Jacobsson of Draconian |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-06] The black metal approach of Cradle of Filth, Theatres des Vampires [cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=Theatres Des Vampires |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-08-19] and early Moonspell can be found in such subsequent bands as Graveworm, [cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=Graveworm |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-19] Drastique [cite web |author=Melzer, Alexander |title="Pleasureligion" review |url= |publisher=The Metal Observer |accessdate=2008-04-19] and Samsas Traum [cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=Samsas Traum |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-19] while the symphonic metal approach of Tristania and Within Temptation can be found in other groups like the Epica and After Forever. Other variations include the death metal of Trail of Tears, [cite web |author=Melzer, Alexander |title="Existentia" review |url= |publisher=The Metal Observer |accessdate=2008-06-05] the folk metal of Midnattsol [cite web |author=Melzer, Alexander |title="Where Twilight Dwells" review |url= |publisher=The Metal Observer |accessdate=2008-06-05] and the alternative metal of Katatonia. [cite web |author=Melzer, Alexander |title="Ghosts Of The Sun" review |url= |publisher=The Metal Observer |accessdate=2008-06-05]


There is also a diverse range of vocal styles in gothic metal. Male singers in the genre range from the guttural growls and black metal shrieks of Dani Filth and Morten Veland to the clean counter-tenor vocals of Østen Bergøy and the bass range of Peter Steele. For the female singers, the different vocal styles includes the screams and growls of Cadaveria, [cite web |author=Chamberland, Mathieu |title=Interview with Cadaveria of Cadaveria |url= |publisher=The Metal Observer |accessdate=2008-05-07] the "poppy" vocals of Tanja Lainio from Lullacry [cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title= "Vol. 4" Review |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-07] and the operatic soprano style of Vibeke Stene from Tristania. There are more female singers in gothic metal than there are in any other heavy metal subgenres but female vocals are neither necessary nor synonymous with the genre. Liv Kristine of Theatre of Tragedy and Leaves' Eyes notes that the gothic tag is often misinterpreted and points out that "not every band with female vocals is a gothic band". The genre is also known to attract more female fans relative to other subgenres of heavy metal music. [Kahn Harris 2007, p. 71]


The lyrics of gothic metal are known to be "epic and melodramatic". For the three English bands that helped to pioneer the genre, their sorrowful and depressive lyrics reflect their background in doom metal. [cite web |title=Doom Metal |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] The music of My Dying Bride has been noted as "dripping with treachery and pain" from a "lyrical fascination with deceit and transgressions of every variety". [cite web |author=Jeffries, Vincent |title="Turn Loose the Swans" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] Lyrics that focus on suicide and the meaningless of life can be found in Anathema while Paradise Lost too has "never lost their depressive edge". [cite web |author=Blackie, Andrew |title=PopMatters |url= |publisher=PopMatters |accessdate=2008-05-07]

Gothic fiction, a literary genre that blends horror and romance, has been a source of inspiration for the lyrics of many gothic metal bands like Cadaveria, [cite web |author=Harper, Rick |url= |title=Interview with Cadaveria of Cadaveria | |accessdate=2008-05-07] Cradle of Filth, [cite web |author=Lee, David |title=Interview with Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth |url= | |accessdate=2008-06-10] Moonspell, [cite web |author=Rivadavia, Eduardo |title="Memorial" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-06-10] , Theatres des Vampires [cite web |author=Borgioli-Jones, David |title=Interview with Sonya Scarlet of Theatres des Vampires |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-06-10] and Xandria. [cite web |author=Wolff, John |title=Interview with Lisa Schaphaus of Xandria | |url= |accessdate=2008-06-10] Critic Ed Rivadavia of the All Music Guide identifies drama and mournful beauty as requisite elements of the genre. For My Dying Bride, the subjects of "death and misery and lost love and romance" has been approached repeatedly from different angles. [cite web |author=Stefanis, John |title=Interview with Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-07] The common gothic theme of lost love [Kilpatrick 2004, p. 208] is a subject that has been tackled by such gothic metal bands as Theatre of Tragedy [cite web |author=Rozz |title=Interview with Lorentz Aspen of Theatre of Tragedy
url= | |accessdate=2008-05-07
] and Leaves' Eyes. [cite web |author=Seaver, Morley |title=Interview with Liv Kristine of Leaves' Eyes | |url= |accessdate=2008-05-07]

Lyrics based on personal experiences is another common feature of many gothic metal bands such as Anathema, [cite web |author=Pedro Azevedo |title=Interview with Vincent Kavanagh of Anathema |url= |publisher=Chronicles of Chaos |accessdate=2008-05-07] Elis, [cite web |author=Dunphy, John |title=Interview with Sabine Duenser of Elis |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-07] Tiamat, [cite web |title=Interview with Johan Edlund, Anders Iwers and Fredrik Åkesson of Tiamat |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-07] Midnattsolcite web |author=Fisher, Mark |title=Interview with Carmen Espanaes of Midnattsol |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-07] and The Old Dead Tree. [cite web |author=Matthijssens, Vera |title=Interview with Manuel Mundoz of The Old Dead Tree | |url= |accessdate=2008-05-07] Graveworm moved away from fantasy stories in favor of personal lyrics after finding them more suitable for their style of music. [cite web |author=Van Berlo, Boris |title=Interview with Stefan Fiori of Graveworm
url= | |accessdate=2008-05-07
] The lyrics of fellow Italians Lacuna Coil also do not feature any "fantasy stuff or something that you cannot find in reality" as their co-vocalist Cristina Scabbia finds it desirable that people can relate themselves to her band's lyrics. [cite web |author=Wolff, John |title=Interview with Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil | |url= |accessdate=2008-05-07] Similarly, the band Lullacry features lyrics on the subjects of "love, hate, passion and pain" because a person "can easily connect to a song" with lyrics "about human relationships". [cite web |author=Elliot, R. W. |title=Interview with Tanja Lainio of Lullacry | |url= |accessdate=2008-05-07]



Heavy metal

Heavy metal music is perceived by many members of the goth subculture as the "crass, crude macho antithesis of everything that their music represents".Baddeley 2002, pp. 263–4] In contrast to the "softer" and "more feminine" character of gothic music, the heavy metal genre is typically associated with aggression, sexism and masculinity. [Punter 2004, p. 61] Despite this difference, "a few bold souls have identified Black Sabbath’s eponymous 1970 debut album as the first ever 'Goth-rock' record". The author Gavin Baddeley notes that the title track of the album "describes a satanic rite, complete with driving-rain and tolling bell sound effects, while the cover focuses on a black-cloaked, spectral-looking girl in a graveyard, shot through a sickly pale ochre filter". Other commentators have described Black Sabbath as the "absolute prototype gothic heavies" [Hoskyns 2004, p. 69] and observed that by separating the band's music "from their heavy metallic connotations", one "could cull a killer Goth album from their first five LP's, with every future reference point and requirement intact". [Thompson 1994]

The "vaguely medieval, minor-key sounds" of Rainbow, Dio and Judas Priest has also been described as "gothic" prior to "the emergence of goth rock as a post-punk genre".cite web |title=Goth Metal |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] The bands Blue Öyster Cult and Iron Maiden have featured some gothic lyrics in their music on songs such as "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Phantom of the Opera". [Baddeley 2002, p. 264] The Danish metal band Mercyful Fate had also demonstrated "a Gothic obsession with evil and the occult". [cite web| author=Huey, Steve |url= |title=Mercyful Fate |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] Frontman King Diamond continued exploring his interest in gothic storytelling after establishing a solo career under his own moniker, [cite web| author=Rivadavia, Ed |url= |title="Fatal Portrait" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] issuing "a series of concept albums which told Gothic horror tales with sound effects and song".Baddeley 2002, p. 265] During the 1980s, the former Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig also "occupied the no man's land between Goth and heavy metal". With the dissolution of his second band Samhain in 1988 and the creation of his own eponymous act, Danzig went on to combine heavy metal riffs with "a heavily romanticized, brooding, gothic sensibility". [cite web| author=Huey, Steve |url= |title=Danzig |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07]

The Swiss group Celtic Frost was another precursor to gothic metal, translating the influence they drew from gothic rock acts Bauhaus and Siouxsie & the Banshees into their own albums. [cite web| title=Metal-Rules| work=Tom Gabriel Fischer Interview| url= |accessdate=2008-05-07] The band's "radical fusion of violent black metal and elements of classical music" was dubbed "avant-garde" and had a huge impact "on the evolution of European heavy metal". [cite web| author=Rivadavia, Ed |url= |title=Celtic Frost |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] Christofer Johnsson of the symphonic metal band Therion cites Celtic Frost's 1987 album "Into the Pandemonium" in particular for playing a key role in the development of the "gothic and symphonic wave of bands" in the 1990s, noting further that neither his group Therion nor Paradise Lost "would have sounded the way we did without Celtic Frost". [cite web| author=Williams, Barbara |url= |title=Interview with Christofer Johnsson of Therion| |accessdate=2008-05-07]

Gothic rock

Gothic rock had emerged as an offshoot of post-punk in the 1980s but by the end of that decade, the genre had splintered into different directions with bands such as The Cure, Mission U.K. and Siouxsie & the Banshees incorporating "more pop and alternative elements" while The Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim and Christian Death took on a "heavier, sometimes metal-influenced approach". [cite web |title=Goth Rock |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] The Sisters of Mercy was one of the leading goth bands of the 1980s, playing "a slow, gloomy, ponderous hybrid of metal and psychedelia, often incorporating dance beats". [cite web |author=Huey, Steve |title=Sisters of Mercy |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] The band only released three full length albums with the debut "First and Last and Always" released in 1985. Their last album "Vision Thing" arrived in 1990 as one of the earliest attempts to mix gothic music with heavy metal. [Leguay 2006, p. 211] Fields of the Nephilim had also released only three studio albums before their initial dissolution in 1991. [cite web |author=Bush, John |title=Fields of the Nephilim |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] They have since reformed, released more albums and been recognized for their influence on the "glut of metal bands" in the early 21st century "that incorporated obvious elements of goth into their sound - especially detected in their appreciation of symphonic and keyboard sounds (as well as their fashion sense)". [cite web |author=Prato, Greg |title="Mourning Sun" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07]

According to the All Music Guide, "goth metal first emerged during the early to mid-'80s, centered around Los Angeles' so-called 'death-rock' scene headed by Christian Death". Acclaimed as the "founding fathers of American goth rock", Christian Death went through a major personnel change in 1985 with the departure of the band's leader and founder Rozz Williams.cite web| author=Huey, Steve |url= |title=Christian Death |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07] Guitarist Valor Kand took over the reins and under his leadership, Christian Death subsequently pursued a more metal-oriented direction. [Leguay 2006, p. 68.] In particular, their 1988 album "Sex and Drugs and Jesus Christ" has been described by critic Steve Huey as "heavy goth-rock bordering on metal". [cite web| author=Huey, Steve |url= |title="Sex and Drugs and Jesus Christ" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-07]


The Peaceville Three

As a musical style, gothic metal "truly began in the early 1990s in the north of England" with the three bands Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema representing "the core of the movement". [Baddeley 2002, pp. 265–6
* See also Sharpe-Young 2007, pp. 246, 275
] All three bands were signed to Peaceville Records during the early 1990s and have since been known as the Peaceville Three.cite web |author=Blackie, Andrew |title="In Requiem" review |url= |publisher=PopMatters |accessdate=2008-04-06] They had roots in "frenetically abrasive death metal, but they were also influenced by what Paradise Lost vocalist, Nick Holmes, described as the 'really bleak, dark sound' of Dead Can Dance". [Baddeley 2002, pp. 265–6]

Paradise Lost was the first to form in 1988 in Halifax, England. [cite web| author=Ankeny, Jason |title=Paradise Lost |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-06] Their debut album "Lost Paradise" was released in 1990 and "helped define the rules of doom/death metal: grinding, de-tuned anthems of woe topped with death metal-style guttural vocals" while demonstrating that the band was "already reaching for realms unknown to their then-amateurish abilities and latent promise".cite web| author=Rivadavia, Ed |url= |title="Lost Paradise" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-06] The band was "evolving at a fast clip" and in the following year, their second "aptly titled album" "Gothic" came as "something of a departure for the band's earliest fans".cite web| author=Rivadavia, Ed |url= |title="Gothic" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-06] With a "less deliberate, more energetic arrangements", the album featured a "slightly cleaner approach to guitar crunch" and "cautious use of keyboards and even female vocals, which together added atmospheric nuances to the group's ultra-depressive power chords". "Gothic" was a chart success across Europe, particularly in Germany,cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=Paradise Lost |publisher=Rockdetector |url=, |accessdate=2008-04-06] and has since been acclaimed as "one of the most influential albums" in heavy metal music for creating the gothic metal genre. [cite web| author=Melzer, Alexander |url= |title="Gothic" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-06] Their 1992 album "Shades of God" continued the transition [cite web| author=Rivadavia, Ed |url= |title="Shades of God" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-06] while the follow up 1993 album "Icon" represented "a turning point" for the band with the experimental use of synthesized strings, timpani, piano and angelic female vocals. [cite web |author=Anderson, Christopher |title="Icon" review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-06] By the time of 1995's "Draconian Times" album, Paradise Lost's music firmly stood "between stark, oppressive goth rock and crunching heavy metal". [cite web| author=Jehnzen, Daevid |url= |title="Draconian Times" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-06] With these five albums, the band had created "a bold collection of songs that sounded like Black-era Metallica played by a group who loved the Sisters Of Mercy".cite web| author=Bansal, Vik |title="Paradise Lost" review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-06] They have since been recognized as the band that "originally laid the gothic seed that other bands have been nicking and reaping in recent years".

Also from Halifax, My Dying Bride was formed in 1990. An EP "Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium" "sparked a lot of interest" upon its release in 1991. [cite web |author=Bromley Adrian |title=Dying With Pride |publisher=Chronicles of Chaos |url= |accessdate=2008-04-07] Their first full-length release "As The Flower Withers" followed shortly after in the same year. The album was critically acclaimed by the press and "turned the Doom genre on its head".cite web| author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=My Dying Bride |publisher=Rockdetector |url=, |accessdate=2008-04-07] They added a violinist to their line-up for their 1993 sophomore effort "Turn Loose the Swans". On this "groundbreaking" album, the group introduced a "much greater element of dark romanticism to their doomy music".cite web| author=Serba, John |url= |title=The Bride No Longer Wears Black |publisher=Chronicles of Chaos |accessdate=2008-04-07] Vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe explains the band's pursuit of this direction:

Their 1995 album "The Angel and the Dark River" "marked a shift in the band's strategy, for the first time dropping the death growl of Stainthorpe in favour of a 'clean' vocal delivery". The rest of the group "followed suit, setting aside any death metal influences, carefully using violins and keyboards to enhance the group's brooding excursions" into "fauna-wilting gothic doom metal". [cite web| author=Serba, John |url= |title="The Angel and the Dark River" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-07] While the album was more experimental, the music was still sorrowful.

Also forming in 1990, the Liverpool based band Anathema released a "highly acclaimed" EP "The Crestfallen" in 1992.cite web| author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |publisher=Rockdetector |url=, |title=Anathema |accessdate=2008-04-07] The "crushing emotional doom/death" of this EP remained on their 1993 debut full-length "Serenades", [cite web |author=Azevedo, Pedro |url= |title=Delusions of Silence |publisher=Chronicles of Chaos |accessdate=2008-04-07] "the most traditional doom-styled album in their catalog".cite web| author=Huey, Steve |url= |title=Anathema |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-07] Their juxtaposition of the fragile and ferocious "fostered a keen fan base". "Pentecost III" was recorded in 1994 as another EP "that nonetheless ended up long enough to have qualified as a full-length". The year 1995 saw the release of this EP as well as the departure of Darren White. Guitarist Vincent Cavanagh took over vocal duties for their subsequent album "The Silent Enigma" released later in the same year. The album "marked an important turning point in the band's sound" with critics drawing upon comparisons to Pink Floyd, "bringing new appreciation from a more mainstream band of listeners but also causing a withdrawal of support from hardened Doom fanatics". Like My Dying Bride, this transition involved leaving behind their traditional death metal sound.cite web| author=Taylor, Robert |url= |title="Eternity" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-06] They continued experimenting with their 1996 album Eternity, "stretching its songs into sorrowful, orchestrated epics" that "quickly proved to be their most original work to date". While Anathema's music has "changed a lot", their "main features remained a heart-rending melancholy and intensity". [cite web |author=Matthijssens, Vera |title="A Moment In Time" review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-07]

Other pioneers

Across the Atlantic ocean, Peter Steele had formed Type O Negative in 1990 out of the remnants of his former thrash metal band Carnivore.cite web |author=Huey, Steve |title=Type O Negative |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-10] With their debut album "Slow, Deep and Hard" in 1991, the New York based outfit pursued a "melodramatic goth rock style" that "encompasses long songs built on simple riffs, theatrical shouting vocals, churchy-sounding organ and vocal-harmony passages, and the odd mechanical noise". [cite web| author=Huey, Steve |url= |title="Slow, Deep and Hard" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-10] "The Origin of the Feces" followed in 1992 but it was their third album "Bloody Kisses" in 1993 that became their breakthrough albumcite web |author=Maki, Jeff |title="Dead Again" review |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-10] with a "twistedly affectionate send-up of goth rock conventions" and lyrics that "gleefully wallow in goth clichés - sex, death, Christianity, vampires, more sex, and death". [cite web| author=Huey, Steve |url= |title="Bloody Kisses" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-10] The album has since sold nearly a million copies in the United States, a surprise success that "obliged Goths to take notice" of the group. [Baddeley 2002, p. 270] The trademarks of Type O Negative's music include the use of "downtuned, fuzzy guitars" [cite web |author=Quentin Kalis |title="Life Is Killing Me" review |publisher=Chronicles of Chaos |url= |accessdate=2008-04-10] and a "deep baritone croon"cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title="Dead Again" review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-10] from Peter Steele, an "intimidatingly large, sarcastically self-deprecating original, whose dry, dirty one-liners and morbid machismo challenge those who insist the archetypal Goth is a po-faced androgyne". [Baddeley 2002, p=269-70] Type O Negative has since been recognized as a pioneer of the genre. In a review of their 2007 album Dead Again, critic Greg Prato of the All Music Guide declared that "before Type O Negative, there was really no such thing as goth metal". [cite web| author=Prato, Greg |url= |title=" Dead Again" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-10]

The year 1988 saw not only the formation of Paradise Lost but another early gothic metal pioneer, the Swedish band Tiamat. Their debut album "Sumerian Cry" arrived in 1990 and featured "slightly above average death metal". [cite web |author=Rivadavia, Ed |title="Sumerian Cry" review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-11] Their third album "Clouds" was released in 1993 as the band's first turning-point, "starkly reducing speed and heaviness for melody and atmosphere". [cite web |author=Melzer, Alexander |title="Clouds" review |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-13] The album made an impact on the European metal community for its atmospheric doom metal approach "enhanced with keyboards which are never out of place or over-used". [cite web |author=Eldefors, Vincent |title="Clouds" review |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-13] The next album "Wildhoney" was unveiled in 1994 as an "artistic and commercial breakthrough, fully realizing the sound hinted at on previous releases and eliciting effusive praise in metal circles for its brooding, Gothic atmospherics".cite web| author=Huey, Steve |title=Tiamat |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-13] The album featured an interplay of contrasts between delicate acoustic guitar, gentle whispering vocals and angelic choruses on the one hand and massive riffs, industrial grind and death metal grunting on the other. [cite web |author=Rivadavia, Ed |title="Wildhoney" review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-13] On subsequent releases, Tiamat moved further into gothic territory with Johan Edlund "dropping the metal growling in favor of an unearthly croon". [cite web| author=Huey, Steve |title="Deeper Kind of Slumber" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-13] The result has seen critics comparing Edlund's vocals to the Sisters of Mercy's Andrew Eldritch, "alongside musical comparisons to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds". The band has been recognized for producing some of the most "overtly Gothic material" from Scandinavia.Baddeley 2002, p. 267]

As far back as 1985, Celtic Frost had used female vocals for some songs on their "To Mega Therion" album. [cite web| author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |url=, |title=Celtic Frost |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-14] Paradise Lost began making similar use of female vocals from their very first album "Lost Paradise" in 1990. Inspired by the use of female vocals on Paradise Lost's second album "Gothic", The Gathering released their debut album "Always..." in 1992 with growling vocalist Bart Smits supported by female singer Marike Groot. [cite web |author=Willems, Steven |title=Interview with Hans Rutten of The Gathering |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-14] The music on the album was "firmly rooted in the dark, midtempo style of gothic and doom metal".cite web |author=Begrand, Adrien |title="Mandylion" review |publisher=PopMatters |url= |accessdate=2008-04-14] Their second album "Almost a Dance" arrived in the following year with new vocalist Niels Duffhues, "a strange choice for the band".cite web |author=Bickers, James |title=The Gathering |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-14] Duffhues' "punk-ish" and "alt-rock" style of singing was widely seen as out of place with the music, a perception that was shared by the band themselves. [cite web |author=Schoenmakers, Remco |title=Interview with Anneke van Giersbergen of The Gathering |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-14] and the album was "largely written off as a result." The Gathering decided to drop the use of male vocals altogether and instead brought in a lead female vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen for their third full length "Mandylion", an album that "saw the band adventurously breaking away from the Gothic Doom fare of previous works".cite web| author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |url=, |title=The Gathering |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-14] The result was considered a "groundbreaking achievement" upon its release in 1995 [cite web| author=Rivadavia, Ed |title="Mandylion" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-14] with critics lavishly describing it as a "masterpiece" [cite web |author=Melzer, Alexander |url= |title="Mandylion" review |publisher=The Metal Observer |accessdate=2008-04-14] and "the perfect pinnacle of gothic metal". [cite web |author=Grant, Sam |url= |title="Mandylion" review | |accessdate=2008-04-14] The Gathering's "introspective atmosphere owed a creative debt to Dead Can Dance, and established them as a leading band in their native Holland".


Gothic black metal

The Portuguese band Moonspell debuted in 1994 with "Under the Moonspell", "one of the more worthy black metal releases of the early '90s". [cite web| author=Prato, Greg |title="Under Satanae" review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-13] The music on this EP was "atmospheric with folk and Middle Eastern influences", [cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title="Under Satanae" review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-13] drawing inspiration from Dead Can Dance through the use of guest musicians on the flute, violin, timpani, gongs and Arabic vocals.cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=Moonspell |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-13] On the strength of this EP, the band became "the frontrunners" in the Portuguese metal scene and were offered a recording deal by the "major German independent label Century Media Records". It was through this label that they released their first full length album "Wolfheart" in 1995, making a transition into gothic metal [cite web |author=Melzer, Alexander |title="Wolfheart" review |url= |publisher=The Metal Observer |accessdate=2008-04-13] by "incorporating the genre's trademark elements" of "morbid lyrical schemes, dreary and melancholy riffs, ambient keyboards" and "demonic chorales". [cite web| author=Rivadavia, Ed |title="Wolfheart" review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-13] While the music of Moonspell has "always flirted between Metal music and Darkwave and Gothic",cite web| author=Apicella, Vinnie |title=Interview with Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell |url= |publisher=Stormbringer Webzine |accessdate=2008-04-13] the inspiration for this first album was still black metal groups like Celtic Frost and Bathory.cite web |author=Tuinman, Ferdinand |title=Interview with Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-13] Their next album "Irreligious" in 1996 was inspired instead by the goth pioneers Type O Negative, a group that they soon toured with. Other influences that Moonspell has recognized include the goth rock acts Mission U.K., the Sisters of Mercy and "especially" Fields of the Nephilim. "Wolfheart" had "caused a minor sensation on the European underground with its epic metallic hymns" while "Irreligious" had "reinforced their position as heralds of the Gothic metal movement". By the time of their fourth album "Butterfly Effect" in 1999, Moonspell had "quickly evolved into one of the major players of the European goth-metal scene".cite web| author=Rivadavia, Eduardo |title="Butterfly Effect" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-13] In the process however, the band has strayed from their black metal roots. [cite web |author=Smit, Jackie |url= |title="The Antidote" review |publisher=Chronicles of Chaos |accessdate=2008-04-13]

The English outfit Cradle of Filth has combined black metal's "distinctive angry guitars and tortured vocals" with "strong, although sometimes cliched, Gothic imagery, ever since their 1994 debut album "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh".Baddeley 2002, p. 268] While other groups "tried to use goth flourishes in their music", Cradle of Filth made "goth conform to heavy metal, not the other way around".cite web |author=Torreano, Bradley |title="Dusk and Her Embrace" review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-13] The "blatant goth influence" came in the form of "lengthy keyboard intros, intermittent operatic female vocals, and Dani Filth's black 'n' blood take on romantic poetry".cite web |author=Serba, John |title="The Principle of Evil Made Flesh" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-13] They also added "a Sisters of Mercy style of melody to the singing". The debut album received a mixed reception but nonetheless "made waves in the early black metal scene, putting Cradle of Filth on the tips of metalheads' tongues, whether in praise of the band's brazen attempts to break the black metal mold, or in derision for its 'commercialization' of an underground phenomenon that was proud of its grimy heritage". The band then went through some changes in their line-up as members departed the group to form another gothic metal act The Blood Divine with former Anathema vocalist Darren White. [cite web |author=Rivadavia, Ed |title=The Blood Divine |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-13] Cradle of Filth's second album "Dusk... and Her Embrace" arrived in 1996 as a "gothic epic of bloodcurdling proporptions" [Buckley 2003, p. 238] and the group subsequently "enjoyed a streak of notoriety through the late '90s into the turn of the century that would be hard for a music fan to miss".

Beauty and the beast

The term "beauty and the beast" refers to an aesthetic contrasting "angelic" female vocals with male growls or aggressive singing.cite web |author=Reesman, Bryan |title=They Will Rise: Metal's female ranks on the move | |url= |accessdate=2008-05-07] Paradise Lost and The Gathering had already made use of this technique on some songs from their earlier albums but it was the Norwegians Theatre of Tragedy that first released an entire album devoted to this approach with their self-titled debut in 1995. A second album "Velvet Darkness They Fear" arrived in the following year.cite web| author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |url=, |title=Theatre of Tragedy |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-18] Theatre of Tragedy's third album "Aégis" in 1998 saw the band "venturing into fresh musical territory". The piano was replaced by electronic keyboards while Raymond Rohonyi opted to discard his death growls in favor of a "soft, spoken, sometimes whispering voice".cite web |author=Eldefors, Vincent |title="Aégis" review |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-18] The music was more clean and soft, "stripped of guitar harshness" but with a "near flawless execution" that "prompted many European critics to award "Aégis" perfect review scores".

Other bands that contrast aggressive male vocals and clean female vocals continued to emerge in the late 1990s. Trail of Tears had formed in 1994 [cite web| author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |url=, |title=Trail of Tears |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-18] while Tristania and The Sins of Thy Beloved were formed in 1996. [cite web| author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |url=, |title=Tristania |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-18] [cite web| author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |url=, |title=The Sins of Thy Beloved |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-18] All three Norwegian groups released their debut albums in 1998. Tristania stood apart from the others with their use of three distinct vocal styles in the "operatic soprano Vibeke Stene, clean-singing counter-tenor Østen Bergøy, and harsh, black metal-style shrieker Morten Veland".cite web |author=Rivadavia, Ed |title=Tristania |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-18] Their second album "Beyond the Veil" in 1999 made use of a ten members choir and featured violin passages from Pete Johansen of The Sins Of Thy Beloved, [cite web |author=Eldefors, Vincent |url= |title="Beyond the Veil" review | |accessdate=2008-05-11] earning "rave reviews" across Europe. By then, the band had risen to "the top of the goth metal heap" [cite web |author=Rivadavia, Ed |title=Sirenia |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-18] with their "lush, symphonically enhanced" approach. They were "dealt a potentially crippling blow" when singer, guitarist and principal composer Veland left the group to form Sirenia. Tristania has continued to prosper with subsequent releasescite web |author=Rivadavia, Ed |title="Ashes" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-11] and has since been "regarded as one of the world's premiere goth metal bands". For over a decade, this beauty and the beast aesthetic has flourished with many representatives across the European continent. Cradle of Filth has also been known to make use of this approach through guest female vocalists such as Liv Kristine and Sarah Jezebel Deva.cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=Cradle of Filth |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-25] A few critics have since lament that the approach has been "done to death by countless bands" [cite web |author=Begrand, Adrien |title=Blood and Thunder: The Great Beast Resurrected |publisher=PopMatters |url= |accessdate=2008-04-18] to the point that it has become something of a cliché in the genre. [cite web |author=Elkerbout, Milan |title="The Last Moment" review |publisher=PopMatters |url= |accessdate=2008-04-18]

Symphonic gothic metal

Tristania was not the only gothic metal band that brought a symphonic edge to their music. Influenced by the Peaceville trio of Paradise Lost, Anathema and My Dying Bride, the Dutch band Within Temptation was founded in 1996. [cite web| author=Shyu, Jeffrey |url= |title=Interview with Jeroen van Veen of Within Temptation | |accessdate=2008-04-22] A debut album "Enter" was unveiled in the following year, followed shortly by an EP "The Dance".cite web| author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |url=, |title=Within Temptation |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-22] Both releases made use of the beauty and beast approach delivered by vocalists Sharon den Adel and Robert Westerholt. Their second full length "Mother Earth" was released in 2000 and dispensed entirely with the death metal vocals, instead "relying solely on den Adel's majestic vocal ability". The album was a commercial success with their lead single "Ice Queen" topping the charts in Belgium and their native Netherlands. [cite web |author=Taylor, Robert |title="Mother Earth" review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-22] Their third album "The Silent Force" arrived in 2004 as an "ambitious project featuring a full orchestra and 80-voice choir accompanying the band".cite web| author=Deming, Mark |title=AMG Within Temptation |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-22] The result was another commercial success across Europe and introduced "the world of heavy guitars and female vocals" to "a mainstream audience". [cite web |author=Tuinman, Ferdinand |title="The Silent Force" review |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-22]

Within Temptation's brand of gothic metal combines "the guitar-driven force of hard rock with the sweep and grandeur of symphonic music". The critic Chad Bowar of describes their style as "the optimum balance" between "the melody and hooks of mainstream rock, the depth and complexity of classical music and the dark edge of gothic metal". [cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title="The Heart of Everything" review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-22] The commercial success of Within Tempatation has since resulted in the emergence of a large number of other female-fronted gothic metal bands, particularly in the Netherlands. [cite web |author=Tuinman, Ferdinand |title="The Heart of Everything" review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-22]

Another Dutch band in the symphonic gothic metal strain is After Forever. [cite web |author=Westlund, Adam |title="After Forever" review |publisher=The Metal Observer |url= |accessdate=2008-04-22] Their debut album "Prison of Desire" in 2000 was "a courageous, albeit flawed first study into an admittedly daunting undertaking: to wed heavy metal with progressive rock arrangements and classical music orchestration - then top it all of with equal parts gruesome cookie-monster vocals and a fully qualified opera singer". [cite web |author=Rivadavia, Ed |title="Prison of Desire" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-22] A second album "Decipher" followed in 2001 with music that was described by guitarist Sander Gommans as being in the style of Within Temptation. [cite web |author=Vermeere, Ralph |title=Interview with Sander Gommans of After Forever | |url=|
] Founding member, guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen departed After Forever only a few months after the release of this album. [cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=After Forever |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-22] Jansen would go on to form Epica, another band that performs a blend of gothic and symphonic metal. [cite web |author=Melzer, Alexander |title="The Divine Conspiracy" review |publisher=The Metal Observer |url= |accessdate=2008-04-22] A debut album "The Phantom Agony" emerged in 2003 with music that combines Jansen's death grunts with the "angelic tones of a classically trained mezzo-soprano named Simone Simons, over a lush foundation of symphonic power metal". [cite web |author=Rivadavia, Eduardo |title="The Phantom Agony" Review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-22] The music of Epica has been described as combination of "a dark, haunting gothic atmosphere with bombastic and symphonic music". [cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title="The Divine Conspiracy" review |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-22] Like Within Temptation and After Forever, [cite web |author=Matthijssens, Vera |title="After Forever" Review |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-22] Epica has been known to make use of an orchestra.cite web |author=Smit, Bas |title="Consign To Oblivion" Review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-22] Their 2007 album "The Divine Conspiracy" was a chart success in their home country. [cite web |title=Epica: 'The Divine Conspiracy' Enters Dutch Chart At No. 9 |date=2007-09-14 | |url= |accessdate=2008-05-09]

This blend of symphonic and gothic metal has also been arrived at from the opposite direction. The band Nightwish from Finland began as a symphonic power metal act [cite web |author=Rivadavia, Eduardo |title="Century Child" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-23] before introducing gothic elements on their 2004 album "Once", [cite web |author=Grant, Sam
url= |title="Once" review | |accessdate=2008-04-23
] particularly on the single "Wish I Had an Angel". [cite web |author=Fulton, Katherine |title="End of an Era" review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-23] They continued to mix their style of "bombastic, symphonic and cinematic" metal with a gothic atmosphere on their next album "Dark Passion Play" in 2007. [cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title="Dark Passion Play" Review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-23] The Swedish group Therion also introduced gothic elements to their brand of symphonic metal on their 2007 album "Gothic Kabbalah". [cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title="Gothic Kabbalah" review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-23] [cite web |author=Maki, Jeff |url= |title="Gothic Kabbalah" review | |accessdate=2008-04-23]

Commercial success

With the release of their sixth album "One Second" in 1997, Paradise Lost brought a more commercial and pop-oriented direction to the genre they had helped created. Praised by Ed Rivadavia of All Music Guide as a "radical but impressive departure", the album drew comparisons to Depeche Mode with nothing remaining "of their early death/doom metal origins". [cite web| author=Rivadavia, Ed |url= |title="One Second" review |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-06] Subsequent albums "progressively experimented with electronics and pop elements, with the guitars gradually getting pushed further into the background". The result was "an accessible sound and a strong emphasis on catchy choruses". [cite web |author=Azevedo, Pedro |url= |title="Paradise Lost" review |publisher=Chronicles of Chaos |accessdate=2008-04-06] While "One Second" became the group's best selling album,cite web |author=Tuinman, Ferdinand |title=Interview with Aaron Aedy of Paradise Lost |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-06] they are known to have lost some fans in the process. Despite attaining "a huge reputation in Europe, where all of their albums have sold strongly", the group's status as "the progenitors of gothic metal" has been "constantly overlooked, both in their homeland and the US, possibly because of their determination to never make the same record twice".

In contrast, Cradle of Filth has become "one of the very biggest names" in their black metal genre with impressive albums sales and mainstream appearances on MTV, [cite web |author=Jurek, Thom |title="Thornography" review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-25] a level of success that has attracted accusations of "selling out" by the "black metal faithful". Moonspell too has "lost a lot of fans who couldn't keep up with the changes" to their music. In the opinion of vocalist Fernando Ribeiro, fans of the early 1990s were "less cynical and more open-minded in their hearts and minds" than they are in 2007.

[cite web |author=Matthijssens, Vera |title=Interview with Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-25] Nonetheless, the band has continued to experience success with their 2006 album "Memorial" debuting at number 1 on their native Portuguese charts. They were rewarded with the "Best Portuguese Act" award at the 2006 MTV European Music Awards, [cite web |title=Moonspell Named Best Portuguese Act At MTV's Europe Music Awards |date=2006-11-02 | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-25] a feat matched by Within Temptation in the following year with the "Best Dutch & Belgian Act" award. [cite web| title=Within Temptation Wins Best Dutch & Belgian Act Award At MTV's European Music Awards |date=2007-11-02 |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-25] Within Temptation further received recognition as their country's best selling artist at the 2007 World Music Awards. [cite web |title=Within Temptation Honored At World Music Awards |url= |date=2007-11-05 | |accessdate=2008-04-25]

The Italian band Lacuna Coil has also become a "premiere act" of the gothic metal genre.cite web |authur=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=Lacuna Coil |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-04-23] Like the other "beauty and the beast" bands, the group employs both a female and a male vocalist in Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Formed in Milan in 1994, they released a demo tape in 1996 strongly influenced by Paradise Lost and Type O Negative. [cite web| author=Karma E. Omowale| title=Interview with Andrea Ferro of Lacuna Coil| url= | |accessdate=2008-04-23] The band "turned a lot of heads in Italy's ambient/goth scene" with their self-titled EP in 1998.cite web| author=DaRonco, Mike |title=Lacuna Coil |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-23] Their debut album "In a Reverie" was released in 1999 with a style that bore "some similarities to contemporaries like the Gathering and Moonspell". [cite web |author=Huey, Steve |title="In a Reverie" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-23] Lacuna Coil's music was also "more accessible than many of their peers". [cite web |author=Hinds, Andy |title="Unleashed Memories" |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-23] A second album "Unleashed Memories" arrived in 2001 but it was their third full length "Comalies" that became their breakthrough album, "highly praised by the metal world after its release in October 2002". On the strength of "Comalies", Lacuna Coil became the most successful artist in the history of their label Century Media Records as well as the highest selling rock act in their home country Italy. The band has also achieved the distinction of being the first and, as of late 2007, the only European gothic metal band to successfully break into the United States market with radio airplay and impressive album sales. Their highly anticipated [cite web |author=Bowar, Chad |title="Karmacode" review | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-23] fourth album "Karmacode" was even more successful, debuting at number 28 on the Billboard charts, and also debuting on many European music charts. The "Comalies" and "Karmacode" albums "reportedly sold nearly 1 million units combined worldwide, a good chunk of that in the States". The band has also notably performed at the main stage of the American heavy metal festival Ozzfest. [cite web |title=LACUNA COIL Singer Checks In From OZZFEST |date=2006-07-14 |url= | |accessdate=2008-07-06] Cristina Scabbia also being the first female vocalist to perform on the main stage of that festival. Lacuna Coil are also currently the only gothic metal band to have their songs used in a music video game. Their song "Our Truth" will be featured in "Rock Band 2" and ', while "Closer" is in ', both taken from the Karmacode album. [ [ Guitar Hero 3 Song List ] ] [ [ IGN Advertisement ] ] []

In 2003, the rock group Evanescence from Arkansas, United States also found commercial success with the release of their debut album "Fallen". [cite news |title=Second Cup Cafe: Amy Lee Of Evanescence |publisher=CBS News |url= |date=2007-11-10 |accessdate=2008-04-27] Their style brought a gothic twist to nu metal [cite web |author=Smit, Bas |title="Fallen" review |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-27] with critics drawing comparisons to other nu metal acts like P.O.D. [cite web |author=Miller, Kirk |title="Fallen" review |url= |publisher=Rolling Stone |accessdate=2008-04-27] and Linkin Park. [cite web |author=Loftus, Johnny |title="Fallen" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-04-27] Further comparisons have since been drawn between Evanescence and gothic metal groups like Within Temptation [cite web |author=Chamberland, Mathieu |title="The Silent Force" review |publisher=The Metal Observer |url= |accessdate=2008-04-27] and Lacuna Coil.cite web| author=Albertson, Cammila |title="Karmacode" Review |publisher=Allmusic |url= |accessdate=2008-04-27] Critic Adrien Begrand of PopMatters wryly notes that while Lacuna Coil "had been tirelessly building a fanbase in Europe since the late 1990s with their listener-friendly brand of goth metal", they had been overshadowed by "a bunch of corn-fed kids from Arkansas with a big publicity machine behind them [taking] the very sound the Italian sextet had helped pioneer, and present it to the American suburban goth kids in a much more pop-oriented, dumbed down variation". [cite web| author=Begrand, Adrien |title="Karmacode" Review |publisher=PopMatters |url= |accessdate=2008-05-07] Cammila Albertson of All Music Guide similarly locates Evanescence as one step further from gothic metal, offering the description of the band as "a pop version of an already diluted brand of metal". While Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell concurs that Evanescence is not a metal band, [cite web| author=Ficklin, Jeff |title=Interview with Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-27] Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride feels the American group is doing something similar to his own band, only in a more commercial direction. [cite web |author=Grow, Kory |title=My Dying Bride |url= |publisher=Decibel Magazine |accessdate=2008-04-27] Gregor Mackintosh of Paradise Lost notes a generation gap between his group and Evanescence, suggesting that Paradise Lost has only influenced Evanescence indirectly through other acts like Lacuna Coil. [cite web |author=D., Chris |title=Interview with Gregor Mackintosh of Paradise Lost |url= | |accessdate=2008-04-27] The success of Evanescence has been recognized for opening "new grounds" for gothic metal bands to "explore and conquer". [cite web| author=McGrath, Ken |title=Interview with Robert Westerholt of Within Temptation | |url= |accessdate=2008-04-27]

Another act that has attracted both commercial success and controversy is the band HIM. The group has "not only dominated the charts in their native Finland but also across Europe and in particular Germany".cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=HIM |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-05-09] Their debut album arrived in 1997 as "Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666" with music that "combines metal with '80s rock and some goth influences". [cite web |author=Ravelin, Antti J. |title="Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-09] HIM began moving towards a more "polished pop" direction on their next album "Razorblade Romance" in 2000.cite web |author=Ravelin, Antti J. |title="Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights" review |url= |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2008-05-09] The band describes their "Sabbath-meets-Depeche Mode sound" as Love Metal, [cite web |author=Erin Broadley |title=Interview with Ville Valo of HIM |url= | |accessdate=2008-05-09] the title of their fourth album in 2003. Their subsequent release two years later "Dark Light" was their breakthrough album in the United States with a debut at number 18 on the Billboard charts, [cite web |title=H.I.M.: 'Dark Light' Breaks U.S. Top 20! |url= |date=2005-10-05 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] a feat exceeded when their next album "Venus Doom" in 2007 made a debut at number 12. [cite web |title=HIM On MTV Germany's 'TRL'; Video Available |url= |date=2007-10-02 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] With a "reputation as teenage-girl entertainers", many listeners of heavy metal music are "quick to shun and make fun of those who admit to listening the Finnish band". [cite web |author=Vieth, Eric |title="Dark Light" review |url= |publisher=The Metal Observer |accessdate=2008-05-09] Critic Lance Teegarden of PopMatters notes that HIM is not "not the sort of act that conjures up a lukewarm response [as] people either like them or discredit them outright". [cite web |author=Teegarden, Lance |title="Love Metal" review |url= |publisher=PopMatters |accessdate=2008-05-09] Vocalist Ville Valo contends that the reason why so many rock fans dislike his band is because they are afraid to embrace their feminine side, noting that "calling your band H.I.M. is about as close to gay as you can get in naming your band". [cite web |title=H.I.M. Frontman: 'We Stand For Everything That Slipknot Is Not' |date=2006-01-10 | |url= |accessdate=2008-05-11]

In the 21st century, Gothic metal has enjoyed a strong mainstream presence in Finland with many representatives enjoying commercial success. In addition to the aforementioned HIM, [cite web |title=HIM: 'Venus Doom' Enters Finnish Chart At No. 2 |url= |date=2007-09-20 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] the bands Charon, [cite web |title=Charon: 'Colder' Single Enters Finnish Chart At No. 5 |url= |date=2005-12-19 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] Entwine, [cite web |title=Entwine Reach No. 3 On Finnish Singles Chart |url= |date=2004-02-19 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] For My Pain..., [cite web |title=For My Pain... Climb To Position No. 7 On Finnish Single Chart |url= |date=2004-07-04 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] Lullacry, [cite web |title=Lullacry Debut At Finnish #5! |url= |date=2003-01-27 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] Poisonblack, [cite web |title=Poisonblack: 'Lust Stained Despair' Enters Finnish Chart At No. 2 |url= |date=2006-09-07 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] Sentenced, [cite web |title=Sentenced Top Finnish Single Chart |url= |date=2005-05-08 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] The 69 Eyes [cite web |title=The 69 Eyes: 'Perfect Skin' Single Tops Finnish Chart |url= |date=2007-02-07 | |accessdate=2008-05-17] and To/Die/For [cite web |title=To/Die/For: New Single Is A Chart Success In Finland |url= |date=2006-09-24 | |accessdate=2008-05-09] have all found their singles or albums hitting the top ten of the Finnish charts. Of these band, Sentenced notably formed as far back as 1989 [cite web |author=Sharpe-Young, Garry |title=Sentenced |url=, |publisher=Rockdetector |accessdate=2008-05-09] with their early albums in the melodic and blackened death metal vein. [cite web |author=Stenberg, Frodi |title="North From Here" review |publisher=The Metal Observer |url= |accessdate=2008-05-09] For My Pain... was formed as a supergroup with members from other prominent bands in Finland including Nightwish, Embraze, Eternal Tears of Sorrow and Reflexion. [cite web |title=For My Pain: A New Finnish "Supergroup" |url= |date=2002-03-22 | |accessdate=2008-05-09]

See also

*List of gothic metal bands



* Cite book |last=Baddeley |first=Gavin |title=Gothic Chic: A Connoisseur's Guide to Dark Culture |publisher=Plexus Publishing Limited |date=2002 |location=London |isbn=0859653080
* Cite book |last=Buckley |first=Peter |last2=Buckley |first2=Jonathan |title=The Rough Guide to Rock |publisher=Rough Guides |date=2003 |location=London |isbn=1843531054
* Cite book |last=Day |first=Peter |title=Vampires: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil |publisher=Rodopi |date=2006 |location=New York |isbn=9042016698
* Cite book |last=Gunn |first=Joshua |title=Dark Admissions: Gothic Subculture and the Ambivalence of Misogyny and Resistance |editor-last=Goodlad |editor-first=Lauren M. E. |editor2-last=Bibby |editor2-first=Michael |journal=Goth: Undead Subculture |date=2007 |pages=41–65 |publisher=Duke University Press |location=Durham |isbn=0822339218
* Cite book |last=Kavka |first=Misha |title=The Gothic on Screen |editor-last=Hogle |editor-first=Jerrold E. |journal=The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction |date=2007 |pages=209–228 |publisher=Cambridge University Press |location=Cambridge |isbn=0521794668
* Cite book |last=Kilpatrick |first=Nancy |title=The Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined |publisher=St. Martin's Griffin |date=2004 |location=New York |isbn=0312306962
* Cite book |last=Hoskyns |first=Barney |title=Into the Void: Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath |publisher=Omnibus Press |date=2004 |location=London |isbn=1844491501
* Cite book |last=Kahn-Harris |first=Keith |title=Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge |publisher=Berg Publishers |location=Oxford |date=2007 |isbn=1845203992
* Cite book |last=Leguay |first=Stephane |last2=Glenadel |first2=Mario |title=Carnets noirs: musiques, attitudes, cultures gothiques, électroniques & industrielles Acte 1 La scène internationale |publisher=E-dite |date=2006 |location=Paris |isbn=284608176X
* Cite book |last=Punter |first=David |last2=Byron |first2=Glennis |title=The Gothic |publisher=Blackwell Publishing |date=2004 |location=Malden |isbn=0631220631
* Cite book |last=Sharpe-Young |first=Garry |title=Metal: The Definitive Guide |publisher=Jawbone Press |date=2007 |location=London |isbn= 9781906002015
* Cite book |last=Thompson |first=Dave |last2=Greene |first2=Jo-Ann |title=Undead Undead Undead |journal=Alternative Press |date=November 1994 |url=

External links

* [ Goth metal] at the All Music Guide
* [ Gothic metal] at

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