The Gothic Metal Thread

First Post March 26, 2020 08:10 PM

Type O Negative - "October Rust" (1996)

A classic gothic metal release with a more commercially accessible edge to it. Possibly their finest hour. For fans of Moonspell, Paradise Lost & Tiamat.


March 26, 2020 11:20 PM
I'm a fan of all 3 of those bands (Moonspell, Paradise Lost & Tiamat)! I might give this album a listen next week after I finish The Revolution Melodic Metalcore Clan Challenge...
March 26, 2020 11:34 PM

You've saved me from making the recommendation I was planning for you Andi. :)

March 26, 2020 11:41 PM
Thank you and you're welcome, Daniel!
April 01, 2020 10:21 AM

A gothic metal classic! 5/5. Cheers for that, Daniel!

October 02, 2021 03:18 AM

This week's list is my Top Ten Gothic Metal Releases Of All Time:

01. MonumentuM – “In Absentia Christi” (1995)

02. The Gathering – “Nighttime Birds” (1997)

03. Tiamat – “Wildhoney” (1994)

04. Type O Negative – “October Rust” (1996)

05. Paradise Lost – “Icon”

06. The Gathering – “Mandylion” (1995)

07. Paradise Lost – “Draconian Times” (1995)

08. Type O Negative – “World Coming Down” (1999)

09. Swallow The Sun – “Emerald Forest & the Blackbird” (2012)

10. Paradise Lost – “Tragic Idol” (2012)

October 02, 2021 04:03 AM

I haven't listened to that MonumentuM album yet, but that can make a good addition to my gothic metal bucket list...

October 02, 2021 04:49 AM

Don’t expect much metal on the MonumentuM record Andi. The links are tenuous at best. The main reason that “In Absentia Christi” is spoken of in metal terms is the links to Euronymous as it was released on his Deathlike Silence label. It’s really a gothic darkwave release in my opinion. I only cleared it for inclusion on the general consensus rather than my own personal feelings but it’s one of my all-time faves none the less.

October 02, 2021 01:43 PM
I took a quick listen to the first 15 minutes or so of the album, and I could hear what you mean, Daniel. This is indeed gothic darkwave with barely any emphasis of metal, and by what I've heard, it has no chance of ever making me reconsider my move out of gothic/doom metal to be finalized this month. By the beginning of track 5, with the twinkling of a lullaby crib mobile, I had enough. Darkwave is not my thing, so don't ever expect me to listen to more of this band or a group of a similar style like Nox Arcana. Though it has been great listening to those albums from Paradise Lost and Type O Negative, and earlier on, Tiamat and The Gathering, throughout my years in the gothic/doom zone...
August 14, 2022 12:59 PM

Hangman's Chair - A Loner (2022)

I must admit that this is my first exposure to French gothic metallers Hangman's Chair, so I was unsure what to expect. Well this isn't the gothic death doom of My Dying Bride or Swallow the Sun, but is a much cleaner style of doom metal altogether. It utilises contemporary melodic doom structures and overlays them with a clear, ringing lead guitar tone and clean vocals which in effect comes across as a metallised version of gothic rock bands like The Cult et al. With it's oft-catchy choruses, clean vocals and melodic riffs it is perhaps a little more commercial-sounding than I would usually be comfortable with, but I would be lying if I said I didn't find anything I enjoyed here.

Oh, and is it just me or does the lead singer often sound like Alison Moyet?

March 24, 2023 04:11 PM

Tribunal - The Weight of Remembrance (2023)

The Weight of Remembrance is the debut from Canadian gothic doom duo, Tribunal, who consist of vocalist/guitarist Etienne Flinn and vocalist/bassist/cellist Soren Mourne. I would classify this as a gothic metal album with a marked doom metal presence rather than an out and out doom metal album. The duo employ a dual female/male vocal dynamic, but rather than the female vocals providing an ethereal, angelic counterpoint to the harsh male vocals, Soren Mourne's singing is more powerful than that, not adhering to the overdone beauty and the beast vocal cliche and are one of the album's plus points. Unfortunately her blackened harsh vocals are nowhere near as successful as her cleans and the deathly growls of the male vocals isn't very impressive either.

Musically, there are plenty of doomy riffs, however none of them are especially great - they aren't bad, but they do feel a bit tired at times. The duo use drummer Julia Geaman in a live setting and indeed she is behind the kit here, but sadly the drum sound feels quite pedestrian and doesn't do her any favours at all. The cello adds a nice atmospheric touch occasionally, especially on my favourite track, Apathy's Keep, but generally it isn't really that much to write home about. The production seems a bit sparse for an album aiming for a gothic atmosphere, which really requires a more lush sound and, as such, contributes to the album's failings.

I feel like I have been overly harsh about The Weight of Remembrance, but I have listened to a lot of this sort of stuff over the years and even though this is perfectly servicable doom-laden gothic metal, containing all the requisite ingredients, it doesn't do anything particularly impressive or adventurous with them and fails to poke it's head far above the parapet of mediocrity for the most part - those clean female vocals apart.


April 13, 2023 09:06 PM

Lake of Tears - "Forever Autumn" (1999)

I hadn't heard anything Swedish gothic metallers Lake of Tears have done since their underwhelming 1994 "Greater Art" debut album when they were still a doom/death band but if this is the best they can do then I'm not sure they're for me. "Forever Autumn" is generally tagged as a gothic metal/gothic rock hybrid but there's no goth rock here that I can see. The majority of the tracklisting is made up of a pretty unintimidating form of gothic metal with the remainder of the album being comprised of stripped back acoustic progressive rock outings with a strong synthesizer component. Think Tiamat & Paradise Lost meets Pink Floyd & 90's Metallica & you won't be too far off the mark, particularly given that front man Daniel Brennare seems to want to clone "Load"/"Reload"-era James Hetfield pretty closely. There are a few enjoyable tracks here but I find the majority of the album to sound pretty flat.


P.S. Some of you might find it interesting that guitarist Magnus Sahlgren was a part of this lineup at the same time that he was in legendary Swedish death metal establishment Dismember.

April 14, 2023 09:43 PM

Theatre of Tragedy - "Aégis" (1998)

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed ToT's third album actually as I'm sure Ben would remember our conflict over the band's merits when it came to their earlier material back in the mid-1990's. I can't recall whether I've ever heard "Aégis" before but found it to be significantly less cheesy than I was expecting. It's certainly a much better record than the Lake of Tears album I checked out yesterday. The massive seven-piece lineup works nicely with the dual vocals being incorporated quite well, even if Liv Kristine isn't the talent that some of her gothic metal contemporaries might be. There's a strong Paradise Lost influence throughout as well as many of the big names of the 80's gothic rock scene although I have to admit that I fail to see how anyone could tag this album as gothic rock as it's clearly a metal-based release. I'd suggest that a decent description would be the gothic doom of Draconian meets female-fronted bands like The Gathering & The 3rd & the Mortal. There are a couple of flat tracks in "Cassandra" & "Poppaea" but the rest is quite engaging with the highlights being "Aoede", "Sirens" & "Bachante". This is one of the better gothic metal releases I've heard actually.


My updated Top Ten Gothic Metal Releases of All Time looks like this:

01. MonumentuM – “In Absentia Christi” (1995)

02. The Gathering – “Nighttime Birds” (1997)

03. Tiamat – “Wildhoney” (1994)

04. Type O Negative – “October Rust” (1996)

05. Paradise Lost – “Icon”

06. The Gathering – “Mandylion” (1995)

07. Type O Negative – “World Coming Down” (1999)

08. Paradise Lost – “Draconian Times” (1995)

09. Swallow The Sun – “Emerald Forest & the Blackbird” (2012)

10. Theatre of Tragedy - "Aégis" (1998)

September 18, 2023 01:47 PM

The Abbey - Word of Sin (2023)

The Abbey are a Finnish five-piece who play doomy gothic metal with some progressive tendencies. Probably the most well-known member is female vocalist Natalie Koskinen who is, of course, vocalist with funeral doom merchants Shape of Despair. The Abbey employ dual male/female vocals, but shy away from the "beauty and the beast" style of male growls and ethereal female wails, focussing on a harmonised and layered clean delivery. Formed in 2021, Word of Sin is the band's debut full-length release.

At their doomiest a comparison with Draconian Times-era Paradise Lost is justified, but that isn't the only card they play. They throw in a couple of quicker tracks, A Thousand Dead Witches and Temple of Pain, that have galloping, heavy metal-style riffs that energise the album and contrast quite nicely with the slower, more laconic material. In truth, though, for me there isn't enough weight to the majority of the album and it sits quite firmly on the lighter side of the gothic doom fence, concentrating on producing beautiful melodies rather than playing to the melancholy, sorrowful nature that the best of the genre has to offer. Admittedly, what they do, they do very well and Word of Sin has some very nice melodies indeed which may stay with you well after the album has finished playing.

The album ends with the Lovecraftian-themed two-parter of Old Ones Prequel and the almost thirteen minutes of Old Ones itself and sees The Abbey indulge a more progressive side of their sound. Old Ones Prequel is an acoustic guitar and male-voiced piece with singer Jesse Heikkinen sounding very much like Wayne Hussey of UK gothic rockers The Mission and serves as an intro to the album's main event. Old Ones proper begins with an ominous doomy atmosphere that possesses one of the albums most memorable melodies combined with some very nice, soaring lead work. Around mid-point the melody fades and we are treated to an organ-led instrumental passage that evokes a high-ceilinged and expansive volume of space set aside for the worship of the unseen Old Ones, eventually giving way to a ponderous riff, more soaring lead work and a harmonised choral vocal that combine as one to a rather satisfying crescendo. This closing two-parter is by far my highlight of the album and the band's unleashing of this more progressive side is a path I hope they continue down with further releases.

The production on  Word of Sin is decent, but again emphasises the lighter over the darker and heavier. The vocals and guitar leads are given particular prominence with the riffs lacking the density that I prefer in any doom-related enterprise and with the rhythm section taking a back seat for the most part. The production, however, does perfectly suit the Old Ones and it's more progressive tendencies and serves to emphasise just how superior this closing section of the album is.