I know I usually only cover five genres per music guide, but I really wanted to get all the EBM, synthpop and Industrial subgenres out of the picture for a moment. The bouncier subgenres, by the way, may not be precisely 'Goth', but have been embraced by cybergoths and so have found their way onto Gothy dance floors the world over, gathering popularity in the scene as they go. No, it isn't going to hurt your Goth cred to like VNV Nation, honest.
More 'ambient' genres such as martial Industrial will appeal more to those who like ethereal and ambient music rather than the harsh beats and bleepy sounds of cyber-related artists, but are included here nevertheless.
Visit her blog here
Futurepop developed from EBM in the late 90s, and the term was coined by VNV Nation singer Ronan Harris to describe the band's sound, and that of similar groups. The scene grew as other EBM and related artists began incorporating the futurepop sound into their music.
Futurepop includes elements of EBM and Industrial such as heavy use of sampling, and the traditional EBM lack of vocal distortion or modification. It also includes synthpop influences and the grandiose synth melodies of uplifting trance. Futurepop music tends to be upbeat, despite its often dark and gloomy lyrics, and very dancefloor-friendly.
Futurepop bands, and bands who have utilised elements of the futurepop sound, include: Apoptygma Berserk, Ayria, And One, Covenant, Icon of Coil, Rotersand, Neuroticfish, Seabound, Colony 5, Assemblage 23.
Martial Industrial, aka martial music or martial pop, is probably the least bleepy of the bleepy genres, as it often borrows from classical, neo-classical and neofolk music as well as traditional European marches and elements of Industrial and dark ambient. The term martial pop was coined by Gerhard Petak of the band Allerseelen to describe the militaristic direction his ambient music was starting to take.
Wikipedia says, "Themes range from pounding, percussive soundtrack-like music to rally-worthy dark parade music to cabaret-appropriate sexually-charged carnal declarations to mournful marches."
Martial Industrial has close ties with neofolk, so many musicians play music that would fit neatly into either genre.
Martial Industrial bands include: The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud, Laibach, Death In June, Dead Man's Hill, Blood Axis, A Challenge of Honour, In the Nursery, Luftwaffe, Ophir, Infestation.
Dark trance and neo-Goth
Dark trance is an umbrella term for several types of trance music, including hardstyle, Goa trance, dark psytrance, and more. Trance as a genre is not Goth-friendly (although of course some Goths may like it - as I've said before, we ALL have our guilty pleasures). In fact, dark trance is not Goth or even overly Goth-friendly, but became vaguely associated with the Goth subculture via DJ RiB of the band Razed In Black, who released a Dark Trance vs. Neo-Goth compilation CD set a few years back.
Neo-Goth is also an umbrella term, which may simply be used to cover modern electronic subgenres such as electro-Industrial, darkwave, aggrotech and futurepop - basically synth-driven Goth-style music as opposed to traditional, guitar-driven Gothic rock. It may also be used to refer to music that combines elements of trance - fast beats, melodic synths - with elements of Goth and Industrial music, such as gloomy lyrics and a dark, bleak or spooky atmosphere, such as some of the artists featured on DJ RiB's above-mentioned compilation.
Some dark music enthusiasts may enjoy this compilation, but because of it's heavy trance influences it certainly isn't to everyone's tastes. Nonetheless, the bands listed below are all featured on the compilation. As you can see, the neo-Goth artists are FAR more Goth-friendly than the dark trance ones.
Dark trance artists include: Cream Pipe, Mnemonic, Blue Pace, Brain Inc., Talla 2XLC, Loudest Silence, Delobbo, Ego Traum, Beigeback, Rhinneradio.
Neo-Goth artists include: Neikka RPM, Razed In Black, Ayria, Neotek, Celldweller, Nebula-H, VNV Nation, UV, Encoder, Aïboforcen.
Electro-punk, aka synthpunk, is punk music played with synthesizers instead of guitars; very rare 'back in the day', since the entire ethos of the punk movement rejected 'artificial' instruments like synths. As far as I know it hasn't gained a huge amount of popularity within the Goth scene, but since its 'parent' genres (punk and synthpop) are both very Goth-friendly, I felt it deserved a mention.
Electro-punk bands include: The Screamers, The Phantom Limbs, The Vanishing, Radio Werewolf, Neurosis, The Need, Happy Flowers, Nervous Gender, Foetus, I Am Spoonbender.
'Alien pop' is not really a subgenre but really a term coined by the band Shiraya's Dream to describe their own sound. Shiraya's Dream incorporates bouncy, synth-driven, electronic music with the classical mezzo-soprano vocals of singer 'Anna Aliena'. Their lyrics often refer to aliens, outer space, or space travel.
These terms were coined by artist Emilie Autumn to describe the sound on her second full-length album Opheliac (her first album, Enchant, could arguably be described as fantasy rock). Previously these terms referred specifically to Emilie's work, including her side project The Jane Brooks Project, but they have now come to describe an entire new musical genre, characterized by the use of classical instruments (e.g. violin, clavichord, cello, etc.) combined with electronic sounds typical of Industrial music.
Violindustrial artists include: Emilie Autumn, Johnny Hollow, The Cruxshadows, TyLean, Anguisette, Dr. Steel, Creature Feature.