Monday, 11 July 2011

Dark and Goth-friendly music, #13: it's OK to be a Goth and still like metal...

Darklings, can anyone help me with a body mod dilemma? Today I bought a three-pack of sparkly nose pins in the hope of changing my pretty spike for a while (I want to change up my nose jewellery a bit more often. Spider nose studs are admittedly cheesy, but, well, I want one.). But can I get my spike out of my nose? Can I hell. Now, nose pins (like this, with a 'plug' on the end to keep it in) MUST be changeable, otherwise why on earth would they sell them in three-packs? I assumed I would just pull on it and it would pop out. What actually happens is that it just hurts rather a lot. My piercing is certainly not infected and I don't usually have a problem with it, and I changed my nose ring on the other side just fine (it looks cute ^^). So why can't I take this damn stud out? Any suggestions/experiences/advice, other nasally-pierced black-clads?

Ahem, in other news.

Source: Photobucket
I think we may be approaching the last few 'music guide' posts now, I can see the end of the 'music genres' column on my spreadsheet without having to scroll down the page! Just to re-cap, we've moved away from the world of 'specifically Goth music' and are now looking at 'music that a whole bunch of Goths like'. Today, some genres of metal!

Stop rolling your eyes, you at the back. Many Goths enjoy metal music, which seems logical to me - it's dark, it's gloomy, it's often accompanied by darkly beautiful or dramatic visuals, and lyrics are often dark, melancholy or angry, focusing on the non-happy, non-sparkly side of life. Plus, many of us younger Goths discovered Goth via the path of metal music, so why should we not retain some affection for the genre?

However, some genres of metal and some bands in particular enjoy epecially immense popularity amongst the darkling throng. Apologies in advance if I mis-classify some bands here; feel free to correct/debate about which bands listed fit into which 'type' of metal. I'm going by online research which, as we all know, isn't always hugely reliable. I would say that the bands listed in this post are the key point rather than what genre they may or may not be.

With that caveat in mind, I didn't expect thrash metal to be an overly beloved genre of Goths - you say 'Goth', I don't think 'Megadeth'. I just don't. But two bands listed by Wikipedia as 'thrash metal', namely Sepultura and Slayer, do seem to enjoy some popularity within the scene, as evidenced by band T-shirts and patches that I have seen proliferating both in person at clubs and online. Also, whilst I don't like Metallica in general, Nothing Else Matters is a gorgeous song. <3

Speaking of 'classic' metal bands (the big names that come to mind when you think of metal), Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath are also enjoyed by many in the subculture.

Death metal sounds a bit more ooky-spooky than thrash metal, and not just in name only, giving the Goth fan of metal music such treats as Napalm Death, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Cannibal Corpse, Cemetary, Dark Tranquillity and more. Both of the abovementioned genres are fast-paced and aggressive, although death metal lyrics tend to focus on 'Satanic' or somewhat homicidal themes and imagery.

Black metal is one of the most popular genres of metal amongst Goths. It places emphasis on a 'dark' atmosphere; vocals are often shrieked or growled. The corpse paint look that generates so much eye-rolling amongst Goths developed from this genre. There is also a lot of controversy related to this genre, re: devil worship, church-burning, etc. It must be noted that these reports are often greatly exaggerated and the actual influence of black metal upon such acts is probably very little. Plus, I don't know a single Goth who would take part in such activities whether they listened to metal or not.

Bands from this genre notable for their fanbase amongst Goths include Celtic Frost, Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir, Dark Funeral, Graveworm, Samsas Traum and Cradle of Filth.

Power metal also boasts a reasonably sizeable Goth fanbase, mainly supporting the band Dragonforce. Its close relative progressive metal also gets a mention as I have lost count of the times I have seen Dream Theater mentioned on Gothy forums.

Doom metal is another very Gothy-sounding genre, which gave us Candlemass and Cathedral. A fusion of doom and death metal gave rise to possibly the 'Gothiest' metal bands (if such a thing is possible) in today's dark music scenes - Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride.

Gothic metal has given rise to much debate in the Goth scene - can it be considered 'Goth' or not? Well, no, not really, it's still metal, but I think probably even the majority of Goths have at least one CD from one of the following: Tiamat, Type O Negative, Theatre of Tragedy, Moonspell, Theatres Des Vampires, Lacuna Coil, After Forever, Nightwish, Epica, Sirenia, Within Temptation, Leaves' Eyes, Midnattsol, Bloodflowerz, Delain, Krypteria, Lacrimas Profundere, Mandragora Scream... I could go on and on.

Gothic metal combines the gloom of Goth rock with the aggression of doom metal, and nowadays has dozens of subgenres such as operatic metal and symphonic metal which capitalise on the lush, almost classical-sounding piano arrangements and angelic female voices that came to define some Gothic metal bands. Some bands from these subgenres are mentioned in the list above.

Whew! This is becoming quite a long post so I think I'll take a break for now. Time to go to KFC... ;-)


Ashlee said...

I like Megadeth xD It's one of the few metal bands I do listen to.

Tenebris In Lux said...

Whoo! Thanks *hugs* ^_^

Yep, doom metal is (in my opinion) probably the most Goth-friendly. There are so many different genres of metal, but you you pinned down the essentials quite nicely. Right now I'm in my Dio and Black Sabbath phase.

LovleAnjel said...

Ah, nose bones. They are bitches. Your fistula tightened around the wire while it was in there, most likely. Most of the time you just have to take wire cutters and snip them in half to get them out. Lo siento.

Moonspell is technically black metal. I would toss in Samael and Dark Tranquility for those who are interested.

Anonymous said...

Dearest lady,
I have just started a blog
and would love to link some of your posts.
I decided to make it because we babybats have often different problems to deal with.
Thanks for such and excellent blog,
pd: I know it hasn't nothing to do with the subject, sorry...
I like metal.

BallerinaDark said...

I LOVE METAL. I always listened to metal and always will. I remember listening to Metallica back in 1998..I was only 10 years old ! :P Then I became a fan of Black Metal..bands like Immortal, Naglfar, Borknagar..I also loved Sodom and Annihilator. Nightwish and Sonata Arctica..oh,I better stop or I'll write another 10thousand bands xD

Great post as always :)

♥BallerinaDark from Gothic Divine Magazine♥

KatSlaughter said...

I agree with the person above; the little ball at the end of the stud is probably too large for your fistula [flesh tube thingie]. Not that I have a nose piercing myself, I just know people who have had similar problems. They now swear by the corkscrew-shaped jewellery.

Hope you manage to remove it with as little bleeding as humanly possible! It may be goth to like blood but generally it's not your own.

ultimategothguide said...

@ KatSlaughter - I'm highly squeamish >.< I find that the corkscrew-shaped ones are too big and tend to dangle out of my nostril (not a good look). Obviously I have an awkward nose! I think I may just leave it in until I get really tired of it, then give it the snip... (the stud, not my nose). Thanks for the advice!

@ BallerinaDark - thank you! ^^

@ Kitty - thanks very much, link away! ^^

@ LovleAnjel - oh, great. :-/ Thanks for the advice! At least I can pull it far enough out that I probably *can* snip it when I get really sick of it.

@ Tenebris - welcome ^^

Nox Artemis said...

Yep. I was one of those babybats who found out about goth by first listening to Nightwish, Epica, Evanescence and all those other bands. But that lasted for about two months until I found out about Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Dead Can Dance.

The rest is history.

I have no advice to offer about the piercing in general (I have needle fear), but about that spider stud.... get it. Discussed this on, and you must accept it: GOTH CLICHES ARE FUN. The sooner you - and everyone else - grasp it now, the more fun you'll have later. X)

Anonymous said...

I have three studs in my nose, and I have encountered this same thing with nose bones. I "solve" this problem by just never changing out my jewelry. When I change them out every few years, there is a lot of bleeding and cursing involved.

Phoenix said...

Cool post. I've always identified with both goth and metalhead subcultures.

Megadeth rules. There are a lot of other darker sounding thrash metal bands too, Kreator and Sodom are good examples.
I'd say Napalm Death are more towards grindcore than death metal.
Just my opinion, but there are a bajillion power metal bands that are so, so much better than Dragonforce. Which is not to say someone else won't like them, but bands like Blind Guardian and Iced Earth are much better representations in my opinion :P

DOOM METAL IS AWESOME. Electric Wizard is my all time favourite (after mighty Sabbath of course). I've found a lot of cool bands recently that are of that genre or a mash up of doom/stoner rock etc., so if anyone's interested in that sort of thing, just let me know and I'd be happy to share!

DJ Creepshow said...

My problem with the Goth/Metal crossover isn't so much that some goths like metal, it's that I constantly see people who listen to nothing but metal (or other unrelated stuff) calling themselves goth. Nightwish, Cradle Of Filth, etc. aren't goth. Just because you dress a certain way (or like to play "dress up" as so many "goths" seem to do) doesn't make you goth. It begins and ends with the music, everything else is influenced by the music. If you don't listen to Bauhaus, Siouxsie, Sisters Of Mercy, The Cure, etc., sorry kid, you don't get it. Yes, I'm older, and probably being an old crank about this, but I've really grown tired of what the "goth" scene has become. It seems to be largely shitty EBM "oontzy" techno crap or lame-ass metal. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with metal, but do your homework, guys: if you don't at least listen to some of the old-school goth stuff, you should probably drop the "goth" moniker. Just sayin'. ;)

P.S. For the record, I do enjoy some black metal, as well. :) But it's not goth!!

ultimategothguide said...

^ what I should have said! :-)

@ DJ Creepshow - comment of the day award to you! Fancy a guest post?

DJ Creepshow said...

@ultimategothguide - Haha! Sure, that would be cool! I figured I would just be dismissed as a cranky old goth (which I am). ;) Just let me know when and how and what kind of stuff I should write. Thanks! :)

ultimategothguide said...

@ DJ Creepshow - to be honest I'm pleased that those of a more old-school persuasion are taking an interest in the site, me being an overeager babybat type and all (talk about both ends of the spectrum...).

I feature a guest post about once a month; if you'd like to discuss some ideas please e-mail me at beautiful.loser(at) And thanks for taking me up on the offer! ;-D

Phoenix said...

@ DJ Creepshow - Definitely comment of the day. I get sad when I go to so called 'goth' nights and there is hardly any gothic rock, just "oonzty" music (as you said) and nu-metal. *shudders*

Nightwind said...

This was a good post, as are most that I find on this blog. I'm glad that I discovered it recently.

The way I see it, the disagreement and confusion on this topic of how metal fits in is derived from our addiction to labels.

We know what goth is and from where today's goth subculture enjoyed its beginnings; yet, none of us will define it in exactly the same way. Metal was not a part of that beginning but as our wonderful blogger points out, "Many Goths enjoy metal's dark, it's gloomy, it's often accompanied by darkly beautiful or dramatic visuals, and lyrics are often dark, melancholy or angry, focusing on the non-happy, non-sparkly side of life."

In other words, some metal, although not literally goth, can be described as "Gothic." Check out the Swedish Gothic-doom band Draconian as a good example.

I would also suggest that dark ambient music, such as that produced by groups like Nox Arcana, is also Gothic. No, it's not Siouxsie and the Banshees or Sisters of Mercy, but it's dark and in my opinion, quite Gothic.

For me, it's the harmonics and effects created by the artists that determines whether or not music is Gothic. What feelings is he or she trying to create within us? I believe that it's what resides inside an artist's heart that inspires him or her to create Gothic music--metal or otherwise.

Sometimes labeling breaks down completely. For example, I really like Fields of the Nephilim. They are considered to be a goth-rock band. Yet, if you listen to some of their material, it really starts to border on metal.

Labels serve a purpose, but their usefulness only go so far. Ultimately, it's who we are inside that determines whether or not we are goth; not the genre of dark music we enjoy.

Anonymous said...

some old school metallica is just complete thrash but 90s load and reload have some softer darker songs i used to love them. yeah still waiting to overhaul my current image and go goth

Anonymous said...

sorry for the split comment. some sabbath is pretty dark like children of the grave

Tenebris In Lux said...


Yeah, I love Sabbath! They were said to be a pioneer for a lot of different genres that we have today, including Goth and doom metal. If you like them, you might like Type O Negative. Funny thing is, I prefer the old Metallica. There's some good tracks off of Load, I'll give you that though.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely recommend Opeth, a band with both death metal and progressive rock songs. Their CD covers are certainly something that would be the computer's wallpaper owned by a Black Tape For A Blue Girl fan. This is the only death metal band that I listen to. Proof that goth nd metal can be mixed: Diary of a Lovesong by A Perfect Circle. Basically combines Ozzy Osbourne's Diary Of A Madman with The Cure's Lovesong. Say, does anyone know of a band that would sound like a mix of Tool and Bauhaus?

Tenebris In Lux said...

Hey. where'd the anon comment about Opeth go? Don't be shy anon .. :-/

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't see why metal cannot be goth. The way i see it, goth does not have a rulebook, goth is simply the expression of darker personal interest. The key word is originality. You can be whatever you make yourself-- goth is simply something the mainstream shuns. I see several goths here saying "be creative, be yourself, no limits, that's what goth is about" and then restricting the parameters to, "if you don't listen to /this/ then you're not goth". I disagree. The way i see it: if you're creative, relatively intelligent, dark, and romantic, you can be classified as goth.

Anonymous said...

tenebris in lux i actually started listening to ToN recently R.I.P. Peter Steele. s and m a live metallica album with a full symphony orchestra ... :-] outlaw torn from that album is like .... also i'm trying to learn all of nothing else matters and don't tread on me from tabs.

david smith said...

thrashers might like khachaturian-toccata.(uploader allangrando)but(uploader episthmh2008)better to look would!. if you're bored with normal classical stuff.

Darling Violetta said...

I don't see why certain bands "metal" bands can't be considered goth. After all the Goth label was originally used to describe the music of the time that fell within a certain aesthetic. Hence why many people would call Dead Can Dance goth although it doesn't sound anything like Bauhaus or The Sisters of Mercy. So why not consider Type O Negative or Lacrimosa Goth bands when a) it falls perfectly within the confines of the gothic aesthetic and b) goths love them both (to the point that I'd say more Goths like those bands than metalheads, LOL).

It's sort of like how in the punk scene much of the music has changed a whole lot since it's inception in 1977. The first wave of punks could tell the newer kids who listen to Crust and Grindcore that they're not punks because their music is metal influenced and doesn't sound like The Sex Pistols. But, it wouldn't be accurate (or fair) since crust and grindcore are accepted within the punk scene (whether they like it or not) and that rarely do any modern day punk bands make music that sounds like the punk bands that were around circa 1977.

Also, I think that Germany's "Schwarze Szene" is the future of the Goth subculture (if you haven't heard of it please check it out). There's no sense in segregating ourselves into smaller and smaller little sub-sections. Particularly when this new generations of Goths like their Wumpskut, their Bauhaus, AND their KMFDM equally. To go through such lengths to clairfy to others what is this and that label or genre (or even worse the often contradictory and confusing subject of what is and isn't goth music) is ridiculous.

Plus, there's a whole generation of young one's who feel a connection to the aesthetic of the goth subculture. But can't relate to the older bands. Is it right to shove them away when we can't even put our collective fingers on "what is goth music" to begin with?

Just some of my thought. :)

S.Raven said...

Quite interesting. Goth is a subculture that is based on a particular genre of music, and to be a part of that subculture, then a person must, at the very least, have an affinity for that genre of music. On the other hand, Gothic is a literary movement that predates the subculture by many decades and was extant before rock music itself even came into being. The aesthetics and other sensibilities that we think of as being gothic were around long before goth rock or the wonderful subculture that it spawned. A form of music can be gothic without it being goth. It doesn't come from goth rock, punk rock, or post-punk, therefore it is not considered goth. However, it captures the essence of the literary gothic and it expresses the associated aesthetics and sensibilities that are an integral part of the literary gothic, therefore, it is much closer to the original source and foundation, which can be traced back many decades before the formation of the goth rock genre and the subculture. People being drawn to the darker side of things via gothic metal or one of its close cousins is certainly not a bad thing and doesn't make someone any less gothic. However, as DJ Creepshow pointed out, it is not goth because it doesn't pertain to the established goth subculture, and listening to it will not make you a goth.It doesn't mean that you are not a gothic person with gothic tastes, though. Some of the most gothic people that I have ever met were Doomers, and Doom Metal is certainly not goth. Goth = a member of a particular music-based subculture. Gothic = of or pertaining to a particular literary movement that emphasizes the supernatural, the mysterious, and the grotesque. Something can be gothic without it being goth. Not all dark things are a part of the goth subculture. Interesting, indeed.

Westin said...

I would like to point out a few mistakes. Although falling under the broader term of death metal, Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth and Napalm Death are not death metal. The first two are melodic death metal which incorporates much higher tuned instruments that are based around bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Napalm Death, while starting off as death metal, evolved into and created the genre grindcore, or grind for short.

Second, black metal WAS the main influence on the church burnings back in the 90's. Many bands, including Mayhem and several others, have even admitted participating in these events and several dozen people, including members of bands as well as fans, have been arrested for the crimes.

Third, progressive metal is not closely related to power metal. It evolved as a hybrid of heavy metal and progressive rock, and the two genres sound nothing alike. Power metal evolved from speed metal, closely related to thrash, and includes powerful operatic vocals, speeding guitars and fast tempos. Prog metal tends to be slower and more instrumental, with less focus on vocals and is more technical and complex than power metal.

Last, under Gothic metal you listed several bands that are not actually of the genre, Nightwish, Within Temptation and Epica most notably. Sharon herself from Within Temptation has denied the band being a Gothic metal band. All three are actually symphonic metal bands. Otherwise, good post.

Joanna Wagner said...

Most of the bands you identify as Goth metal, especially the larger acts, identify themselves as symphonic metal. With Epica it depends on who you ask; vocalist Simone Simmons says symphonic. Guitarist Mark Jansen says Goth. I would go with Simone. Another quality of most, if not all of those bands is they have female vocalists who are wonderful singers. Call me non-Goth if you like, this is my favorite genre and most of it is very dark and theatrical.

Joanna Wagner said...

Even Vast - Love Will Tear Us Apart , THIS is Goth metal.

Dan said...

I think that the most "goth-friendly" metal bands are: Paradise Lost, Lacrimosa, My Dying Bride and Anathema.

Edna-X! said...

Hello! If I may just politely correct you here on this one. Moonspell isn't Black Metal, it's Goth Metal. I've been listening to black metal for over a year now and Moonspell sounds nothing like Dimmu Borgir, Bathory, Krypt, Mayhem, or Emperor.
That being typed, I do enjoy "Nocturna", it's quite enchanting! =3:

Minnie Pax said...

Yay, more about the intersection of goth and metal.

One genre that has not been mentioned here is progressive post black metal. This is one of my favorite genres and groups like Opeth definitely touch upon it.

Some bands in this genre include Agalloch, Alcest, Amesoeurs, Wolves in the Throne Room, Nachtmystium, Drudkh, and Les Discrets. The main festival where these bands play is Stella Natura, which is in California I think.

Black Tape for a Blue Girl fans would definitely enjoy Alcest and Les Discrets, although the other bands' guitar sounds might be a bit on the crunchier side.


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