It's been a long time since I did one of these music posts, so if you need a re-cap (other than: most of the bands that most people outside of the scene think are Goth, aren't Goth...), you can shuffle on over to my music tab in the sidebar where I have helpfully linked all of these posts for you. (Alternatively, you can just click here.)
We've gone through Goth, cyber and Industrial, into Goth-friendly but not specifically Goth genres such as metal, and to continue with the not-specifically-Goth-but-suitably-dark-and-popular-amongst-spooky-types theme, allow me to present to you the following:
Visual Kei, sometimes abbreviated to VK, is a movement amongst Japanese musicians that has generated an enormous subcultural following in its own right. As such this music genre boasts its own associated fashion style which has also influenced and been influenced by Gothic fashion, of which I will speak more at some future date.
Sources differ as to whether the term 'Visual Kei' refers to the fashion adopted by both musicians and fans of this style, characterised by elaborate (and big) hairstyles, dramatic make-up and flamboyant costuming, or the music, which could be described as a type of Japanese rock music with its roots in glam rock, punk and metal. This, I suppose, is similar to the fashion-vs.-music that has dogged the Goth subculture for, oh, the last twenty years (at least...).
However, music performed by bands considered to belong to this genre span many different subgenres such as pop, heavy metal and electro, which could possibly indicate that the greater defining factor for a Visual Kei band is the image?
Visual Kei bands and musicians include: Luna Sea, X Japan, Malice Mizer, Penicillin, Versailles, Girugamesh, The Gazette, D'espairsRay, The Candy Spooky Theater, Dir En Grey. Some of these bands are hugely popular within the Western Goth scene, in some cases for their aesthetics as much as their music.
Hmm... wonder why Goths are attracted to this style? ;-)
Source: Google Images
This is a bit of a catch-all term for many genres and subgenres of Japanese rock music (that's right, J-rock = Japanese rock), including Visual Kei.
Japanese pop, the perkier and bouncier the better, enjoys great popularity amongst some sections of the Goth scene, notably perky Goths, J-Goths (again, more on this at a later date), Lolita Goths and cybergoths. However I haven't been able to pinpoint any specific groups or artists under this umbrella who appeal to the Goth market; you can find a nice long list of J-pop bands over on Wikipedia here.
A small note: whilst the largest dark and alternative scenes in Japan, such as Lolita and Visual Kei, have some visual and musical crossover with Goth, Japan does also boast its own Goth and Industrial scene. You can check out noted Japanese act Aural Vampire on YouTube here; they are often termed as 'darkwave' although their sound is very different from darkwave as most of us know it!
Sorry, was that a bit vague for you?
It's probably fair to say that most Goths enjoy at least one or two rock bands, whether they be mainstream, underground, or that crazy psychedelic folk punk rock band that plays at your local pub every month. Many of us still have a strong fondness for bands that led us to the Goth scene in our babybat days via their dark lyrics and image - examples might include My Chemical Romance and Evanescence.
If I may generalise for a moment, there are lots of younger-generation Goths who wound up in this subculture via bands like Seether and HIM, (in my case Linkin Park).
Industrial jungle pussy punk
Their term, not mine. This is the label that the band Mindless Self Indulgence use to refer to themselves... MSI are not precisely a Goth band, or Industrial, not quite punk... but I didn't want to just lump them under the 'rock' tag because they're not wholly a rock band... I guess from this rambling you kind of get the message about what kind of band they are and why I feel they warrant inclusion in this dark music guide.