I’m with the Band

I am so glad that my father was an amateur carpenter and passed on a few tips to me over the years. When I wanted to run off and join friends in the park or wander about town, he insisted on a few basic lessons in woodworking. After a while I got into it and learned to fashion some nice items—both practical and pretty. I once made an attractive shelf unit for mom all painted in garden vines. I am not sure where that talent came from. Dad stuck to the construction and demonstration of tools. It was all I needed for most efforts.

While I haven’t done any woodworking in years, the old skills were brought to mind when a friend complained about his amp. He is in a band, a group I admire. They are in the genre of Goth that I like best. They have the perfect sound for my taste and are an exemplar of our local underground culture. I follow their schedule and like to appear without notice in various venues, as long as they are public. I wanted to help build a wooden box for the amp to make it sound better. It wouldn’t be just a mundane contraption. I would exert myself to produce something effective that would make a difference.

It took a little research on how sound systems work, particular in regard to amps. It isn’t about electrical connections but a matter of boosting the output. As with everything else in the universe, there are YouTube videos galore. What would us do-it-yourselfers do without that platform? It is clearly not a matter of upping the volume as one might expect. A good wood box of the right thickness can enhance the amp’s operation. If it is a good-quality unit, it probably has good sound already; but if it is an old one of a lower grade, you can make it work with a little ingenuity. For starters, it saves money while you wait to find out.

With the help of a friend who has all of this equipment (and a few skills), he used his circular saw to cut the pieces of wood to size, and then we assembled it. When I saw my handiwork on stage at one venue, I was super proud to be part of the band. Frankly, I don’t know how much difference the custom box made without a side-by-side comparison, but the band was happy and praised me to the skies. This is what friends are for. I don’t think woodworking is going to be my life’s work, but it was fun to see that I still had the knack. To keep me in shape, I may take up some small new projects on weekends. Maybe someday I will pass on my knowledge to someone else.

Do You Play?

When people think of me, they automatically get images of Goth gear. Just because I am into Goth music and lifestyle doesn’t mean I am completely one-dimensional. Well, maybe a little bit. I proved my critics wrong when I said yes to a pickup basketball game the other day. They didn’t have enough players and, believe it or not, I played it in school. No, I was not the last team member to be selected. In those days, height didn’t matter since we were all about the same, but some of us good shoot hoops with skill. If you were lucky enough to have equipment at home attached to your garage, you probably practiced often enough to be a star player.

Well, I wasn’t exactly the top talent, but I still had some good shots in me. Since it had been decades, I was pretty sure I would hate resurrecting a kid’s game. Could I play like an adult with taller people? Would I make a fool of myself? Wouldn’t I just rather be listening to Goth music? I tried not to answer any of these questions as it would deter me from joining my friend. I wanted to oblige him as he had done a lot of favors for me over the years. I vowed to be a good sport.

On game day, I put on my favorite iTunes playlist to get revved up and ready for action. It worked because I played fairly well and was an asset to the team, or so they said. I had a good time and would even consider resuming the activity in the future. It could be a new pastime. Maybe, but it was not likely to tear me away from my Goth bands. My friend said he expected me to get my own portable basketball hoop at home. Ha! Just like in my youth. It sure brought back fond memories of dad and me outside after school passing an hour or two before dinner. I started looking online.

Basketball is social and I enjoyed the company of the guys. But I could improve if I got a practice hoop to enjoy in my infrequent free time. My Goth friends would be aghast. The basketball contingency is not the same bunch. If it were, we would blast our music on the court to get us going. Ha! Can you imagine that? Not really. Meanwhile, I am looking for a good spot for the hoop and the right brand. I will check on YouTube for installation instructions. It is likely to be there, like everything else. I once used a video to learn about restoring and boosting a friend’s amp. It is all there!

A Night Out

I am privileged to have great friends and I admire them all, vampire lovers or not. Yes, not everyone is into this dark world of mystery and magic. However, after hanging with me, it does rub off. We get together one and all to watch old TV episodes of Vampire Diaries and the best films. When something new comes out, we are excited to the max. I don’t need an excuse to stay over at a friend’s house. We can drink the fizzy blood I bring (ha) or not. We pig out while we read sections of Thirsty by M.T. Anderson aloud with all the drama we can command. It can keep us up all night. How appropriate for vampire aficionados! When our eyes get tired, we doze off listening to our favorite music.

While this is a typical night with a friend, the last time I got together with one in particular, the evening took an entirely different turn. She had just purchased a new portable trampoline suitable for the average home backyard. What a kick. I wonder what moved her to do this. Once we played a few games from this list on it to amuse ourselves and get some much-needed exercise, I knew why. The trampoline lends itself to competition. Kids have known this for some time. You can bounce forever as it is hypnotic, but with a friend, why not take the games to another level. You can alternate turns and assign points for certain tricks. A knee jump, straddle, pike, seat landing, etc. each get a predetermined score. Twists and somersaults will take you to the winner’s circle. I am not that adept at this “sport” while my friend has been practicing since the device’s delivery. Is that fair? I guess you have to do with the flow.

I am not interested enough to buy my own trampoline, but I sure do enjoy using hers. I worked up a sweat to my amazement. Now I can forego the gym from time to time. In fact, after the first experience, I was hooked and have returned quite often. I might take back what I said about getting my own gadget. The gym doesn’t have one so it is my friend or nothing. Just let me do it one more time, I beg. It sounds like lyrics from a song.

I never expected at my age to find a new pastime that rivals my interest in the night creatures. I have the idea of combining my hobbies by painting an image of a vampire on the trampoline mat. Would that be like smashing his face in as I jump? I just thought of this and maybe it is not such a good idea. I have the urge to do some artwork so maybe I will just name my friend’s trampoline Prince Lestat. This should take care of my craving to express myself while giving due to my new passion.

New Day Job

I have a new job and hope it will work out. I need something flexible, close by, and that will utilize my skills. I was surprised that it came in the form of a consultant at a water filter installation company. This is not something I had envisioned for myself. However, any job can provide a challenge and opportunity for advancement, no matter the field. The position ticked off all my boxes and seemed perfectly suited to my goals right now. There is a training process during which you learn about various kinds of filtering systems for commercial and residential purposes. After a few weeks, the supervisor assured me that I would be able to spew off all the features and benefits. I would be able to compare the company’s products to popular water softeners and help customers find which one is right for them. My boss sent me some links to read over, and I’d like to share one of them with you: https://www.homewaterhealth.com/why-a-whole-house-water-filter-is-better-than-a-water-softener/. I never imagined having such knowledge!

While I enjoy the prospect of meeting new people and handling new tasks, I am more excited about making enough money to fuel my pastimes, especially going to concerts. Tickets can add up and put a dent in your entertainment budget. I need a source of continual funds. Aren’t we all in the same boat? I may not deal with water filtering and softening for the rest of my life, but for now I will give it a go. A biweekly paycheck is a real incentive. I might have enough left over to start a savings.

I have friends who love Goth metal music as much as I do and they dress the part. They wouldn’t go anywhere without a favorite tee shirt emblazoned with the logo of a popular band. I suppose they wear it with torn jeans and flip flops to work. With my new job, I have to go a different route. I wouldn’t dare wear my concert attire. It is not a deal breaker for me as it is with my friends. They are limited to certain career paths as a result. I am thinking McJobs—you know, the low-paying dead end positions that no one wants in life. As a matter of fact, you can’t even wear a Goth shirt to a franchise restaurant. You have to look neat and clean and wear a uniform. Thus, working in the water filter business is not a sacrifice in any way. My colorful tees can wait in the closet for the right moment. I wouldn’t go to a concert in normal clothes, nor would I go to work in a graphic top.

Working is not the end of your freedom, my friend. If you think so, you are on the wrong mental track. To the contrary, it is a way to enhance your freedom, giving you more money to do the things you love. Imagine how many concert tickets and tee shirts you can buy with one week’s pay. You can even afford to hit the road for an out-of-town gig.

Never Again

When I attend a goth concert, I go all out and wear face and body makeup, just like the other fans. I can’t imagine having fun without this ambiance of fun and frolic. Part of the experience is “acting out.” I used to spend a lot of time online getting ideas. I also buy my products on the Internet. This turned out to be a big mistake recently. I wore a new brand and when I got home, I couldn’t wash the darn stuff off with the usual method of soap and water. I tried mascara remover, pumice soap, and alcohol-based tonic. Finally, a combination of everything worked but my face was rough and red. The process was too difficult to repeat. I say, “never again.” The next time I became another persona, I removed the makeup when taking a long, hot shower. It helped and I was glad that I had a good hot water heater system that didn’t stop working despite my drain on its efficiency. It is tankless and stores only what you need based on typical usage. When I replaced the old-fashioned tank, I was worried about quantity; but a problem never materialized. I can shower for as long as I want.

This is the beauty of a modern state-of-the-art tankless unit from Water Heater Watch. It takes less space, is easy to install, saves on your electricity and water bills, and isn’t bad looking. I bought it on the advice of a friend who also loves long, drawn-out showers every morning. He has a family and swears that no one after him complains. I followed his lead and got one promptly. Now I rely on it to rinse away my goth image. I have also put in a waterproof sound system so I can listen to my favorite music while I get clean. No, I can never get enough. Even after a long concert, I turn it on.

Such are the requirements of a goth lifestyle. It is more than dwelling on the dark side of human nature and parading around in imitation of strange beings. It is about amusement, camaraderie, entertainment, and more. Going goth is to brand oneself as an individual with unique qualities. It is also about interacting and sharing with like spirits. What is wrong with expressing yourself through attire, makeup, music, and behavior? The goth subculture resonates with my soul.

One of the ways to pass the word is to use Facebook and Instagram to document our appearance and the places we meet. We also have certain clubs we frequent as a group where no one says a word. You can mock us all you want and we turn the other cheek. We persist as we want a real identity and to be part of something out of the ordinary. Wearing black expresses who I am inside. Why not pursue what makes you happy? Let me know how you feel.

Call it a cult, a mania, a subculture, or whatever you like. It doesn’t matter.

Stress Relief

Stress is the bane of human existence. I wonder if vampires feel it. Ha! No kidding. Stress is a killer and it plagues most everyone. We all must find a way to release it. Ignoring stress and anxiety just makes it built up more. It is unhealthy and can aggravate some medical conditions. It can come from anywhere. Most people say that work elicits feelings of stress at least several times a month. Secondary to work is the home environment. Money seems to be a big culprit; by this I mean a lack of. The degree of stress relates to the amount in deficit. I pity these poor souls.

The nature of the music that I like lets me go deep into myself as if I were hypnotized. Over time, I relax and let go of any residual stress. It is like a magic potion for my injured soul. Wow. This is getting serious. I just wanted a blog that would give tips for dealing with stress. I have another method that is entirely opposite. For relief, I also enjoy playing indoor soccer. Running around and kicking a ball all over the place makes me feel good. Sports are known to be a healthy release of anxiety – any kind of movement. I prefer soccer as I have a group of friends who join me, and we even went out and bought a really good soccer ball for indoor pla from https://www.topcornermag.com/best-soccer-ball/. We get so intense about a match that we forget our troubles. I recommend it to anyone who hasn’t found a good way to deal with stress yet.

Stress can come from low self-esteem, lack of confidence, the burden of caring for another, public speaking and performance. My stress is personal and has to do with relationship issues or arguments with family. My father hates goth metal and drives me to the brink of insanity with his tirades about it. When I feel the onset of stress, I have to get away—fast. I retreat into my shell and listen to my favorite albums for hours on end. It’s hard to believe goth metal calms me down, but it does in spite of the dark atmosphere and aggressive sounds. Goth is alternatively called death metal, doom metal, and gothic rock for those new to the genre. The lyrics are not surprisingly melodramatic, often inspired by gothic fiction with a bit of lugubrious personal experience thrown in. Maybe you have heard of top bands like After Forever, Rainbow, Dio, HIM, and Nightwish. Judas Priest is a big standout.

What I like about goth metal is how it superbly melds the bleak atmosphere of goth rock with the blaring aggressive guitars of heavy metal. It is the perfect amalgam of two styles. Fans adore the sense of theater and dabbling in religion and horror. I can get lost in all this excitement, submerging myself in spooky textures and ethereal synths. The darker the sound the better when I am in a funk. The music transports me to another realm outside of myself.


Sound Effects Tribute Band

Goth is many things to many people and I am not here to dictate your taste. I just want to convey stories about how a music-lover lives a life filled with exciting alternative rock. I could cite the twenty best albums ever made, the top artists, the nature of the genre, and more. I have been to vast numbers of concerts and shows and love being right there in the midst of the performance. I live for these special moments. I don’t live for the mundane. We have way too much of that. The Goth culture is way more interesting. When I am not listening to music, I am reading about the history of the genre. It is broad and diverse and is associated with various names like Gothic rock, post-punk, deathrock, and darkwave. The early bands included Siouxie & the Banshees, Bauhaus, The Damned, Specimen, Ausgang, Southern Death Cult, the Virgin Prunes, 45 Grave, Alien Sex Fiend, Gloria Mundi, The Cure, Dead Can Dance, and of course, Adam and the Ants, perhaps the most well-known group of them all. Don’t you love these names? They show the international reach of the style.

Why is Goth so misunderstood, I ask you? Sure it is dark, but that is its appeal. Fans love to be in the know about something totally underground. They love the theatrically of the performances and seeing everyone in chilly black. It can get morbid, but also romantic and poetic, and there is much religious symbolism and some supernatural mysticism. It is an amalgam of many ideas. So what if it gets melodramatic. Plus, I love the menacing makeup and scary appearance of the artists. These groups inaugurated an entirely new fashion style inspired by idols like Marilyn Manson (not actually Goth by the way). It persists to this day, although less intense as an influence.

More and more great musicians have joined the bandwagon, so to speak, extending Goth in the late eighties. It didn’t stop there. The nineties witnesses a flourishing of the Goth subculture in Europe and the U.S. More and more clubs had special “Goth nights.” The music was now a cross over with industrial sounds. In essence, it was a hybrid. At one such event, I remember that a local metal band went all out to use all sorts of random sound effects. It was magnificent. I rushed home with my friends to see if we could recreate some of them. It would be great to have a synthesizer like some bands, so we had to make do my experimenting. We looked around the house and grabbed anything metal like some pots and pans, the mixer, the toaster, and a bagless vacuum cleaner from The Vacuum Challenge. We got some unique sounds out of it for sure.

The rattle and roar of the vacuum made us laugh hysterically, but in point of fact, it actually approximated the band’s sound that inspired our recreation of their music. Would you call this music? Mmmmm.

Strange Show Last Night

Goth is a way of life night and day. You can easily fill the hours with imagery, music, stories and tales. It is a fun genre full of magic and mystery. When I first encountered it, I was hooked. I have a pretty good collection of albums right now. I wish I had more people to share them with. It is a movement on the wane, but my friends and I have stuck with it. What others find odd, I find appealing. What others deem offensive, I consider entertaining. Give it a chance and see what is inside this alternative music. Plus, I like to dress part and love it when others do likewise.

If I attend a concert, I am in the right spirit. You can bet on that. I have a couple of choices of garb, all basic black. Variations come in metal quasi-religious jewelry—of the large and chunky type. I get ideas from bands that come into town, plus what I see on the Web. There is a lot of material from which to choose. It always surprises me when I see something different. I thought I had uncovered it all. Not so.

With my favorite genre, you can always count on a surprise. Last night at an all-ages Goth metal concert, I was astounded at the attire. While the pants and tops were of the usual type, I was amazed at the cool and custom welding helmets the group wore. Sure, they were customized and painted in weird colors like purple and metallic bronze. It was artistic genius. The only issue I had was how the musicians could see while performing. I assumed it was difficult not knowing much about welding shields. They are transparent, even though dark. How did they do it? I found out just by asking that welding helmets are auto-darkening if you program them. This way they could hide their eyes and stay incognito as desired.

This is pure Goth creativity at work. Bravo. When life seems routine, I often wish that I would like to design “costumes” for this secretive genre. So much has been done and the media has spread the word, but there is still room to grow. I would add touches of white, which is not usually done, and maybe weird colors and patterns with a flame or zigzag motif. I would bring Goth into the modern world and give it an aura of sci-fi. It would, however, still be lugubrious. Hand painted helmets would be a big part of the look. I would buy welding helmets either used or on special. My designs would confirm my identity as a Goth designer. This is my new goal.

It all may sound a bit Halloween to you, but Goth always has been outré. If it were in and trendy, I would gravitate toward it at all. It is all about letting out the rebel in your soul. This is why it has such great appeal to the young.

Never be Without your Music

Whatever you like (soft rock, classical, Goth or metal), you don’t ever have to be without your music thanks to modern technology. Music is the preferred mode of instant gratification. It is entertainment at your fingertips. You have basically two choices: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when it comes to Outdoor Light and Sound. Do you wonder about the difference between them? I did. I wasn’t sure about which one was best for my needs. Are you reader for a speaker lesson today?

Let’s start with Wi-Fi. They use AC power and connect to your home network. They are great if you want sound in a special room. They offer remote control which is essential. You can store your tunes on a cloud. You can coordinate this system easily into your existing audio system, making Wi-Fi an attractive option. You want to listen to your favorite radio station, you got it.

On the other hand, Bluetooth speakers connect to your mobile phone, laptop, or tablet, whatever you own. I like the compact design of these battery-powered devices since it allows you to travel or go outdoors. Stow them in your backpack in a special compartment. Like Wi-Fi, you don’t use a network. Just plug the speakers into your music source and stay within thirty feet. Don’t worry about receiving calls on your cellular phone since the music will automatically stop. So brilliant!

This is it in a nutshell. What’s even better is that you can buy both technologies. They have different principles and work at different ranges. I like Wi-Fi for my home network system and home theater receiver and it is perfectly compatible with so many electronic devices. In fact, you can use several at one time. It is what is called a “two-way” system, meaning it can receive and send data. You can get streaming audio and send downloaded images from the Internet. In essence, it deals with audio and video/images.

What are the pros of Bluetooth? We have to be fair in our coverage! This is ideal for portable speakers, car audio receivers, and wireless headphones. A big difference in terms of connectivity is that you use one device at a time. This is called “one way” transmission and it happens to be audio exclusively. It has a different bandwidth. Wi-Fi is higher, allowing for large files (video or high-res audio). As for Bluetooth, it is smaller and uses less energy. This mean’s your battery will last longer on your portable speakers. I love the practicality and reliability.

I could go on. You can get into bitrate and range and all kinds of esoteric details, but let’s end here. You know enough to make a good choice because the purposes of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth vary enormously. You can make an informed decision about one or the other; I suggest both. I use them extensively in different ways. It is easy to make a modest investment and get your music delivered wherever you are.

Goth Music Online Today

One of the great things about people who are interested in the goth subculture today is that the Internet has made it easy for people to get involved with all of its cultural offerings. It’s a lot easier to find goth metal songs online today. People can easily become fans of bands that are decades old. This would have been a lot harder even ten years ago. Today, people who weren’t eve born yet when a lot of these bands made their debut can get going with them now.

Many of the best goth metal bands are from the 1990’s or the 2000’s. Some of these bands are still around today. Some of them have managed to split up since them. However, their art lives on, and people can still appreciate everything that they have to offer as if the world was still in the 1990’s or the 2000’s. There are certainly going to be times where all of us wish that this was the case. These are songs that can help all of us travel back in time in a way that all of us will definitely like.

Anyone can listen to all of these songs. You don’t have to consider yourself ‘goth’ to like them. If you’ve heard a song from Sirenia and you liked it, that’s all that counts. All of these groups have songs that are widely available today, and you can spend all day listening to them. For someone like me, who remembers pouring through record stores, this still feels like a rare opportunity.

Why You Should Listen to Goth Music

You don’t have to actually consider yourself goth to enjoy goth metal. There aren’t any entrance requirements or anything like that. Many of the artists who actually work in the goth metal genre or the related genres actually do technically write for a more general audience. You don’t actually have to choose the music that you listen to based on the subculture that you’re a member of, even though that is something that a lot of people do.

Goth metal is something that a lot of people will love because it manages to combine so many emotions at once. On the one hand, it tends to have the artistry of all of the music that people associate with the goth subculture. On the other hand, it tends to have the raw power of metal music. Most other types of goth music are like that.

One of the things that I’ve always loved about goth metal and goth music in general is the fact that it all tends to encourage you to feel and express emotions that we’re constantly told that we have to suppress under all circumstances: sadness and anger. It’s getting less and less acceptable to ever express anger. These days, it seems like any person who does is automatically labeled unstable. Anger is a real emotion, and it seems like it’s something that we’re increasingly told to deny, even in situations where expressing the anger isn’t going to hurt anyone and even if we’re expressing it in healthy ways.

Expressing sadness seems to be frowned on even more, especially if you’re a man in this culture. Expressing anger could theoretically hurt someone, so at least people being nervous about other people’s anger makes some sense. The fact that there’s also a taboo against being openly sad is a different story. You’re not hurting anyone by being sad, and yet people act as if this is the case. Even when people have perfectly legitimate reasons for feeling depressed about anything, they’re often ridiculed for actually telling anyone about it at any point.

You could be in your room and telling someone something in confidence without anyone listening, and they’ll still act as if you’re forcing the whole world to experience all of your negative emotions. They could actually be asking you all about what’s bothering you, and they’ll then get angry at you for actually answering the question. It’s a frustrating situation for everyone. You have to figure that the people who allow this situation as a norm get sad and angry at times and have to deal with the consequences of the terrible system that they support every now and then as well, but they still keep it going.

For a lot of people in this culture, goth music of all kinds can be a release. People need to have that. You can’t just pretend that you don’t experience these emotions, even if that is the strategy that a lot of people try. It doesn’t work. I want the entire culture to change. Until that happens, at least people can get a release that some of the artists offer.

My Top 5 Favorite Songs

When you list your favorite songs in almost any genre, you’ll have some people judging you for them. If you’re actually involved in any subculture, you’ll get this even more. As far as I’m concerned, these are not necessarily the best songs ever written objectively. I don’t care whether or not they’re the best representations of the goth metal genre or goth rock genre in general. These are just the five songs in the genre that I can’t get enough of and that I listen to over and over again. People who like the goth metal or goth rock genres will probably also like them.

Within Temptation’s best song is probably Our Solemn Hour, and it’s one of my favorite songs in general. This is really one of those songs that will make you feel like anything is possible. It has a way of making the day seem epic right away.

Epica’s Cry for the Moon is my favorite song of theirs. It definitely has a theme that some people won’t like, but even a lot of religious people should appreciate the song for the sheer artistry and power behind it.

While a lot of people still like to argue about the status of Evanescence as a genuine goth band, I do really like their song Lies, and a lot of people would say that it sounds like a much more genuinely goth song than a good portion of their other offerings. I think that it’s their best song, hands-down, and a lot of people would agree with that.

My favorite song of Nightwish is Nemo. It’s probably one of their most covered songs, so people should be able to easily find a lot of different versions of it online. I like the original and a good portion of the covers. People should be able to find a version of it that they like even if they’re not big fans of Nightwish.

Seven Widows Weep is probably my favorite song from Sirenia, although it really is hard to narrow it down when you’re talking about Sirenia. If I could narrow down stuff from Within Temptation, then I could narrow down stuff from Sirenia.

I’m always eager to hear about a lot of other people’s favorite songs. If there’s something in this genre or any other that people like, I want to hear it. One way or another, now people know the songs that I’ve listened to a few thousand times.

All Part of Goth Culture

There are lots of debates about what ‘goth’ culture actually is. Some goths love the stereotypes. Some goths rebel against the stereotypes. Some goths don’t care. As far as I can see, none of that matters. We all have a general idea of what the subculture stands for even if we don’t agree on the specifics.

Some people have said that the goth subculture represents a revival of romanticism. It’s basically about emotional authenticity and valuing all emotions, even some of the most negative ones. Goths do focus on the dark side of life, including the parts of life that a lot of people like to ignore and the parts of life that a lot of people like to rationalize away. People all have different ways of coping with their own mortality. Goths deny that avoiding the subject altogether is the best way of going about it.

Goths have a tendency to focus on a lot of the darker and creepier things that humanity has invented in order to cope with mortality. This is partly a matter of us trying to find new ways to cope with it ourselves. It’s also just partly about liking the dramatic aspects of everything dark and ghoulish. If you’re a person who wants to be able to really experience emotions authentically in a culture that tries to suppress them, than focusing on almost anything dramatic is a good way to bring all of that out.

Goths have a tendency to like a lot of stuff that’s old-fashioned in some ways, which is also a part of rejecting certain aspects of modern culture and reviving some aspects of nineteenth century romanticism. People who are interested in the goth subculture have a tendency to care more about fitting into their own personal vision of how they should look than the one that’s currently popular.

Being a goth isn’t about having a style that no one else has. People often use goths as a symbol of the notion that people who are rebelling against the ‘system’ are just conforming in a different way. They’re misinterpreting what goths are about, and confusing us with some hippies. It’s not about rejecting the entire system. It’s about rejecting certain parts of it. The obsession with denying that the dark side of life exists has real consequences. Encouraging people to suppress all feelings that aren’t positive or socially sanctioned is a problem. The goth subculture is about letting go of that aspect of the mainstream culture.

Best Goth Metal Bands

One of the annoying things about talking about the best goth metal bands is that it automatically causes people to argue about which bands actually qualify as ‘real’ goth metal bands. I don’t exactly know what they’re expecting to accomplish here. This isn’t like testing something to see if it has any chlorine in it. There’s no objective definition for a goth metal band.

One of the things that makes this even more difficult is the fact that a lot of the artists themselves will argue about which labels accurately describe them. I would call Nightwish and After Forever two of my favoritegoth metal bands. However, both of them would probably argue with me about that, since they’ve tried to move away from the goth label for reasons that continue to elude me. Most of their fans still think of them that way, so that’s more or less how I think of them.

This just raises the question of whether or not artists get to identify themselves in a particular way according to their own set of standards or whether or not they should try to use some sort of an industry standard to make it happen. Even I’m not sure about how I feel about this. I support the fact that Evanescence rejected the ‘Christian’ band label, even though a lot of their songs have a distinctly Christian feel. Most Christian bands are more overt about it, and they use Christian imagery much more consistently. However, the debate about whether or not they count as a goth metal band is harder to settle. It’s been going on for nearly twenty years by this point, so it’s not going to be settled any time soon.

It seems like a lot of the bands that have managed to become mainstream in any way are less likely to be labeled as ‘real’ goth metal bands. In this case, it seems to be all about the subculture and feeling like you have refined tastes and that you know the genre better than a lot of other people. If you know something that’s really obscure, that makes you a ‘true’ fan. These days, it just means that a Type O Negative song appeared in your YouTube feed after you listened to the most popular song from Lacuna Coil, so I wish we would stop using that as a standard.

There seems to be a particular sound or set of sounds that will make most people think of goth metal. Usually, goth metal tends to have the raw, angry metal sound juxtaposed with the softer and more melodious sounds of goth rock. I’ve heard people outside the genre say that it sounds like someone playing classical music and heavy metal at the same time, which isn’t a bad description. There are usually different people performing the vocals. You’ll have a woman with a harmonious, heavenly soprano at one point in the song and a man screaming into the microphone at other points. The instrumental aspects of the song more or less accomplish the exact same thing. In my book, almost anything that uses those particular musical motifs can count as goth metal.

Within Temptation is one of the best goth metal bands out there today, and it’s a great one for the people who are new to the genre. People are still arguing about whether Within Temptation ripped off Evanescence or whether it’s the other way around, or which one of them qualifies as a goth metal band. I don’t care: I like both of them, and they both offer that distinctive sound that you can really only get with goth metal.

Sirenia is another great choice. They’re similar to Within Temptation in sound, but some people would say that they’re a little less mainstream. Epica is another great choice. Their songs really have a tendency to emphasize a lot of the best parts of goth metal, with the strong and aggressive male vocals and the high-pitched soprano female vocals. The ‘soprano and gravel’ style has managed to bring goth metal to life for years now.

Of course, I consider myself more of a ‘true fan’ of goth music than the people who endlessly argue over which songs actually qualify as the real deal because I like pretty much all of the bands that get labeled as ‘goth.’ Whether Anathema is the real thing, the Cure is the real thing, the Vision Bleak is the real thing, or My Dying Bride is the real thing, I can recommend them all.