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.