It has been thirty years since drummer / vocalist Jonas Renske and Anders “Blackheim” Nyström began a musical journey that would see them evolve from a studio-only project exploring their darker musical tastes to becoming one of the most respected purveyors of melancholic and post-Gothic music; always evolving with each album, embracing Gothic and progressive metal, and always distinctively Katatonia.
Nearly fifteen years ago, current Killswitch Engage members Jesse Leach and Adam Dutkiewicz teamed up to birth the collaborative project Times of Grace. This dynamic duo pushed their creative boundaries by conjuring a fresh take on the heavy-yet-melodic sound. They delivered their debut album, The Hymn of a Broken Man (Roadrunner Records) in 2011. The gloom and aggression let loose on that record was ignited by the brutally honest songwriting. The themes of struggle, heartbreak, and hope were potently delivered with a real and plaintive spirit. These two brought forth a discovery of powerful melancholy and now ten years later, they are offering a sequel to that revelation. Their second full-length Songs of Loss and Separation (Wicked Good Records) is carrying on the melodic mournfulness, yet wonderfully wholesome sound that is Times of Grace.
Despite promising to move away from Heavy Metal in favor of a Post Punk sound in marketing materials, Lunar Shadow’s third album still features many of the band’s established quirks. The guitar tone’s lessened distortion promises a less in-your-face attitude, but the actual playing is still based around intricate sweeps and trills. The drumming also continues to mix in some aggressive fills and double bass patterns with the more upbeat rhythms while the vocal delivery still consists primarily of a shrill wail with some variation for mood.
Every album that Moonspell releases explores a different facet of their Gothic Metal style, sometimes responding to the one before it in a constant tug-o-war between darkness and light. Their thirteenth album, Hermitage (Napalm Records), is no exception. In contrast to the grandiose symphonics of 2018’s 1755, the band opts for a scaled-back, atmospheric approach with more Prog influence thrown in than usual. It seems to invoke the band’s early vibe without going full throwback and also reminds me of Tiamat or Opeth in spots.
With the release of their fourth full-length, Demon Head has gone from a particularly rustic Occult Doom band to full-on Goth Rock with a few sparse Doom elements. Glossy guitars and Robert Smith-esque vocals among other elements became prominent with 2019’s Hellfire Ocean Void and Viscera (Metal Blade Records) pushes them to an even further extent. But while this album should feel like the culmination of a well-realized evolution, the results are those of an unfortunately awkward misstep.
Cutting her professional teeth among serious pedigree as a member of Psych-Rock collective The Eden House Orchestra, the ethereal vocals of Belfast’s Louise Patricia Crane have dripped honey with such luminaries as Monica Richards and Julianne Regan. Debut solo album Deep Blue (Peculiar Doll Records) sees a host of Rock legends lend a hand to create a work of strange, wistful charm, paying due deference to a number of influences in the process.Continue reading
Many consider the British band, Paradise Lost to be the fathers of the Gothic Metal genre. Formed in 1988, four out of the five members have been there since the beginning. This tight-knit group of guys is a prime example of a hard-working band who knows how to stay creative and original. The exploration and determination of this act has led them down some unique roads over the years. After experimenting on albums like One Second (Music for Nations) and Believe In Nothing (EMI), Paradise Lost got back to their roots in 2015. They embraced their Death Metal background with the release of The Plague Within (Century Media Records) and 2017’s Medusa (Nuclear Blast). Now with the release of their sixteenth record, Obsidian (Nuclear Blast), their heaviness is being fleshed out with even more distinct devastation. Continue reading
Philip Anselmo’s (Pantera, Down, Scour, Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals) “depression core” project En Minor has signed a new record deal for Europe and Ward in Japan, with the great label Season of Mist. The band will release its debut full-length later this year. The band released a self-titled seven-inch EP this summer via Housecore Records. Continue reading
Ghost Cult caught up with Death Valley High mastermind Reyka Osburn recently to discuss their brand new covers/remixes EP Duel, out now via minusHEAD Records. We chatted with Reyka about the new EP, how the group chooses covers from bands such as Metallica, Faith No More, Eurythmics, collaborating with peers and friends on remixes, the mix between Goth rock and dance music, working with a mentor and friend like Chino Moreno of Deftones/Crosses, and the timeline for a new full-length DVH album. Continue reading
Los Angeles theatrical rock band Raven Black has wowed audiences as the opening band on the Static-X “Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour”. We personally witnessed the band win over unfamiliar crowds and turn them into fans with their music, and amazing performances. We chatted with Raven Black herself about the formation of the band, their approach to connecting with fans, the progress the band is making towards a new album, working with Dez and Anastasia Fafarra’s The Oracle Management, and much more! Continue reading