Recently in Goth Category

Lycosia: ApokaLipstik

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Lycosia: ApokaLipstikCD, Araknid Records 2006

Track list: Last Splash - All These Worlds - Follow Me - Hard Dressed Bitch - Leftover - Kiss Me Hard - Say Fuck Yeah! - Light Years - уmhae Дpaka - Don't Say a Word (Make up mix)

This French band mixes goth, glam and industrial for quite a mix. Too bad I don't like it. Most of it seems fairly pointless, just rushing around for no particular reason. The best parts I might play on a goth club night, and I think this band might be worth seeing live, but listening the whole album through? Won't happen again for me. **

Suruaika: Pelkäämme vain toisiamme

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Suruaika: Pelkäämme vain toisiammeCD, Cyberware 2006

Track list: Aika ei parantanut haavojani - Nimesi jää elämään - Malja eiliselle - Ei savua ilman tulta - Tahdon kadota - Kaukana kaupungista - Katarsis - Hyvästi maailma - Tuhansia päitä - Sulkemisaika - Stigmat - Jäähyväiset

While Nekropoli was an excellent goth punk album (I'd actually give it five stars now), it offers little variation. This album is more varied, with all sorts of different moods - Tuhansia päitä, for example, is very Placebo-like. The result is good; while Nekropoli reigns still superior, doing another similar album would've been a mistake. This album shows Suruaika is moving on and exploring new directions. Well done. ****

Das Ich: Cabaret

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Das Ich: CabaretCD, Massacre Records 2006

Track list: Moritat - Atemlos - Macht - Paradigma - Fluch (Ahnung) - Opferzeit - Schwarzes Gift - Nahe - Zuckerbrot & Peitsche - Cabaret

German darkwave electro maestros are back. They have a huge catalog, which is mostly unknown to me. Cabaret, as it turns out, is a pretty good place to start from. I like the way Das Ich combines dark atmosphere, theatrical expression and dance beats; it all blends in rather nice. Of course, with such experience, that's hardly a surprise. ****

Domina Noctis: Nocturnalight

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Domina Noctis: NocturnalightCD, Officina Rock 2005

Track list: Shades of Dark and Light - My Book of Shadows - Let Me Flood Your Mind - Gloom - It's On Me - Lilith (The Black Moon) - Nevermore - Venus in a Dust Whirl

I don't know what's with me and Italian goth metal bands, but there just isn't a connection. I should probably stop reviewing them. Domina Noctis is a good example: a talented female vocalist fronting a seriously boring band. There's one good track on the album, and that's the Pyogenesis cover It's On Me. Rest is simply not interesting enough. **

Tenebre: Hearts Blood

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Tenebre: Hearts BloodCD, Regain Records 2005

Track list: Silver Flame - Mistress Of The Dark - Serpent's Fire - Shine - Blue - Pray - Nightmare - Black Void Nirvana - Heart's Blood - Night Reborn

Hearts Blood is easy to describe: it's a poor man version of Blessed Be by 69 Eyes. The vocalist sounds pretty much the same as Jyrki from 69 Eyes, but the songs are totally inferior. There are few good ones, but most of it is fairly boring. There's loads of gothic rock like this, and a pretty large share of it is better than this. **

EverEve: Tried & Failed

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EverEve: Tried & FailedCD, Massacre 2005

Track list: Thighs Wide Shut (Overture) - Tried & Failed - You're Mine - A Scornful Love - Desire - Pine Oil Heaven - I'm Not Afraid (Of Losing You Again) - Anima Sola - On Thin Ice - Hide From Me - Thighs Wide Shut (Reprise) - Forsaken - Before Sunrise - Epilogue 2005

I'm quite sure I won't be the only one to say this, but here goes: EverEve has, indeed, tried and failed. I enjoyed Regret, but this album just doesn't cut it. With only one or two decent tracks (Pine Oil Heaven, Forsaken), Tried & Failed is surprisingly mediocre stuff. The embarrassing s/m imagery doesn't certainly help it. These guys could do better. **

Page, Nik: Sinmachine

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Page, Nik: SinmachineCD, Wannsee Records 2005

Track list: Herzschlag - Road of Damnation - Dein Kuss - Mysteryland - Black Mail Generation - Sincity - Velvet Sky - Bad Karma - Drop My Guard - Mephisto - Seelenfanger - Sweet Dust

Nik Page cooks up a best-seller mix with a solid base of Sisters of Mercy, an added dash of Rammstein and synthpop, spicing the mix with PVC fashion fetish. And boobs, a big pair of boobs on the cover. Can't fail with a mix like that! Page's goth pop is very commercial, very I've-heard-this-before and very boring, with few exceptions (Dein Kuss). **

Mortal Love: I Have Lost...

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Mortal Love: I Have Lost... CD, Massacre Records 2005

Track list: Existence - Serenity - Spine - Adoration - Senses - Empathy - Reality - Sanity - Identity - Hope - Memory - Everything

Let's see: this Norwegian (check) band features a pretty female vocalist (check) who has a rather beautiful voice (check). They are aiming full blast at both goth (check) and metal (check) audiences... Well, if you've read my reviews, you know what I think of these bland and generic female-vocalist led goth metal bands: if it ain't Theatre of Tragedy good, it ain't nothing. Once again: the vocalist is good (if a bit thin on the voice), the songs are decent, but it just doesn't excite me a bit. Goth metal fans, check this one out, otherwise forget it. ***

Macbeth: Malae Artes

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Macbeth: Malae ArtesCD, Dragonheart 2005

Track list: Nuda veritas - Lifelong Hope - My Desdemona - Miss Murderess - How Can Heaven Love Me - Good Mourning - Henceforth - Keep the Secret - Down-Hearted - Dead and Gone

What a brilliant name gone to waste. Macbeth is a beautiful tragedy, but at least Malae Artes fails to impress me of this Macbeth's quality. Replace the male vocalist Andreas and it would be a notch better, but probably a bit average still. There's a cover of Sarah Brightman's How Can Heaven Love Me, but even that doesn't really stand out from the band's own songs. Fans of bands like Evanescence might get something out of this, I don't. **

Despairation: Music for the Night

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Despairation: Music for the NightCD, My Kingdom Music 2004

Track list: Music For The Night - Drift - Phantastronaut - River Of Perdition - Underground Poetry - Madrigal - L'Avion Ivre - Asteroid YB5 - Firebird - Moondrawn Awakening - Proteus - Zeitgeist - April Mourning - Songs Of The Nightingale - Nuit En Enfer - Colourado Mindtrip - Space Sound Park - Penelope

Music for the Night is a curious album. First of all, it's way too long. 80 minutes of music is too much on a non-compilation album, period. That said, some of the songs are very interesting. Phantastronaut, Songs of the Nightingale, L'Avion Ivre and so on are quite fantastic. The vocalist has a good David Bowie -thing going on and the soft gothpop/darkwave touch is nice. Were this one shorter, it would be much better. ***

Darkwell: Metatron

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Darkwell: MetatronCD, Napalm Records 2004

Track list: Fate Prisoner - Strange - Metatron - Crown of Thorn - The Machine - Hope Unborn - Nothingness - Far Cry - Last Glance

Goth metal with female lead vocals - that's a genre I don't fancy too much. Theatre of Tragedy did it so well on Aegis, everything else just sounds bland compared to that. So does Metatron. Vocalist Stephanie Luzie does her job well, but the songs are a bit too curly for my tastes. Too many different parts, you know. Not bad, but not outstanding in any positive way either. ***

Elis: Dark Clouds in a Perfect Sky

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Elis: Dark Clouds in a Perfect SkyCD, Napalm Records 2004

Track list: Der Letzte Tag - Anger - Lost Soul - Perfect Love - Heart in Chains - Die Zeit - Black Angel - Devil Inside You - Rebirth - Are You Missing Me - Ballade

Elis hails from Liechtenstein. Group was formed around vocalist Sabine Dünser, who has a pretty voice and good looks. Their style is basically goth metal, with a twist or two. Sabine sings both in German and English. Unfortunately German is in a minor role, as I much preferred those songs with their lovely darkwave vibe. Still, if one's looking for some goth metal with female vocals, one could do worse than pick Dark Clouds in a Perfect Sky. ***

Theatres des Vampires: Nightbreed of MacabriaCD, Blackend 2004

Track list: Welcome to Macabria - A Macabre Banquet - Lady in Black - Angel of Lust - Luciferia - Incubo #1 - Macabria - The Jesters Shadow - The Golden Sin - Carnival Day - Incubo #2 - The Curse of Headless Christ - Mourning Day - The Undertaker & the Crow - The Beginning of the End - La Danse Macabria du Vampire

I don't quite see Blackend as a goth label. Thus, it's no surprise when Theatres des Vampires turns out to be pretty bad... It's something of a hybrid goth metal, but fails as both. The metal parts are worse than average and the goth parts even worse. The vocalists suck and the album's too long, too. There is, indeed, little good in this album. **

Lacrimas Profundere: Ave End

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Lacrimas Profundere: Ave EndCD, Napalm Records 2004

Track list: One Hope's Evening - Ave End - To Bleed or not to Be - Sarah Lou - Amber Girl - Testified - Astronautumn - Evade - Wake Down - Black - Come, Solitude

Ave End is an example of elegant gothic rock. The emphasis is slightly more on gothic than rock, but the album is still rather groovy. The vocalist lacks uniqueness, but sounds very good nonetheless. The most obvious problem with the album is the lack of really good songs - there are no instantly recognisable hits and that's a shame, because Ave End would've been a five-star album with even one or two good hits. Now the general mood of the album and the generally good quality of the tracks is quite enough of four stars. ****

Suruaika: Nekropoli

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Suruaika: NekropoliCD, Cyberware Productions 2004

Track list: Jotain kylmää - Uudet kauhut - Syysmorsian - Kun kaikki nukkuvat - Joku valvoo meitä - Hampaat - Uskottomuudesta - Meidän täytyy kuolla - Viisi tuntia - Toinen puoli - Kummitusjuna - Lunta elokuussa

It's been two years since the previous Suruaika album. The wait has been worth the while, because the new album is even better. Suruaika doesn't rely on classic Sisters of Mercy style, but draws from Killing Joke, Bauhaus and the Finnish arch-goths Musta Paraati. Musta Paraati -connection is made even more obvious when the band records - for the first time ever - Musta Paraati track "Toinen puoli", featuring Paraati drummer Ykä. One surprising connection I hear is to early Yö. The result is a very good and fresh album. ****

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