Gothic Metal

  • Fright Night – Life Eternal (2014)


    Making it our review stack, today we have Russia’s Fright Night and their sophomore release “Life Eternal”. Featuring a keyboard-driven Gothic Rock/Metal style, the band nicely blends elements of other groups like Lacrimosa, Lacrimas Profundere, and End of Green, but keeps their sound timeless with a high atmospheric emphasis. Clocking in at 45 minute, this release consists of nine tracks that will surely please any fan of the genre.

    Opening with lush atmospheric elements and prominent keyboards, “Cherry Blossom” is one of those bleak sounding tracks that is both catchy and dark. The usage of three different vocal styles is quiet solid, and the main female/male singers do a great job in fusing their vocals in several brilliant dual sections. The album mood is quite melancholic and tracks like “Gerda” and “Numb” bring us back to some of the early days of Gothic Metal from bands like Edge of Sanity.

  • Sirenia – The Seventh Path (2015)


    The highly consistent Sirenia returns with yet another masterful Gothic/Symphonic Metal release. Morten Veland has always been known for his consistency and signature approach to the genre and with “The Seventh Path”, he delivers another quality release that fans will absolutely love. Featuring 11 tracks of majestic female vocals paired with dramatic and bombastic music, this is one of those albums that will stand out this 2015.

    After the lush opener “Seti”, the band delivers the explosive “Serpent”. In this moment you are instantly transported into Sirenia’s world, as the band delivers a fully immersive experience with their music. The signature growls and riffs from Morten Veland make their way, and we instantly felt right at home. With a bigger emphasis on more Symphonic elements, “Once My Light” features some very cool Gregorian-style chorus arrangements that take the song to a whole new level.

  • Red Moon Architect – Fall (2015)


    With every year having less and less Death/Gothic Doom Metal releases coming out, we cherish the ones we get. Hailing from Finland, Red Moon Architect deliver an astonishing album fill with the sorrow and melancholy that we always look in our music. Originally a one man project, Saku Moilanen has put together a five-piece lineup and has unleashed “Fall” to the world. Featuring eight tracks of soul crushing music, this is one album that you do not want to miss in 2015.

    Opening with the slowly building atmospheric piece “A Wish for a Tear”, we have Anni Viljanen returning with her enchanting female vocals. The newcomer growler Juuso Turkki does a great job in delivering the harsh male vocal counterparts, at some points the band sounds like October Tide thanks to his singing style and the riffs on this first song. The band is not afraid of changing up little things that transform the direction of songs like “The Other Side”, where they have pretty interesting tempo changes and play with how they mix the female and male growls, making their songs less linear than the genre standard.

  • Rise of Avernus - Dramatis Personæ (2015)


    With the popularity of Gothic/Symphonic Metal, hundreds of bands appeared in the scene and flooded our inbox with tons of sub-par releases. Luckily for us, Rise of Avernus does not conform with the masses and on their latest EP “Dramatis Personæ”, the band manages to have their own unique interesting of Progressive Gothic/Doom Metal. Imagining Septic Flesh meets Epica, this band delivers both intricate heavy music and some nice orchestrations to adorn things.

    Opening with “In the Absence of Will”, we get the traditional symphonic orchestrations mixed with some interesting riffs and tempo changes. The drumming is quite solid and the overall feel of the track is heavier than symphonic… what a relief. Things get a bit more complex and engaging with the brilliant “Path to Shekinah”, a song that features some heavy passages and engaging vocal arrangements (both growls and male clean vocals).

  • Moonspell – Extinct (2015)


    Portugal’s greatest extreme music export Moonspell returns this 2015 with yet another very solid release that is quite diverse and engaging. Never compromising, “Extinct” shows yet another face of this outfit and delivers ten tracks of catchy Gothic/Dark Metal that is always perfectly led by Fernando Ribeiro’s extremely characteristic vocals. In a release that is sure to catch a few people off-guard, the band comes out triumphantly with a fresh an entertaining 45 minutes of music.

    Opening with the perfectly arranged “Breath (Until We Are No More)”, the band introduces some very dramatic middle-eastern influenced orchestrations and creates a very unique atmosphere in this opening track. As we progress to “Extinct” and “Medusalem”, we notice that there is a heavier emphasis on the orchestral/classical arrangements and that while the guitars are heavy, they mostly complement a very Gothic/Dark Metal structure to things. A particular thing to note is the killer solo in “Medusalem” that is nicely wrapped in other arrangements making them sound a bit like Orphaned Land for a moment.

  • The Passion of Our Souls – Soulmates (2015)


    Riding on the tailwinds of bands like Amaranthe that play catchy pseudo-pop-ish Melodic Metal, today we have The Passion of our Souls from Finland. This Finish duo deliver four tracks of catchy riffs, memorable melodic passages, and solid vocals that are quite engaging and will get stuck in your head.

    Opening with “Give Me Your Soul”, the band instantly grabs your attention with some catchy hooks and very pleasing female vocals, courtesy of Julia Mattila. The male harsh vocals are a bit on the ‘too raspy’ side, but they seem to work with the music. While this release is catchy and mellow, it is also quite heavy as the opening of “Everything” will show you. The band is not just a convert to Metal, but rather one that has strong (and heavy) Metal foundations.

  • Voices of Destiny – Crisis Cult (2014)


    Very far from the explosiveness and originality of their 2010 debut release “From the Ashes”, today we have Voices of Destiny and their latest offering “Crisis Cult”. As the first blow to the band, they have lost their signature vocalist Maike Holzmann and their drummer Erik Seitz since their last release, the band delivers a very unimaginative run-of-the-mill Gothic/Symphonic Metal release with this one.

    Having been a fan of the band in the past, this new release showcases their weaknesses in composing compelling music and only highlights their abilities to borrow elements from other bands without having a signature staple on top of their music. The band’s new vocalist Ada Flechtner (ex-Coronatus) does a pretty decent job, but the music is ultimately what falls flat in this release. The opener “Wolfpack” has the band continuing their path with dramatic orchestrations, but the sudden tempo change when the vocals appear feels weird and reminds us of the ill-fated band Darkwell. Similar tempo changes and odd combinations of elements make songs like this one and “The Easy Prey”, “21 Heroes” and “Stormcrow” to feel very odd and disconnected.

  • Witches of Doom – Obey (2014)


    Extreme catchiness arrives today under the name of Witches of Doom and their debut release “Obey”. Expertly mixing Doom/Sludge elements with Gothic Rock and infusing them with an extra dosage of grooviness, this Italian band delivers nine superb tracks that are extremely melodic and totally awesome.

    The album opens with the Southern/Twangy “The Betrayal”, a song that instantly showcases the band’s talented singer Fed Venditti. With a very deep alternative rock/gothic vocals, this is the signature element that bands need these days to stand out from the pack. As the band goes through tracks like “Witches of Doom”, “Needless Needle” and “To The Bone”, we notice influences of bands like H.I.M, Lacrimas Profundere, and other Gothic Metal/Rock bands, but with a slight Sludgy twist.

  • Liv Kristine – Vervain (2014)


    The charismatic Liv Kristine is having a very hectic 2014 with the release of her latest album “Vervain” and her touring/recording duties with her female super group The Sirens. In this installment of her solo career, she delivers ten very catchy and engaging tracks that will surely satisfy her legions of fans and nicely continue her well defined musical trajectory.

    Opening with the catchy “My Wilderness”, we have a nice combination of her beautiful vocals and strong guitar work to deliver a heavy-but-catchy track. As one of the best tracks in this release, “Love Decay” channels H.I.M and Theater of Tragedy in a very effective song featuring Michelle Darkness of End of Green. The chorus section in this track is truly memorable, and the sparse keyboards reminded us of Theater of Tragedy in their “Aegis” era.

  • The Hourglass – Through Darkness and Light (2014)


    Hailing from Romania, today we have The Hourglass and their majestic Symphonic/Gothic Metal release “Through Darkness and Light”. With countless bands in this genre, it is quite hard to find standout bands and releases, but The Hourglass managed to surface from the pile and claimed our attention for more than several hours – a feat considering the amount of CD’s we review every week.

    Avoiding any filler intro track, the band gets down to business with the lush “Dying Star”, a song that is quite dynamic and features some interesting electronic elements thrown into the mix. This track reminds us a bit of a mixture of Nemesea and Edenbridge. The band’s vocalist Alma Vomastek delivers an incredible performance with her excellent vocal talents. As the band delivers bombastic songs like “Rise” and “Away”, our attentions are greatly focused on the ballad “Dare”. In this very dramatic song we greatly appreciate the band’s intricate songwriting skills that perfectly outline every single element in their sound.


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