August 6, 2009

My strange obsession with Goth and Industrial music

Maybe its because stereotypically my musical palate usually consists of indie bands, underground hip hop and old wave punk...but lately I have been listening to a mixture of Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle, Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy...weird. I have always been a fan of The Misfits and The Horrors which are known horror punk acts...but The 69 Eyes? not so much. Joy Division, and The Cure have also been staples of my music collection...however I have never really delved that deep into the goth and industrial music scenes, frankly (and unnecessarily) it scared me a bit. However, because it was intimidating, goth music became more intriguing to me, and I decided to find more musical acts I enjoyed. I can't say that I know much about either industrial or goth, even with weeks of listening to goth radio stations and reading goth and industrial blogs but I have found bands that I liked (and bands I have always had in my music collection...) so I figured it would be a good time to do a blog post on these two genres.

So Goth Rock, which is surprisingly hard to classify, has led me to many sub-genres such as gothic metal, deathrock and horror punk. I like horror punk acts like The Horrors and The Misfits as well as Siouxie and the Banshees because they are campy and fun. Bands like The Damned were also entertaining and added a harder edge to the scene. I tried many different bands from the gothic metal genre which has an unusual operatic and romantic feel (most of the lead singers are female sopranos). More mainstream acts like Lacuna Coil and Evanesence have huge international followings, but have never been my cup of tea. So listed below are the most interesting goth bands I have discovered. However, goth music is really a mixture of so many other genres (remember goths are really the stepchildren of the late 1970s punk scene) so its quite hard to label something completely "goth" given the fact that they infuse as much opera and classical music into their sound as metal and punk. If you are interested in discovering more goth and industrial music make your way to my "Favorite Places On The Web" section and click on Goth Radio, that's the website I visit the most when I want to find new goth music.

Sisters of Mercy - Lucretia, My Reflection
Classic, goth rock/ horror punk. They played a huge part in the romantic gothic look that has become associated with goth fashion.

The Cure - A Forest
Most modern goths would probably kill me for putting them on this list. However, Robert Smith and his band played a huge part in making the goth movement mainstream in the eighties, even if they eventually strayed from it.

Siouxsie And The Banshees - Happy House and Passenger (an Iggy Pop cover)
Mixing punk rock, with darker lyrics and heavier sounds, they really were one of the first goth-punk bands. They also did a great cover of an Iggy Pop classic, "The Passenger."

The Horrors - She is the New Thing
I mentioned them in one of my first posts called "The Best Angry Albums" and they are part of the new horror punk revival.

Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
My favorite goth/post punk band and maybe the most worshiped (besides Bauhaus).

Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
One strange strange band, and one of the most important goth bands. I have their stuff, but I can't say I listen to it much. Its almost like I have it because its required that all music snobs have an extensive collection of the most obscure and important alternative bands and albums (you know like all those books you should own and should read). Therefore I feel obligated to put this on the list, think of it like required reading.

The Misfits
- American Psycho
Equally worshiped by punks and goths, pioneers of the horror punk movement.

New Order - Ceremony
Formed by the remaining members of Joy Divison after the lead singer committed suicide, they were pioneers of the post-punk movement but still maintained a darker electronic sound.

Gothic metal was quite hard to get into for me. I found that most bands sounded similar, and although they have strong female lead singers, I had a difficult time distinguishing one band from the next. I am posting some of the more popular groups, but I really don't think I can see myself jamming out to any of these guys any time soon....

Within Temptation - Angels
The lead singer has a very beautiful soprano, and the song itself is actually quite good, however I found that almost all of their songs sound the same. And their sound is a bit too flowery for my taste, too much musical fluff.

Lacuna Coil - Heavens A Lie
Again, strong lead singer, hard edgy bass and guitar riffs, but it all just sounds generic to me.

Evanescence - My Immortal
Lets not forget that Evanescence was originally a gothic metal band, and have borrowed heavily from other goth acts. However their stuff all sounds the same to me as well.


music is something that is a bit more of an acquired taste. Throbbing Gristle is widely considered the founding fathers of this scene, with their "technology" meets "savage" sound. Today, bands like VNV Nation, and Skinny Puppy are considered pioneers of the scene. Although "rivet heads" (people who are committed to following the "Industrial" music lifestyle) are usually confused with goths, they maintain a separate scene, with different musical origins. While goth music originated from punk, industrial originated from the Fluxus movement of the 1960s and the post-punk experimental era of the 1980s. However there have been cross over acts, and the two scenes have more or less grown together, borrowing musical styles once in a while. Therefore the lines have become increasingly muddled between the two genres, and if it weren't for the separatist attitudes of the rivet head community, the divide may not exist at all. Anyways, here are a few industrial bands I have in my collection and others I have recently discovered.

Skinny Puppy - Protest
I actually really dig the song and the video, who knew rivet heads could break dance?

VNV Nation - Illusion
I actually think this song is quite beautiful and haunting.

Throbbing Gristle - Discipline
Its a must that I include this on the list. After all they were one of the founding fathers. Be prepared this is very very hardcore industrial, and may be too raw for some people, and that's ok. I am really showcasing this to demonstrate what the scene originally was like.

Apoptygma Berzerk - Cambodia
I was introduced to this group by my friend Shelly, and it turns out they are respected veterans in the Industrial scene.

She Wants Revenge - Tear You Apart
I have had this song in my collection for years, She Wants Revenge is an indie band that has "industrial tendencies." I am not really a musical purist, and this is an example of how the goth and industrial lines have been muddled.


  1. I love the songs!

  2. Here is a Goth Radio station that plays the songs above and many more...