Goth is the New Black


Guest Wil Cifer is dropping by to share some of his favorite current goth-influenced bands.

The bloody wedding of Goth and metal has been met with mixed results over the years. For every great success story like Type O Negative and My Dying Bride there have been far more questionable examples. Cradle of Filth‘s foray into Hot Topic territory may have smeared the lipsticked reputation of the genre forever. But, I write this as a guy who grew up in the late 80s/early 90s who found myself often too Goth for my metal head friends and too into metal for my Goth girl friends. But my time has now come; as vinyl experiences another resurgence, plenty of hardcore kids and metal heads are scouring the bins at thrift stores and coming across Sisters of Mercy and Siouxsie albums, so this marriage has been getting its vow renewed over the past six years. Both black metal and doom bands alike have let the bats out of their closet, Nergal has said the next Behemoth album will have more of a post punk influence, Carl McCoy from the Fields of the Nephilim has appeared on a Watain album, and Carpathian Forest has covered the Cure, who Varg Vickerness has stated was one of the few bands he still listens to when he is not making music for cave elves. So goth has been up in your black metal for some time. So let’s expand your dark horizons by taking a look a few bands that are both heavy as well as fun at funerals who are offering redemption from the generation of mall metal.


Alaric_EOM_cover_copy_72_pixelsThis band came out of a short hiatus to release their new album on Neurosis’ Neurot Records. At times they are like a doomed-out version of Killing Joke plowing into the post-apocalyptic wasteland their music conjures. To dismiss them with the death rock revival is oversimplifying their haunting and expansive sound. Layering gloom-ridden melodies thanks to their bassist’s tasteful playing, the band slowly works their drug into your system. Once it’s there, it’s difficult to cure your addiction.

 Youth Code


Youth Code are the real industrial deal, and their new album Commitment to Complications finds them stepping up their production considerably. Unlike your standard industrial band, they’re confident in the heft of their synths without needing to burnish them with a layer of thrashy guitars. There is an undeniable metal influence over this album, a fact further pushed into the light by Ben from Goatwhore who lends his snarl to the title track. They are already so aggressive that he doesn’t have to alter his approach to fit atop the hammering of their synths.


Tombs-2Tombs started off as a black metal band with touches of atmospheric darkness and have since completely given over to the dark side. Fade Kainer from Battilus and Statiqbloom joined their ranks for this year’s All Empires Fall, and they have expanded their darkness into a black hole of metallic fury. While the blast beats might have faded, the emotional intensity has stepped up to make this feel heavier than when they were hitting you with the full tempest of anger all the time.

Eight Bells


At times these ladies from Portland touch on black metal, and at other times they drape you in doom without ever being burdened by conforming to any one genre. If you ever wonder what Rasputina might sound like if they picked up guitars after becoming possessed, then these lullabies embody the sort of twisted epics your imagination might conjure.

Light of the Morning Star

Light-Of-The-Morning-Star-Cemetery-Glow-679x315This band might come closest to carrying the torch of the kind of Type O Negative clove cigarette suburban misanthropy. Capturing the mournful ambiance of doom without slowing down these guys don’t fit neatly into any one casket, despite the three songs on their new EP being painted in a similar sonic shade of black. If you have a low tolerance for actual singing, then of all the bands listed here this might be the one to skip. Chances are if you are taking the time to read this then Sisters of Mercy might pop up in your shuffle mode so the down trodden baritone of their singer won’t phase you.

Death Index

Screen-Shot-2016-01-08-at-11-48-07-AMCarson Cox came out of the Florida hardcore scene, started doing drugs, then formed a band called Merchandise. This little side project reclaims his punk roots, but with the added melody of his full time gig. The end result was something very dense and authentic in its intention, which is very refreshing. It’s moody in the man-when-I-do-this-much-coke-it-really-fucks-with-my-meds way that a great album can leave you with a killer hangover.

Author & Punisher

Author and Punisher

Tristan Shone is a mad scientist who builds his own cyborg instruments to crush your brain. No stranger to the metal scene, in the past five years he has found himself fully embraced by it. No guitars, just distorted machines that hit you like a tank that just trampled the truck that mowed you down; its robotic attack must be felt.


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  • I saw that Iron Bonehead promoted that new Sisters of Mercy the other day. Going to have to check that one out.

  • Interesting you threw Tombs in with this goth article, I always assumed they were for trend following sludge gulping brain dead post metal nerds

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Path of Totality is a dope album Randall.

      • I’ll be fair and say I heard their latest and wanted to die

        • I have Savage Gold on vinyl and it’s a bore. Bought it blindly at some record store because it looked metal.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          The year it was released, Path of Totality was written in the press as some mutant combination of black metal, NY hardcore and NY noise rock acts, and to be fair I don’t think the black metal label was all that appropriate but it’s one of my favorites from that year (2011?) I haven’t spent much time with Savage Gold or their EP.

          • I’ll just go ahead and encourage that you don’t unless you need to sleep

          • I’m taking a listen to it on ze bandcampe. It’s pretty interesting.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            I don’t think Savage Hold sucks, but generally speaking the band does.
            Path is also okay.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            I believe Savage gold is my favorite album by them

    • I saw Tombs in like… 2009 and it was siqqq af. Completely unrecognizable from what they are now.

      • i had no idea what they sounded like then so I have no idea whether to high five you or not

        • always give JTnK a high five. that’s like his version of charging CyBro’s batteries.

    • EsusMoose

      Guess I need to listen to them now

    • Óðinn

      Tombs is great, Randall. The complete opposite of Power Metal, which gargles donkey testes.

      • The same people who listen to Tombs now listened to My Chemical Romance in middle/high school and switched to vnecks and Baroness in college

        • Óðinn

          Thanks Randall. I’m a big proponent of education. Aside from My Chemical Romance, your comment is mostly positive. 🙂

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    Youth Code = flame emojis.

  • Waynecro

    This is a great article (thanks!); however, these bands don’t do anything for me.

    • tertius_decimus

      Inclined to agree. Eight Bells were okay, however they remind of doom band Jex Thoth which does more in my book, so…

  • Mother Shabubu

    These guys are somewhere between goth/doom and post-. They started as a doom band then went on to a more melodic sound.

  • tertius_decimus

    Female vocalist from Youth Code sings in way more agressive way than Agnete Kjølsrud, whose singing manner gives me goosebumps. Great. Synths aren’t my cup of tea, though.

    Tombs sounds evil without fast guitar sections or intense drumming. It’s in the atmosphere.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    Great article! Only familiar with Eight Bells and Tombs out of these, but the others are impressing me. Good old glooms…

  • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf

    Great picks!
    Been listening to these Chicago cats lately. Goth rock, but on a much more heavy and filthy sounding end than usual.

    And found out about this one a couple weeks ago. Same guys from Tristania and Elusive.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Not a bad tune, but they lost me a bit when the singing started.

      • The Only Theater of Pain is strong with that one.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          I’ve been jamming that a little lately, I like that shit.

        • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf


      • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf

        Which one? I’m guessing you’re talking about Cemetery.

  • Always loved me this goth band.

    • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf

      Excellent band!

      • Abradolf Lincler

        Weird to me that Tyronious likes something so . . . post. Reminds me of a lot of electronica, too. Not half bad.

        • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf

          Darkwave more than anything, actually (even though that term gets misused quite a bit, they fit the bill)

  • Guacamole Jim

    Author & Punisher is hella rad. It’s exactly like a tank that just trampled the truck that mowed you down with a robotic attack that must be felt.

  • Abradolf Lincler

    i still think gothy chicks can be hot

    • good on you, then?

      • Abradolf Lincler

        I mean I think that’s all I got for the subject

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I’m inclined to agree with you, BB.

      What’s up with the new nickname? I didn’t even know you were you earlier in the week.

      • Abradolf Lincler

        i dropped out for a week or so and decided to change it on return. (if you look at the profile name its still p much the same)

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          You’ll always be Blackbeard to me.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            im blackbeard to most people IRL, too, lol

    • Abradolf Lincler

      OT: another reason for living down the road from Oskar Blues is the Blue Dream IPA “. . . to other realms our souls must roam.” (rfi)

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    I’m intrigued by Alaric, unfortunately the song is unavailable so I’ll have to seek ’em our later.
    Author & Punisher is naturally awesome.

  • Hubert

    This is one of those genres that I think I can really get into if I take my time with it. Will check these ones out. Great article!

  • EsusMoose

    Youth code is cool, saw them with Baroness, definitely good stuff

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      They’re playing here in September with Tribulation!!!

      • EsusMoose

        Ah shit tribulation will be in town? Where?

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          September 2nd, I think they are playing at 7th Street Entry which is attached to First Avenue, downtown Minneapolis.

          • EsusMoose

            I’ll have to try to get a tickets/remember to buy a ticket.

          • EsusMoose

            Oh and Horrendous is also going to be there!

        • Ted Nü-Djent ™

          Next Friday 17th at The Bald Faced Stag

          • EsusMoose

            Cool will start walking right away. Should get there in a couple thousand years, timelandia is far

      • CT-12

        Heard Horrendous is on that bill, I wish I was in MN Sept. 2nd 🙁

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          They are!


          • CT-12

            Have fun hombre

      • Ted Nü-Djent ™

        I’ll be seeing Tribulation in about a week

  • JWEG

    Wild. I managed not only predict a band on your list just from the title, but also the very first one (Alaric). Do I get a reward? Or just an eternity of disappointment?

    Come to think of it, the latter would be more appropriate given the subject matter…

  • While we’re on the subject of deathrock and metal: Vaura, Atriarch and Circle of Ouroboros could all release new music this year and I would not be mad at them.

  • Max

    Celtic Frost (and by extension Tryptikon) is the ultimate goth metal band. Way above all the others who forayed into that crossover.

  • Hans Müller

    I don’t know if they’re unknown to metalmenschen, or if Goths listen to Post Punk (I’m fairly certain they do; isn’t Unknown Pleasures their manifesto?), but here’s some Have A Nice Life.

    • >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      • Hans Müller


      • Hans Müller

        I trust you’ve also heard Dan Barrett’s other projects, Black Wing and Giles Corey?

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    There’s a lot of good goth out there. Look at The Mission and Gene Loves Jezebel. The Cure is the greatest of the goth bands in my opinion.

  • Count_Breznak


  • Count_Breznak

    Did someone post the 2nd Defeated Sanity song from the Disposal of the Dead side yet ?

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm
  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    In somewhat off topic news I had a chance encounter with an old friend yesterday. I was in a furniture store looking at recliners when I noticed the girl I used to work with and went to prom with was there. She apparently works there. It was bittersweet because she’s a completely different person now and I’m the same as I was last time I saw her. I need to go listen to some depressing music now.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    Youth Code>>>>>>>>>>

  • brokensnow

    Hanging Garden have a kinda Neo goth vibe.

  • I will def check this out when I can. Thanks a lot for the writing, Wil!

  • Abradolf Lincler

    how i feel until Friday after work: