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Modern Progressive Rock AND Gothic Metal – go listen!

10 Nov

Benighted Soul are currently recording their first full album, following a couple of years of powerful performances at various rock and metal festivals around Europe.

Benighted Soul vocalist JayJay is an expressive and, at times, thrilling vocalist, combining theatrical movements and soaring vocals in many of the band’s songs. She stands out as a creative and passionate front-woman and it’s no surprise the band have been a success at Metal Ladies Fest and H’elles On Stage (for example).

Jay’s operatic style is emphasised during the frequent duets with five-string-bass player Djang, his deep vocals and growls providing contrast and depth. The music is further lifted by one of the most energetic drummers, Niko, and his solid combination of rock and metal styles.

As you can see and hear from their posts on YouTube, Benighted Soul drive forward with plenty of nods to progressive rock – is Jay the new Peter Gabriel and guitarist Jeyms the new Townsend?

Symphonic Metal, Gothic Metal, Female-Fronted Metal – all are perfect descriptions for this band and I hope they gain a huge following with their new album. This is powerful, intelligent and thrilling music, appealing to heart, mind and feet!

YouTube track Ticking Time Bomb is a perfect example of their style

MySpace http://www.myspace.com/benightedsoul

Benighted Soul live

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Winds of Plague aka Winds of Change

14 Jan

Just when you thought you knew the line-up of Wings of Plague, whoops there goes another player. Winds of Change could serve them well as a new band name if the need arises.

Kristen RandallKristen Randall (photo left) had been in the band two years and a constant feature in just about every metal magazine that boasted a calendar. Kristen is also well-known in tattoo magazines and is soon to be seen on LA Ink with Kat von D.

But after a big “thank you” to the Winds, Kristen is off to pursue her own musical direction, plus exposure of and in websites and magazines concerning ink. The LA Ink episode is scheduled for next month (February).

Lisa MarxIn a press release Kristen said: “The experiences we shared have been such a huge part of my life the past couple years and I will cherish that forever. As for myself, music is my deepest passion.”

The next new keyboard player for the Winds was Lisa Marx (photo right), also a model at times like Kristen. Lisa had previousy played with Kittie and Day of Contempt and was invited to join Winds on the California Love tour which also included Stick To Your Guns, Sleeping Giant, Oceano and Circle of Contempt .

Alana PotocnikLatest news is that former The Breathing Process keyboardist Alana Potocnik (photo left) has replaced Lisa on a fulltime basis.

And, you guessed it, Alana has also had a ModelMayhem profile. Guess the guys in Winds have great talent at using Google to find their new band members – lol.

Femme Metal Fashion

4 Jan

Update from Goth Style: Modern Amazons – Metal Maidens- Femme Metal – http://ping.fm/qktgN

Best Gothic Metal / Best Symphonic Metal / The Social Media Decade #1

1 Jan

Because there’s a hefty list below, we’ll not comment on every song. Social Media with a music focus (MySpace, Pandora, Last.FM) has been of enormous importance in the past 10 years. As well as being platforms and tools that have liberated music, they’ve become gatherings of fans and lists by the millions.

Web 2.0 allows us to bookmark, collate and re-process information in a wonderful variety of ways. We use Last.FM extensively, not least because we live most of the year outside the US of A (see footnote regarding Pandora). The list below has been gathered from “loved” tracks in people’s playlists.

Rather than say there is one winner or a ranking based on votes for a particular song, we’ve awarded Gold medals to 17 bands/projects. We’ve taken the view that, like the Olympics, it can be difficult to precisely judge styles of music. Is a gold in a marathon of more “value” than the long jump?

After-ForeverThe 54 tracks below are the best we’ve heard and noted over the past few years, representing many albums and changes in line-ups of the various groups of musicians over the past 10 years. They are, we say, among the Best of the Decade for:

  • Femme metal
  • Gothic Metal
  • Symphonic Metal

or whatever other descriptive term you’d like to use. And yes, you’re very welcome to tell us how right or wrong we are!

After Forever – Energise Me
Delain-April-RainAfter Forever – Face Your Demons
After Forever – Imperfect Tenses
After Forever – Life’s Vortex
After Forever – My Choice
After Forever – The Evil That Men Do

Darkwell – Nothingness
Darkwell – The Machine

Delain – The Gathering
Delain – Stay Forever

Draconian-Turning-Season-WithinDraconian – Bloodflower
Draconian – Serenade of Sorrow
Draconian – Silent Winter
Draconian – The Gothic Embrace

Elis – Der letzte Tag
Elis – Devil Inside You
Elis – Heart in Chains

Epica – Mother of Light (A New Age Dawns, Part 2)
Epica – Never Enough
Epica Consign to OblivionEpica – Quietus
Epica – Solitary Ground
Epica – Unleashed

Evanescence – Lose Control
Evanescence – Tourniquet

Lacuna Coil – Heaven’s a Lie
Lacuna Coil – Honeymoon Suite
Lacuna Coil – Senzafine
Lacuna Coil – Spellbound

Lacuna-Coil-ComaliesLeaves’ Eyes – For Amelie
Leaves’ Eyes – Njord

Lunatica – Emocean
Lunatica – Hymn

Nightwish – Feel For You
Nightwish – Planet Hell
Nightwish – Sleeping Sun
Nightwish – Swanheart

Sirenia – Lithium and a Lover
Nightwish-Century-ChildSirenia – The Other Side

The Gathering – In Motion
The Gathering – Nighttime Birds
The Gathering – Rollercoaster

Trail of Tears – Empty Room
Trail of Tears – Poisonous Tongues

Visions of Atlantis – At the Back of Beyond
Visions of Atlantis – Pharaoh’s Repentance

Within-Temptation-Silent-ForceWithin Temptation – Angels
Within Temptation – Ice Queen
Within Temptation – Memories
Within Temptation And The Metropole Orchestra – Jillian (I’d Give My Heart)
Within Temptation And The Metropole Orchestra – Stand My Ground
Within Temptation And The Metropole Orchestra – The Promise
Within Temptation And The Metropole Orchestra – What Have You Done (Featuring Keith Caputo)

Xandria – Calyx Virago
Xandria – Ginger

You can also send tweets to http://Twitter.com/NuGoth

Footnote: We also love Pandora but it cannot be used globally due to the archaic licensing cartels that still control so much of music.

Best Gothic Metal / Best Symphonic Metal / The Social Media Decade #2

1 Jan

This companion piece to The Social Media Decade #1 is our award of Silver medals to bands/projects. Any list of Best Of is subject to discussion (and dispute) and we welcome your comments.

The 30 tracks below grabbed our ears more than once but, for some reason, other songs by the artists failed to impress as much. For example, other Tristania tracks didn’t get added to many lists, while Elis (on our Gold list) received numerous mentions for their 3 tracks.

Amberian-Dawn-River-of-TuoniWe reckon a Silver medal is still fantastic when weighted against the tens of thousands of other tracks out there. Listen and enjoy.

Aesma Daeva – Disdain
Amberian Dawn – Sunrise
Arch Enemy – Saints and Sinners
Astarte – Deviate
Ayria – Pink Dress
Aythis – Aythis
Beseech – Everytime I Die
Bloodflowerz – Season of Love
Crucified Barbara – Feels Like Death
Kittie-Until-the-EndDelight – In Too Deep
Doro – Unholy Love
Exilia – Destroy My Eyes
Flowing Tears – Undying
Holy Moses – End of Time
Kittie – Into the Darkness
L’Âme Immortelle – Fallen Angel
Lumsk – Fagran fljotan folen
Luna Obscura – Dance of Forsaken Souls
Lycia – Silver Sliver
Midnattsol – Enlightenment
Tristania-EPMy Dying Bride – She Is the Dark
Otep – The Lord Is My Weapon
Paramore – Decode
Penumbra – A Torrent of Fears
Season’s End – Innocence
Stream of Passion – Deceiver
The Agonist – Rise and Fall
The Project Hate MCMXCIX – Loveless, Godless, Flawless
Tristania – Midwintertears
Where Angels Fall – Path of Sorrow

You can also send tweets to http://Twitter.com/NuGoth

Floor Jansen and ReVamp update

22 Dec

ReVamp, the new project of gothic metal vocalist Floor Jansen is coming together and signs of new music are starting to emerge.

In releasing a sample Floor explains: “We know you have waiting with great patience for some music! Hereby a short part of our song Head Up High!!! Do realize this is pre-production material, you hear a drum computer and home recorded bass, guitar, keyboards and vocals. We did mix it so it sounds OK enough, but it’s not the quality the album will have!”

ReVamp Head Up High

ReVamp logo

Introducing Delain with the rousing track Stay Forever

30 Oct

If you’ve missed our tweets about Delain, here’s a great introduction. The track Stay Forever includes so many great moments – the band at full force, Charlotte’s soaring vocals, gentle symphonic passages, huge and thunderous choruses – whew: