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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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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

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:

Reminder about Floor Jansen and After Forever

30 Oct

Just in case any of you have missed the thrilling vocals and powerful metal that was such a huge influence a few years ago, here’s the magnificent Energise Me which has been a constant favourite – and on our playlist always:

HUGE news – Floor Jansen returns with new group, ReVamp

30 Oct

There is already a fresh new website for ReVamp and Floor explains the history of the new chapter in her music career.

Floor joined forces with two additional songwriters to first compose, then record an album. A live band is soon to be formed, which will get her back on stage where she belongs!

The first composer to join this new collaboration is Waldemar Sorychta (Grip Inc, Enemy Of The Sun, ao). He contacted her to inquire about current activities and potential future cooperation. “Being a fan of Grip Inc, this idea of working with Waldemar was a big honor and a first step in creating a sound!”

Waldemar’s unique style combined with his experience as songwriter/producer is helping to make Floor’s dream come closer to reality.

The second composer is After Forever colleague Joost van den Broek. “Asking Joost to join seemed logical because of his great keyboards and arrangements, and therefore his potentially valuable contribution. Despite his busy schedule, he wanted to join and get started immediately.”

The website says: “The ReVamp sound will become a unique blend of the personal style we recognize from these musicians. Combining these individual sounds in one album promises to result in heavy and very metal!”

Songs are currently being written and some short samples will be uploaded. Also, Floor made a short video to introduce the band, Welcome to ReVamp:

The ReVamp website is: http://www.revampmusic.com/

For all our stories on Floor Jansen, click here: Floor Jansen

Thrilling new EPICA album

23 Oct

Soaring vocals! Orchestral mayhem! Thunderous rhythm section! Thrilling video! It must be gothic & metal brilliance, this time from EPICA. Just listen to Unleashed from their new album, Design Your Universe (on Nuclear Blast) for a Must-Buy-That-Album-Now moment: