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Gothic Doom bands with an emphasis on the Gothic: Saturnus, Draconian, MDB

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I really want to talk about bands who would in many cases fall into the category of doom, but who have a greater gothic/atmospheric aspect that differentiates them from the more traditional doom bands. I feel they have more of a gothic vibe to them, perhaps due to their thematic focus on romance, lost love and other archetypal gothic motifs. I'm a sucker for that shit. 

For instance, Saturnus from Denmark.

I've loved this band since 1998 when I first bought their EP 'For the Loveless Lonely Nights' after seeing an advertisement in a magazine. From the minute 'Starres' kicked in my friend and I just looked at each other in amazement. This was back when you couldn't listen to things on youtube, you had to buy the CD if you wanted to hear a band. We'd done it again and found another classic! The track 'For Your Demons', which is just acoustic guitar and violin with the haunting spoken word of Jens the singer is a masterpiece.

Their debut album 'Paradise Belongs to You' is a fantastic romantic doom album in the vein of My Dying Bride, and their 1999 album 'Martyre' is also incredible, especially the opening choral intro that moves into the track 'Inflame thy Heart'. After that unfortunately their main songwriter left the band, but their two albums after that, 'Veronika Decides to Die' and 'Saturn in Ascension' are quite good, although lacking the magic of the early material for my ears. The latter album in particular was almost entirely written by their new guitarist/keyboardist so it's almost like a Saturnus tribute album. I hope the band doesn't read this...

Also the band Draconian from Norway. 

I haven't been into them to the same extent as I have Saturnus, but this band has had some amazing moments. My favourite release of theirs is actually a (sort of) EP, 'The Burning Halo' which just knocks me out with some of those hooks. 'A Rose for the Apocalypse' grew on me big time, and I really like parts of 'Turning Season Within' although it doesn't grab me as much as I think it should. By the way, "turning season within" is a line from the Katatonia song 'In the White'. Bet you didn't know that. The best moments of this band are awesome. The more mediocre moments are still pretty cool on a rainy day with a beer. 

And My Dying Bride's albums 'The Angel and the Dark River' and 'Like Gods of the Sun'. This was the era that I discovered the band as an impressionable lovesick 16 year old, so these two albums have had a profound impact on my life. Definitely not your traditional doom, there's gothicism and romance that in many ways defines the best of gothic metal. I remember taping the tracks 'Like Gods of the Sun' and 'Grace Unhearing' from the radio and listening to them over and over again on tape. 

 

Anyone have anything to add/share on this theme? 

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1 hour ago, True Belief said:

I'm convinced you ARE me.

Saturnus is one of my all time favourite bands; Christ Goodbye & Murky Waters two of my all time favourite songs.

Two great songs you've identified there. The live version of 'Christ Goodbye' on 'For the Loveless Lonely Nights' with the choir at the end is so amazing. One of doom/gothic metal's immortal highlights. 

What did you make of their last couple of albums? 'Saturn in Ascension' is a real head-scratcher for me. It's definitely good. Rune is a good songwriter but it's just strange having him drive the ship after Kim Larsen. I also find it a little tedious at times. It sort of plods on a bit with super long songs that don't often go anywhere. That lone guitar playing the single note melody over the riff gets a bit old too - I wish he would change it up a bit. 

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May be veering away more towards death/doom territory here but given love shown for Saturnus, Greece's "Ocean of Grief" dropped their debut EP earlier this year which sits right inside that Saturnus/Slumber sound. One of my 'discoveries of the year'.

1 hour ago, True Belief said: I'm convinced you ARE me.

Saturnus is one of my all time favourite bands; Christ Goodbye & Murky Waters two of my all time favourite songs.

Two great songs you've identified there. The live version of 'Christ Goodbye' on 'For the Loveless Lonely Nights' with the choir at the end is so amazing. One of doom/gothic metal's immortal highlights. 

What did you make of their last couple of albums? 'Saturn in Ascension' is a real head-scratcher for me. It's definitely good. Rune is a good songwriter but it's just strange having him drive the ship after Kim Larsen. I also find it a little tedious at times. It sort of plods on a bit with super long songs that don't often go anywhere. That lone guitar playing the single note melody over the riff gets a bit old too - I wish he would change it up a bit. 

Litany of Rain, Wind Torn, Forest of Insomnia, A Fathers Providence.....all really strong stuff from their latest. Have you ever checked out Kim Larsen's solo stuff? Quite a heavy folk influence.

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13 minutes ago, True Belief said:

May be veering away more towards death/doom territory here but given love shown for Saturnus, Greece's "Ocean of Grief" dropped their debut EP earlier this year which sits right inside that Saturnus/Slumber sound. One of my 'discoveries of the year'.

Litany of Rain, Wind Torn, Forest of Insomnia, A Fathers Providence.....all really strong stuff from their latest. Have you ever checked out Kim Larsen's solo stuff? Quite a heavy folk influence.

Yep, those Saturnus songs are all really good. I can't remember if I ever checked out Kim's solo stuff or not but I feel I must have because he is one of my favourite songwriters. I really need to check it out more closely. Thanks for the reminder. 

Ocean of Grief sound really cool. Definitely all the ingredients there. It's also good to hear new bands coming out and carrying the torch. I just checked them out on Metal Archives. 

Back at you for a second, please tell me you're a fan of Rapture. Ocean of Grief reminded me a little bit of them. What am I talking about, of course you're a Rapture fan. 

 

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Yes I love Rapture. I've inly got the first two on CD though (got them both 2nd hand from Dixons in Blackburn!) and not Silent Stage.

How about Slumber? Their only album is fantastic IMO. I also picked up the 2015 album "Singularity" from the Slumber lead guitarist's band Enshine which has lots of old Slumber sounds....

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32 minutes ago, True Belief said:

Yes I love Rapture. I've inly got the first two on CD though (got them both 2nd hand from Dixons in Blackburn!) and not Silent Stage.

How about Slumber? Their only album is fantastic IMO. I also picked up the 2015 album "Singularity" from the Slumber lead guitarist's band Enshine which has lots of old Slumber sounds....

Argh, you have to get silent stage. Did you hear 'Misery 24/7'? It's the perfect song in nearly every way and the rest of the album is just amazing. The dual vocals = 10/10. I can't believe how good that song is. Great lyrics too. 'Songs for the Withering' is a great album as well. 

I've never heard Enshine before. You're very good at picking up new bands. Definitely some Rapture elements going on here. 

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You've got that Slumber album? Fallout? If not this song will convince you that you need it.

32 minutes ago, True Belief said: Yes I love Rapture. I've inly got the first two on CD though (got them both 2nd hand from Dixons in Blackburn!) and not Silent Stage.

How about Slumber? Their only album is fantastic IMO. I also picked up the 2015 album "Singularity" from the Slumber lead guitarist's band Enshine which has lots of old Slumber sounds....

Argh, you have to get silent stage. Did you hear 'Misery 24/7'? It's the perfect song in nearly every way and the rest of the album is just amazing. The dual vocals = 10/10. I can't believe how good that song is. Great lyrics too. 'Songs for the Withering' is a great album as well. 

I've never heard Enshine before. You're very good at picking up new bands. Definitely some Rapture elements going on here. 

Yep listened & loved.

"Gallows" is an incredible song with those dual lead harmonies...my 2 fav Rapture moments however come from 'Futile' in the form of "Someone I (don't) Know" and "(About) Leaving". The lead guitars just drive you along like a wave, incredible in both.

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4 hours ago, True Belief said:

You've got that Slumber album? Fallout? If not this song will convince you that you need it.

Yep listened & loved.

"Gallows" is an incredible song with those dual lead harmonies...my 2 fav Rapture moments however come from 'Futile' in the form of "Someone I (don't) Know" and "(About) Leaving". The lead guitars just drive you along like a wave, incredible in both.

I was just listening to that Slumber song outside at my outdoor area table and chairs and I felt this movement on my left arm. Thinking it was a bug or something I brushed it and this massive, evil looking black spider kind of flew past, crawling up an invisible web towards a hedge nearby. I fair shat myself. 

So anyway, Slumber. That was really cool. Very one-tracked vocals and I could do with a little more variety somehow, but the whole package was great. We seem to be listening to a lot of bands that sound a bit like October Tide - have you noticed. And yes, I love 'Gallows' and the first Rapture album, although I find it a little less exciting than their more rocky albums. 

While we're playing musical football, here's another great band - or should I say, a very good band who have had one near perfect album and a couple of fairly disappointing follow-ups. The first Foreshadowing album 'Days of Nothing' is a rare masterpiece. Strangely, they could never really capture the catchiness of these songs on their next two albums (I haven't listened to the new one). 

Here's a song dedicated to the Lilydale/Belgrave line:

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4 hours ago, True Belief said: You've got that Slumber album? Fallout? If not this song will convince you that you need it.

Yep listened & loved.

"Gallows" is an incredible song with those dual lead harmonies...my 2 fav Rapture moments however come from 'Futile' in the form of "Someone I (don't) Know" and "(About) Leaving". The lead guitars just drive you along like a wave, incredible in both.

I was just listening to that Slumber song outside at my outdoor area table and chairs and I felt this movement on my left arm. Thinking it was a bug or something I brushed it and this massive, evil looking black spider kind of flew past, crawling up an invisible web towards a hedge nearby. I fair shat myself. 

So anyway, Slumber. That was really cool. Very one-tracked vocals and I could do with a little more variety somehow, but the whole package was great. We seem to be listening to a lot of bands that sound a bit like October Tide - have you noticed. And yes, I love 'Gallows' and the first Rapture album, although I find it a little less exciting than their more rocky albums. 

While we're playing musical football, here's another great band - or should I say, a very good band who have had one near perfect album and a couple of fairly disappointing follow-ups. The first Foreshadowing album 'Days of Nothing' is a rare masterpiece. Strangely, they could never really capture the catchiness of these songs on their next two albums (I haven't listened to the new one). 

Here's a song dedicated to the Lilydale/Belgrave line:

Quote  

 

The Foreshadowing has one of the ex-Novembre guys in it right?

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Certainly not originally but maybe they have now, I don't know. I think it's just the Novembre drummer who left, wasn't it.

At any rate get hold of 'Days of Nothing'. That voice!!

The voice sounds like Mikael Staane on 'Projector' (think in particular the amazing song from that album 'Auctioned').

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I love MDB; the death-metal oriented material does more for me than the softer stuff (both the early recordings and the reinvigorated "Light At The End..."/"Dreadful Hours" sound), but "Angel And The Dark River" is an awesome album. Some friends and I used to watch the "For Darkest Eyes" DVD frequently, great material and good performances. Aaron's voice is responsible for so much of their inimitable vibe.

I used to listen to Rapture's "Futile" all the time, and then somehow it wore out its welcome. Haven't followed them after that. The first two October Tide albums are fantastic. I'm glad TB posted Oceans Of Grief, I had liked that a lot when it came out but forgot about it in the press of other bands recently.

Isole might fit in with the "traditional doom but more Gothic" vibe mentioned in the OP, more to the traditional side than other bands you've mentioned. Their album "Bliss Of Solitude" is the one I listen to the most:

 

Third And The Mortal is a band that I never see mentioned pretty much anywhere anymore - their "Sorrow" EP is a masterpiece of atmosphere, love this woman's voice and her melodic choices. Perfect for an icy winter morning IMO.

 

Since you started off mentioning Saturnus, I don't feel bad about mentioning the new album by Clouds here - not "Gothic" really, but a similar Euro-doom sense of melody and deep growls that should appeal to a Saturnus fan. I have to say that I've seen a ridiculous level of hype for this album in some corners of the internet, and it obviously doesn't live up to that, but it's very good anyway.

 

And if you'll forgive me for going totally melodic doom/death and losing any semblance of "Gothic" influence, I should mention my friends in Atten Ash, who fit in well with several of the other bands you've mentioned here. The lead guitarist for this band is Barre from Daylight Dies. This is my favorite track from their debut.

 

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Some nice choices there FatherAlabaster. An indirect result of your recommendations was to remind me about Daylight Dies! I think it has been years since I listened to them and I have a couple of their CDs gathering dust. I used to love 'No Reply' when it came out. I remember Jesse had a lot to do with the Katatonia forum about 15 years ago which is where I first came across him and DD. 

I also love that Isole album too, and The 3rd and the Mortal. As a side note, remember how the singer Kari appeared on Satyr's 'Storm' album then regretted it because she didn't realise it was going to be so nationalistic hahaha. 

Clouds and Atten Ash are entirely new to me. Thanks for the posts! Wow, I just checked Clouds on Metal Archives and they have an amazing pedigree, with ex and current members of Shape of Despair, Barren Earth, and Rapture (hooray!).

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3 hours ago, True Belief said:

I knew FA would make an appearance in this thread.....MDB, October Tide, Daylight Dies, Saturnus....the Clouds release is stunning too. The album cover itself was almost enough to tell me I'd like it lol.

I keep seeing your username and saying in my best Nick Holmes voice: "All I want is.. da der da der der da der da der da der der a true beliieeeeeeff". 

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Hope you dig that Atten Ash album. Apparently they're working on new stuff, although adult lives don't always lend themselves to productive creativity.

Here's a new album that I mentioned briefly in another thread; again it's melodic doom/death, not Gothic metal as such, but given that we've mentioned several bands along these lines already, I imagine this will appeal. Crypt Of Silence's "Awareness Ephemera" is a new release that manages to have something of an old-school vibe, and despite working very much within the established boundaries of the genre, it's an engaging listen. 

 

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Draconian are one of those bands that are somewhat popular today, although I have to say that some of their music bores me a little bit. Most of it is great though, including this amazing song which is just incredible. I love the phrasing of the vocalists. Just kills me. Great lyrics video here by the way. Check it out. 

 

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Since Heike Langhans joined to Draconian I totally fell in love with this band. Of course I love older stuff with Lisa on vocals but with Heike Draconian's music has something magical. I recommend to everyone listen to album Sovran

 

 

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October Tide, the side project of Jonas Renkse and Fred Normann put out two brilliant albums before Jonas left and Fred bailed from Katatonia. With the project split, Fred picked up the pieces and ran with it. With Katatonia basically being the sole writing task for Jonas and (increasingly less) Anders, Fred clearly had plenty of material up his sleeve. 

Check out this masterpiece (great title too). They weren't always up to this standard, but this is phenomenal (and the last OT I bought). 

 

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On 12/22/2016 at 2:53 AM, Requiem said:

Also the band Draconian from Norway.  

Not sure why I never saw this before, but Draconian is from Sweden bro...

They were fantastic early on though, particularly on Arcane Rain Fell. Lisa's vocals are incredible, and the music is dripping with emotion. 

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15 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said:

Not sure why I never saw this before, but Draconian is from Sweden bro...

They were fantastic early on though, particularly on Arcane Rain Fell. Lisa's vocals are incredible, and the music is dripping with emotion. 

I think Draconian are in some ways a bit of a one trick pony.

Every time a new album comes out I listen to it and it seems like the same kind of doomy slow riff appears again and again. The first time I heard that style of riffing back in the 90s I creamed my leathers. Now it's a bit 'here we go again'.

It's all good though and I'd listen to any of their albums on a rainy night and a glass of wine. 

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I think Draconian are in some ways a bit of a one trick pony.
Every time a new album comes out I listen to it and it seems like the same kind of doomy slow riff appears again and again. The first time I heard that style of riffing back in the 90s I creamed my leathers. Now it's a bit 'here we go again'.
It's all good though and I'd listen to any of their albums on a rainy night and a glass of wine. 
They lost me with Turning Season Within, I haven't heard anything from them since that album.

Sent from my HTC6535LVW using Tapatalk

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On 28/11/2017 at 8:01 AM, BlutAusNerd said:

They lost me with Turning Season Within, I haven't heard anything from them since that album.

Sent from my HTC6535LVW using Tapatalk
 

Fun fact: 'Turning Season Within' is actually a line from the Katatonia song 'In the White' from their album 'The Great Cold Distance'. 

There was a rockable gloss on 'Turning Season Within' that did change the sound of the band a little bit. I like that album but I don't love it. As I mentioned, the only album of theirs that I truly love is the 'The Burning Halo'. 

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