My Other Addiction
When I’m not writing for the blog, or tweaking the blog, or thinking about the blog, I like to hunt for bands I group collectively under “doom metal”. It’s a bit like thrifting: you have to sort through a lot of failed projects to find something useful. In the end, I have new music to listen to while I work on the blog.
Now all the music critics out there are going to pick apart the genre label, but they rarely can agree with each other. I like to keep things simple. So doom metal it is. You can call it symphonic metal. Gothic rock. Whatever you like. I like the word doom. It makes me happy. It’s also what it was called when I was introduced to it, so I’m keeping it.
The closest “mainstream” band in the US to compare it to would be Evanescence. I prefer it a little heavier.
The basic concept is contrast. Usually it’s a standard rock band with either classical instruments, or a computer subbing for classical instruments. If they’re really great, they work with a full on orchestra and choir.
That’s what Within Temptation did for their Black Symphony tour. Go through my mp3 collection and it takes about thirty seconds (if you’re slow) to know I’m extremely partial to them. Everything else is just an intermission.
Examining their discography gives a fairly accurate impression to the history of doom metal. Their earlier works, like The Dance is the way doom used to be. Pure, clean female vocals backed by a guy growling something that requires an accustomed ear to gather what he’s ranting about. It was slower, deeper, and usually recorded in a low-budget studio.
That doesn’t break charts, though. I’m okay with that, but I suppose their landlords don’t agree. So sometimes it gets mixed up with pagan-y, Celtic-y sounds and ditch most of the grumbling, and you get something like this. But what I personally like is when they do this
I think one of the hallmarks of a great band is one that can play live music and still be enjoyable. Within Temptation can definitely rock the stage.
And now I’ll go back to writing useful content for the blog. If you want a list of similar bands, check out my profile on Facebook.
What are your top three favorite bands?