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Including Type O Negative, Coil, True Moon, Underground Fire, and more!

Tribulation 2023
Photo by Vollvincent

The following list was written by Tribulation guitarists Adam Zaars and Johannes Andersson. Tribulation will release their new EP Hamartia tomorrow, April 7. Pre-orders are available here.

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We would like to clarify that all of the albums we've selected ended up on this list because of their "gothic" tint, not because they are necessarily "goth" music, whatever that is. Albums existing in one way or another in the larger gothosphere!

Adam Zaars

Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows – Dead Lovers' Sarabande (Face One)

When starting to think about this "listicle" I knew I had to add at least one album from the inimitable and saturnian Anna Varney Cantodea outfit Sopor Aeternus. I could easily have chosen Songs From the Inverted Womb, but eventually settled on Dead Lovers'. The albums from around the turn of the millennium are my favourites, and have been a big inspiration for Tribulation in their sad, dark and beautifully haunting soundscapes and aesthetics for a long time. Its cinematic nature unfailingly takes you on a journey through its very particular sombre scenery. The melodies are more or less constantly on a loop in my head. Notable songs from this one would be "Hades 'Pluton'" and "Lament/Totenklage". Strange music for strange people.

Siouxsie And The Banshees – Juju

From the sombre to the uplifting, this is an album that is more fit for a Friday night out, than visiting your local crypt. Possibly the most mainstream of all the picks here and most likely an album that most people are already familiar with, but I felt I just had to add it. It is an album that I think I'll never get tired of, and it never fails to lift my spirits. I love how it seems fairly harmless at first glance, but reveals its more twisted side the closer you look. "Provocative" and "controversial", I suppose. It's also – more cliches incoming – "ahead of its time" and have passages that makes you think more of something straight out of the big open air festivals of the 90's, only a lot better. A new vocation in life, my love with a knife!

Coil – The Ape Of Naples

Goth, you say? Really? Well, not quite, but surely "gothic" to some extent, and I wanted to make this list wide. I also wanted something from the depths of the occulture, where long I've rested my head. Introduced to me by my dear friend Sara (of Youth Code fame) in the form of "The Anal Staircase" – an introduction as good as any, though somewhat bewildering at first. The Ape of Naples, on the other hand, isn't quite as perplexing, though most likely not the choice of most fans. I find it soothing and filled with sorrow and tension. There's something grand about the recordings of the songs on this album that immediately grabbed a hold of me when I first heard it, and it wouldn't let go. I'm more than happy to submit.

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Henric de la Cour – Gimme Daggers

Back to a night out, but I think this can be any day of the week. There's something melancholic, decadent and nostalgic about this album, perhaps reminiscent of the more current vapor-/synth-/fashwaves, to speak to a younger audience. Like a beautiful trip of your choice. Friendship, laughter, dancing, tears. The blend between the electronic and analogue instrumentation is flawless and as with most albums of my choice on this list there's a prominent sadness about it all. Terrific!

Cocteau Twins – Treasure

The perfect Cocteau Twins album, in my opinion. It has the post punk vibe of the earlier albums but here fully developed into its own entity, and it has the dreamy, ethereal nature of the later albums but with a much darker hue. The creativity is stupefying. "Beatrix" is the perfect song. It's three minutes of the same thing, but with something new around the corner at all times, making you unaware of the fact that you're basically listening to a loop. Elizabeth Fraser's voice is magical and I wouldn't accept anyone else making up words like that. The horror! But she could apparently pull it off.

Johannes Andersson

True Moon – True Moon

The soundscape and production is simply perfect for the nostalgic goth lover. But also in a way standing out on it its own in our day and age. The distortion is so gnarly and up close it make your ears bleed in a good way. Listening with headphones to load in my own case can be too much. So I tend to enjoy it in portions, good excuse for buying it on vinyl. But it's that mix of a lot of distortion, disco/goth hi-hat and the pop and catchy way the songs are written that makes you love it. And of course the fine line between the deep sad darkness and cheerful pop sounds that they balance perfectly. There's a big Siouxsie and the Banshees vibe to it, and that's never dull.

Type O Negative – World Coming Down

Maybe the winner when it all comes around in terms of sad tunes, the utter emotion, heartache and angst you hear and sometimes go through yourself when listening to it is overwhelming, such beauty. Thats perhaps why they mix in funny bits in their music and albums sometimes, to be able to cope with it and not to seem too pretentious, ha ha. And probably just being fun dudes as well. Either way this album in particular is in my opinion their best, although it's a close call with others in their catalogue. It's surely their darkest I'd say and it has a grander gothic sound in ways of production. Has been played a lot in dressing rooms over the years as a great warm up before we go on stage with Tribulation.

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Anna von Hausswolff – The Miraculous

Perhaps the least gothic in peoples opinion, what do I know. But that's one of the beautiful things about "goth" music, I believe, the uncertainty of where the artists belongs genre wise. Goth music has an extreme width to it, it's more of a feeling, or you pick up something in the constellation that tickles the "goth nerve". So in many cases it doesn't matter what kind of distortion, if there is any, what kind of heaviness or tempo the music is in. That doesn't necessarily define what's goth for you. Anna's records have been played numerous times, especially when I want to wind down or sleep, I guess it's the slow pace, the love for certain chord sequences that I like and the feeling of standing in a great hall or on top of a mountain. She has a way of making you forget the real world, and magically you just float away into something unknown.

Underground Fire – Ashes Of Life

Underground Fire originate from the same area Tribulation, or at least the next town over. Underground Fire is a relatively fresh outfit consisting of friends and familiar people. The most outstanding being Robert Fjällsby, or Rob Coffinshaker as he's more known as. His other band The Coffinshakers still very much do their thing of perfect horror country rock. This feels more like a focused outburst for the love of goth music. And what strikes that goth nerve the most is probably the very deep and dark vocals. That, combined with stellar song writing, is bliss for the ears. The record contains more or less rocking rock tunes as well. But again it's that mix of different styles that's accepted in my book of goth. It's a rocking child spawned from the likes of The Mission, Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim.

Naut – Hunt

I found out about Naut through my friend and FOH Mr. Jamie Elton. He'd been talking about ‘em for a couple of years while out on the road while wearing their merch and pins etc. And when I finally took the time to listen I got why he'd been whispering about them in my ear, he knows me. So I listened to what there was to find and liked it instantly. And Hunt is now their debut album which was released this year and it just so happened to be recorded and mixed by Elton. This also hails "Sisters" and "Nephilim" but somewhat darker, higher tempo and fresh. Super British of course and that adds a layer of even more authenticity to the music. Reminds me of another splendid band, Grave Pleasures. I wish Naut great success!

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