The More You Know: 3 Second Wave Goth Bands to Know

Posted: June 24, 2014 in The More You Know
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In this week’s edition of The More You Know we take a look at three of the second wave Goth bands.

After the first wave of Goth, those that grew up on the genre took what the valued from the originators and added their own flair.  At times technology added new textures, and some of the songwriting advanced.  Here are three bands that took inspiration and moved forward.

Rosetta Stone: During the 90s, Rosetta Stone was the perfect fodder for the Gothic masses. Pounding drum machines that were light years ahead of the machines that other bands were using. Searing guitar riffs that cut through the drum machine’s din, melodic bass lines that grounded the band’s resonance, while entwining with the guitars for a full wall of sound. Formed in the mid-80s the band quickly gained a following for their upbeat takes on the genre with club ready anthems. Eye for the Main Chance, Adrenaline and Subterfuge all had the dance floor written all over them. Don’t get me wrong, however, the band were Goth through and through. Throughout the 90s the band released several well-received singles, albums and EPs. The decline began with the departure of Porl Young, which left the band, then the band jumped from label to label and from sound to sound. Gone were the Goth anthems replaced with directionless industrial-tinged brooding. With the widespread use of the Internet a new problem arose, how to find the band on the web. Thanks to the language learning software it became nearly impossible to find Rosetta Stone.



Nosferatu: Nosferatu come off as one of the most pretentious and theatrical of the Goth bands, even going so far as arriving at shows in a hearse! Rise, the band’s debut album, did show tons of promise, but even here the trio weren’t able to let go of their fascination with vampires and let it permeate their lyrics with tales of the blood drinkers. Songs titled Vampyre’s Cry and Dark Angel highlight the album that sounds like a cross between Bauhaus and The Sisters of Mercy, a comparison that surely drove the band mad. Being from the second wave of Goth, Nosferatu chose to let every nuance of the genre seep into their sound, look, vision, and even their past. Where Rosetta Stone will be remembered for writing some sold Gothic rock songs, Nosferatu will more than likely be remembered for fashion over form. Don’t let that stop you, however, Rise is a strong debut, it’s when one listens to the catalog as a whole that you realize you’ve already witnessed the trick.


The Merry Thoughts: The Merry Thoughts have the distinction of having spent a large portion of their early career with fans believing they were actually the Sisters of Mercy performing under a pseudonym for contractual reasons, much like the Sisters did with the Sisterhood project. Actually masterminded by Carsten Mainz (guitar, synthesizer) and Olaf Wollschläger (synthesizer, drum machine) of Germany, with vocalist Marvin Arkham joining later, The Merry Thoughts churned out some of the most Sisters like music outside of the Merciful Release catalog. By the early 90s both Mainz and Wollschläger had left to pursue other projects and Arkham was joined by Sonja Jordan on keyboards and guitars. 1991’s Millennium Done I: Empire Songs mined the Sisters songbook to a T, but is still an enjoyable listen. Especially considering by this point the Sisters of Mercy’s recorded output was nil. The band signed to SPV records for their second album, Psychocult, which charted in the bands homeland, Germany. Continued problems with SPV, however, led to the self-destruction of the band. The band eventually called it a day in 2000.

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