The 5 Most Important Years in Goth Music: 2002

Categories: Gothtopia

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Over the course of the week, Rocks Off will be looking at the biggest years for goth music and exactly what they meant for the genre.

Arguably the last big goth album by a new band to make a crossover splash was Evanescence's Fallen, released in early 2003. That one band led millions of mall-goths in one direction, towards the mainstream, while more traditional goths went almost the exact opposite way.


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While no self-respecting goth purist would consider mentioning Amy Lee's melodramatic band in the same sentence as Siouxsie & the Banshees, no one can deny that Evanescence was obviously inspired by ethereal-wave bands such as Dead Can Dance, and was indeed even formed around the same time that Faith and the Muse got going. They obviously considered themselves goth, whether OGs did or not.

Yet while the outside world continued to think of Evanescence's kinda-spooky blend of hard rock and power pop as a prime example of goth, that path led nowhere but to emo, douche-rock in black leather, and pop princesses going through smoky-eyeliner phases. But elsewhere, big things were happening as pre-mall goth was firmly ensconcing itself within the modern electronica movement.

The year before Fallen exploded out into the eyeballs of the overworld, blinding it to the true new goth, came a renaissance of near-perfect EBM and futurepop records that in retrospect made 2002 one of goth's seminal years.

We're talking albums like VNV Nation's FuturePerfect and Covenant's Northern Light, two of the greatest goth dance-party records ever released. Also that year, Imperative Reaction put out Ruined, Apoptygma Berzerk released Harmonizer and Funker Vogt dropped Survivor. All fantastic, solid works that show goth was more interested in pursuing a beepity-boopity future than returning to the rock path it had already trodden.

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I resent the implication that we emos spawned off of Evanescence. We have a rich history of our own, totally separate from goth, thank you.

All kidding aside though, this has been a great series.

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