Dark Ambient band that released two awesome albums during the golden goth age (the 90s and early 2000s) - "While You Sleep" and "In The Air". The first one has some voice samples popping out of nowhere, which freaked one reviewer out. I find the first album very rich in various natural and supernatural sounds, it's a very heavy, fully dedicated compilation. Can't really classify it as ritual ambient akin to Endura, but it has its share of mysticism. The second album is more floaty, ghostly, and I actually like it even more. It's completely otherworldly even when you listen to it through the speakers. The first album feels more like staying in some forlorn, half-rotten library full of evil monks or wizards lurking everywhere. The second is more like a journey through different dimensions, filled with the undead. If you listen to this in proper surroundings, it's just mind-blowing. They also released an album in 2013, which seems decent, though I only had a chance to listen to it in 128 kbps. The first two can fortunately be found in lossless.
Suspended in Frozen Mizery (from the first album); A Trail of Gossamer (from the second)
This is not related to the titular genres of this thread, but still deserves attention. I imagine this post-punk band is practically unknown, even though their music is memorable, trippy and very consistent in style. Rough guitars contrast well with the psychedelic chanting of Jemma Mellerio (that's a beautiful name...). They did a couple of takes on Blondie's "Heart of Glass" song, one of which is so messed up (intentionally, of course) that you can't even hear the words, but it's still good in all its weirdness.
This band is something in between ethereal and shoegaze, plus a unique sound that, for me, forms strong association not with the spring but with the rare sunny days of the mid-autumn, when I first heard their music. The lyrics are on the border of being completely incomprehensible, however some meaning is still there in the words, and their songs have that strange mix of melancholic and adventurous feelings. I should try listening to them in April, maybe I'll get completely different mood out of their sound. Autumn and spring are quite similar, in the end - where coldness and warmth meet and go side by side for a brief time. In short, try it - it's another very curious yet overlooked musical gem. The vocalist, Danella Hocevar, performed as "Danellatron" with a musician Datafreq in the 2000s, after the band's breakup. You can find some live videos here invidio.us/search?q=danellatron - this is electronic dance music, quite different from her original project, but still worth listening.
Our world divided the two of us - forever, ever... We were too naive to be anything but perfect...
Of Leaves and Sweetness (all three variations) Gates Within Us (and its remix)
A cool dark/ritual ambient project by Ruby Smyth. Piercing banshee wailings, just the right amount of electronic noise, haunting vocals and subtle magical chime is what most tracks consist of. Some would say it's kind of monotonous, but there's this great continuity and still enough place for improvisation and variety. This is not exactly EBM, you know. I find Dark Muse more difficult to "tune to" compared to Endura and A Murder Of Angels, but once you got the mood it's pure hypnotic sorcery. She shares some albums for free download.
A British dark ambient/experimental band made of pure evil... France got so scared of their live performances that they kicked Endvra out of the country! Probably the most ritualistic band on the list, closest comparison would be with the Pestis Cruento song from Blood's soundtrack. Cultist chants, weird sound experiments, monstrous cries and occasional lyrics exploring themes of spiritual ascension. Read the interview I linked to, they mention a very interesting and tragic history of Cathars that influenced a good part of Endvra's songs. Not everything made by this band is exactly my cup of tea, but still I think there's a lot to appreciate here.
Rlyeh Awakens Stelluris Spirits Child Of Fire Lamia The Sun No Longer Sets Me Free Nevers Gift The Watcher (album)
A quiet ethereal band which didn't seem to become very famous. Do not confuse them with "Faith and The Muse" with Monica Richards! Faith & Disease released quite a few albums, all of them are great, with soothing melodies that seem to carry you away somewhere far from the meaningless noise... Very relaxing, very pleasant to listen to. I can easily go through their whole discography if I feel like it. Sort of similar to Siddal, but with more guitars. This is probably one of my most favourite bands. They are not active anymore, but the albums are easy to find.
Favourites: All of them? Okay, my favourite is probably "Healing Anne" and its live version.
Beautiful noise... A curtain of guitar sounds and female chorals. Almost completely devoid of text, free to interpret. This can leave you dazed, blinded by the pure sound. Some albums are more experimental, some are very light in the mood. Personally, I prefer their very first album, but everything they did up to this day is really good. If you like noise and drone music, you might like this too, but keep in mind that lovesliescrushing's music is more colorful in comparison.
This band is a little more famous thanks to Peter Steele mentioning their "A Day In The Stark Corner" as one of the most depressing things he ever heard. Lycia's music is all about ambience, lyrics focusing on spiritual emptiness (nihilism if you will) and occasionally hopeless, apocalyptic mood. All of this fits the current age quite well, and indeed the band is still pretty active. Early albums featured only male vocals, but starting from "Cold" Tara VanFlower joined the band, enriching the sound with her voice. I agree with the late Peter Steele, this band is pretty much as dark as it can get, but it's not annoyingly depressing - the sound is perfectly hollow and detached - which still doesn't mean it's not atmospheric. On the contrary, it even feels sort of cinematic at times. Indeed, a few of their songs were used a soundtrack to a movie called "Lana's Rain" (which I still cannot find anywhere on the net, except short fragments like this, with the song "Drifting" audible in the background: invidio.us/watch?v=TNnViwdilBc ).
From Foam Ionia Granada Goddess Of The Green Fields (this is not what you expect, I guarantee that) Pray Bare Drifting Darkness (from Bleak~Vane)
Also check out Beyond The Horizon Line album, a solo project of Lycia's main guitarist Mike Van Portfleet.
Hmm... Not sure why they needed such a nasty name. But their albums are all great. Very strong, opera-like vocal parts, gothic and at times infernal mood of the songs. Heavy use of guitars. All this makes MS sound like symphonic/gothic metal. Some songs are actually ballads, and there's a sample from an old "Dante's Inferno" movie about Pre-Raphaelites and Elizabeth Siddall. A reference that I was actually able to get, and I'm very proud of it, hehehe...
Call Before Me (this is from the time when the band was called "Requiem In White"); Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier (as much as I hate anything military, this is a really beautiful rendition... it's about the civil war? Whatever...).
A dark folk band. Well, their music is actually hard to describe. It's some sort of somnolent mysticism... Very interesting vocals, sounding so unreachable, so cosmic - yet it makes you think of the grass and of flowers beneath you as well as of the stars and the ancient gods... I like it, I really do. The world needs more bands like Orchis, the 90s were clearly their times, but we are in desperate need of their return. Great spiritual music. It's not euphoric (and it doesn't need to be), but it's definitely exalting. It makes me think of the late summer evenings.
For Cold Heaven Daughter Of The Wolf Willow He Walks In Winter Winter Come Unto Me Gloria Melancholia
Breaking the alphabetic order because this music project is related to Orchis - it was started by Alan Trench, a member of the aforementioned band. The most simple way to describe Twelve Thousand Days is "Orchis with male vocals", and that's pretty accurate. The albums are pretty much of the same mood, and they are just as great. The early albums are a bit darker than Orchis, and the latter vary somewhat in style. Albums can be hard to find, but try Soulseek.
Australian darkwave band, they released four albums with a lot of great, dark electro dance music. The tunes and lyrics are quite straightforward, and I totally dig that. Sort of like Chiasm, but less industrial and more gothic. I wish they were active, and it's a real bummer they aren't well known at all. They could definitely use some popularity. Some of their songs have clear social messages, which I consider a big plus. Many gothic music collectives feel way too bitter about life. Not this one! Favourites:
Romantic Submission - video Retro 'Bution - video Sequence of Events - video In My Dream - video Atomika Catwalk Radium Lover - video Vampyr Not Enough (Featuring Miss Angie) Rocketship (Solar Mix) Hope (from their early days as AUDIOPARADOX) - video
French band performing all sorts of oriental music. Their albums feature a lot of native instruments and singing. There's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Well, Axiom of Choice and Deаd Can Dance can come to mind. But Rajna has a unique sound not matched by anybody. Some of the songs have a very slow, relaxing tempo.
An ethereal band, clinging more to the dark side of the musical spectrum. Only a few CDs released, but they are all good. The last album, "Le Petit Morte" is more of a dark ambient nature and kinda reminds me of Lycia. Not much else to say about them, they seem to be pretty obscure.
Wild (Live) / It Swallows Me Whole (Version II - Live) - listen