Europe can Rock
Moving from classical-crossover to another Europe-bound genre, though with a bit more edge, we arrive at the genre of the week: Symphonic/Goth Rock. You may know this as Evanescence with its piano tracks, female lead singer (the amazingly talented Amy Lee) and haunting lyric themes. The melodies may be symphonic, with choir background singers and classic instrumental tracks, but the lyrics tend to be more Gothic dark, often morbid, with lots of religious imagery or thought-provoking themes such as Evanescence’s ‘Tourniquet’ which combines a suicide attempt with a prayer.
Several favorite lesser-known bands based in both Europe and the U.S. include Nightwish, Epica, Leaves’ Eyes and Flyleaf. But the top one has to be Within Temptation. Heading the list with strong lead singer Sharon den Adel, the band ranges from operatic to almost screamo, with a very medieval Gothic feel. Here are a few examples of their range. ‘Angels’ one of the softer pieces is nevertheless pretty creepy, the music video dealing with the relationship between a serial killer disguised as a priest and a hooker (an avenging angel, also in disguise). ‘Our Solemn Hour’, however, is a mixed-media piece taking a speech by Winston Churchill during World War II and turning it into a massive choir-and-rock performance that I can only imagine must be breath-taking live. Listen and enjoy!