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  • Last Curtain Call out now!

    23 May 2011, 15:48 by DorianVonEden

    Last Curtain Call, Theatre of Tragedy's farewell DVD, was released on May 20th and features not only the band's 18-song final concert played in Stavanger on October 2nd 2010, but also interviews, tour reports and clips from the last rehearsals.
    Combining a crystal-clear sound, wonderful filming that really gives you the impression you were beneath the stage, Theatre of Tragedy's most amazing performance ever (as many long-time fans noted) and wonderful-looking graphics both on menu and booklet, this release is a must-have piece for all Theatre of Tragedy fans, both new and old, as well as any Gothic Metal lover out there.
    Last Curtain Call will be released as a DVD, both in standard and special edition; the special edition will feature a bonus audio cd with the the best songs. Besides, there will also be a separate audio cd release featuring sixteen songs (two songs were cut out due to sound problems during the recording).
    Here's the DVD tracklist:

    1. Hide And Seek
    2. Bring Forth Ye Shadow
    3. Lorelei
    4. Frozen
    5. Ashes And Dreams
    6. A Rose For The Dead
    7. Fragment
    8. And When He Falleth
    9. Venus
    10. Hollow
    11. Storm
    12. Image
    13. Cassandra
    14. A Hamlet For A Slothful Vassal
    15. Fade
    16. Machine
    17. Der Tanz Der Schatten
    18. Forever Is The World

    This final release of one of the most important bands in the Gothic Metal scene covers their whole career span, with a remarkable performance of new songs as well as old classics, revamped in a better-than-ever shape but still staying true to their original sound.

    You can find all the links to buy it here.
  • Pokemon Gothic and Pokemon Symphonic POKEDEX COMPLETE

    2 Jan 2011, 22:29 by CGholy

    ===Covers===


    Yay for special editions.


    ===POKEDEX!===
    1. Tarja (Fire)
    2. Sharon den Adel (water)
    3. Liv Kristine (grass)
    4. Anette Olzon (Normal) Can evolve to any type, like Eevee.
    5. Amy Lee (Ice)
    6. Christina Aguilera (poison/fire)
    7. Britney Spears (fire/flying)
    8. Roy Khan (dragon/fire)
    9. Simone Simons (Fire/Dragon)
    10. Michael Jackson (ghost)
    11. Nicki Minaj (Steel)
    12. Emilie Autumn (dark/water)
    13. Robert Westerholt (electric)
    14. Tuomas Holopainen (bug) Only females can evolve to Katy Perry
    15. Katy Perry (bug/flying)
    16. Lady Gaga (electric)
    17. Vibeke Stene (Ice)
    18. Lisa Middelhauve (fire/psychic)
    19. Maxi Nil (ice)
    20. Nienke de Jong (poison/dark)
    21. Andrea Datwyler (grass)
    22. Sabine Edelsbacher (electric)
    23. Charlotte Wessels (fighting)
    24. Anneke van Giersbergen (flying)
    25. Floor Jansen (normal)
    26. Kelis (Rock)
    27. Madonna (dragon/dark)
    28. Ben Moody (fighting)
    29. Alexander Krull (dark/ground)
    30. Meat Loaf (Ground/Flying)
    31. James Hetfield (Dark/Steel)
    32. Seal (water/flying)
    33. Shakira (ground/fighting)
    34. Cristina Scabbia (fire)
    35. Martijn Westerholt (grass)
    36. Alla Fedynitch (ice/ghost)
    37. Nell Sigland (fire)
    38. Tim Curry (fighting/grass)
    39. Fergie (normal)
    40. Jonsu (grass/electric)
    41.Michael Kiske (water)
    42. Johnny Gioeli (steel)
    43. Frida Ohrn (flying)
    44.Emily Ovenden (fire)
    46. Mark Jansen (dark/poison)
    45. Scott Stapp (psychic/fighting)
    47. Helen Vogt (steel)
    48. Fernando Ribeiro (dark/poison)
    49. Peter Steele (steel)
    50. Carly Smithson (ghost)
    51. Marcela Bovio (fire)
    52. Mariangela Demurtas (ground/fighting)
    53.Ailyn (flying)
    54.Morten Veland (ice)
    55. Siobhan Donaghy (Ghost/water)
    56. Mutya Buena (Fire/flying)
    57. Lotta Höglin (water)
    58. P!nk (normal)
    59.Sarah Brightman (psychic/dragon)
    60. Mana (dark/psychic)
    61. Sakis Tolis (ground/steel)
    62. Jade Ewen (fire/ground)
    63. Amelle Berrabah (grass/ground)
    64.Heidi Range (ice/grass)
    65.Keisha Buchanan (electric/ground)
    66. Taylor Swift (grass)
    67. Andrew Fletcher (dark)
    68. Martin L. Gore (dark/water)
    69. Dave Gahan (dark/electric)
    70. Alan Wilder (Dark/ghost)
    71. Hannah Montanna (normal) [Miley Cyrus when holding the Disney Stone]
    72. Miley Cyrus (normal)
    73. "Weird Al" Yankovic (any pokemon can evolve into Weird al with the weird stone and will maintain it's type.)
    74. Justin Beiber (Noob/Normal)(When you breed Michael Jackson with Tuomas.)
    75. Kanye West (dark/fighting)
    76. Justin Timbalake (grass/fighting)
    77. Anders Jacobsson (dark/rock)
    78. Lisa Johansson (psychic)
    79.Sonya Scarlet (ghost/poison)
    80. Lord Vampyr (ghost)
    81. Lil' Kim (Steel)
    82.Lil' Wayne (normal)
    83. Chris Barnes (steel)
    84. Katie Price (normal)
    85. Will Young (normal)
    86. 50 Cent(steel)
    87. 2Pac (steel)
    88. Jay-Z (Rock/Ground)
    89. Alica Keys (grass)
    90. apl.de.ap (dark/electric)
    91. Taboo (dark/electric)
    92. Cheryl Cole (water)
    93. Nicola Roberts (fire)
    94. Usher (dark/fire)
    95. Rihanna (fire)
    96. Slim Shady (fire)
    97.Akon (dark)
    98. Leona Lewis(water)
    99. Cher Llyod (Normal)
    100. Cher (rock)
    101. Beyoncé (fire/water)
    102.Kim Wilde (rock)
    103.Klaus Nomi (dark)
    104. Tracey Chapman (fighting/ground)
    105. Willow Smith (Electric) [breed Will Smith]
    106. Will Smith (Electric)
    107. Emma Bunton (normal)
    108. Melanie B (normal)
    109. Melanie C (normal)
    110. Victoria Beckham (normal)
    111. Geri Halliwell (normal)
    112. Ashley Tisdale (normal)
    113. Vanessa Hudgens (dark)
    114.T.A.T.U (Electric/rock) (Lena Katina and Julia Volkova in the same party and both over level 18)
    115. Lena Katina (electric)
    116. Julia Volkova (electric)
    117. Shirley Manson (Electric/dark)
    118. Ricky Wilson (rock)
    119. Candice (fromEths ) (Grass/Steel)
    120. Courtney Love (rock)
    121. Alanis Morissette (grass)
    122. Leona Lewis (water)
    123. Brian Molko (rock/dark)
    124. Stefan Olsdal (rock)
    125. Stephen Fry (steel)
    126. Hugh Laurie (steel)
    127. David Bowie (electric/rock)
    128. Cascada (electric/water)
    129. Nelly (ground)
    130. Nelly Furtardo (posion)
    131. Lily Allen (posion)
    132. Freddie Mercury (rock)
    133. Kate Bush (pyschic)
    134. Luciano Pavarotti (ghost)
    135. Johnny Cash (rock/pyschic)
    136. David Garret (ice)
    137. Alexander Rybak (ice)
    138. Christofer Johnsson (steel)
    139. Andrew Llyod Webber (dragon)
    140. Paul McCartney (rock)
    141. Jack Black (rock)
    142. Dolly Parton (rock)
    143. Ke$ha (electric/fire)
    144. Paris Hilton (psychic/grass)
    145. Ozzy Osbourne (steel/dark)
    146. Elvis Presley (Electric/Ghost)
    147. John Lennon (ghost)
    148.Rik Waller (normal)
    149.Björk (Ice/Dragon)
    150.Marcelo Cabuli (Dark/ghost)

    Default Moves may include
    Sing
    Growl
    Grunt
    Scream
    Headbang
    Dance
    Bootie Shake

    ===Cast===
    Gym Leaders
    Snape

    TUTANKHANTATAT

    Andro

    Alice Cullen

    Doctor Who

    Franziska Von Karma

    Maya Fey

    Mr. Bean

    Main Characters - Luke and Flora

    Professor J.K Rowling and Professor Layton

    Rivals Harry Potter and Hermione Granger

    Nurse Marco

    Officer Emmpu - Always chasing down members of Team Hip Hop

    Elite Four: Fantina, Gandulf, Flannery and Voldemort

    Champion: Hermione.

    ===Team Hip Hop===
    Exectutive will.i.am
    Team: Taboo, apl.de.ap, Fergie, Cheryl Cole, Nicki Minaj and Usher

    Exectutive Eminem
    Team: Slim Shady, Nicki Minaj, P!nk, Rihanna, Akon and 50 Cent.

    Exectutive Missy Elliot
    Team: Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Madonna, Usher and Jay-Z.

    Exectutive Snoop Dogg
    Team: Katy Perry, Alica Keys, Beyoncé, Fergie, Sharon den Adel and Tim Curry.

    LeaderSimon Cowell
    Team: Cheryl Cole, Rik Waller, Will Young, Leona Lewis, Justin Beiber, and Cher Llyod.
  • Top / Best / Hampst

    25 Oct 2009, 13:43 by nDroae

    Original title: "Two viruses for the price of a bacterial infection"

    Second title: "Funny Nightwish pictures >>> my opinions on music"

    Well, these don't take long to read :-P

    I wrote most of this a couple of days ago.

    ONE

    LEO_ and Sanguine_Sky and Euphoria_Nemo did this before.

    Made-up questions first!

    Most anticipated albums:
    1. Tarja - What Lies Beneath (2010)
    1. Nightwish Album VII (2011)
    1. Delain - Album III (2010? 2011?)
    2. The Birthday Massacre - Album IV (2010)
    2. Within Temptation Album V (2010)
    3. Liv Kristine - Skintight (2010)
    3. Leaves' Eyes Album IV (an album of new ballads) (2010)
    3. Elis - Catharsis (2009)
    3. ReVamp - debut album (2010)
    3. Kamelot - album... um... nine? (2010) Wow, I didn't realize they'd been around that long. O_o
    3. Eluveitie - Everything Remains As It Never Was (2010)
    4. Anette Olzon - solo album (2010)
    4. Evanescence - Album IV (2010)
    4. We Are the Fallen - debut album (2010) (I was going to vote for Carly but forgot so maybe I'll buy her band's album :-P)
    5. Xandria - Album IV (2010)
    6. Tristania - Album VI (2010)

    Best shoutboxes:
    1. Nightwish

    All the other shoutboxes are pretty boring right now :(

    The crowning achievement of humanity in music:
    Ghost Love Score

    The loveliest, most wonderful song of all time:
    Shared space-time continuously Twilight Sun and The Holy Bond

    Bands that get undeserved hate:
    Pretty much any band that plays heavy pop music and gets lambasted for not being metal, like Lunatica and Delain, to a lesser extent Within Temptation, etc. You can't equate the worth of music with its adherence to the boundaries of a genre.

    Singers who get undeserved hate:
    Just about every female clean vocalist who isn't the ideal classical soprano like Vibeke or Floor. Liv: "Ethereal vocals are weak!" Tarja: "Technically flawed and therefore overrated!" Anette and Charlotte: "Pop/rock/JAZZ?!? vocals in OUR MUSIC? NEVAAAARRRR!"

    Favoritest albumses of all times:
    1. Leaves' Eyes - Njord

    2. Nightwish - End of an Era
    3. Leaves' Eyes - Vinland Saga
    3. Harry Gregson-Williams - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    3. Martin Kiszko - The Ocellus Suite: Music from Alien Empire (Have loved this for ten years now! :D)
    4. Becoming the Archetype - Dichotomy
    5. Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard - The Dark Knight
    5. Project 86 - Songs to Burn Your Bridges By
    5. Switchfoot - Nothing Is Sound (My first exposure to dark and rich music, 2005. "It'll be a day like this one when the world caves in....")

    Least favoritest albums of all time:
    I don't know, if I hate the music I don't listen to the entire album if I can help it. However, one of my flatmates played Vampire Weekend all the time this past spring. I HATE THAT MUSIC. Well, I kinda like some of it though.

    Favoritest EP/Single of all time:
    1. Andy Hunter - Life
    2. Leaves' Eyes - My Destiny
    3. Project 86 - The Kane Mutiny EP

    Favoritest discoveries on Last.fm:
    The vast majority of everything I listen to :-P From past 12 months chart:
    1. Leaves' Eyes
    1. Nightwish
    2. Delain
    2. Becoming the Archetype
    2. Within Temptation
    3. Theatre of Tragedy
    3. The Birthday Massacre (Well, I saw that they existed on here and then tryingtofly recommended them, so....)

    Least favoritest discoveries on Last.fm:
    Um... Angtoria :-P

    Favoritest female singers:
    1. Tarja
    1. Liv
    2. Charlotte
    2. Nell (Theatre of Tragedy)
    2. Anette
    2. Amulyn (Although I've only heard her on ONE SONG :-P)
    2. Silje (The Gathering, Octavia Sperati)
    3. Okay fine, I still like Sharon :-P

    See also my 2008 journal, Top Female Vocalists and Why

    Favoritest male singers:
    ...Who has time for male singers? <_<

    Harsh:
    Jason Wisdom (Becoming the Archetype)
    Um... Anders Jacobsson (Draconian)
    Umm.... and Morten Veland (Tristania, Sirenia)

    Clean:
    Marco Hietala
    Roy Khan
    Andrew Schwab (Project 86)
    Jon Foreman (Switchfoot)

    Best music videos:
    1. Delain - April Rain
    2. Tarja - Die Alive
    3. Within Temptation - Utopia
    23 Favorite Music Videos

    Strangest band names:
    Black Moth Super Rainbow and their amazing song titles, like Vietcaterpillar ^_^
    And The Devil Wears Prada, what's up with that?

    I suppose I may have once thought "The Birthday Massacre" and "Leaves' Eyes" were strange names, but not any more. :-P

    Ummmm... and Morten Veland's new project, Mortemia.



    I hope they become (more) famous:
    Bloodline Severed (The band Amulyn sang with on one song. The hardest bits of Design Your Universe sound like Bloodline Severed to me. :-P)
    And this guy.

    Kamelot Liv Kristine

    Best pairup:



    TWO

    /user/os_teriyaki/journal/2009/10/14/333cq7_i_don%27t_know_what_to_title_this_journal_xd

    Get your overall top 10 artists from Last.fm, and find their three tracks you've scrobbled the most. Then note where they come in that artist's tracks chart. The lower the track in the list, the weirder you are... or something to that effect.
    ^re-worded because that's what I do.

    Leaves' Eyes
    Twilight Sun is #35
    The Holy Bond is #21
    The Dream is #31

    I've never liked the Leaves' Eyes top 15 much. At least now the top two tracks don't have ten times as many plays as anything else, that was ANNOYING. :-P I'm pretty sure they still get played a lot more than the others on Last.fm tag radio, though, just because they've been playable longer than anything else and picked up more attention in that time, leading to blah blah blah blah who really cares how Last.fm radio works any way.



    Nightwish
    Nemo is #1
    The Heart Asks Pleasure First is #343 this week and something like #1,020 for the past six months.

    Ghost Love Score is #14

    Howard Shore
    The White Tree is #18
    The Houses of Healing is #126 (But I'm scrobbling it as Liv Tyler - Arwen's Song :-P)
    Isengard Unleashed is #56

    Project 86
    A Shadow on Me is #38
    Lucretia My Reflection is #95 (Favoritest cover ever, by the way)
    The Spy Hunter is #16

    Within Temptation
    Jillian (I'd Give my Heart) is #24
    Memories is #3
    Running Up That Hill is #33

    Hans Zimmer
    Red Warrior is #49
    Run Free is #138 (I rented Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron because of this track :-P)
    Drink Up Me Hearties is #7

    ApologetiX
    Corinthians is #2
    Smooth Grandmama is #8
    Here I Go (Against All I've Known) is not on the weekly chart, #138 for the past six months
    ^These are, respectively, parodies of Linkin Park, Alien Ant Farm/Michael Jackson, and Whitesnake

    Switchfoot
    Lonely Nation is #21
    We Are One Tonight is #20
    Awakening is #11

    Theatre of Tragedy
    Storm is #10
    Envision is #52
    Ashes and Dreams is #33

    "Forever Is the World" is my favorite of their songs, it's just not up there on my chart yet. If you haven't heard it yet:



    Relient K
    Forgiven is #31
    Fallen Man is #159 :D
    More Than Useless is #19

  • 23 Favorite Music Videos

    26 Nov 2008, 23:52 by nDroae

    This is a journal I've wanted to write for a very long time; at least a year by now. I've spent several hours thoughtfully selecting and preparing the contents of this entry.

    One thing I've noticed is that while I don't mind if a song's lyrics have no "happy ending," I do prefer music videos which end with at least a sign of hope. Perhaps because a video is a more whole experience than a song. Any live video, no matter how hopeless the song, will end with the adulation of the crowd; studio videos are more self-contained.

    Another thing I've noticed is that if you look at the frame caps I've taken, I look like a chauvinist pig. Well, it could be worse.

    Videos in roughly descending order.


    Tarja - Die Alive


    Quite probably my favorite music video of all time. Tarja is certainly no longer the boring untouchable diva she was portrayed as in recent Nightwish videos. And I love the way this video was shot, the cinematography and the sweeping camera moves around her as she sings. The whole thing is a dark visual feast.



    Tarja displays her acting skills, then discovers the Magic Healing Dress of Yesteryear.



    Then she encounters a lot less rats than there were in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, before arriving at the exit, where the doors are blown off....



    ...and she exits in poetic slow motion. I love that part.



    Amazing.

    Some people say they prefer the video for I Walk Alone:



    Yeah... if you say so. o_0



    Leaves' Eyes - Elegy


    Liv sings the part of Alex's Viking adventurer character. Beautiful CGI ensues. Liv says that she liked being filmed against greenscreen because it reminded her of nature. More actresses should be like Liv Kristine.





    Leaves' eyes....



    Liv uses her metal goddess powers to fix the sea-storm problem for her bandmembers.





    Theatre of Tragedy - Storm


    This compelling song is amazingly richly textured. Who cares that the video is full of random artistic stuff that doesn't really make sense? Great song, great lyrics, great video, and Nell is the perfect singer for modern-day Theatre of Tragedy.



    Smashing guitars is for lamers! We smash KEYBOARDS!





    Amy Adams - Happy Working Song


    Okay, this is actually a movie clip, but it's completely awesome. She rescues the roaches from the vacuum cleaner and sings with them - music videos DO NOT GET BETTER THAN THIS. Unfortunately a roach gets eaten when the song ends, but still, awesome.





    Within Temptation - Memories


    The video perfectly complements this incredibly beautiful song.



    This imagery is simply iconic.



    Sharon den Adel in the 2058 Within Temptation reunion tour.



    Keep on smiling, Sharon!



    Stream of Passion - Out In The Real World


    Good video to an excellent song by this progressive metal band.



    Just because a band's music is "progressive" doesn't mean the band members' appearance necessarily is.



    I like this part.... :)



    Sirenia - The Other Side


    Nice artistic and powerful video which seems to be encouraging children to kill themselves and escape a life of pain, like the Pillowman. But maybe that's not what it's supposed to be about.

    Monika Pendersen gives Ailyn a demonstration of how to perform vocals for gothic metal:





    Nightwish - Amaranth


    Amaranth is easily one of my five favorite Nightwish songs. While I prefer the song Nemo, that song's video uses the inferior studio recording of the song (I much prefer the live version from End of an Era) and isn't very compelling - Tarja hardly moves, and the story ends in futility. By contrast, this video is quite engaging, with a nice performance by the band, including Anette's "pop dancing," and great visuals inspired by an iconic 1903 Finnish painting. And the video ends with a sign of hope.



    Hugo Simberg's The Wounded Angel





    After Forever - Energize Me


    Floor Jansen's powerful performance makes this video, which otherwise is conceptually little more than a collection of cliches.



    Energize me with a simple TOUCH! halfway through the video. It's great.



    Nickelback - Savin' Me


    I first heard this song as a cover by a church band. I ended up co-creating a student music video of the song last spring. After that I looked up this official video, which tells the story of a gift that allows a man to see how many seconds everyone else has to live, so that he can use that knowledge to save someone else, whom the gift is then passed on to.



    The only mistake in this video was having a pregnant woman, whose unborn baby's life count is visible, hold an orange, so that is looks like the orange has a life count.



    Discussion of this aberration has been the purpose of roughly 7,000 of the video comments posted by Nickelback fans so far.



    Liv Kristine - Fake A Smile


    I could take or leave the verse parts, but the chorus rules.



    World's greatest pop singer?



    This dress wins.



    Atrocity - The Sun Always Shines On TV


    Complaints, complaints! "Alex can't sing," "Liv looks old." Well, I really like this video, so there.



    It's sweet to see them singing as a loving couple. :)



    Liv and Alex as children.



    You do not want to meet Alla Fedynitch in a dark alley.



    Within Temptation - Angels


    Within Temptation is the only artist with more than one video in this list. And I chose four WT videos. I guess they're particularly adept at making videos I like.



    Pretty cool video with some rather dark subject matter, a serial killer. In one of the live versions of the song, you can hear the teenage girls in the crowd screaming crazily as they presumably think about their ex-boyfriends. :-P



    Coldplay - The Scientist


    One of the first music videos I ever saw, I was introduced to Coldplay when this was shown in a class during my first semester of college. Chris Martin allegedly spent a month learning to sing the song backwards so that they could shoot this without, say, digital mouth replacement.


    Chris Martin is shocked to discover that Coldplay has the most listeners of any artist on Last.fm.



    Within Temptation - The Howling


    This video is pretty good, but my favorite part comes at the beginning. Here's how I see it:




    Xandria - Save My Life


    Really generic video. But... gotta love the way Lisa looks at the camera. :)



    :-D



    The Sisters of Mercy - This Corrosion

    [GONE FROM YOUTUBE :-P]

    My introduction to this band. Expect a lot of 80's weirdness and awesomeness.

    Group leader Andrew Eldritch famously insists that the Sisters are not goth or gothic. From here:





    Within Temptation - Stand My Ground


    The message of this video is that when New York City is flooded by global warming, WT will escape in a Viking-ish sailboat. ^_^





    Megadeth - À Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)

    [GONE FROM YOUTUBE :-P]

    Okay, maybe this isn't really my favorite song with Cristina Scabbia's vocals, not that it really matters. :P



    It's cold in post-apocalyptic New York City.



    P.O.D. - Sleeping Awake


    One of P.O.D.'s best songs, it came with The Matrix Reloaded soundtrack (and plays over part of the film's credits). The creators of this video did an effective job of mimicking The Matrix movies in it.





    To-Mera - Blood


    Great prog metal. This was the first gothic music video I ever saw. Funny how normal it seems, watching it again now.





    Project 86 - The Spy Hunter

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFNsJ5T3laY

    What other music video ends with the band members shooting their lead singer with a cannon? The story continues in the video for My Will Be A Dead Man.





    Switchfoot - Meant to Live (Spider-Man 2 Video)


    So it's one of those corporate union band/movie intercutting videos, but it's quite well done and, thanks to the Spider-Man footage, it actually has a point, setting it apart from many Switchfoot videos.

  • Top female vocalists and why

    8 Nov 2008, 08:32 by nDroae

    UPDATE: Current favorite female (and male) vocalists here :)


    This was written in June 2008 for friends
    who generally don't know symphonic/gothic/female-fronted metal/rock or whatever it is. Thus it is a general introduction, rather than a defense for you, dear reader, who probably already have opinions on all of these noble women. But if you're just starting to listen to the aforementioned kinds of music, you may find this helpful. It's a numeric ranking based on how many plays I had in June of each singer. I had to factor in plays of certain songs by certain bands (Nightwish, Theatre of Tragedy) to figure this out, making it unlikely I'll ever do it again.


    1. Liv Kristine of Norway



    Liv Kristine Espenaes Krull was the original singer of Theatre of Tragedy; she sings with her husband in his death metal band, Atrocity; she leads the symphonic metal band Leaves' Eyes; and she has a solo career as a pop singer.

    I wrote this on Last.fm - some of it last month, some of it last fall.

    It'll be one year since I first heard Leaves' Eyes tomorrow - it was The Dream on Female Fronted Metal tag radio, and it had the greatest impact of any first-time listen I've ever had. The song was so uniquely beautiful that I was immediately captivated. Ten weeks later, I hadn't heard them at all since, yet Liv's voice was in my head and I was desperate to hear it.

    Honestly I can't understand the common criticisms that Liv is unattractive and has a weak voice. (It's not weak per se, it's just soft! You wouldn't use starch when you wash your favorite clothes to make them "stronger." :-P)

    Liv seems to be shy but very warm, friendly and unassuming. I was thrilled when I finally found a video of her speaking normally in English. I'm not sure why I wanted so badly to hear her just speaking, but it meant something to me. It really seems to me that (nearly) everything Liv's voice touches turns to gold... and if it is only fools' gold, I don't want to be wise. I even love Enter My Religion - some of the tracks have negative lyrics, but they're enjoyable to listen to nonetheless. Her better pop songs are sweet, uplifting and lovely.

    I don't like all of Theatre of Tragedy's stuff, especially their earliest work, but I bought most of it any way. And I don't like some of her (especially earlier) publicity pictures, nor the fact that she considers Madonna a role model, but for personal reasons I admire the fact that she and Alex are married, and that she finished recording the vocals for Lovelorn mere hours before giving birth to their son. She seems to be a strong woman, though you might not know it by listening to her.



    Alex & Liv with son Leon

    "Leaves' Eyes" is the way "Liv's Eyes" is pronounced with a Norwegian accent. The band is actually Atrocity with Liv leading and her husband providing death vocals, but the music they play is softer, more melodic, and more "atmospheric" (if that means anything to you; it doesn't mean much to me) than Atrocity's. Listen to their first song I heard: The Dream. My overall favorite song of all time is Twilight Sun - please ignore the video! Leaves' Eyes' rockinest song yet is Legend Land. The band also did a pretty good music video for Elegy, but, unfortunately, the last time I linked to it from a forum like this, the only reply I got was "apparently Andro loves massive cleavage." >_>

    I'm now the leader of both the Liv Kristine Krull group and the Leaves' Eyes group on Last.fm. I actually went through Youtube and linked to just about every Leaves' Eyes video I could find for this thread. I think I'm really more like an obsessed fangirl than a fanboy when it comes to Leaves' Eyes. ^_^



    From Theatre of Tragedy's early gothic metal, my favorite song is probably Poppaea. My favorite electropop ToT song is Envision.

    From Liv's solo career as a pop artist, my favorite song which actually can be heard on demand is "Over the Moon," available on her MySpace page. There's also a music video for Fake a Smile.

    And as for Atrocity, they don't always just play (symphonic) death metal; they've released two albums of metal covers of 80's hits, on which Alex unadvisedly uses clean vocals. (He's my favorite growler, but one of my least favorite clean vocalists!) The second cover album was just released earlier this year. The music video for The Sun Always Shines on TV worried a few Leaves' Eyes fans that the band might be heading this direction, but I'm not worried, since Atrocity has always had a different sound from their alternative persona. One fan also complained that Liv (who turned 32 this past Valentine's Day) looks old in the video. I recently wrote this response on Last.fm:

    I like The Sun Always Shines on TV video; I especially like that they're singing a duet as a loving couple. Liv definitely looks (relatively) old in the video, but I'm fine with that as long as she doesn't lose her voice. I find middle-aged women quite attractive, and Liv will obviously still be beautiful into her old age. I'll be very interested to see what becomes of all these female-fronted metal bands I've been listening to since a year or less ago. A number of classic rock and metal bands are still performing with members in their 40's, 50's or 60's, but with the recently obvious instability of bands in the genre which aren't controlled by their singers (as LE and WT fortunately are) and the general cultural bias against aging women (which is much stronger than the bias against aging men), the now-distant future does not look very bright.



    I set out in 2006 to explore different types of music, starting with genres such as classical, jazz and world music, and then exploring the various sub-genres of metal, only to eventually discover that female-fronted symphonic metal is the kind of music I've always wanted to listen to. But the genre in its true form is barely over a decade old now, and rapidly gaining in popularity worldwide; Nightwish, in particular, has nearly 1/3 as many total plays as Radiohead or The Beatles. Hopefully the genre will continue to prosper in years to come.

    Side note: Another Liv with a lovely voice is Liv Tyler, actually. She took vocal lessons to perform this song for The Return of the King, but it was cut from the film. It was later used in the Extended Edition of the film for Eowyn and Faramir in the Houses of Healing, and appears on the highly expensive Complete Recordings of the film. It'd be great if she were to record, say, a new age album.


    2. Tarja Turunen of Finland


    Gothic diva; opera diva.

    I associate her (positively) with Morticia of The Addams Family. Once, someone who was recommended her said, "Nah, I don't like vampires."

    Tarja was trained as a classical opera singer and joined Nightwish, then an upstart folk music project created by Tuomas Holopainen. The group was intended to play the kind of music you'd hear around a Finnish campfire, but after the release of only one EP, Tuomas decided that Tarja's voice was too strong for the style, and they became a power metal band. Tarja is regarded as having the truest opera voice of anyone in the metal scene. I was introduced to Nightwish (after having been aware of them for a long time) through the purchase of their "End of an Era" live album from eMusic in August of last year. At first her voice sounded weird to me, but before long she was my second favorite singer. I came to love the album so much that I bought the DVD of the performance - the only music DVD I've ever bought. (Update: I've since bought WT's Black Symphony and Skillet's Comatose Comes Alive. :P)

    yoshi wrote:
    My favorite NW song - "Ghost Love Score" :P - I'll give this song 20/10 for the atmosphere. ;)
    GHOST! LOVE! SCORE! RULES! Musically it's my favorite song ever.

    I also recommend Nemo and the older power metal song, Wanderlust. Tarja also has a solo career as both true classical singer and (more recently) symphonic rock project leader. She has concentrated on her solo career since she was fired from Nightwish, releasing the album "My Winter Storm" last November. Check out one of my favorite music videos ever for one of my favorite songs ever, Die Alive. I've played that song 70 times since I first heard it four months ago.

    Those who would know say that Tarja's voice is really average as opera singers go; she only seems amazing because of Nightwish. This may very well be; I love her unique voice for what it is, and an objectively "better" voice isn't better to me at all. Even when she sings "boring" traditional opera, I'm far more interested in hearing her sing it than any superior singer.




    3. Sharon den Adel of the Netherlands



    ...And a couple of photos I took of a live video: X-D


    [I didn't write much about Sharon, because someone else had already introduced WT in the thread I was posting in.]

    Within Temptation is, like Nightwish, just there as soon as you listen to any of these artists on Last.fm. I heard Our Farewell on Last.fm's female fronted metal tag radio and loved it, then later heard Our Solemn Hour and was hooked. Sharon has quite a wonderful voice; it's perfect for Within Temptation and I wouldn't change anything about it. (I might change how she sings on Mother Earth... there she seems a bit shrill on high notes.) One Amazon user review calls Sharon's voice a "freak of nature" for its extreme range and versatility.

    Jillian (I'd Give My Heart) - one of my favorite songs ever, 56 plays in the last six months. Amazing. Tells the story (from a series of book) of a man doomed never to die until he sets right a mistake he once made, from his point of view. He sees his true love, Jillian, being reincarnated over and over through the centuries.
    Our Solemn Hour - set in World War II, very well done with dialogue from Winston Churchill woven into the song.
    And for the fans of 80's music, I love this cover of a Kate Bush song.


    4. Sabine Edelsbacher of Austria



    Another Sabine. Sabine is a lovely name, isn't it? :D Makes me think of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." Sabine Edelsbacher (which, I suppose, must be pronounced like "Edelweiss") fronts a power metal band called Edenbridge. I once said that comparing Edenbridge to Within Temptation is like comparing a Baroque harpsichord piece to a symphony. They did employ a full orchestra as backing on their latest album, though. Sabine's voice is quite unique. I'm not sure if it qualifies as operatic or not, but it has a natural feel to it and is gentle without feeling weak. Some have said she lacks emotion, but I've never felt that to be a problem. You might as well say a traditional opera diva lacks emotion because she maintains the composure required to sing that way, rather than reacting the way a real person would in such a situation. Edenbridge's songs are like chronicles of lost kingdoms, and Sabine is sometimes the storyteller, sometimes a character in the stories. I love the song Color My Sky (sorry for the bad anime video), and Evermore was my favorite song since I discovered the band until last week, when I decided that the new song Remember Me is even better. Edenbridge has actually never released any music videos, which seems strange since they constantly employ the most outlanding fantasy imagery in their album artwork.

    5. Nell Sigland of Norway



    Nell founded and fronted a gothic rock band called The Crest in the mid 90's, but came to fame more recently by becoming the new vocalist for a band called Theatre of Tragedy. Theatre of Tragedy used to be a mainstay gothic metal band, releasing three true gothic metal albums which even had lyrics in Early Modern English (Shakespearean language). Then they suddenly switched to electropop, to many fans' chagrin, though I actually prefer their electropop stuff. The newest album, Storm, has a sort of hybrid electronic gothic metal sound which I absolutely love. Unlike Nightwish, they chose a singer very much like their old one: Nell has a soft, "airy fairy" voice, and only sounds somewhat less angelic than her predecessor. Check out the music video for Storm, or watch a video I shot and edited using half of the song "Ashes and Dreams."

    6. Floor Jansen of the Netherlands



    No one ever seems to talk about the fact that this lady's name is Floor. It's even (as far as I know) pronounced just like the English word. Floor Jansen, who fronts the symphonic metal band After Forever, might be considered the opposite of Cristina Scabbia: she's not exactly a supermodel, but her voice is awesome. I would describe her voice as strong and clear, as well as beautiful. Check out the After Forever music video for "Energize Me," or listen to my favorite AF track, Envision. Envision's lyrics say that sometimes the only way to relate to others is through the imagination, which is the same thing my acting professor always stresses.

    7. Anette Olzon of Sweden



    Anette is a pop rock whatever singer, controversially chosen by Nightwish to replace classically trained opera singer Tarja Turunen as the band's lead vocalist. Whether it was a good move to choose a pop singer or not is a highly subjective matter, but she is at least a very good pop singer. A majority of fans seem to feel that some Nightwish songs will always sound better with Tarja, while others are actually better suited for Anette's voice. Tuomas Holopainen, the band's founder, composer and lyricist, has said that he had to write Dark Passion Play, the new album introducing Anette, with Tarja's voice still in his mind, and consequently much of it would be better suited to her voice. Hopefully the next album will be better suited for Anette's vocals.

    Critics say that Nightwish is already veering in that direction - towards pop - calling the Dark Passion Play single Amaranth (for which the band lost credibility in much of the heavy metal community) simply pop music. I doubt that many Americans would consider it "pop music" on first listen. I think of Amaranth as symphonic pop metal, and I really like it, but I was particularly impressed by Anette's voice on a much poppier track, For the Heart I Once Had.


    Technical Details:

    Liv
    I own Leaves' Eyes' two albums, one EP, and four of the five existing bonus tracks, with 1,024 plays total. I own 49 tracks of Theatre of Tragedy with Liv and have 266 plays from them. I only own six tracks of her solo work, but combined with Last.fm radio play I've listened to it 247 times. I own three atrocity albums, with 100 plays of the songs which feature Liv. Liv Kristine's combined total is 1,637 plays. A Leaves' Eyes DVD is coming later this year, hopefully to be followed before long by a third album, and I cannot wait. (Update: more like NEXT year!)

    Tarja
    I owned 12 Nightwish tracks with Tarja until I bought 33 more six weeks ago. I've listened 991 times to songs performed by Tarja with Nightwish, plus 405 times to her work as a solo artist; the combined total is 1,396 plays.

    Sharon
    I own Within Temptation's second, third and fourth albums, with 859 plays between them.

    My top three singers' combined total over the past year is 3,892 plays.

    Sabine
    I own 50 Edenbridge tracks, with a total of 358 plays.

    Nell
    I got Storm less than two months ago, and currently have 252 track plays from the album. With 61 plays of The Crest, the total is 313.

    Floor
    I have one After Forever album, 209 track plays.

    Anette
    I have 391 plays of Dark Passion Play, but only 170 of those featured Anette, because I bought the $18 double-disc edition which comes with instrumental versions of every song on the album.



    My college allocates $40 of our tuition to a printing account, so at the end of the year I spent surprisingly little of my remaining balance on this stuff (and various other posters). The large poster consists of twelve separate pages, and took me about three hours to assemble (no Leaves' Eyes posters are available for puchase). My Nightwish DVD is also visible.

    (...as are my Beanie Baby cicada and scorpion, and a toy Portuguese Man-O-War, and a certain inflatable spider....)


    Other Artists Mentioned

    Sirenia - 99 plays total
    I own three Sirenia albums and there is a different singer on each album, and they all sound about the same to me, that is, not particularly remarkable. Good stuff though.

    Epica - 52 plays
    Simone Simons is an extremely young mezzo soprano known for a) extreme appeal with young male metalheads and b) struggling with high notes. Hopefully her voice will improve with age. Epica's music is great, with strong orchestral and choral elements not unlike the Medieval: Total War battle music, but I find it hard to enjoy, as it somehow always sounds uncomfortably unnatural and forced. My friend tryingtofly loves them though. :D

    [UPDATE: Since writing this I have changed my mind about both Simone and Epica, she sounds awesome on The Classical Conspiracy, and I now enjoy Epica's music as much as I feel I should. :-P]

    To-Mera - 53 plays
    Vocals: Julie Kiss. A great progressive metal band using heavy gothic imagery. I was introduced to them via this video. I was just becoming interested in the gothic at the time and the video rather helped. :)

    Xandria - 62 plays
    Vocals: Lisa Middelhauve (who recently left). I really like her voice, particularly on "Mermaids" (video). It can be very soft and comforting. Not particularly compelling music, but enjoyable.

    Elis - 86 plays
    Sabine Dunser was their vocalist until she suddenly died of a brain hemorrhage. She had, in my opinion, one of the best voices I've ever heard. By far my favorite song of theirs is Innocent Hearts (video).

    Emilie Autumn - 91 plays
    Weird! Weird, weird woman! She's one of the most unique, original artists to have gained some measure of popularity in the U.S. Her first album, "Enchant," has a somewhat traditional foundation and has deen recommended by one reviewer to "the more adventurous fans of Enya." Since then she's switched to a style of music she calls "Victoriandustrial." She's weird. Perhaps my favorite song of hers is Juliet (video). "Save You" and "What If" are excellent as well. (Update: Opheliac is on Emusic now, but I haven't got it yet.)

    Sarah Brightman - 165 plays
    I bought Sarah Brightman's newest CD, Symphony, because I heard it had "gothic metal" influences. On the one hand you'd think that would be a natural move for her, since she got her start with the classic goth pop musical Phantom of the Opera... but on the other hand you have to wonder if she's just jumping (back) onto the gothic bandwagon, as gothia seems to be rather in vogue at the moment. Thing is there are only two gothic tracks on the entire album: the one-minute instrumental intro, "Gothia," and the symphonic rock single, "Fleurs Du Mal," which is totally awesome, at least during the chorus. It'd be great to see her providing operatic vocals for a symphonic (often mistaken for gothic) rock/metal band. I don't like Sarah's "pop voice" (the way she sings on the verses) nearly as much as Liv Kristine's, though.

    Some other tracks on the album are, while neither gothic nor rock, great as well, particularly "Running" and her cover/duet with Andrea Bocceli, "Canto Della Terra." There's also a Dead Can Dance cover, Sanvean, which I suppose could be considered gothic by association.

    Lacuna Coil - 206 plays
    Lacuna Coil is just okay. Their main claim to fame seems to be Cristina Scabbia's sex appeal. Her voice is good, but in my opinion no better than any other good female singer; and they play pretty normal rock music with only slight metal and even slighter gothic elements. In fact my favorite song with Cristina Scabbia isn't even by Lacuna Coil; it's her duet with Dave Mustaine on the 2007 re-release of A Tout Le Monde.

    Tristania - 231 plays
    Vibeke Stene (pronounced vi-bekkie AFAIK), who recently left this genuinely gothic metal band, has a wonderful operatic voice which would, on their first two albums, sound right at home in a medieval cathedral, if it weren't for the fact that women weren't allowed to sing in churches then - only boys and castrati. :P So I read through their lyrics, as I almost always do before I buy anything by a secular artist, weeded out the overly negative or blatantly anti-Christian songs, and ended up with 31 tracks, several of which I really love. "Beyond the Veil" and "Angina" (video - be sure to listen to the entire first minute if you can make it that far) are my favorites. You can recognize that it's gothic metal by the "beauty and the beast" (harsh male / operatic female) vocals, choir, and the style of metal, which takes the slow, plodding sound of doom metal and speeds it up to create a sort of fast plodding sound, if that makes any sense. :mrgreen:

    The most egregiously-mistaken-for-gothic-metal band ever is The Gathering.This group offers some suggestions for what they actually are; I don't really care. I was introduced to their (now ex-) singer, Anneke, through her guest performance on "Mighty Rivers Run" with Globus (video with that song). I like The Gathering's music, particularly the album Mandylion, but it doesn't hold my interest the way symphonic metal/rock does.

    Lastly, Stream of Passion - 108 plays

    Another prog metal band with gothic elements, and they are really, really good. Mexican singer Marcela Bovio has a lovely voice. Check out their official video for "Out in the Real World".

    Update: The two artists I would add now are Draconian and Evanescence. I've liked Evanescence for a while (I was interested in them for years, but didn't heard anything by them until late 2006), but I recently gave them another chance and now love several songs off Fallen. I enjoy Amy Lee's voice more than many of the other singers mentioned here. Draconian produces stunningly beautiful doom metal; highlighted by Lisa Johansson's B&B duets with Anders Jacobsson, every song is a masterful tragedy. Good for catharsis, the purging of emotions.

    EDIT: To avoid further pestering about Angela Gossow, who I don't like at all, I'll include these comments here:

    Gavnosh wrote:
    24 Nov 2008, 08:45
    And what about Angela Gossow(Arch enemy) ???

    nDroae wrote:
    24 Nov 2008, 11:14
    Meh, 100% harsh female vocals kinda defeat the point for me. I do enjoy some Bloodlined Calligraphy, Still Breathing, a little Kittie, and Lacey Mosley's occasional screaming in Flyleaf. Arch Enemy I haven't really bothered to look into yet. :)