The video below has the sound that I love, above all, coming out of my headphones when I listen to music. Of course, my taste in music is not limited to this single song; however the gorgeous flow of melody and majestic gothic choruses as Tristania is most loved for is what drives my love for music.

"My Lost Lenore" by Tristania

Strangely enough, I began this journey towards melodic gothic metal by listening to a very abrasive form of metal music called symphonic black metal—the band Cradle of Filth in particular. The band incorporated some clean, operatic vocals into their harsh and extreme yet symphonic, often melodic music. I loved their sound as I heard it playing over the music system at a small metal/rock music store in the Village in New York which prompted me to purchase a sample/compilation CD that included one of their tracks.

I was completely enthralled listening to Cradle of Filth’s Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids (warning, strong lyrics and even stronger music) and listened to them repeatedly until I purchased their full album. I bought into their sound and have loved it since however I especially enjoyed the operatic female vocals in some of their songs.

Within the compilation CD was a single by Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull called 3AM. Liv Kristine turned me onto her soft, beautiful voice and I found Theatre of Tragedy through her. What I found was exactly what Cradle of Filth introduced me to, a melodic, doom/gloom/gothic metal music style with gorgeous, operatic female vocals.

Since then, the beauty & the beast singing style pioneered by Theatre of Tragedy has become very popular, influencing the gothic metal music genre forever. “Beauty & the Beast” vocals is the “aesthetic of combining aggressive male vocals with clean female vocals.” Bands such as Nightwish, Tristania and Lacuna Coil have used the vocal style to great effect.

Along with this vocal style comes great potential for musical aesthetics, greatly employed by Tristania in much of their music, such in their song My Lost Lenore.


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