Gothic metal combines the heaviness of doom metal with the dark atmospheres of gothic rock. The style originated during the early 1990s in Europe. Lyrics are generally dark and introspective with inspiration from gothic fiction as well as personal experiences.
Pioneers of gothic metal include Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema, all from the north of England. Other pioneers from the first half of the 1990s include Type O Negative from the United States, Tiamat from Sweden, and The Gathering from the Netherlands. Norwegian band Theatre of Tragedy developed the "beauty and the beast" aesthetic of combining aggressive male vocals with clean female vocals, a contrast that has since been adopted by many gothic metal groups. By the end of the decade, a symphonic metal variant of gothic metal had been developed by Tristania and Within Temptation.
In the 21st century, gothic metal bands has moved towards the mainstream in Europe, particularly in Finland where groups such as Entwine, HIM, Lullacry and Poisonblack have released hit singles or chart-topping albums.
Symphonic metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music that combines the heavy drums and guitars of metal with different elements of orchestral classical music, such as symphonic instruments, choirs and sometimes a full orchestra, or just keyboard orchestration. Symphonic metal bands often feature classically trained female vocalists, giving rise to the nickname opera metal or operatic metal, and it is not uncommon for them to feature a second vocalist performing growls, a more common characteristic of gothic metal. Perhaps the most typical and prominent examples of symphonic metal bands are Dutch bands Epica and Within Temptation, Finnish band Nightwish, and Swedish band Therion.
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