The Goths Must Be Crazy

Dark Metal's Windowless World

And definitely no need to give up the Sisters of Mercy's 1986 Floodland, whose introverted sexuality, Bowie-like vocals, and doomy bass riffs still dominate black-metal style, delving deeper into private fantasy than any of it. Even farther back in these bands' time line lies the stunned, streaked, and blacklit music of Joy Division. It was Ian Curtis who invented private rock and wrote the style of such soul masters as the Moments, Delfonics, and Stylistics into far harsher shape. Curtis's bottom octaves reversed the extremism of falsetto soul— and even intensified it— without compromising the genre's privacy, thereby turning the expectations of dreamland into a negative. In his ad-lib-like songs you can hear him searching his way, groping from end to beginning. There may be interest in listening to Curtis's successors, but in his own vocals there was discovery. And in discovery, pain and freedom.

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