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Neoclassical dark wave refers to a subgenre of dark wave music that is characterized by an ethereal atmosphere and angelic female voices but also adds strong influences from classical music.[citation needed] Neoclassical dark wave is distinct from the art music form known as neoclassical music, a style of classical music dating from the early twentieth century. In the context of popular music, the term 'neoclassical' is frequently used to refer to music influenced by classical (including elements from the baroque, classical, romantic, impressionistic music).


Historical contextEdit

In the middle of the 1980s, the bands Dead Can Dance and In the Nursery released influential albums which essentially laid the foundations of the Neoclassical dark wave genre. In 1985 Dead Can Dance released Spleen and Ideal, which initiated the band's 'medieval European sound.'[1] In 1987 In the Nursery released Stormhorse, which exhibited a bold, cinematic style and a symphonic/post-industrial sound lending itself to 'being envisioned as backing music for a dramatic epic.'[2] This music, 'clearly more inspired by the classical than the rock tradition, had a melancholy, visionary and sometimes nostalgic quality'.

Neoclassical dark wave makes frequent use of formal styles associated with orchestral music as well as chamber music. Many bands utilize orchestra-derived synthesizer samples, while some better-known groups such as Elend make use of chamber orchestras and other acoustic instruments. Vocals in the genre can also vary. Some bands such as Les Secrets de Morphée make use of opera-like vocals, or in the case of Camerata Mediolanense, madrigal-like vocals. Others such as Autunna et sa Rose utilize contemporary classical chamber music vocalise[clarification needed] together with spoken dramatic monologue.

Notable artistsEdit

Notable labelsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Review of Spleen and Ideal". allMusic Guide. Retrieved June 26, 2008. 
  2. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Review of Stormhorse". allMusic Guide. Retrieved June 26, 2008. 
  3. ^ "About Amethystium". Ramfjord Music. Retrieved September 3, 2013. Amethystium is the soundtrack to a journey – between light and darkness, humanity and fantasy. A dreamy fusion of ambient electronica, world music and neoclassical darkwave, the music walks a tight-rope between bliss and melancholy, taking you on an emotive escape from the ordinary. 
  4. ^ "Amber Asylum". Profound Lore Records. Retrieved June 16, 2008. One of the most respected and influential acts that have emerged from the neo-classical/gothic/ambient/and post-rock alternative scene... 
  5. ^ "Projekt Artist: Arcana". Projekt darkwave shop. Archived from the original on April 29, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2008. of the leading bands in the neoclassical genre. 
  6. ^ Eck, Markus (2007). "Der Tod und das Mädchen". Sonic Seducer (in German). No. 12. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Rik. "Review of Astronomica". Retrieved September 10, 2008. Gothic, neofolk, neoclassical, and cinematic ... 
  8. ^ Rik. "Review of Villers-aux-Vents". Retrieved June 16, 2008. ...the fifth neo-classical rock album from CdAA... 
  9. ^ Ladouceur, Liisa (2011). Encyclopedia Gothica. ECW Press. p. 192. ISBN 9781770410244. 
  10. ^ "Thoughts: 9 years in the sanctuary album description". Projekt darkwave shop. Archived from the original on February 21, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2008. They create a lovely, lush, somber neo-classical sound ...