Various Artists

A Taste of Sin

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Like the terms alternative rock and world music, darkwave is one of those musical terms that is far-reaching and somewhat nebulous, yet very convenient. Darkwave isn't really one specific genre; rather, the term darkwave was coined in the '90s to describe a wave of dark alternative music from several different genres, including industrial, goth rock, EBM, and ethereal underground. Assembled by Cleopatra in 2002, this compilation makes a strong case for using the term darkwave. All of the material could be described as dark alternative music, but one certainly cannot claim that all of the selections sound alike -- the ferocious industrial assault of the Shizit's "Just One Fix" doesn't sound anything like the gloomy, unhappily melodic goth rock of Spahn Ranch's "The River," Messy's "Make You Believe," and Fear Cult's "Evil Eye." However, these artists all have an alternative outlook and a love of ultra-dark lyrics; those are the things that the Shizit have in common with Fear Cult and Spahn Ranch. So when one describes A Taste of Sin as a darkwave compilation, it is a matter of convenience. The CD even gets into alternative metal with the Electric Hellfire Club's "Hypochristian" and the Newlydeads' "Lipstick." Ordinarily, alt-metal isn't thought of as part of darkwave; however, it can be quite dark (depending on the artist), and these alt-metal selections work well alongside industrial and goth material. Besides, EHC started out as an industrial combo before evolving into more of an alt-metal outfit. Spahn Ranch, meanwhile, went from industrial to more of a goth rock focus -- and all the while, Spahn was considered part of darkwave. The bottom line is that those who appreciate a variety of dark-themed alternative music will find a lot to admire about A Taste of Sin.

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