Fahrenheit 451 was never a huge name in goth rock, but the New Jersey band did enjoy a small cult following (mostly around the Northeastern Corridor) in the 1980s. For a long time, most of Fahrenheit's 1980s recordings weren't available on CD. But that changed in 2000, when Cleopatra released The Gothic Years and After. Twelve of the CD's 16 tracks are by Fahrenheit; in addition to ten recordings from 1984-1987, Cleopatra provides covers of Bauhaus' "The Three Shadows" and the Mission's "Wasteland" that singer Athan Maroulis and guitarist Shell Stewart recorded during a brief studio reunion in 1996. Influenced by the seminal Bauhaus as well as the Stranglers and the Doors, 1980s recordings like "Strangers on a Train" and "Flowers Melt Away" are solid, state-of-the-art goth -- aggressive, yet gloomy, dark, and highly melodic. Serious goth collectors should note that seven of the ten 1984-1987 offerings weren't available on CD until The Gothic Years and After came along. Although Fahrenheit dominates this compilation, four of the 16 tracks are by bands that its ex-members joined after Fahrenheit's 1987 breakup. This CD gives listeners a taste of three post-Fahrenheit outfits that Maroulis sang with: the Philadelphia-based Executive Slacks (which were active from 1987-1991), the obscure Tubalcain (which lasted from 1992-1994), and the better-known Spahn Ranch (which was formed in 1992 and was still going strong in 2001). Meanwhile, the Lucifer Scale is a New York band that Stewart joined in 1995. Not everything on The Gothic Years and After is goth rock; Tubalcain's "Carbon Black" and Lucifer's "I Am Nothing" are more industrial. Nonetheless, goth dominates the CD, and those who have spent a lot of time listening to artists like Bauhaus, Nosferatu, and the Sisters of Mercy will find that The Gothic Years and After has a lot to offer.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
feat: Eva O.