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During the '90s, the goth rock genre began to cross-pollinate with synth pop and dream pop, producing the hybrid style of darkwave. Much more somber and ethereal than goth rock's other offshoot, industrial dance, darkwave was originally defined by bands like Clan of Xymox and Psyche . A second wave of artists would inject other influences, with Dead Can Dance and In the Nursery favoring classical song structures or medieval instrumentation, while Die Form and Lycia brought along sounds that were more avant-garde and ambient. The late '90s would see a rise in darkwave's popularity thanks to the success of Switchblade Symphony plus Sam Rosenthal's group Black Tape for a Blue Girl. While labels like Metropolis and Cleopatra could be classified as mostly industrial imprints that flirted with the style, darkwave became the primary focus of Rosenthal's @Projekt label. @Projekt acts like Love Spirals Downwards, Unto Ashes, and Voltaire helped usher the darkwave style into the 21st century.

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