The Cruxshadows

A crash of sound, metal and drums beat in a dancing rhythm as an ethereal violin sounds a sad and stern sirens call, drifting in and out of the onrushing music like a goddess of war, spurring it on while keeping order.

Welcome to the music of the CruxShadows.

The band, hailing from northern Florida, produces goth music, a genre known for bizarre makeup, black clothing, and spikey hair, as well as depressing songs. This has only gotten worse, as Marilyn-Manson-like, many goth wanna-be’s followed the nihilistic footsteps of industrial bands such as Ministry and Skinny Puppy. Even Evanescence, which I love, with its strain of hope and salvation, cries its pain from the depths of despair. This is why, with few exceptions, I don’t listen to much of the stuff anymore. I have no need for this level of despair and destruction in my life or as a mood setting.

Some bands followed in the footsteps of the Sisters of Mercy, and took a more danceable route, wandering into a more electronic soundscape. This base, along with a love of poetry, a sure touch, and a violin, gets translated into an epic feel with a beat you can enjoy. Best of all, while the music is dark and driving, it is not so heavily rooted in despair. Perhaps the best example is my first introduction to their music, the song Winterborn (My Sacrifice). It deals with laying down your life to save those that you love, and the heroism of ordinary people. Like the poetry of Rudyard Kipling, it resonates strongly with those I know in the military who have heard it, and even the ones who aren’t partial to the music appreciate the words:

Dry your eyes and quietly bear this pain with pride
For heaven shall remember the silent and the brave
And promise me they will never see, the fear within our eyes
(my eyes are closed)
We will give strength to those who still remain

So bury fear, for fate draws near
And hide the signs of pain
With noble acts, the bravest souls
Endure the heart’s remains
Discard regret, that in this debt
A better world is made
That children of a newer day might remember
And avoid our fate

and:

Hold your head up high-for there is no greater love
Think of the faces of the people you defend
(you defend)
And promise me, they will never see the tears within our eyes
(my eyes are closed)
Although we are men, with mortal sins, angels never cry

and:

And in my dying
I’m more alive, than I have ever been
I will make this sacrifice
For I am Winter-born