John Robb – The Art of Darkness: The History of Goth
Louder Than War Books
Release Date: 24/03/23
Review by Rick Eaglestone
Eight years in the making, author and musician John Robb explores the floorshow through smoke machines and snakebite in hand to present his new book – The Art of Darkness: The History of Goth.
Now before I begin I would like to add that what I am reviewing isn’t the final version of the book as there are still a few bats in the belfry to work on, but at this point that I will mention that at over 600 pages with photos from Mick Mercer, I am already looking forward to exploring this further and yes, I am already feeling Nostalgic as a lot of my twenties and thirties were spent with drum machines ringing through my ears (usually through Oldgoth’s famous phone headset).
The Art of Darkness revisits the early days of the smoky pulsating labyrinths where Bauhaus and The Sisters of Mercy provided new dark beats and although the book also delves into history and the literary world of music through the decades, it’s interweaving is very much at the books core and for me personally it was great seeing some of the contributions and acknowledgments BUT as the book started to conclude and came back to modern day – mentioning the Netflix show “Wednesday” and the like – there didn’t seem to be a mention of how the scene looks today with festivals such as Wave-Gotik-Treffen and M’era Luna still being very prominent.
The sticky floors of 90’s Slimelight, Whitby Goth Weekend and Rosetta Stone all seem to be have been omitted and yes, I absolutely have my own personal reasons for wanting to see their inclusion and I absolutely understand that this a look back through time and a lot has happened in over four decades but I can’t help but feel inclusions like this would not only be have warranted but would’ve also made me enjoy the book more, but there is no denying it is an impressive body of work nonetheless.
“The Art Of Darkness. The History Of Goth” is OUT NOW via Louder Than War Books. Order your copy at https://linktr.ee/artofdarkness
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