Live. Love. Be. Believe.
The Cruxshadows are a Darkwave
band from Jacksonville, Florida. While a goth band, their lyrics sound more like very peppy motivational speeches than the Straw Nihilist
attitude that the Goth scene's detractors tend to associate with the movement. In keeping with these themes, The Cruxshadows also keep up an aesthetic that is a combination of Cyber Goth
and Perky Goth
. Their music revolves around fantastical themes, and their music videos often use elements of Science Fiction
. While not explicitly religious, The Cruxshadows' music explores the concepts of divinity and spirituality. Battle metaphors (often drawn from the Greek and Roman classics) are used frequently as well.
The lead singer, Rogue is a trained artist and a huge fan of classical Greek and Egyptian mythology, which are mentioned frequently in The Cruxshadows' work. He is the only constant member of the band, as the other members tend to be Put on a Bus
, or suffer from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
. Rogue is mostly known for his spider-like gothic hairstyle and singing in what sounds suspiciously like a British accent.John Ringo
, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Caitlin R. Kiernan are huge fans of the band.
- ...Night Crawls In (1993, reissue in 2005)
- Telemetry of a Fallen Angel (original release 1995, anniversary edition 2004)
- The Mystery of the Whisper (1999, reissue in 2006)
- Echoes and Artifacts/Intercontinental Drift (2001)
- Wishfire (2002)
- Ethernaut (2003)
- DreamCypher (2007)
- As the Dark Against My Halo (2012)
The band and their music provide examples of the following:
- Author Appeal: Two things that get mentioned a lot by The Cruxshadows? Angels and Classical Mythology.
- Badass Creed: "Sophia"
Do not injustice to another
Defend the weak and innocent
Let truth and honor always guide you
Let courage find a life within
Stand up when no-one else is willing
Act not in hatred or in spite
Be to this world as a perfect knight
Even if it means your life
- Bilingual Bonus: Echoes and Artifacts includes a German version of the song "Deception."
- Blue Blood: Rogue was revealed to be from this kind of background after his real name was revealed on wikipedia and in the media. It is usually not considered good form to mention this around the band or their fans.
- Breakup Song: "Marilyn, My Bitterness."
- Chess Motifs: "The 8th Square."
- Classical Mythology: This and angels are two of The Cruxshadows' defining motifs.
- Concept Album: Ethernaut tells the story of the fall of Troy from the Trojan point of view. Fittingly, the following album, Dreamcypher, references Virgil's The Aeneid, about the journey of refugees from Troy to what would later become Rome.
- Cover Version: Echoes and Artifacts includes covers of popular songs by T-Rex and Eurythmics.
- Dark Is Not Evil: "Leave Me Alone" is an earlier Cruxshadows song about how the Gothic subculture largely represents this trope. (Emphasized in contrast to the Dark Is Evil quotes about the "violent and black" Gothic movement sampled in the Shaft 20/20 remix of the song). The Cruxshadows themselves certainly count as an example of Dark Is Not Evil, as many of Rogue's lyrics are about persevering through hardships and the importance of being a good person.
- Dark Reprise: "Winterborn" gets one of these with "A Stranger Moment" from Ethernaut, which uses the same progression as the former's main riff and verse. The formers' lyrics speak of a hero's Last Stand in a Darkest Hour, while the latter appears to be about the character's Apocalyptic Log or a Message in a Bottle to his loved ones.
- Darkwave: Their primary form of music.
- Do Not Call Me Paul: Rogue tends not to be too open about his real name, and bringing up the topic is something of a Berserk Button among fans.
- God Is Good: The lyrics to "Halo" include "God be with me on this day," implying God as a particularly benevolent entity (if unknowable, as the song "Immortal" insists).
- Feather Motif: It's on some of the band's merchandise, which makes sense, since angels feature in a few of their songs, and variants of Winged Humanoid are a common sight on their album covers and promotional materials.
- Filk Song: The song "Matchstick Girl" is based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: Rogue, who is quite well-read in Classical literature, as evidenced by The Cruxshadows' lyrics.
- Guardian Angel: A recurring theme in some of The Cruxshadows' lyrics.
- Goth: The Cruxshadows specialize in gothic electronica.
- Heroic Sacrifice: "Winterborn" and "Valkyrie"
- Hidden Track: Ethernaut has three hidden songs; the first, "Esoterica (Through the Ether)" plays immediately after the last listed track, the second, "Helen", is hidden behind three tracks of silence, and the third, "Live, Love, Be, Believe(Recalling the Dream)" plays after yet another silent track.
- Holy Halo: The song "Halo," quite fittingly.
- Hot Wings: Alluded to by the song "Flame."
- Knight in Shining Armor: The single "Sophia" references this trope, encouraging listeners to emulate it.
- Lighter and Softer: The Cruxshadows are pretty much this in contrast to the Goth/Industrial scene in general. Their Darker and Edgier first album, Night Crawls In, is more stereotypically gloomy, spooky and generally "gothic" in content. Their next couple of albums followed suit. Over time, their lyrics have been more and more prone to sound like the contents of an uplifting Rousing Speech in the form of a song.
- Message in a Bottle: One interpretation of "A Stranger Moment" is of a doomed sailor on a sinking ship sending out one of these for his loved ones.
- Not Christian Rock: In an interview, lead singer Rogue (who comes from a Catholic background) stated that the name of the band and the band's logo (which is inspired by the Eastern Orthodox Cross - also infamously appropriated by Industrial musicians and infamous trolls Psychic TV) are inspired by a story about the followers of Christ who stood in the shadow of the cross. However, in spite of several songs that talk about or explicitly mention God, The Cruxshadows' themes are intended to represent universal concepts. (For example, the "shadow of the cross" anecdote is meant as a metaphor for social outsiders in general).
- Our Angels Are Different: "The Seraphs" and "Flame" strongly invoke this trope.
- Perky Goth: In addition to keeping up this appearance as a huge part of their aesthetic presentation, The Cruxshadows have also produced their fair share of inspiring, uplifting Perky Goth ballads.
- Power Ballad: "Walk Away" on Telemetry of a Fallen Angel, "Spectators" and "Go Away" on Wishfire, "A Stranger Moment" on Ethernaut, "Matchstick Girl" on As the Dark Against My Halo, and the acoustic version of "Winterborn".
- Revolving Door Band: Except for lead singer Rogue, no one's been around since the beginning.
- Rock Me, Amadeus!: "Strange Skies" quotes Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. Ironically, their track "Valkyrie" from the same album is not an example of this trope.
- Rousing Speech: Many of the band's more recent songs are basically this.
- Sequel Song/Spiritual Sequel: "Valkyrie" is one of these to their signature song "Winterborn", both songs being about Heroic Sacrifice.
- Softer And Slower Cover: The acoustic version of "Winterborn".
- The Underworld: The song "Eurydice," like the original Greek myth, is about a journey there.