High Plains Underground Archive

A Guide to Denver's Goth and Industrial Scene

The Goth and industrial bands from Denver enjoyed a kind of heyday in the '90s in Denver, with several active bands playing live. There was even a high-profile festival for a handful of years: the Denver Dark Arts Festival (later Tte Colorado Dark Arts Festival). When the momentum behind any unity in that scene ran out of steam a handful of years ago, you could still meet up with fellow appreciators of that music at dance nights at the Church and various other venues including now at Milk on Saturdays and the last Monday of the month at the hi-diive. But with the rediscovery of Goth and industrial music by a new generation of listeners it seems like it is now a kind of renaissance. Until that gets into full swing here are some photos of that scene as it was and to some extent is now.

See also: Don't Look at These Photos From Skinny Puppy's Denver Show While Eating

One of the longest continuously running industrial/dark wave bands from Denver, Blackcell (or Black Cell) set a high bar for a modern version of old school EBM with its 2013 album Songs In the Key of Black.

Before reinventing itself later in the decade as a progressive metal act, Born In Winter tried its hand as a Goth-industrial band. Singer Michelle Huerd now lends her considerable vocal talent to Glass Delirium.

The guys in Caustic Soul were the godfathers of the Goth scene in Denver in the early-to-mid 2000s taking leadership roles in bringing together the Denver Dark Arts festival and encouraging like-minded artists like Kubix and Noise 626. Pictured here the band performs at the CD release of its final, and best, album, An Absence of Warmth, a brilliant concept album about World War I.

Like Caustic Soul, Dark Orchid (along with eROTic) were signed to David Goff's excellent independent label, Gestalt. Fronted by Tonja Yelton (then Nolan), Dark Orchid didn't fit neatly in with the Goth scene because it was more like Concrete Blonde, but a lot of the band's friends were in that world and it had enough songs that were moody and dark at a time when that was all but synonymous with Goth.

Die Brücke was something like an industrial rock band. Here it is opening for Nitzer Ebb at the Bluebird Theater.
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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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