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Pushing goth-rock further away from its cliched Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson motifs, The Cruxshadows (pronounced Croo-shadows) were formed by Rogue, Sean Flanagan, and Tim Curry while attending Florida State University in 1992. Being fans of Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Peter Murphy, and other synth-powered new wave artists, the band wanted to capture twinging electric guitar and electric violin to compose a shimmering dance-like sound. Their lyrical imagery is passionate and enigmatic, similarly resonant to fellow darkwavers such as Faith and the Muse, Covenant, and Black Tape for a Blue Girl.
The Cruxshadows released their cassette debut Night Crawls In in 1993, and their first CD, Telemetry of a Fallen Angel arrived three years later. Curry and Flanagan left the band in 1997 to be replaced by Trevor Brown, Chris Brantley, and Kevin Page. The Cruxshadows' lush blend of thick industrial sounds and elegant darkwave aesthetics were strengthened at this point, but Brown withdrew from the band due to personal reasons. Rachel McDonnell stepped in, with Brown only being minimally involved.
The band was signed to Nesak International/Kado Records but were shipped over to Dancing Ferret Records and Mere Mortal Records after Nesak was bought out; Mere Mortal Records folded in mid-1999. The limited edition Until the Voices Fade and the group's third full-length album, The Mystery of the Whisper, were both released in 1999, and the band toured nationally, extensively playing dates around the Midwest and East Coast. In mid-2000, the group released the Paradox Addendum EP.
The Crüxshadows /ˈuːʃæoʊ/ is an American darkwave band from Tallahassee, Florida, United States. Their sound is made up of a combination of male vocals, electric violin, guitar, and synth. Centered on vocalist and songwriter Rogue, The Crüxshadows blend 1980s inspired synthpop and modern rock with introspective lyrics.
The band has enjoyed global popularity, releasing CDs worldwide and touring extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
For much of the band's career, they were available through Dancing Ferret Discs, an independent label based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2009, the band formed their own label imprint, Wishfire Records for the release of future Crüxshadows recordings. In 2012 Wishfire Records gained control of their back catalog, and began re-issuing many of their older titles as well. Lyrically, much of The Crüxshadows' music draws its influence and subject matter from mythology, religion, history, and dreams. Often referred to with the abbreviation CXS, their motto is "Live Love Be Believe".Crüxshadows. "Crüxshadows - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "Rogue, from the Cruxshadows, interviewed by Benny Hell". Vampirefreaks.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. "Cruxshadows | Tallahassee Democrat". tallahassee.com. 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2015-03-28. Cooke, Shawn. "Gothic over-achievers Crüxshadows performing at Pegasus | Music Features | Pittsburgh City Paper". Pittsburghcitypaper.ws. Retrieved 2015-03-28.  "The Crüxshadows - "Stations of the Cross" - interview at SIDE-LINE". Side-line.com. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
The band was originally formed in 1992 by Rogue, Sean Flanagan, and Tim Curry, in Tallahassee, Florida. The Crüxshadows' debut album, ...night crawls in, was self-released under the Black Widow Music label in 1993, followed by their first CD release, Telemetry of a Fallen Angel, in 1996. Telemetry earned them a fair amount of recognition and produced the band's first signature song, "Marilyn, My Bitterness". In 1997, they signed a short-lived record deal with Nesak International. Curry left the band a few months later. Near the end of 1997, The Crüxshadows interests were transferred to Dancing Ferret Discs, and Telemetry became the new label's first release. Rogue assembled a new musical lineup and recorded The Mystery of the Whisper, Paradox Addendum and Until the Voices Fade... (1998–2000).
In 2000, the band released the song "Deception" as part of the Vampire: The Masquerade soundtrack. During that year, they began to actively promote their music in Europe, particularly Germany, and recorded "Deception" in a German language version titled "Täuschung". They played their first tour of Europe and released a special limited edition CD available only at their European live shows called Intercontinental Drift. Demand grew for the CD and a revised version of the disc was officially released worldwide with the new title Echoes and Artifacts.
Although a U.S. band, they have enjoyed much of their success in Europe; after debuting at No. 5, the 2002 EP Tears stayed in the Deutsche Alternative Charts for 8 weeks and subsequent releases consistently placed in the top 10. That same year they released the album Wishfire which also placed at No. 2 on the DAC and secured the band's popularity both in the USA and in Europe. In Late 2003, The band released Ethernaut and produced one of its most recognizable and enduring songs to date, "Winterborn". In 2004, The Crüxshadows released a remix disc based on the material on the Ethernaut CD called Fortress In Flames. Both CDs featured cover art created by noted artist Chad Michael Ward.
In 2005, the band released a DVD called Shadowbox. The DVD featured a 2004 performance given to 15,000 fans at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig, Germany and demonstrated the kind of theatrical intensity the band's concerts are known for having. It also contained several music videos, a few documentaries about the band, many extras, and an additional audio CD. The song "Foreverlast" was released as part of the DVD/CD combo.
Their 2006 single, "Sophia", made its debut on the Billboard Charts in the issue dated September 23, 2006. "Sophia" debuted at No. 1 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart, replacing Beyoncé in the top spot. At the same time, it placed at No. 7 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart. On both charts, "Sophia" was the highest-ranking debut entry that week. The release of "Sophia" coincided with the band's performance at 2006's Dragon*Con. In an interview on the Dragon Con website, Rogue credits much of the single's success to their appearance at the convention and performance there. "Sophia" remained in the charts for 19 weeks, including a re-entry almost a year later. In 2007, The Crüxshadows released the long anticipated Dreamcypher, followed by a second single, "Birthday". "Birthday" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Dance Singles Sales Chart and was the No. 2 selling single of any genre in the entire country that week, second only to the single from High School Musical 2.
The band toured China in May 2007, and became the first goth band ever to perform at an open-air festival in that country. This performance took place during the MIDI Festival in Beijing and was covered by Chinese television and print media.
Members Rachel McDonnell, George Bikos, and Sarah Poulos left the group at the end of the 2007 DreamCypher tour, and the band recruited new members in Valerie Gentile, JoHanna Moresco, David Russel Wood, and Sarah Stewart (originally listed as Sarah Kilgore) as replacements. This new lineup released the single "Immortal" on July 4 (Europe)/July 8 (USA), and began the 2008 Immortal Tour. "Immortal" became the band's third consecutive Billboard top ten single (by sales) in the United States. Valerie Gentile toured with the band for 2008, but early in 2009, left the band returning home to New York City. Cassandra Luger took her place but lasted only a single tour season before being replaced by guitarist Mike Perez in early 2010. Jenne Vermes was added as a singer/dancer at the same time.
Despite a large number of major setbacks in early 2010 including a crippling theft of money and equipment, legal issues, and the loss of several members, the band returned to Europe to play some festivals including the Amphi Festival in Köln.
The band's sales remained strong on both sides of the Atlantic and many of their songs remain staples on club dance floors worldwide. In Germany, they appeared on several TV shows and on the covers of several magazines. In 2012 they were featured in interviews on the French-German Arte Channel. Their music was used in American television advertisements, reality shows, documentaries, and awards programs on VH1, MTV, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Logo, and ABC.
Throughout their history, the band toured extensively, often averaging between 100 to 120 live shows per year up until the current decade. Their tours have thus far taken them to more than thirty countries, sometimes playing for crowds of 25,000 or more. While they are no stranger to large festival shows, they have throughout their career made a point to play smaller cities in the US and Europe that do not often have the chance to host live shows by major touring acts.
The band founded its own label, Wishfire Records some time in 2009, and released a new single in the second half of that year. Their first title "Quicksilver" debuted at No. 32 on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100 Singles Sales chart and several months later, it returned to the charts, this time at No. 2. Additionally, "Quicksilver" debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Dance Singles Sales Chart and later peaked at the No. 1 position tying it with "Birthday" for The Crüxshadows highest charting song. The band's first album on its own label, As The Dark Against My Halo, was scheduled for release in August 2012, over five and a half years after the release of their previous album. "Dark Halo" or "ATDAMH" as it became known among fans of the band, was well received by many of its critics and became the first Cruxshadows disc to earn a number one position on the German Alternative Charts or (Deutsche Alternative Charts). Cite error: The named reference vampirefreaks1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "The Crüxshadows | Download Music, Tour Dates & Video". eMusic. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "Windows Media Guide | Internet Radio". Windowsmedia.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. "DarkEcho Interview/Article: Patrick Rodgers & Dancing Ferret (2000)". Darkecho.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28.   Alex Davie. "Shout! Online :: Latest News :: October 2004". Shout.ru. Retrieved 2015-03-28. "Cruxshadows | Tallahassee Democrat". Tallahassee.com. 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2015-03-28.   Cruxshadows - Shadowbox. "Cruxshadows - Shadowbox: Cruxshadows: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27.   Top Music Charts – Hot 100 – Billboard 200 – Music Genre Sales Top Music Charts – Hot 100 – Billboard 200 – Music Genre Sales  "图文：迷笛第四天落幕-CRUXSHADOWS性感装束_影音娱乐_新浪网". Ent.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 2015-03-28.  "The Crüxshadows". Thecruxshadows.com. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2012-11-27.    Cite error: The named reference Pittsburgh_City_Paper was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "The state of things... van The Cruxshadows op Myspace". Blogs.myspace.com. 2009-09-28. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "The Crüxshadows: Quicksilver". Cruxshadows.org. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "Twitter / thecruxshadows: "As the Dark Against My Halo"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "The Crüxshadows: News". Cruxshadows.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
The Crüxshadows initially self-released two albums under the imprint name Black Widow Music between 1992 and 1996. Those titles were Night Crawls In... and Telemetry of A Fallen Angel. In 1997, they signed a deal with Nesak International/Kado Records to give Telemetry of A Fallen Angel a full commercial release, as well as an option for a future album. Nesak eventually sold their rights to Dancing Ferret Discs and Mere Mortal Records. Mere Mortal Records went out of business prior to releasing any albums by The Crüxshadows. Dancing Ferret Discs released a number of The Crüxshadows titles over the following ten years. In July 2008, Dancing Ferret Discs announced that it was becoming a catalog label and while existing titles would remain in print, the label would not be releasing new albums. Rather than sign a deal with another label, The Crüxshadows started their own label in mid-2009, in cooperation with several established labels and distributors in different markets worldwide. Their new label was named Wishfire Records and their first release was "Quicksilver", which hit the shelves in the USA on September 8, 2009. The song became their fourth consecutive single to reach the top 10 on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Charts, and their third to occupy the No. 1 position. Cite error: The named reference AMG was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "Mere Mortal Company Info". Rocketpop.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "Dancing Ferret Discs - CDs and Vinyl at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "Dancing Ferret Discs". Dancing-ferret.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "Welcome To The Future : Wishfire Records Homepage". Wishfirerecords.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. Quicksilver. "Quicksilver: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
The band is known for extensive touring, appearing in club shows, theatre shows, and at festivals in Europe and North America annually. In 2007, they were invited to play at the Midi Festival in Beijing, China. In 2009 the band performed as headliner of The Gothic Cruise. The Crüxshadows appeared each year from 1998 to the present as a musical guest at Dragon Con held in Atlanta, Georgia holding discussion panels and a high profile concert. "The Cruxshadows to play in Beijing, China - The Cruxshadows news at". Side-line.com. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2015-03-28. "Welcome to Dragon*Con! - Dragon*Con Biography: [ Crüxshadows]". Dragoncon.org. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
Lyrics and concepts
Much of The Crüxshadows' music is based on Greek and Egyptian mythology. Their work includes symbolic references to a number of mythical figures, and many of their lyrics deal with the concept of God. According to the band's singer Rogue, the inspiration for much of The Crüxshadows' material came from a five tiered dream. The primary albums together form a series unofficially called the Angel Cycle. This cycle uses myth, legend, and spiritual elements to address more personal issues that are characterized by their universal significance. The lyrics operate as re-invented parables in many cases, and Rogue has openly stated that he intends Cruxshadows to impact people's lives individually through music. "The Crüxshadows - "Stations of the Cross" - interview at SIDE-LINE". Side-line.com. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "Wa - Conner (author) on AuthorsDen". Authorsden.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. "Celebrity Interviews - Film, Music, Television". Popculturemadness.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "Thedside.it". Thedside.it. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
References in popular culture
Having become one of the better-known gothic/darkwave bands in recent years, The Crüxshadows' many supporters also include a number of authors who have made references to the band or the bands music in their works of fiction. These writers include fantasy/horror writer Caitlín R. Kiernan, fantasy writer Sherrilyn Kenyon, and military science fiction writer John Ringo. Ringo is fond of including references to The Crüxshadows and their lyrics in his works. In Ghost, former Navy SEAL Petty Officer Mike Harmon makes references to the song "Winterborn". Likewise, "Winterborn" is referenced in his follow-on novel "Unto The Breach". The most recent novel in the Legacy of the Aldenata series, Eye of the Storm, takes its title from the Crüxshadows song of the same name, and the first verse's lyrics are printed on an introductory page. in his Black Tide Rising series, he includes lyrics from several of their songs, and mentions them in the text.
The Crüxshadows name and likeness have occurred as cameos in comic books like Vertigo/DC Comics' The Dreaming, television shows like CSI, and cartoon strips."DarkEcho/HorrorOnline: Caitlin R. Kiernan (2000)". Darkecho.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27. Caitlín R. Kiernan (2004-11-10). "greygirlbeast | Nov. 10th, 2004". Greygirlbeast.dreamwidth.org. Retrieved 2012-11-27.  "John Ringo > FAQ > Music FAQ". Johnringo.nitro.gen.nz. Retrieved 2012-11-27. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, season 8, episode 7: Goodbye and good luck "The Crüxshadows". Officialcruxshadows.com. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2012-11-27. "Cartoon" (JPG). Thecruxshadows.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. "Cruxshadows". GothyBeans!. Retrieved 2012-11-27.