A mix of darkwave and synth-driven goth pop, Florida's Crüxshadows became an unlikely source of optimism in a genre better known for its outright gloominess.
Formed in Tallahassee by enigmatic frontman Rogue, the band (pronounced Croo-shadows) issued a self-released cassette, ...night crawls in, in 1993 before signing with Philadelphia-based Dancing Ferret Discs, which issued their follow-up, Telemetry of a Fallen Angel, in 1997. Employing a blend of atmospheric electronics and organic elements like violin and guitar, Rogue and his frequently changing ensemble of collaborators pitted themes of hope and inner strength against a backdrop of dark-hued synth pop and dance music. Through tireless touring and recording, the Crüxshadows began to amass a wide fan base within the many diverse subcultures of the darkwave movement and, by the early 2000s, had found an eager audience in Europe. Following several increasingly successful releases, the band's 2002 album, Wishfire, became a Top Ten hit on Germany's Deutsche Alternative chart. Their next album, Ethernaut, arrived a year later, followed in 2004 by a remix album and later the live CD/DVD set Shadowbox. In a surprise showing back home, the Crüxshadows' 2006 single, "Sophia," debuted at number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Single Sales chart and number seven on the Hot 100 Single Sales chart. The accompanying album, DreamCypher, yielded a second hit in "Birthday," greatly expanding the band's audience in the U.S., while at the same time they began to make inroads in Asia, playing the MIDI Festival in Beijing. Released in 2008, the Immortal EP also found success on Billboard, while the Crüxshadows' next full-length, the mythology-inspired 2012 release As the Dark Against My Halo, became their first number one on the Deutsche Alternative chart. The Crüxshadows continued to make frequent tours of Europe while taking more selective gigs in the U.S. and appealing to their large gamer audience at the annual Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. Returning in 2017, the Crüxshadows delivered the full-length Astromythology via their own Wishfire label. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi