In Tenebris, with Andsvara, and the Opposite Sex

music With all the mesh shirts, laced corsets and school girl skirts favored by women in the local goth scene, I could have easily been distracted at Outback Lodge on January 6. But not even all that exposed flesh could take my attention away from In Tenebris, the night’s headline act. The band offers a hard-rocking show that sets a crowd in motion and leaves everyone wanting more.

Rose between thorns: Christina Fleming lets her vocals loose, and the rest of In Tenebris follows behind.

The opening acts were Andsvara, a side project of local metal chanteuse Kim Dylla (see her with This Means You), and the Opposite Sex, a D.C. band that wowed everyone by using a baritone sax in lieu of a guitar for their first song. Both bands delivered solid performances and managed to lure patrons from their spots at the bar.

But the true darling of the night was In Tenebris, hands down. Taking its name from the Latin for “in darkness,” the band showcased the soaring, operatic voice of Christina Fleming—her years of classical training evident in the way she effortlessly glided from note to note in impossibly high ranges. Metalheads, think Tarja Turunen. Everyone else, think Sarah Brightman, and you’re not far off.

Fleming and guitarist Jdavyd Williams form the group’s core, with both sharing songwriting responsibilities. Whatever they’re doing, it works. The band’s songs are contemplative without devolving into the pity party that is common to other groups in the goth scene.
Pounding drums, up-and-down bass lines and heavy guitar riffs in songs like “Chrysalis” suggest In Tenebris legitimate hard-rock know-how. Dance-friendly, electronica-influenced pieces like “Haunted” show that the group is comfortable in its own skin and able to work outside of any rigidly defined genre. This band is going places; be sure to snag a copy of their first full length album, which is slated for release in March.

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