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The band's sound evolved from black metal to a cleaner and more "produced" amalgam of gothic metal, symphonic black metal and other extreme metal styles, while its lyrical themes and imagery are heavily influenced by gothic literature, poetry, mythology and horror films. The band has successfully broken free of its original niche by courting mainstream publicity (often to the chagrin of its early fanbase), and this increased accessibility has brought coverage by the likes of Kerrang! and MTV, frequent main stage appearances at major festivals such as Ozzfest and Download, and in turn a more "commercial" image. It is sometimes perceived as satanic by casual observers, although its outright lyrical references to satanism are few and far between, and its use of satanic imagery has arguably always had more to do with the shock value than any deeply-held beliefs. According to Metal Hammer magazine, it is the most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden.