100+ Best Gothic (Goth) Bands – Complete List

When it comes to Gothic music, there are endless possibilities of what bands and artists could be included on a list like this.

After careful deliberation, we’ve come up with a comprehensive list of over 100 of the best Gothic bands of all time.

From classic English bands like The Cure and Bauhaus to modern American favorites like HIM and Evanescence, this list has something for everyone who loves dark, ethereal music.

So put on your black cape, light some candles, and prepare to be transfixed by the darkest sounds in music history!


Top Best Gothic Bands

Picking out the best Gothic bands is no easy task. With so many great artists to choose from, it’s impossible to make a definitive list.

However, we’ve done our best to curate a selection of Gothic bands that we believe are truly exceptional.

In no particular order, here are our top best Gothic bands:

  1. Bauhaus
  2. Siouxsie and the Banshees
  3. The Sisters of Mercy
  4. The Cure
  5. Joy Division
  6. The Cult
  7. Fields of the Nephilim
  8. Christian Death
  9. Type O Negative
  10. London After Midnight

Honorable Mentions

  • The Mission
  • Xmal Deutschland
  • Star Industry
  • Specimen
  • Fear Cult
  • HIM

Gothic Metal Bands

Gothic metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that typically incorporates elements of death, doom, and horror into its music to create an atmosphere that is both chilling and exciting.

The genre emerged in the early 1990s (United Kingdom) and has since developed into one of the most popular styles of metal music.

Today, there are dozens of Gothic metal bands playing around the world with different styles, sounds, and lyrics. All of which are worth checking out if you’re a fan of dark, heavy music.

Some of our personal favorites include:

  • Paradise Lost
  • Theatre of Tragedy
  • Within Temptation
  • Lacuna Coil
  • Tristania
  • Nightwish
  • Cradle of Filth
  • Epica
  • My Dying Bride
  • Lacrimosa

Gothic Bands of the 80s

The 1980s were a golden era for Gothic music. With new technology and different styles of music emerging, many bands decided to experiment with the Gothic genre.

These bands were some of the first to popularize the dark, atmospheric sound that would come to be known as Gothic metal. These were also the bands that helped to revive its popularity after it had been in decline for several years.

Although many of these bands have since disbanded or changed their sound, they are still considered some of the most influential Goth bands of all time.

Here are the Top 10 Gothic bands of the 80s

  • The Birthday Party
  • Virgin Prunes
  • Love and Rockets
  • Gene Loves Jezebel
  • Clan of Xymox
  • The Mission
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • UK Decay
  • The Cramps
  • Killing Joke

Gothic Rock Bands of the 2000s

By the 2000s, gothic rock had evolved into its own distinct genre, characterized by gothic imagery, dark melodies, and a dramatic sensibility.

This was the decade that saw some of the genre’s most iconic bands release their best work.

Some of the most popular gothic rock bands of the 2000s include Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, and Nightwish.

These bands helped to bring gothic rock to a wider audience, and their popularity paved the way for a new generation of gothic rock bands.

Today, gothic rock is enjoying something of a renaissance, with many new bands emerging in the genre. Thanks in part to the rise of the internet and social media.

Here are the 10 Best Gothic Rock Bands of the 2000s.

  • Cinema Strange
  • Within Temptation
  • She Past Away
  • Zeraphine
  • Tragic Black
  • Gothminister
  • Mono Inc.
  • L’Âme Immortelle
  • Moi dix Mois

Gothic Doom Metal bands

Gothic and Doom metal has been mixed together since the early days of the genre. Gothic doom metal is a subgenre that combines the heavy, slow sounds of doom metal with the dark, atmospheric elements of gothic rock.

This style of music is characterized by its slow pacing, dark melodies, and brooding atmosphere.

While gothic doom metal is not as popular as other subgenres of metal, there are still many great bands worth checking out.

Here are  some of the most influential Gothic doom metal bands of all time:

  • Draconian
  • The Foreshadowing
  • Paradise Lost
  • My Dying Bride
  • Ava Inferi
  • Lacrimas Profundere
  • Theatre of Tragedy
  • Tristania
  • Estatic Fear
  • Virgin Black

Gothic Folk Bands

Gothic folk bands are becoming more and more popular, as they combine the haunting sound of Gothic music with the energy and spirit of folk music.

These bands often use traditional instruments like guitars, violins, and drums, but they also often add elements of electronic music to create a sound that is unique and distinctive.

  • Mediæval Bæbes
  • Wovenhand
  • Ataraxia
  • Stille Volk
  • Tasseomancy
  • 16 Horsepower
  • Black Tape for a Blue Girl
  • The Legendary Pink Dots
  • Dead Can Dance

Symphonic Gothic Metal Bands

There is something about symphonic gothic metal that just makes it feel so epic.

The heavy guitars, the soaring vocals, and the overall feeling of grandeur all come together to create an auditory experience unlike anything else.

In fact, symphonic gothic metal is often described as “film music for the ears”. Not to mention, it’s also one of the most popular subgenres of gothic metal.

Thanks to its popularity, there are now dozens of symphonic gothic metal bands to choose from.

Some of our personal favorites include:

  • Nightwish
  • Within Temptation
  • Xandria
  • Sirenia
  • After Forever
  • Lacrimosa
  • Krypteria
  • Delain
  • Moi dix Mois
  • Trail of Tears

German Gothic Rock Bands

When it comes to gothic rock, Germany has always been at the forefront of the genre.

German gothic rock bands were some of the first to experiment with the dark, atmospheric sound that would come to be known as gothic rock.

And today, Germany is still home to some of the best and most enduring gothic rock bands in the world.

So, If you’re looking for something a little different, then check out these German gothic rock bands that are sure to satisfy your dark musical cravings.

  • Zeraphine
  • Love Like Blood
  • Blutengel
  • Bloodflowerz
  • The Merry Thoughts
  • Samsas Traum
  • Diary of Dreams
  • Deine Lakaien
  • Unheilig
  • Qntal

Gothic Country Bands

Gothic country is a unique subgenre of alternative country music that emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The genre is characterized by its dark, atmospheric sound, often featuring elements of folk and blues music.

Gothic country bands typically perform traditional country songs with a heavy emphasis on acoustic guitar and pedal steel guitar, as well as violins, cellos, banjo, and other string instruments.

Some of the most well-known Gothic country bands include Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Those Poor Bastards, and Uncle Sinner. These bands (including the ones mentioned below) have helped to popularize the genre across the United States, and have even helped to bring it to international attention.

  • Slim Cessna’s Auto Club
  • Those Poor Bastards
  • Slackeye Slim
  • Uncle Sinner
  • Tarantella
  • Myssouri
  • The Coffinshakers
  • Reverend Glasseye
  • Blanche
  • Pinebox Serenade

Japanese Gothic Metal Bands

Japan has always had a vibrant and creative music scene, and gothic metal is no exception.

Japanese gothic metal bands often incorporate traditional Japanese instruments into their music, giving it a distinctive sound. Many of these bands also sing in Japanese, which further sets them apart from their Western counterparts

Although gothic rock has seen its share of commercial failures over the years, it remains one of Japan’s most popular musical styles.

  • Malice Mizer
  • Yousei Teikoku
  • Moi dix Mois
  • The Candy Spooky Theater
  • Buck-Tick
  • Psydoll
  • Rentrer en Soi
  • Eve of Destiny
  • Asriel
  • Ali Project
  • Schwarz Stein

Dark Gothic Bands

The main difference between gothic and dark gothic bands is that dark gothic bands tend to focus more on the dark and atmospheric side of the genre, while gothic bands often incorporate more upbeat and pop-influenced sounds.

Dark gothic bands are characterized by their dark, brooding melodies and lyrics that deal with themes of death, loss, and despair.

Some of the best dark gothic bands out there include Sopor Aeternus, Faith, and the Muse, and :Wumpscut:. These bands are masters of creating an eerie atmosphere with their heavy guitars and haunting vocals that will leave you feeling unsettled and uneasy.

  • Sopor Aeternus
  • Faith and the Muse
  • :Wumpscut:
  • Black Tape for a Blue Girl
  • Lacrimosa
  • Lacuna Coil
  • This Mortal Coil
  • Red Temple Spirits
  • And Also the Trees

Gothic Black Metal Bands

Gothic black metal is a subgenre of black metal that combines the dark, atmospheric qualities of gothicrock with the aggressive sound of black metal.

It emerged in the early 1990s as a reaction to the Norwegian black metal scene, which was then dominated by bands such as Mayhem and Burzum.

Gothic black metal bands typically adopt a more lyrical and atmospheric approach than their Norwegian counterparts, often using keyboards and clean vocals to create a sense of gothic atmosphere.

This gothic sensibility is sometimes combined with elements of gothic fiction, such as vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. While gothic black metal has its roots in the Norwegian scene, it has since spread to other parts of the world.

Some of the best gothic black metal bands include:

  • Cradle of Filth
  • Moonspell
  • Graveworm
  • Rotting Christ
  • Agathodaimon
  • Lacuna Coil
  • Dismal Euphony
  • Theatres des Vampires
  • Draconian
  • Tiamat

Gothic Heavy Metal Bands

Gothic rock and heavy metal have been popular music genres for decades, and they have often been linked due to their dark aesthetics. But what makes these two styles such a good match?

One of the main attractions of Gothic rock is its spooky atmosphere. Heavy metal can definitely provide that with its loud guitars, thunderous drums, and dark lyrics. Both genres also emphasize melody over complexity, making them perfect for radio play or live performances.

While there are certainly exceptions, most Goths and Heavy Metal fans can agree that these styles work well together. So, if you’re looking to add a little bit of darkness to your music collection, give these Gothic Heavy metal bands mentioned below a try.

  • Leaves’ Eyes
  • Katatonia
  • The Gathering
  • Sentenced
  • Crematory
  • Anathema
  • Atrocity
  • To/Die/For
  • Agathodaimon
  • Therion

Industrial Gothic Bands

Industrial Gothic is a unique subgenre of rock that flourished in the late 20th century. The genre has since fallen out of favor, but there are still a few artists playing it today. Here are a few of them:

  • Gothminister
  • Killing Joke
  • :Wumpscut:
  • Das Ich
  • Fields of the Nephilim
  • The Birthday Massacre
  • Deathstars
  • L’Âme Immortelle
  • Omega Lithium

Female Gothic Metal Bands

In the early days, female singers were often relegated to backing vocals or serving as lookouts for their male counterparts in dark, mysterious venues.

However, over time, female musicians and groups have started to carve out their own place in the genre. Today, there are a wide range of female-fronted Goth bands playing around the world.

Some of these bands play traditional Gothic music with a female voice at its core, while others mix elements of metal and rock with eerie lyrics about death and darkness.

Regardless of style or sound, female goths are making their mark on the scene and showing that they have just as much talent as any other musician out there.

  • Evanescence
  • Lebanon Hanover
  • Nightwish
  • Belgrado
  • Xmal Deutschland
  • Within Temptation
  • The Black Belles
  • After Forever
  • Epica
  • Coronatus

Gothic Techno Bands

Goth techno bands often combine the dark and brooding atmosphere of goth music with the driving beats and synthetic sounds of techno.

This unique genre of music is often dark, moody, and atmospheric, with a heavy influence from industrial and electronic music. Gothic techno bands can be found all over the world, playing in large festivals and nightclubs alike.

While all these bands have their own specific style, they share some common elements that make them stand out in this genre. For example, all of these groups are known for their dark lyrics and heavy hitters like guitar riffs and synthesized beats.

  • Ikon
  • Das Ich
  • Die Form
  • Throbbing Gristle
  • Aural Vampire
  • Skinny Puppy
  • The Cassandra Complex
  • Poésie Noire
  • The Synthetic Dream Foundation
  • The Frozen Autumn

FAQs

What is Gothic Rock Music?

Gothic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The genre’s dark, brooding sound is typified by its use of distorted guitars and melancholy vocals. Gothic rock often explores the dark side of human emotions, typically dealing with themes of love, death, violence, and isolation.

Who is the king of goth music?

There can be no doubt that traditionally, the kings of Goth music have been the English band Bauhaus.

However, there are a number of other artists who could lay claim to the title. These include The Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, The Cult and Joy Division.

Other early influential groups included the Christian Death and Fields of the Nephilim.

Is goth still a thing in 2021?

Goth music has been around for over 30 years and it seems that it’s here to stay. Goth music is often associated with dark, brooding lyrics and gloomy melodies, but there are a variety of different styles and sub-genres that encompass the goth genre.

While some people may have grown out of its dark aesthetic, others find inspiration in the dark world of gothic rock. So is goth still a thing in 2021? Yes, definitely!

Is Gothic and Emo the same thing?

The two terms, “gothic” and “emo,” are often used interchangeably, but there is a significant difference between the two.

Goths tend to prefer dark and brooding aesthetics, while emos are more associated with angst-filled lyrics and a generally angsty aesthetic.

While there is some overlap in style, the two styles are definitely different enough that they shouldn’t be considered the same thing.