Greatest Gothic Metal Bands

The Top Ten

1 Nightwish Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland. The band was formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and lead singer Tarja Turunen. It's currently formed by Tuomas, Emppu, lead vocalist Floor Jansen, bassist and vocalist Marco Hietala, ...read more.

Even though Nightwish is a Symphonic Metal band, they have done a lot of songs that sounds Gothic/that are Gothic Metal. To be honest, I'm a Goth and I will say that Nightwish is my #1 favorite band. I don't just listen to bands that are Post-Punk, Gothic Metal, Gothic Rock, Symphonic Gothic Metal, and Darkwave, I listen to Symphonic Metal, Victorian Industrial, Celtic, and Pagan Metal. So as I said, Nightwish is my #1 band. Gothic or not, I will always love their songs.

There is no contest between Nightwish and any other band. The songwriting is superb and the musicians are very talented as well. The singing by any of the 3 lady singers is perfect. Also live they achieve the perfect sound to match the recorded music.

Nightwish is my favorite band of all time! I love it when they play/sing Symphonic/Gothic/Power/Folk Metal music! Normally I don't like Power Metal and I only listen to Goth music but the way Nightwish plays their music just blows my mind! :) Such an amazing band!

Nightwish is my favorite band and will always be but they have nothing to do with Gothic Metal :/. Symphonic Metal doesn't always mean gothic as well...

2 Epica Epica is a Dutch symphonic metal band, founded by guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen after his departure from After Forever.

I think Epica are the most advanced and complex bands of the gothic metal genre both musically and lyrically, tackling thought provoking topics and widely challenging your imagination, they have put out fantastic songs, Simone's vocals are at a skyscraper high level which cannot be matched by any other female vocalist of the gothic metal genre!

For me it's the #1 by far. I like the others groups listed here (especially Nightwish with Tarja), but Epica surprise me from the first album to the latest.

Epica is my best gothic band ever, she really had great voice and good lyrics of their songs...and of course " AMAZING BEAUTY"

Nightwish, eah... That's good gothic metal in this world, I think. But I like epica better than evanescence and manson.. Manson not scare me

3 Draconian

As with all music based lists on this site, I dare congratulate Draconian with the fact that they are in fact the highest rated gothic metal band on this list, thus are number one, the bands that are higher in this list are all influenced by the genre, but none of them is for 100% a part of it, although they are popular in the gothic scene, at least where I come from, also am I truly delighted to see 2 bands from my home country are above this band on this list, go Netherlands!

They are truly best gothic metal band. Their beauty and the beat vocal creates dark feeling. Awesome keyboard creates great atmosphere. Gothic metal means sorrow, pain, loss, darkness-all this things is present in their music. Only metal band that makes me cry. It is very sad that lisa had left the band.

Draconian is the only gothic metal band I see here. CoF are black metal, Him is rock (not even metal), Epica and Nightwish are power metal, and so on.

The best gothic metal band according to this poll. The first three don't count since they are not gothic metal.

4 Evanescence Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.

I voted for Evanescence because they actually are "Gothic" considering they use the imagery. They are not Goth because they don't play Goth rock but that doesn't mean the members can't be. We don't know, all we know of is the music.
Evanescence has been there for me for a long time.

Stop critizizing and comparing Amy Lee with other sopranos, Amy is not a soprano and she never meant to be, yet nobody owns the stage as she does, hunting voice, deep lyrics, great sounds, their music is almost adictive. And by the way she writes the songs, she can play the piano. No other metal diva can do this

Evanescence should be number one. They have been in mainstream music with Bring Me To Life and My Immortal and that is really good for a gothic band. They are original and are my favourite band. They inspired me and made me who I am today.

Evanescence is the one who introduced me to the genre. The song lyrics Amy writes are just fantastic. Amy makes the pain look beautiful. She becomes the strength of the listener and her mind just imprints whoever listen to her. Surely, according to me this should be on the top 1 position :))

5 Within Temptation Within Temptation is a Dutch symphonic metal band founded in April 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt.

Of the options given, WT is the best. But that's only because THE BEST band wasn't included - Kamelot. As for Nightwish, used to be a huge fan (before they fired Tarja) but when they replaced Tarja with Annette, it went down hill for me. It just wasn't the same and a lot of the songs felt too poppy. Also I have seen Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Epica, and WT live at one point or another and none of them (except possibly, possibly Lacuna Coil) compare to Kamelot live.

Quite simply the best Symphonic / Goth metal band out there. Nightwish is a close second, but a combination of the best use of dramatic overtures and Sharons superb, dynamic, flexible and perfectly-toned voice create a simply unbeatable combination.

Within Temptation have moved on from their early Gothic days but you can still see the influences their music. Still no band better than WT

Within Temptation is not only a band... It's a complete package... The number 1

6 Type O Negative Type O Negative was an American gothic/doom metal band formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1989. Their lyrical emphasis on themes of romance, depression, and death resulted in the nickname "The Drab Four".

There's humor, intelligence, creativity and slamming chord progressions in their music. Their tempo changes and melodic interchanges coupled with the growling, gut-wrenching vocals of Pete Steele are unrivaled. They kick ass with tracks like Profits of Doom and then make you shiver with a track like Love You To Death (an intensely beautiful and powerful song). Don't understand why they aren't in the top 10.

Apparently no one here has heard of the greatest Gothic band since The Cure, seriously Evanescence is above Type O Negative which is a shame if you ask me. This band is like the Metallica of Gothic metal and the Megadeth of Gothic music in general (The Cure brought Goth to the masses so they are number one in my book).

Type o should be #1 on this list. Draconian? Epica? No one even knows who the hell these bands are. Evanescense, wow! What is this top pop charts? At least Marilyn Manson fits the list here. Bloody Kisses, October Rust, and World Coming Down are great albums to start with if you don't know goth music and are taking a stab in the dark with Evanescence

They are the Pink Floyd of Gothic Metal. Nothing comes close, nothing. My favorite track by them 'till this day is Haunted. The fact that they are so low in the top 10 is actually pretty sad. These guys paved the way for Gothic Metal as a genre, they should be No. 1...Black number 1.

7 Tristania

, great band! Specially their first albums! Viveke's voice is just haunting and beutiful! They were one of the first gothic metal band's to stand out! Every time I listen to songs like The Ravens, And My Lost Lenore. Just takes me to another world, and feel another atmosphere. Even though that people that played important role in the band like, Mortem And Vibeke left. They still figured out ways to keep their spirit, I was impressed with Illumination even though mortem haded already left. And the new singer its not a soprano but she is doing a very good job, I loved rubicon and I can allways feel their spirit, Tristania Forever!

Vibeke Stene is one of the greatest female singers ever. Compositions are brilliant. They are so complex and various. All songs have specific dark, sometimes even creepy atmopshere. Whole band are great musicians and their playing technic is faultless. Of course, bands which are above are great too but they aren't gothic metal at all.

How is Tristania only 8 and Sirenia 14? These are actual gothic metal bands compared to the others here.

Vibeke Stene's voice + Pete Johansen's violin = The Perfect Match

8 Lacuna Coil Lacuna Coil is an Italian metal band from Milan. Since their formation in 1994, the group has had two name changes, being previously known as Sleep of Right and Ethereal.

Christina is a more Genuine Rocker and not some mindless Babe in Black. The band is truly one of the pioneers that I can't live without. Andre was always a great vocal Growler and better, but he Really has stepped it up and grown his vocals so very well that he now has more of an up front and often lead vocalization ie: Delirium album

In my opinion lacuna coil is without doublt the best gothic metal band out there. Cristina (lead-singer) really got an amazing voice that fits just perfect with andreos (singer) voice and the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. Their songs are allso pretty varied witch is allways a pluss.

Lacuna Coil is really awesome! Andrea and Christina sound great!

All song is the best ever lacuna coil love you

9 Theatre of Tragedy

Theatre of Tragedy is without any doubt an essential part of the gothic metal stage as much as Nightwish is.
This being said, it's mandatory to mention that ToT's first two albums are absolutely unique. This band is a genre in itself. With lyrics that would make Shakespear wish he worked for them and the exquisite use of "Beauty and the Beast" vocals over trademark instrumentation their sound is one that will definitely warp your soul, once you're ready for it.

Their first three albums are superb! Great band in general (aside from the electro pop period). I can't believe bands like Nightwish, Epica and After Forever are on this list! I love all those bands, but they are symphonic, not gothic. When will people stop calling every female fronted band gothic?

This is the only true Gothic Metal band in the top 10. don't get me wrong, I love bands like Nightwish and Epica but Gothic they are not. Theatre of Tragedy and Saviour Machine are the best Gothic Metal bands out there.

Nightwish is a great band, but no Goth metal... maybe one of the best PowerMetal bands!
but if we talk about goth metal... we need to talk about ToT!

Deserves to be on Top. True goth metal, and the first goth metal band ever.

10 Sirenia

"I will be straight up honest here about this. Sirenia is almost indescribable in words! There are very few bands out there that can both bring me to tears, and at the same time make my hair stand on end. Sirenia is one of them. Furthermore, this band has saved my life on occasion, in times when I truly needed strength to endure this world's hardships. That is no lie! Thank you Sirenia you shall forever be with me in my heart! May you REIGN FOREVER! "

Until now I have never listened to a band which was even close to Sirenia's songs. I've never heard even such a song.

I just wish that they was in every radio station...

Sirenia is really an amazing gothic metal band.

I believe that might be more famous.

I think that Nightwish have not better songs to sirenia.

How is Sirenia only 14? I voted for Tristania, but Sirenia should be higher too, they are gothic metal unlike most bands here.

The Contenders

11 Paradise Lost Paradise Lost are a gothic metal band that formed in 1988 in Halifax, England and are considered by some to be one of the pioneers of the death/doom genre and of the gothic metal genre.

Still the best band in the world. Conquerors of all genres (even the not very good ones), now they're back to their gloomy, growling best. The Plague Within is nothing short of being a sensational return to their roots and for any other band to be considered above these gothic, doomy maestros is a travesty. Pioneers.

How the hell is symphonic tripe like Epica, Cradle of Filth, Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil, Nightwish and Evanescence rated higher than the godfathers of gothic metal? Absoutely unacceptable, Draconian Times is a masterpiece of the genre.

The godfathers of the genre and still very good. They should be way up the list. Marilyn Manson is not gothic metal, something more like industrial! Neither is Nightwish, they are symphonic power metal.

So... The inventors of the WHOLE genre, the creators of MASTERPIECES like GOTHIC, ICON, DRACONIAN TIMES, ONE SECOND and SYMBOL OF LIFE that mastered this genre in a vast amount of variations that the majority of pack just followed.are ranked at #15? And worst off all: are surpassed by acts like Lacrimosa? Sirenia? Theater of Thragedy? DELAIN? AFTER FOREVER? TRISTANIA? LACUNA COIL? DRACONIAN? Are these cats kidding me? And C.O.F., Epica and W.T. arenÂ't even near Goth Metal. But the worst off it all: pop drag former MTV blockbusters EVANESCENCE topping the shadow kings? Is everybody insane? I know opinions are just opinions, but come on! The only goth metal influenced band I see in the top 20 worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as Paradise Lost is Type O Negative. Oh man... after seeing this list I really fear for the future of mankind :P

12 Lacrimosa

Lacrimosa really stands out. The band has its own sound, and its own character. One of the examples of (broadly) popular music that is very much close to real art.

Lacrimosa, their songs, dreams, taste and their Gothic music atmosphere are respectful, prideful, Masterpiece and best in the world.

Artistic Gothic music as a Masterpiece that never can not be described. No Gothic bands could be compared with Lacrimosa.

They started as Dark Gothic band and now they are more like Gothic Alternative, this is a great band.

13 Cradle of Filth Cradle of Filth are a British extreme metal band that formed in Suffolk in 1991. The band's musical style evolved from black metal to a cleaner and more "produced" amalgam of gothic metal, symphonic black metal and other extreme metal styles.

Wow. OK, this is coming from a Goth. Not your emo wannabe who stares at the floor all day thinking about death, but a Goth in the actual sense of the word. I know Goth music. I mean, I know Goth music probably better than anyone within 500 miles of me. And none of these bands are remotely Goth, save a couple. Type O Negative was Goth for Bloody Kisses, and that was a real landmark in the genre. I voted for Cradle of Filth just because I like them the best, and they have a few Romantic, morbid themes. They really aren't Goth though... As for Evanescence though... Get over it you little girls, you find me one true "Goth" (not emo, mind you) who actually considers them Goth and we will have something else to talk about. Goth music is dead, and has been dead since the late 80's. There may be a few bands that spring up now and then, but near all the bands existed in the 80's. Try out Bauhaus and Christian Death for a start and stop calling any band that dresses in black "Goth. "

I completely agree. As a goth myself I have came to realize that goth music is dying. I wish more people would listen to Bauhaus or alien sex fiend or hell even siouxsie and the banshees

The Best gothic metal band ever! if you heard Hallowed Be Thy, Name, Nymphetamine, or Her Ghost In the Fog, they are the best songs of cradle of filth, Amazing band, cradle have a great voice, they are the best, and the guitar is amazing!

The first two COF albums describe the definition of a blackend gothic metal. Cradle are miles away from black metal although they have black metal elements. By far the most influential goth metal band after paradise lost anathema type0 and tiamat.

Cradle is cool, much more death metal these days, but they've always had a good balance of overlapping metal genres - death, gothic, symphonic, black. Most of all, I voted for them to piss off "mr. knowitall about goth everything" what a schmuck

14 After Forever

After Forever - great Gothic metal band with female vocals, probably the best in the whole metal scene. Oh, incomparable Floor Jansen!.. Especially beautiful in the first two albums - Prison of Desire and Decipher. And indeed all art - gorgeous!

I only discovered this band recently, I love doom metal, and I love classical/operatic music, and they combined the two! BRILLIANT!

I love it, the best

15 HIM HIM was a Finnish gothic rock band from Helsinki, Finland. Formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo and bassist Mikko "Mige" Paananen under the name His Infernal Majesty, the band broke up in 1993, before being reformed in 1995 by Valo and guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindström.

What's better than putting up a mix of 70's Sabbath vibe, 80's pop hooks and the dark aesthetic of Type O Negative? All this and emphasizing on love rather than hate, which is something that seems to get rarer and rarer in the world of Rock and Metal.

HIM were only Gothic Metal with their first album, 'Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666' which I believe is an extraordinary album, one of their best. They are now considered rock though.

I love HIM. They should be in number 1.
They have the Best singer ville, Marilyn Manson sucks big time

They're the best band. First you have to understand their music, then you'll love it.

16 Delain

Meet them this year at a within temptation concert. But they where better! Went back for their own concert a few months later, it was absolutely great! Best band of this moment! So much energy playing great songs!

This band perfected symphonic gothic metal. It should be number one

I love 'em they are the legends"

How can delain don't be nr.1? Or at least on the top 1!

17 Marilyn Manson Marilyn Manson is an American rock band from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Formed in 1989 by frontman Marilyn Manson and Daisy Berkowitz, the group was originally named Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids with their theatrical performances gathering a local cult following in the early 1990s. ...read more.

MM started the movement and is the King of all that is Gothic Metal. He Ingnited the fire that brought the hell raising goths into the world. GIve your vote as credit to "The Antichrist Supersatar" Out of all of the Metal artists in the world he is the most outragous and pushes people the most tp think about what they're told to believe.

All the emotion MM puts into his amazing songs just blows my mind. Whenever I hear his voice I feel free - like a bird. He saved from the dark corners of my soul. Anyway, he's awesome.

I love Marilyn Manson! He's one of my favourite singers of all time! In my opinion, he's the best gothic singer ever!

The Best gothic metal band ever! So much better than those Finnish bands!
And by the way, I'm from Finland!

18 The Sins of Thy Beloved

Watch their live show on YouTube. Some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear. Melodic and very atmospheric with droning low frequency guitar and keyboard. Anita's performance is hypnotic. Sins of thy Beloved deserves a much higher spot.

Please Listen to The sins of thy Beloved and think about beauty in the dark

TSoTB, early ToT, early Tristania, early Sirenia — the best gothic metal bands EVER. We will no longer hear any music as beautiful as those bands produced.

19 Moonspell Moonspell is a Portuguese gothic metal band. Formed in 1992, the group released their first EP Under the Moonspell in 1994, a year before the release of their first album Wolfheart.

I love many bands in here, like Evanescence, Nightwish, and I am adore Within Temptation (specially in their first album, which is pure gothic and doom metal mixed with symphonic metal). I also Love Tiamat But Moonspell simply feels the most gothic. It's origin in the late 80's/early 90's makes it one of the oldest gothic metal bands in the world. They were never afraid of showing experimentalism and showing their roots and influences. They appear quite frequently in top gothic bands/gothic albums lists, and not without reason. In fact, simply, their one of the darkest bands without even crossing into black metal territory (exclude Wolfheart and Under the Moonspell EP for a second).

What the heck? Most of the bands here aren't even Gothic Metal Bands! Epica, Nightwish, Lacuna Coil are all Symphonic Metal! Moonspell are the best representatives here of the genre in question! MOONSPELL ROCK!

Type O Negative is hands down the best band. Period. No one can hold a candle... but Moonspell's a tight second. I wish I could find more bands like these two. I've looked but am always disappointed.

I agree, Moonspell is (next to The Vision Bleak) the most Gothic metal band on this list

20 Opeth Opeth is a Swedish progressive death metal band from Stockholm, formed in 1990 by David Isberg, who invited Mikael Akerfeldt into the band as a bassist. Isberg ended up leaving the band, which lead to Mikael becoming the band's vocalist, guitarist, principal songwriter, and driving force. Along with ...read more.

Why aren't they on here? Please vote for the most talented band of all time guys! Opeth's vocals and lyrics have a defined gothic vibe still they have much better song composer than most of the bands on here

21 Tiamat

While Wildhoney, a masterpiece is well known, there are very less known masterpieces too.

What, Tiamat nr 23? Such a great band, deserve to be in top 3. Listen to Wildhoney, a masterpiece..

So dark and sensual.

Wildhoney... alone is enoughto make tiamat number 1

22 Charon

Charon is a GREAT band few people listen to. If you like Paradise Lost and Lacuna Coil, you'll love them. They are real good. A true Gothic metal band. They aren't posers like evanescence, epica and marilyn manson... -. -

Great skill, meaningful lyrics and catchy melodies. Amazing band, great motivational music.

23 Leaves' Eyes Leaves' Eyes is a German-Norwegian symphonic metal band from Stavanger, Norway and Ludwigsburg, Germany.

I cannot understand why this band hasn't appeared before! One of the best bands in the gothic panorama, much more authentic than Manson or Evanescence. Liv Kristin: the haunting voice from the early and greatest years of Theatre of Tragedy. Thumbs up for them, please!

They are just wonderful!

24 Kamelot Kamelot is an American power metal band from Tampa, Florida, formed by Thomas Youngblood and Richard Warner in 1991. The Norwegian vocalist Roy Khan joined for the album Siége Perilous, and shared songwriting credit with Youngblood until his departure in April 2011. On June 22, 2012, Youngblood announced ...read more.

Kamelot - Most awesome band ever, hands down. The composition is exquisite, the execution is perfect both in studio and live, and the whole band really contributes in a meaningful way. Just listen to "Torn" from their new CD, Silverthorn, and tell me they aren't incredible.

KAMELOT IS AWESOME! I don't know how I would live without this band, its literally given me a Reason To Live "that's Ayreon, yeah but the singer Tommy was singing that. So I can say that?! Yep ok thanks"

This is getting ridiculous, it's power metal, not gothic metal.

25 Theatres des Vampires

ACTUAL Gothic Metal. Not your whiny hot topic crap (Evanescence and Nightwish, I'm looking at you).

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