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, more.

Amazing since the Floor incorporation. But not Gothic, is a Symphonic band.

I love this band, but please stop calling it "gothic." Having a couple of emotionally sad songs does not make it gothic metal.

I guess it is one of the best gothic bands I've ever listened.. Just hope they got to the 1st rank and fulfill our hopes forever..

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.

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

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

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 on position 13?! I still cannot believe that! Simona's voice and the symphonic music surrounding her is just awesome. Come on!

3 Draconian

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.

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!

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.

Best Gothic Rock band ever. Amy Lee's voice is simply enchanting...i get goosebumps whenever I listen to her. To be honest, I thought the only gothic rock band was evanescence. And I'm not suprised to know none of those top 10 bands. Guys, If you listen to any song by this exemplary'd fall in love. I seriously adored them by listening to one song. And now, here I am, their most loyal fan. DO THE WORLD GOOD. AND LISTEN TO THEM.NOW.VOTE HIGHER! I'm SHOCKED THIS BAND isn't IN THE TOP TEN.SHAME ON YOU!

Amazing band, with lead singer Amy Lee who has with no doubt the best female vocals in the whole music industry. This is the best gothic band in my opinion, and #4 does not do them justice!

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 :))

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

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.

Within Temptation is best Band Ever. Sharon is Angel.

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

It is the best band ever... Love you Sharon... You bear the voice of heaven...

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).

Why aren't Type O Negative the top, or at least in the top five? They're amazing, their sound is unique and Peter Steele's vocals in every one of their albums are dark and talented.

Oh Lord have mercy, this band is gothic/doom metal at its best. With tracks like Christian Woman, Black number 1, Everything Dies, White Slavery, Pyretta Blaze, and countless other hits, there should be a Gothic/Doom metal Hall of Fame for these guys.

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.

I like tristania and vibeke stene

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

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

All song is the best ever lacuna coil love you

Just wow... I love dark adrenaline album of em...

9 Theatre of Tragedy

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 true gothic and deserves to be on top. Great numbers like a distance there is, a rose for the dead, fragment, hollow hearted-heart departed..

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.

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.

10 Sirenia

Sirenia should be in top 10, with the likes of Tristania, Draconian and Theatre of Tragedy

"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.

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.

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.

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.

These guys pretty much created this genre with their second album "Gothic". 15 albums and recently got back to their best ever sound.

I think they should be in upper position, the concept of Gothic was made true with their album with the same name.

12 Lacrimosa

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

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.

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

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

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 ...more

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 - SatansPrincess666

What? The only bands on this list that are gothic are cradle of filth and nightwish! Dimmu borgir is satanic black metal, and marilyn manson is industrial pop punk, damn you people are stupid!

Marilyn Manson definitely isn't gothic metal, but where are you getting the idea that he is pop punk from lol, he's industrial rock. - username4122

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!

Definitely one of the best gothic metal bands of all time. Beautiful, emotional and powerful music. I would have chosen Seraph in Travail too, but... alas, nobody knows they exist.

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.

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.

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 best gothic metal band with greatest vocalist Ville Valo

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. more.

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.

Not exactly gothic metal but he's a goth and I love him so... I'll vote him to

This band is just great

Very inspirational and mind blowing.

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!

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

This is the best! The others listed are mostly symphonic metal!

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 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

So dark and sensual.

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..

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 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.

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

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"

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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