Top 10 Best 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, multiinstrumentist and vocalist Troy Donockley, and drummer Jukka Nevalainen (currently on hiatus and... 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!

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

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.

4 Tristania

Great band! Especially their first albums! Vibeke's voice is just haunting and beautiful! They were one of the first gothic metal bands to stand out! Every time I listen to songs like The Ravens and And My Lost Lenore, it just takes me to another world and feel another atmosphere. Even though people who played important roles 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 had already left. And the new singer is not a soprano, but she is doing a very good job. I loved Rubicon, and I can always 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.

5 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".

Why the flip is this band No.1?

Just listen to 'Love You To Death' or 'Black No.1' & try not falling in love with this epic band.

This band got me into goth/doom metal. It's so sad yet so energizing. Peter Steele is simply one of a kind. His voice is heavenly.

Every song of theirs is utterly unique and absolutely haunting.

The guitar riffs, solos, drums & the vocals, everything about this band is next level.

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).

6 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.

Say my name, Pale, The truth beneath the rose, Memories... Nightwish sucks.

7 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.

8 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.

9 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!

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

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

Favorite band since I was a kid and still is. Never get tired of listening them and never outgrew them like I did for within temptation, nightwish or within temptation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. "

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 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

16 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.

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

17 My Dying Bride My Dying Bride are an English doom metal band formed in Bradford, England in 1990. To date, My Dying Bride have released twelve full-length studio albums, three EPs, one demo, one box set, four compilation albums, one live album, and one live CD/DVD release.

Dimmu Borgir isn't goth. Nightwish isn't goth. My dying bride is most certainly goth

This is the best goth metal band!

18 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!

19 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.

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.

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

20 Tiamat

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

So dark and sensual.

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

21 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.

22 The Birthday Massacre The Birthday Massacre is a Canadian dark wave and synth rock band currently consisting of Chibi (vocals), Rainbow (guitar), Falcore (guitar), Owen (keyboard), Rhim (drums) and Nate Manor (bass), that formed in 1999 (even though the 2016 demo collection "Imagica" dates some tracks back at 1998). Originally known as Imagica, The Birthday Massacre is known for their playfully macabre and spooky tone, often created through the contrast of happy and upbeat melodies and dark and sinister lyrics. The band often uses primal fears, such as hearing footsteps, being afraid of monsters hiding under the bed and twisting innocent fairy tale motifs into something morbid. more.
23 Theatres des Vampires

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

24 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!

25 Anathema

Without Anathema, Paradise Lost and My dying bride we won't be here speaking about gothic metal: listen to "The Silent Enigma", "Alternative 4" or "Eternity" albums... Great sounds and atmospheres!

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