Top 10 Best Goth Rock Bands

The Top Ten
1 The Cure The Cure are an English post-punk/gothic rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1978. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member.

Gothic music is really about the whole gothic rock, post-punk genre, and I think everyone should listen to this type of music before they start getting into the gothic scene. Sure, Evanescence are INSPIRED by the goth culture, but their sound isn't the traditional sound you think of with bands like The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees. I found this a really hard decision (as I'm a massive fan of lots of bands on this page) but I just love listening to The Cure. Sorry, I like a few Evanescence songs, but they're not traditional goth rock.

I can't believe the cure isn't number one! Not only because they were pioneers but because of their DIFFERENT music! Sorry but I sometimes can't tell or simply hear the difference between the the other bands while the cure has and always had their sound! + each album is so different of the others, some of their songs aren't Gothic at all (lovecats, how beautiful you are), their lyrics are so good, no, the cure has definitively something the others haven't... It's one of the greatest pop/gothic*rock bands of the late '70s, the '80s, the 90's... And they still are!

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

I totally love Evanescence their songs are deep and meaningful. They certainly have to be the best goth rock band! And off course Amy Lee compliments the band further with her amazing vocals that is just out of this world and kinda gives you the goosebumps.. And not to mention her adeptness in playing the piano, gosh she sings and plays the piano at the same time effortlessly! I respect her because she ain't like some other female artists who rely more on their sex appeal rather than talent to sell their songs. Not saying that all artists are like that but sadly nowadays many lack real talent like Amy Lee and their songs are just meaningless. So, now I listen more to Evanescence amd truly enjoy their songs as I love rock and they sure know how to rock it with those great guitar riffs, impressive drums and chillingly good vocals! Someday hope to attend their concert.

3 Bauhaus Bauhaus were an English gothic rock/post-punk band, formed in Northampton, England in 1978. The group consisted of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins and David J.

Here we go again battling it out with those hot topic kids.. Ugh this list is upsetting... Goth is Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie, Xmal, The Birthday Party, Christian Death (a.K.A. deathrock)...

I wouldn't be surprised if there is another list for Psychobilly with Horror Pops being 1st on the list instead of Demented Are Go, the Meteors, Frantic Flintstones, Batmobile..

Or Punk/Punk Rock list having Blink 182 1st instead of The Stooges, Sex Pistols, Vice Squad, The Ramones, X-Ray Spex..

Those that know what L.A.M.F. means Cheers to you!

One of the most influential and underrated bands ever. That shows true passion and talent, not caring bout being super famous and getting tons of media hype, but still making fantastic music. I think it's great how they even influenced non-gothic bands (e.G. my Chemical romance, listen to the intro of Bela Lugosi's dead and Vampires will never hurt you, it's very simaler) Being born in 2001, I didn't really get into 80s stuff, but this band sort of kick started my interest.

4 The Sisters of Mercy The Sisters of Mercy is a British rock band formed in 1980 in Leeds, England. They are often associated with the gothic rock genre but have explored a variety of musical styles over the years, including post-punk and alternative rock. The band is known for their dark, atmospheric sound and introspective lyrics, dealing with themes of existential despair and social critique. The Sisters of Mercy have... read more

I totally agree with the previous poster - most of the entries above the Sisters on this list would probably not even exist if it were not for the Sisters. This band pretty much INVENTED modern Goth Rock. Yes, Bauhaus laid the template, and the Cure and the Banshees moulded the idea, but it was the Sisters who became the model for all future Goth Rock bands in terms of their sound and look. Even with their limited releases they still epitomise what Goth Rock should be about - not the commercial, oh-so-pretty pretenders who appeal to the Goth-teens of today (judging by those positioned above the Sisters in this list). The Sisters of Mercy are, and will always be, the true Godfathers of Goth. For me only the mighty Fields of the Nephilim come close.

A little history lesson:

Four bands are generally credited as being the founding fathers of gothic rock: Bauhaus, Siouxie and the Banshees, Joy Division and The Cure. All of them have stated at various stages that they were never goth and also admitted that they were. And all of them are superb - ironically all with a slightly different sound.

These four laid the foundation for the second wave of goth bands - which included the likes of Killing Joke and the Sisters of Mercy. Of these, the Sisters of Mercy were arguably most successful and probably codified the sound of Trad Goth, inspiring the likes of Rosetta Stone, The Mission et al (although the Mission is a story in itself...).

If it weren't for the founding four or the sisters, there would be no bands in this list, and these five bands should be at the top of the list every time.

Especially as Evanscence aren't even a Gothic Rock Band...

5 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 is my favorite band of all time Ville Valo is definitely my favorite vocalist, and Lioneye my favorite guitarist, I have all kinds of heartagrams painted on my walls and tattooed on me I remember first listening to volume 666 and Razorblade Romance. They influenced me enough to go to Finland for Ruis Rock to see them live, and they have been my favorite band for years and they will continue to be my favorite band. If you don't know who HIM is look up these five songs you are bound to like at least one of them: Dead Lovers Lane, Wings of a Butterfly, Funeral of Hearts, Tears on Tape, and In Venere Veritas

HIM are very gothic in their music!
You just need to listen to them to know what I mean!

Villes choice of poetic words (often in Latin) give their music that gothic touch. as well as the Beautiful and ambient synth solos or melodies which compliment the music and add an extra dark feel!

And if you don't think a Band who base a lot of their songs on Love & Death, with that Romeo & Juliet/Adam & Eve storyline touch to them, is Gothic... then I don't know what is?

6 Joy Division Joy Division were an English post-punk band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band consisted of singer Ian Curtis, guitarist and keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, and drummer Stephen Morris.

I'm not Goth, and I hate pretentious elitist people who seem to think only certain people can be into Goth. However I do think that if you're gonna call a band a Goth band, you need to know your stuff, and if you're calling evanescence or HIM goth, then you certainly do not what Goth music is. Goths can of course be into any music, but don't call non Goth music Goth. Joy Division, The Cure, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxie and The banshees, Christian Death etc are Goth bands, do your research. Also, Unknown Pleasures for me is the ultimate Goth Album. Joy Division are one of the greatest bands of all time.

Joy Division were Decades ahead of their time and put so much Heart And Soul into their music. They should definitely be a Candidate for the top spot- the Atmosphere they create is like no other. The Fact (10) that they aren't in the top 5 is an absolute Atrocity Exhibition

Oh boy, this is tough, Joy Division certainly had influence on the creation of the Goth genre, but I think a case can be made that Joy Division was Seminal for the entire alternative rock genre. In a sense, Joy Division transcended Goth.

7 Siouxsie & The Banshees Siouxsie and the Banshees were an English rock band, formed in London in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bass guitarist Steven Severin. They have been widely influential, both over their contemporaries and with later acts.

They're better than Evanescence, in my opinion. Plus, Evanescence is not a Goth band. Yes, they have songs that are Gothic, but they don't consider themselves Goth and they're more focused on Alternative Metal. Siouxsie & The Banshees has more Goth Rock songs on there than Evanescence.

"Ok, look first of all I did once spell her name wrong. Only time I'm aware of, and yes the proper spelling is of course Siouxsie (I left out an s by mistake once, sorry). Secondly, this being said I still stand by the rest of her fans myself included, in that she is truly awesome! "

I fear an even greater indignity has been bestowed upon this most important and influential goth band of all time, aside from the sadly predictable ranking below the decidedly NON goth band, Evanessance, is the unacceptable misspelling of SIOUXSIE. Shameful.

8 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

"I have been a fan of Nightwish since around 2005. They are, of course awesome. However, I believe it was an absolute mistake for them to have kicked Tarja out of the band, I mean that just simply does not make any sense whatsoever! But, aside from this I can honestly say they one of the best symphonic metal bands out there today! "

If I have to put nightwish in words, the music, the lyrics are something that created a shadow over my existence... I wish nightwish will keep 'fantasizing in the dark' and bring all of us to their 'dark fantasy'...

I do love Nightwish. Both Tarja and Anette are good. Their music is very nice to listen to and I like how the songs tell stories that seem to come to life. Marco's singing is also super awesome.

9 Killing Joke Killing Joke are an English rock band formed in October 1978 in Notting Hill, London, England. The original line-up included Jaz Coleman, Paul Ferguson, Geordie Walker and Youth.

Revelations, Fire Dances, and Night Time all have a very powerful Gothic feel. They're not really Goth any more though, they're much closer to Industrial Metal.

Not really Gothic Rock, maybe elements, but they are Post-Punk/Industrial Rock and Metal Band.

10 Christian Death

What the hell is going on here? Has Hot Topic tainted the minds of our youth THIS much? Christian Death is maybe not the "greatest, " I'll leave that to Bauhaus and The Sisters of Mercy, but the belong on the top 5 at the very least. Evansescence? Nightwish? HIM? Marilyn Manson? Don't get me wrong, I like these artists (except for Evansescence, hate them posers) but they have no place here. Christian Death is my favorite though, and they truly are "Goth. " I will never come to this site again.

An amazing band.

Still sad to see that Evanescence and other alternative metal / nu metal / dark metal bands are still on this list. This list is specifically for Goth Rock bands, meaning bands that play music Post-Punk and Deathrock, not band that play metal genres. Metal is part of a completely different subculture and it doesn't matter how much nu-metal you listen to, it still doesn't make you Goth.

The Contenders
11 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".

This band isn't even Goth Rock, they are Gothic Metal and there's a difference. Gothic Metal is just a name and has nothing to do with the Goth subculture (although some members may still like it).

Even though I'm not hating and just stating facts, I do like some songs from this band such as "Christian Woman" and "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend".

Best goth metal band I've ever heard. Peter Steele's vocals are UNMATCHED, as well as their slower, addicting melodic tone. God, it's beautiful to listen to. I agree with other people here in that The Cure and Evanescence are not goth, but more rock instead, with a goth image.

Type O Negative should be much higher, if not at the top.

TON played in the small Thomas Township Hall when Bloody Kisses was only a bootleg CD. It was clear that Peter Steele had unique voice control. I suggested they do a cover of " Cinnamon Girl", which they actually did later. I heard it in my head as a much slower version.

12 Clan of Xymox

This band ever since the 80s has made dark goth music. They became fairly electronic in the early to mid 90s but their majority of music is slow, and has a lot of darkness in it. A great example of this is Stranger, or maybe even one of their shorter filler songs like Theme II.

This band should be in the top 10s. It has very good songs with great production quality. Pretty much every song has some deep and dark feeling to it (especially songs like Craving, and Cry In The Wind). This band does not deserve to be this low.

CoX here? Must be a joke! With their many albums and 30 years of history, it is THE BAND number 1 in this ranking!

13 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.

I personally believe that this band's music is both inspirational and electrifying. With both cunning vocals and beautiful melodies, this band should be in the top 5. Nay! The top 3!

Lacuna Coil deserves to be down towards the top 3. Cristina Scabbia all the way her voice is just so unique and beautiful. They are also from Italy!

Apparently those who wasted their vote on Evanescence have never heard Lacuna Coil. Too bad for them. L C should definitely be way up on the list.

14 Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock band, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.

No... I love these guys but come on. They aren't goth. They are Industrial rock or some may know their category as "Nu Metal;" a subject that also includes James Maynard Kenon's bands, Type-o-Negative, and other similar industrial metal influenced bands. Don't forget to understand that goth music includes specific guitar patterns, and environmental sounds. He sings about Gothic material and concepts, but his music is not Gothic.

NIN aren't goth at all. Why are they even on here?

This is industrial metal, best in its kind!

15 Alien Sex Fiend

Took Goth and evolved it.

16 The Shroud

A list that doesn't have Sisters, Siouxsie, or the Cure at #1 is sure to miss this standout band from the 90's. Every bit as nuanced and striking the perfect emotional tune on all levels, if you have not added The Shroud to your collection of 2nd generation Goth trailblazers, you owe it to yourself to run, not walk, to amazon (or your local music connection) to at least die having heard this sublime music and the superlative vocals of Lydia Fortner-Walker.

The very first song I heard from The Shroud was "Caged Bird" on a goth compilation CD. Lydia's vocals has spelled bound me ever since. It's hard to list in order my favorite songs. My TOP 5 FAVORITE SONGS by THE SHROUD. 1) Prophecy 2) Collector 3) Let Go 4) Pandora 5) Apology. I'm a Native American Artist, and these songs created some awesome inspiration for me in my art work and outlook on life. I think The Shroud is highly under rated. They're inspirational in lyrics and music. Love The Shroud and Love Lydia :D

17 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,... read more

Some of the most deeply, soul-touchingly beautiful music that it has ever been my privilege to enjoy. Simply from another realm.
Another here was right in believing them better than Evanescence. I like some Ev too now and again, but with repeated listening they grate rapidly; I find them also a bit too depressive, for all their other charm. TBM is ever new, enriching, inspiring, and uplifting. And always simply beautiful. Perfect accompaniment to a night under the stars.
Can't wait for their next album!

Being Canadian, music wise I have been rather disappointed, and wondering what our country has come down to (Justin Bieber, Nickelback) but when I discovered them my faith had been restored.

Not gothic rock, but something goths nowadays would like to call "Nu goth", or "Goth revival". They're more synth-rock/dream pop, but considering we have quite a few non goth bands on here, I think they should definitely stay in that case.

18 Swans Swans are an American experimental rock band formed in 1982 by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira.
19 Faith and the Muse
20 Within Temptation Within Temptation is a Dutch symphonic metal band founded in April 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt.

They're amazing, it's simple as that. Their musical style is very unique and the singer, Sharon Den Adel is very beautiful and so is her voice. They rock. Their latest album, The Unforgiving is a bit commercial if You ask me, but still, they remain my second favorite band, right behind Evanescence.

Sharon's voice is angelic and dark all at the same time. She has raised the standard for music and has proved to others that you don't have to be JUST a goth band or JUST a metal band, but you could be whatever you wanted to be. I love Within Temptation and their music is golden.

Within Temptation are my most favourite band of all time. Their songs are deep and meaningful and beautiful and completely understand my feelings. I've been through a lot and there songs are the one thing that reach me and put me at peace with the world.

21 Alice Cooper Alice Cooper was an American rock band formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1964. The band consisted of lead singer Vince Furnier, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith.

This man is considered the king of theatrical rock and brought theatrics into music. He should be number one on this list because he started it all.

I love him so much, but his music isn't gothic rock, even though he influenced it!

22 The 69 Eyes

A mix of Type-O Negative, Sisters of Mercy and HIM all wrapped into one tragically beautiful package, great work guys.

Quite easy one of the best bands period. They can sound one way one song and totally different on another.

At least number 5, there song dead girls are easy is one of the best songs ever, back in blood agen another great gothic song. Come on you can not miss them out of the top 10

23 The Cult The Cult are a British rock band formed in 1983. Before settling on their current moniker in January 1984, the band performed under the names Southern Death Cult and Death Cult.

Like the Sisters they weren't a goth band, the label came later, the Cult were a straight up rock band, and a damn good one at that. I saw them in 87 and 89, excellent band.

The best. No more to say.

24 Tool Tool is an American alternative metal/progressive metal band, that was formed in 1990.

The band is set together between Maynard James Keenan (Vocals), Danny Carey (Drums), Adam Jones (Guitar) and since 1995 Justin Chancellor (Bass).

The band is known for their influences from electronic sounds and their overly complex and strangely structured songs.

They released their debut album... read more
25 Misfits Misfits are an American Horror Punk band often recognized as the progenitors of the horror punk subgenre, blending punk rock and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery.

They need to be higher on the list!

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