music The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists  

14.7k votes 1.3k voters 84.6k views 365 items Embed

Blending elements of post-punk and alternative rock, the best gothic rock bands are some the best known rock bands, albeit some of the darkest. Their lyrics are widely known for being brooding at best, extremely dark and gloomy at the other end. The best goth rock bands have made a huge impact on the bands that followed them, with many of the bands from the first goth rock period - bands from the UK in the late 1970s/early 1980s - remaining popular well after they first started out. 

So, what are the best gothic rock bands? Any list of goth rock bands has to include the likes of The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Sisters of Mercy and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. These bands are closely associated with goth rock and with good reason. Their music has transcended goth rock and has landed them on the top of rock critic's best of lists. These goth band also feature a theatrical element in their live shows, which has made some of these bands as some the best bands to see live.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best goth bands. If you notice that a goth band isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best gothic rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest gothic rock musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular gothic rock bands that you might've heard of. (365 items)
list ordered by

1
306 51
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
InRustWeTrust added Joy Division Punk rock, Post-punk

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2
505 156
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

3
416 137
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Bauhaus Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

4
249 93
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Cocteau Twins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

5
345 151
The Sisters of Mercy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Sisters of Mercy Gothic rock, Rock music, Alternative rock

6
285 131
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

7
155 84
The Cult is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Cult Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

8
106 53
Siouxsie Sioux is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Siouxsie Sioux New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

9
144 85
Christian Death is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Christian Death Horror punk, Gothic rock, Gothic metal

10
161 98
Fields of the Nephilim is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Fields of the Nephilim Doom metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

11
121 69
Peter Murphy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Peter Murphy Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

12
87 45
The Damned is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Damned Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock

13
61 27
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rosalie Tran added Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

14
133 84
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Dead Can Dance Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

15
105 63
Robert Smith is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Robert Smith New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music

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16
106 65
Clan of Xymox is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Clan of Xymox Synthpop, Indie, New Wave

17
113 72
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music

18
118 76
The Mission is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Mission New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

19
105 68
Killing Joke is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Killing Joke Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

20
99 65
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Cramps Horror punk, New Wave, Punk blues

21
83 53
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Birthday Party Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock

22
81 52
Alien Sex Fiend is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Alien Sex Fiend Synthpunk, Gothic rock, Electronic music

23
65 39
Love and Rockets is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Love and Rockets Gothic rock, Alternative rock, College rock

24
77 51
London After Midnight is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
London After Midnight Gothic rock, Rock music, Industrial rock

25
87 61
This Mortal Coil is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
This Mortal Coil Gothic rock, Pop music, Ethereal wave

26
83 59
Switchblade Symphony is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Switchblade Symphony Gothic rock, Trip hop, Rock music

27
43 24
Xmal Deutschland is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Xmal Deutschland New Wave, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

28
75 53
Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Nosferatu Gothic rock

29
53 35
Virgin Prunes is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Virgin Prunes Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

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30
127 103
HIM is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
HIM Gothic rock, Rock music, Gothic metal

31
60 44
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

32
49 34
The Creatures is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Creatures Gothic rock, Electronic music, Experimental rock

33
33 19
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rosalie Tran added Nine Inch Nails Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

34
84 67
The Birthday Massacre is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Birthday Massacre Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

35
95 78
Lacrimosa is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Lacrimosa Gothic rock, Gothic metal, Heavy metal

36
66 52
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry Gothic rock, Post-punk

37
45 32
The Lords of the New Church is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Lords of the New Church New Wave, Gothic rock, Psychobilly

38
43 31
Skeletal Family is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Skeletal Family Gothic rock, Punk rock

39
47 35
Inkubus Sukkubus is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Inkubus Sukkubus Gothic rock, Pagan rock, Hard rock

40
47 35
Sex Gang Children is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Sex Gang Children Gothic rock, Dark cabaret, Alternative rock

41
59 47
Rosetta Stone is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rosetta Stone Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Dark wave

42
27 16
45 Grave is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
45 Grave Horror punk, Gothic rock, Deathrock

43
42 31
The Frozen Autumn is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Frozen Autumn Synthpop, Electro-industrial, Gothic rock

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44
47 36
Faith and the Muse is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Faith and the Muse Gothic rock, Rock music, Dark wave

45
47 37
The March Violets is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The March Violets Gothic rock, Pop rock

46
51 41
Rozz Williams is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rozz Williams Dark ambient, Gothic rock, Spoken word

47
61 51
The Crüxshadows is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Crüxshadows Synthpop, Indie, Electro-industrial

48
57 48
Tones on Tail is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Tones on Tail Gothic rock, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic music

49
21 12
Black tape for a blue girl is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Milo added Black tape for a blue girl Dark ambient, Rock music, Folk music

50
58 50
Gene Loves Jezebel is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gene Loves Jezebel Glam metal, New Wave, Gothic rock