Bands/Musicians The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists  

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8.8k votes 1.1k voters 94.8k views 189 items

With its origins beginning in the 1970s, darkwave took post-punk and New Wave and added dark introspective lyrics that differentiated it from other genres. darkwave bands whose fans were known as wavers and dark wavers, took off in the 1980s. darkwave music first took off in Europe and got bigger across that decade. and ended up spawning several other subgenres. But darkwave bands managed to maintain their brooding brand of music and even today, darkwave music remains as relevant as ever.

So what are the best Darkwave bands? Any list of darkwave music has to include the likes of Bauhaus, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, She Wants Revenge and Siouxsie and the Banshees. These are widely regarded as the most important and influential darkwave bands. Their impact on spreading darkwave music to the masses and helping set it up as an important genre that remains popular.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best darkwave bands. If you notice a band is missing from this poll of darkwave bands, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best darkwave bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest darkwave 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 darkwave bands that you might've heard of. (189 items)
list ordered by

1
285 92
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

2
240 73
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Punk rock, Post-punk

3
234 71
The Sisters of Mercy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Alternative rock

4
195 56
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

5
195 59
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

6
174 62
Clan of Xymox is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Indie, New Wave

7
144 60
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

8
118 48
Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

9
125 63
Wolfsheim is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Dark wave

10
97 45
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

11
108 57
The Birthday Massacre is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

12
101 54
Blutengel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Gothic rock, Electronic body music

13
92 48
Diary of Dreams is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Electro-industrial, Gothic rock, Electronic music

14
42 12
She Past Away is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
CécilePalant added

15
92 49
Fields of the Nephilim is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

16
83 43
Peter Murphy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

17
72 35
Project Pitchfork is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Electro-industrial, Gothic rock

18
96 53
She Wants Revenge is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative dance, Electronic dance music

19
100 56
The Frozen Autumn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Electro-industrial, Gothic rock

20
113 66
VNV Nation is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Electro-industrial, Electronic body music

21
49 19
The Synthetic Dream Foundation is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Neoclassical Dark Wave, Trip hop, Steampunk

22
80 43
Christian Death is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Horror punk, Gothic rock, Gothic metal

23
42 15
Cabaret Voltaire is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Acid house, Synthpop, New Wave

24
67 35
The Mission is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

25
71 41
Switchblade Symphony is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Trip hop, Rock music

26
29 8
Samantha Bouquin is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
minamoonstar added

27
34 12
Melisande Mourning is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
minamoonstar added

28
30 9
Elizabeth Fawn is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
minamoonstar added

29
85 53
The Crüxshadows is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Indie, Electro-industrial

30
49 26
Lacrimosa is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Gothic metal, Heavy metal

31
47 25
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock

32
47 25
Einstürzende Neubauten is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Dark ambient, Noise rock, Industrial rock

33
27 9
Natasha Nightingale is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
minamoonstar added

34
66 42
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

35
59 37
London After Midnight is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Industrial rock

36
40 22
Coil is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Dark ambient, Electronic music, Noise music

37
40 22
Fad Gadget is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Electronic music

38
15 2
Killing Joke is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Rare0wner added Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

39
42 27
Faith and the Muse is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Dark wave

40
27 14
Das Ich is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Electro-industrial, Electronic music, Industrial music

41
39 25
Diorama is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Electronic music, Dark wave

42
24 12
Cold Cave is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

43
22 11
Collide is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Electro-industrial, Gothic rock, Trip hop

44
26 15
Diamanda Galás is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, No wave, Electronic music

45
27 16
The Creatures is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, Electronic music, Experimental rock

46
53 40
:wumpscut: is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Electro-industrial, Gothic rock, Electronic body music

47
30 19
Bella Morte is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Industrial metal, Industrial rock

48
43 31
Lycia is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Ethereal wave

49
31 20
Poésie Noire is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

50
38 27
Rosetta Stone is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Dark wave