Bands/Musicians The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists  

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8.4k votes 1.1k voters 92.5k 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
222 65
The Sisters of Mercy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Alternative rock

2
226 67
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Punk rock, Post-punk

3
188 52
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

4
268 88
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
190 58
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
170 61
Clan of Xymox is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Indie, New Wave

7
140 57
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
114 47
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
121 61
Wolfsheim is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Dark wave

10
93 43
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

11
106 55
The Birthday Massacre is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

12
92 46
Fields of the Nephilim is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

13
48 16
The Synthetic Dream Foundation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Neoclassical Dark Wave, Trip hop, Steampunk

14
80 40
Peter Murphy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

15
88 46
Diary of Dreams is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Electro-industrial, Gothic rock, Electronic music

16
99 54
The Frozen Autumn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Electro-industrial, Gothic rock

17
92 49
She Wants Revenge is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative dance, Electronic dance music

18
95 53
Blutengel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Gothic rock, Electronic body music

19
77 40
Christian Death is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Horror punk, Gothic rock, Gothic metal

20
66 33
The Mission is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

21
36 11
She Past Away is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
CécilePalant added

22
108 66
VNV Nation is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Electro-industrial, Electronic body music

23
67 35
Project Pitchfork is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Electro-industrial, Gothic rock

24
39 14
Cabaret Voltaire is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Acid house, Synthpop, New Wave

25
29 7
Samantha Bouquin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
minamoonstar added

26
34 11
Melisande Mourning is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
minamoonstar added

27
71 40
Switchblade Symphony is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Trip hop, Rock music

28
30 8
Elizabeth Fawn is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
minamoonstar added

29
13 1
Killing Joke is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Rare0wner added Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

30
84 53
The Crüxshadows is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Indie, Electro-industrial

31
48 25
Lacrimosa is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Gothic metal, Heavy metal

32
27 8
Natasha Nightingale is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
minamoonstar added

33
46 24
Einstürzende Neubauten is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Dark ambient, Noise rock, Industrial rock

34
45 25
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock

35
58 36
London After Midnight is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Industrial rock

36
40 21
Coil is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Dark ambient, Electronic music, Noise music

37
39 21
Fad Gadget is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Electronic music

38
61 40
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

39
40 26
Faith and the Muse is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Dark wave

40
26 14
Diamanda Galás is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, No wave, Electronic music

41
27 15
The Creatures is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Gothic rock, Electronic music, Experimental rock

42
30 18
Bella Morte is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Industrial metal, Industrial rock

43
31 19
Poésie Noire is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

44
43 30
Lycia is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Ethereal wave

45
25 14
Das Ich is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Electro-industrial, Electronic music, Industrial music

46
38 26
Rosetta Stone is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Dark wave

47
26 15
Throbbing Gristle is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
StaceyHaza added Noise rock, Dark ambient, Electronic music

48
18 8
Abandoned Toys is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
nancygraisonn added

49
20 10
Cold Cave is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

50
35 24
Diorama is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Electronic music, Dark wave