Music

The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists 

Ranker Music
Updated September 22, 2019 34.8k votes 3.5k voters 110.1k views 373 items

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. (373 items)
list ordered by
1
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk
2
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music
3
The Sisters of Mercy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Alternative rock
4
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
InRustWeTrust added Punk rock, Post-punk
5
Siouxsie & the Bansh... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock
6
Clan of Xymox is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Indie, New Wave
7
The Damned is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock
8
Siouxsie Sioux is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock
9
Robert Smith is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music
10
The Mission is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music
11
Fields of the Nephilim ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal
12
Peter Murphy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock
13
Christian Death is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Horror punk, Gothic rock, Gothic metal
14
The Cult is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal
15
The 69 Eyes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Horror punk, Glam metal, Gothic rock
16
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock
17
Killing Joke is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock
18
Alien Sex Fiend is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpunk, Gothic rock, Electronic music
19
Faith and the Muse is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Dark wave
20
Nick Cave and the Bad Se... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music
21
Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock
22
Lacrimosa is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Gothic metal, Heavy metal
23
Piknik is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Space rock
24
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave
25
Tiamat is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Progressive metal, Gothic rock