rock The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists  

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18.1k votes 1.6k voters 90.5k views 374 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. (374 items)
list ordered by

1
569 162
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Bauhaus Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

2
610 221
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
482 174
The Sisters of Mercy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Sisters of Mercy Gothic rock, Rock music, Alternative rock

4
385 137
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
InRustWeTrust added Joy Division Punk rock, Post-punk

5
365 145
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

6
259 114
Fields of the Nephilim is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Fields of the Nephilim Doom metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

7
165 77
Clan of Xymox is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Clan of Xymox Synthpop, Indie, New Wave

8
189 103
Christian Death is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Christian Death Horror punk, Gothic rock, Gothic metal

9
149 79
Siouxsie Sioux is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Siouxsie Sioux New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

10
123 61
London After Midnight is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
London After Midnight Gothic rock, Rock music, Industrial rock

11
278 170
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Cocteau Twins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

12
178 105
The Cult is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Cult Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

13
107 54
The Damned is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Damned Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock

14
155 89
Peter Murphy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Peter Murphy Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time

15
144 82
The Mission is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Mission New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

16
87 43
Faith and the Muse is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Faith and the Muse Gothic rock, Rock music, Dark wave

17
130 76
Killing Joke is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Killing Joke Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

18
139 83
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music

19
108 61
Alien Sex Fiend is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Alien Sex Fiend Synthpunk, Gothic rock, Electronic music

20
110 63
The 69 Eyes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The 69 Eyes Horror punk, Glam metal, Gothic rock

21
85 44
Inkubus Sukkubus is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Inkubus Sukkubus Gothic rock, Pagan rock, Hard rock

The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

22
84 46
Love and Rockets is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Love and Rockets Gothic rock, Alternative rock, College rock

23
133 85
Robert Smith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Robert Smith New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music

24
63 32
Xmal Deutschland is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Xmal Deutschland New Wave, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

25
103 67
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
99 64
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Birthday Party Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock

27
67 41
Tiamat is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Tiamat Doom metal, Progressive metal, Gothic rock

28
88 61
Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Nosferatu Gothic rock

Musicians Who Died of Alcoholism

29
67 43
Virgin Prunes is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Virgin Prunes Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

30
106 77
The Birthday Massacre is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Birthday Massacre Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

31
108 79
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Cramps Horror punk, New Wave, Punk blues

32
111 85
Lacrimosa is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Lacrimosa Gothic rock, Gothic metal, Heavy metal

33
75 53
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

34
95 71
Switchblade Symphony is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Switchblade Symphony Gothic rock, Trip hop, Rock music

35
62 42
Sex Gang Children is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Sex Gang Children Gothic rock, Dark cabaret, Alternative rock

The Greatest Songs by '90s One-Hit Wonders

36
72 51
Rosetta Stone is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rosetta Stone Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Dark wave

37
83 61
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry Gothic rock, Post-punk

38
157 128
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Dead Can Dance Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

39
56 37
The Lords of the New Church is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Lords of the New Church New Wave, Gothic rock, Psychobilly

40
36 19
New Order is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rosalie Tran added New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

41
61 42
The Creatures is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Creatures Gothic rock, Electronic music, Experimental rock

42
53 35
Skeletal Family is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Skeletal Family Gothic rock, Punk rock

The Best K-pop Dancers of All Time

43
69 51
Tones on Tail is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Tones on Tail Gothic rock, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic music

44
37 22
45 Grave is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
45 Grave Horror punk, Gothic rock, Deathrock

45
64 47
Rozz Williams is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rozz Williams Dark ambient, Gothic rock, Spoken word

46
58 42
The March Violets is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The March Violets Gothic rock, Pop rock

47
147 125
HIM is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
HIM Gothic rock, Rock music, Gothic metal

48
64 48
Southern Death Cult is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Southern Death Cult Gothic rock, Post-punk

49
51 37
The Frozen Autumn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
The Frozen Autumn Synthpop, Electro-industrial, Gothic rock

50
38 25
Specimen is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Specimen New Wave, Gothic rock, Deathrock