Rock The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists  

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19.6k votes 1.8k voters 94.1k views 363 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. (363 items)
list ordered by

1
587 178
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

2
647 234
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

3
518 182
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
411 145
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
InRustWeTrust added Punk rock, Post-punk

5
390 154
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

6
274 117
Fields of the Nephilim is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

7
178 79
Clan of Xymox is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Indie, New Wave

8
202 109
Christian Death is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Horror punk, Gothic rock, Gothic metal

9
161 84
The Mission is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

10
162 85
Siouxsie Sioux is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

11
132 66
London After Midnight is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Industrial rock

12
290 178
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

13
190 110
The Cult is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

14
118 60
The Damned is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock

15
163 93
Peter Murphy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

16
140 80
Killing Joke is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

17
151 89
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music

18
116 64
Alien Sex Fiend is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpunk, Gothic rock, Electronic music

19
93 47
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
148 90
Robert Smith is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music

21
118 69
The 69 Eyes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Horror punk, Glam metal, Gothic rock

22
90 49
Inkubus Sukkubus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Pagan rock, Hard rock

23
88 52
Love and Rockets is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative rock, College rock

24
111 71
This Mortal Coil is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Pop music, Ethereal wave

25
68 36
Xmal Deutschland is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

26
107 69
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock

27
75 45
Tiamat is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Progressive metal, Gothic rock

28
95 65
Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock

29
114 83
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Horror punk, New Wave, Punk blues

30
72 47
Virgin Prunes is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

31
167 131
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

32
110 81
The Birthday Massacre is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

33
81 56
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

34
77 53
Rosetta Stone is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Dark wave

35
116 89
Lacrimosa is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Gothic metal, Heavy metal

36
99 74
Switchblade Symphony is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Trip hop, Rock music

37
57 38
Skeletal Family is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Punk rock

38
60 41
The Lords of the New Church is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Psychobilly

39
75 55
Tones on Tail is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic music

40
65 46
The Creatures is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Electronic music, Experimental rock

41
65 46
Sex Gang Children is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Dark cabaret, Alternative rock

42
84 65
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Post-punk

43
43 27
The Sisterhood is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Dark wave, Post-punk

44
155 133
HIM is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Gothic metal

45
62 46
The March Violets is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Pop rock

46
67 51
Southern Death Cult is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Post-punk

47
16 3
Marilyn Manson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rosalie Tran added Glam metal, Industrial metal, Rock music

48
76 61
The Crüxshadows is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Indie, Electro-industrial

49
66 52
Rozz Williams is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Dark ambient, Gothic rock, Spoken word

50
67 54
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rosalie Tran added Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music