Rock The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists  

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20.6k votes 2k voters 96.9k views 366 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. (366 items)
list ordered by

1
605 186
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

2
106 11
Marilia Adamaki is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
IrisAristi added Gothic Rock

3
680 240
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

4
544 188
The Sisters of Mercy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Alternative rock

5
437 148
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
InRustWeTrust added Punk rock, Post-punk

6
408 156
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

7
281 121
Fields of the Nephilim is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

8
56 6
Marilia Adamaki is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
IrisAristi added

9
184 84
Clan of Xymox is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Indie, New Wave

10
171 88
The Mission is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

11
171 88
Siouxsie Sioux is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

12
207 114
Christian Death is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Horror punk, Gothic rock, Gothic metal

13
200 113
The Cult is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

14
297 182
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

15
173 95
Peter Murphy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

16
137 70
London After Midnight is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Industrial rock

17
148 83
Killing Joke is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

18
122 64
The Damned is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock

19
159 92
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music

20
158 92
Robert Smith is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music

21
121 68
Alien Sex Fiend is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpunk, Gothic rock, Electronic music

22
94 52
Faith and the Muse is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Dark wave

23
95 54
Love and Rockets is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative rock, College rock

24
120 74
The 69 Eyes is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Horror punk, Glam metal, Gothic rock

25
118 74
This Mortal Coil is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Pop music, Ethereal wave

26
91 53
Inkubus Sukkubus is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Pagan rock, Hard rock

27
113 72
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock

28
70 39
Xmal Deutschland is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

29
174 134
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

30
120 87
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Horror punk, New Wave, Punk blues

31
76 49
Tiamat is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Progressive metal, Gothic rock

32
96 68
Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock

33
74 50
Virgin Prunes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Experimental music, Alternative rock

34
111 84
The Birthday Massacre is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Industrial rock

35
83 59
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

36
78 56
Rosetta Stone is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Dark wave

37
100 77
Switchblade Symphony is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Trip hop, Rock music

38
116 92
Lacrimosa is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Gothic metal, Heavy metal

39
79 58
Tones on Tail is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic music

40
69 49
The Creatures is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Electronic music, Experimental rock

41
63 44
The Lords of the New Church is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Psychobilly

42
58 41
Skeletal Family is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Punk rock

43
66 49
Sex Gang Children is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Dark cabaret, Alternative rock

44
76 59
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Rosalie Tran added Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

45
159 139
HIM is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Rock music, Gothic metal

46
85 68
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Post-punk

47
44 30
The Sisterhood is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Dark wave, Post-punk

48
63 49
The March Violets is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Pop rock

49
68 54
Southern Death Cult is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, Post-punk

50
77 64
The Crüxshadows is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Gothic Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Indie, Electro-industrial