Goth metal


Goth metal (also called Gothic metal) is a crossover between doom metal, heavy metal music and goth music itself; although the term 'metal' is debated by some who say very few elements of metal are present. It developed in the early 1990s in Europe and the United States. Goth metal has proven somewhat difficult to categorise. Some fans and musicians have a firm concept of genre and subgenre, but others reject such categorisation as limiting or useless. There is often significant crossover from one category to another, and often the influence of non-metal music.

Originally, Gothic metal evolved from doom metal, where bands like Celtic Frost (Switzerland) and some years later Paradise Lost (U.K.) and The Gathering (Netherlands) added female vocals and melodic keyboards to heavy doom riffs and death grunts. Bands such as Type O Negative (U.S.), My Dying Bride (U.K.), and Anathema (U.K.), focused on eerie keyboards and gloomy atmosphere as well. Though Paradise Lost's Gothic (1991) is widely considered to be the first Gothic metal album, or even the first Gothic metal song ever created due to the duet of female vocals and death grunts, Celtic Frost had already combined operatic female vocals and death grunts in 1987 on their third album Into The Pandemonium. This album was a main influence for Paradise Lost, The Gathering and many more.

Norwegian bands, such as Theatre of Tragedy, Tristania, and The Sins of Thy Beloved, added gorgeous vocals to dark, haunting music. The medieval-classic elements - Gregorian Chant choruses, church organs, side-flutes, violins and operatic female vocals - have added a new layer to the heavy Doom metal riffs and created a fascinating style of music. This style is known as "Scandinavian Gothic Metal" and often resembles symphonic Black metal or Death metal (bands such as Therion). However, not all bands mixing death or doom metal with female vocals can be considered Gothic metal. One noteworthy exception is Visceral Evisceration from Austria.

A softer version of Gothic metal evolved in the mid-late 1990s. These bands focused on female vocals as well, although not neccesserly operatic ones, and reduced doom metal elements and male death vocals significantly. These bands include The Gathering (Netherlands), Within Temptation (Netherlands), Lacuna Coil (Italy) and Lacrimosa (Germany). Some of these bands also combined electronic sounds and mainstream rock music with the traditional Gothic metal sound to create a lighter and more accessible form of the genre.

In general, Gothic metal lyrics focus on a variety of subjects: religion and God, heaven and hell, romance, (gothic) horror, depression, bereavement, emptiness, and death.

The Gothic metal scene is currently very developed in Northern Europe, especially Norway.

List of Gothic metal bands

See also

External links

Metal and Goth databases:

  • The BNR Metal Pages ( - short bio and review of almost every metal band there is.
  • The Encyclopaedia Metallum ( - database of metal bands (includes biographies, line-ups, reviews, etc.), updated by users.

Goth Metal magazines / portals / reviews:

  • Goth Metal World  ( - band reviews, band database, radio, forums.

Official websites of Goth Metal bands:

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