10 Best Gothic Rock Bands

Picking the 10 best gothic rock bands is a difficult task. The style spans four decades and includes acts as diverse as the dreamy and hypnotic Dead Can Dance and the harsh industrial sound of KMFDM. This list is obviously not all inclusive, but is instead representative of the genre. These are the 10 best gothic rock bands:

  1. Sisters of Mercy – Even though they stopped releasing records in the 1990's, their popularity has not faded in the goth music scene. The Sisters of Mercy continue to perform live and are embarking on a new tour in 2011.
  2. Crüxshadows – Their sound is dark and melodic, their look in-line with standard goth fare. However, listen to the lyrics and you will hear lessons about hope, perseverance and personal responsibility.
  3. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Their 1990's albums, particularly "Murder Ballads," capture some of the darkest imagery you will find in gothic rock.
  4. Bauhaus – They are easily one of the most influential bands of the goth genre.
  5. Siouxsie and the Banshees – formed in 1976, Siouxsie and the Banshees was one of the first bands to evolve from the post-punk scene. They went on to become highly influential in both gothic and pop. Early line-ups of the band included both Sid Vicious and Robert Smith.
  6. Dead Can Dance – the band's sound is heavily influenced by the Middle Eastern music that the two core members heard while working together in a Lebanese restaurant in Melbourne, Australia. Though Dead Can Dance disbanded in 1998, they got back together for a reunion tour in 2005, and have intimated that they would be open to touring together again.
  7. Rammstein – This German gothic rock band is renowned for their spectacular live shows. On their 2004 to 2005 tour, each show involved the use of 30 kilograms of pyrotechnics.
  8. Type O Negative – Type O is one of the harder and louder bands on this list, with a sound that can be described as belonging to thrash metal or doom metal as easily as gothic rock. Their break-through album, "Bloody Kisses," features some of their most melodic songs.
  9. Lacuna Coil – This gothic rock band's characteristic sound combines driving guitars with ethereal female vocals.
  10. KMFDM – Purists will try to insist that KMFDM are actually an industrial band, and they are partially correct. However, KMFDM's heavy, minor-keyed but supremely danceable sound gets them a place on the list of the ten best gothic rock bands.
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