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Gothic metal or goth metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music. Gothic metal combines the aggression of heavy metal with the dark melancholy of gothic rock. The genre originated during the early 1990s in Europe as an outgrowth of death/doom, a fusion of death metal and doom metal. The music of gothic metal is diverse with bands known to adopt the gothic approach to different styles of heavy metal music. Lyrics are generally melodramatic and mournful with inspiration from gothic fiction as well as personal experiences.

Pioneers of gothic metal include Paradise Lost, Theater Of Tragedy, The 3rd And The Mortal. Other pioneers from the first half of the 1990s include Type O Negative from the United States, Tiamat from Sweden, and The Gathering from the Netherlands. Norwegian band Theatre of Tragedy developed the "beauty and the beast" aesthetic of combining aggressive male vocals with clean female vocals, a contrast that has since been adopted by many gothic metal groups. During the mid-1990s, Moonspell, Theatres des Vampires and Cradle of Filth brought the gothic approach to black metal. By the end of the decade, a symphonic metal variant of gothic metal had been developed by Tristania and Within Temptation.

In the 21st century, gothic metal has moved towards the mainstream in Europe, particularly in Finland where groups such as The 69 Eyes, Entwine, HIM, Lullacry, Poisonblack and Sentenced have released hit singles or chart-topping albums. In the US, however, only a few bands such as Lacuna Coil, Evanescence have found commercial success.


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gothic metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

THEATRE OF TRAGEDY Velvet Darkness They Fear Album Cover Velvet Darkness They Fear
4.54 | 19 ratings
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WITHIN TEMPTATION The Dance Album Cover The Dance
4.42 | 11 ratings
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LACUNA COIL In a Reverie Album Cover In a Reverie
4.29 | 21 ratings
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NOVEMBRE The Blue Album Cover The Blue
4.62 | 4 ratings
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LACRIMOSA Inferno Album Cover Inferno
4.35 | 11 ratings
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CRADLE OF FILTH Cruelty and the Beast Album Cover Cruelty and the Beast
4.24 | 27 ratings
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MOONSPELL Wolfheart Album Cover Wolfheart
4.24 | 20 ratings
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TRISTANIA Beyond the Veil Album Cover Beyond the Veil
4.35 | 8 ratings
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PARADISE LOST Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us Album Cover Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us
4.19 | 18 ratings
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PARADISE LOST In Requiem Album Cover In Requiem
4.18 | 19 ratings
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PARADISE LOST Draconian Times Album Cover Draconian Times
4.14 | 32 ratings
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LACUNA COIL Unleashed Memories Album Cover Unleashed Memories
4.11 | 19 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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gothic metal Music Reviews

VIRGIN BLACK Requiem: Mezzo Forte

Album · 2007 · Gothic Metal
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Australian Gothic Metal... those words alone should have been enough for me to know I should move away from such a band like Virgin Black (what a fantastic and original name, right!?)!

Gothic Metal for me is the most unbearable atrocity that music, and Metal, has ever invented. The guy who decided that it was a good idea to join Heavy Metal with classical music, 'erudite' singers (read erudite with a lot of irony) and the whole 'Goticity' thing should burn at the stake.

But I must say that "Requiem: Mezzo Forte" is not the worst record I've ever heard in this genre (the title goes to anything Leaves' Eyes has ever recorded), being very well produced and full of interesting moments. Truth is that the album has very little Gothic Metal in it, it's more like something Therion would do, more Symphonic Metal with Doom Metal blasts I guess. But there is just no way, in the end, that this is any good in the end. You listen to it and it doesn't make you listen again, ever!

This style of Metal just doesn't do anything for me. What fans of the genre take for beauty I see only nonstop boredom. But I recognize the Australians' effort and maybe fans of the genre will like it.


Album · 2000 · Gothic Metal
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'The Game' was my introduction to Austrian symphonic/progressive metal band Dreams of Sanity, having snapped it up quickly after hearing some of their music online and loving it. Sadly, this, their third studio album, was also their last, as the group split up shortly after its 2000 release. Especially unfortunate as this is undoubtedly their strongest outing.

Falling under the subgenre of progressive, power, gothic or symphonic metal (pick one), Dreams of Sanity have that perfect blend of heavy, grooving guitar riffs with plenty of melodic keyboards and string sounds. The songs have complex structures with plenty of excellent interplay between all involved, but without the mindless shredding and endless soloing that the genre is sometimes (in)famous for.

The production is absolutely spot on here. While the band's debut 'Kömödia' was fairly average, it's follow-up, 'Masquerade' was a massive leap forward, and so building upon that, with 'The Game' the Austrian's have really nailed the rich, vibrant and clear sound that gives every instrument clarity and warmth.

With songs such as 'The Beginning That Lies', 'The Creature That You Came to See', 'And So (I Walk On)', 'We.II.Sea', 'The Empress', and... ah, you know what? Bugger it, they're all brilliant! Dreams of Sanity really hit their stride with this release, and it's an absolute travesty that the band fell apart shortly after. Still, I'm glad I stumbled across these guys, because this is an incredible album by a hugely underrated band.


Album · 1999 · Gothic Metal
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After a fairly messy and raw debut, Dreams of Sanity are back with 'Masquerade', an album where the band really refined their sound, and while the songwriting would still be lacking in places, it certainly laid the blueprint for their next album, which would go on to be their best (and sadly, final) release.

Most noticeable with this album is the much-improved production, with a crisp and clear sound that really emphasizes every instrument. The musicianship is fantastic between the band members, with heavy and interesting guitar riffs that are perfectly complimented with some intricate keyboard melodies. The interplay between everyone involved is great, while never being overbearing or detracting from the flow of the music itself.

There are a few moments where things tend to lull, but for the most part, this is a solid effort. The songs fit together well, with lots of energetic performances that makes for a good listen. Some of the highlights involve parts one and two of the five-track piece 'Masquerade', 'Within (The Dragon)' and 'Lost Paradise '99'. Of particular note is 'Masquerade Act 2', which ends with a fantastic crescendo that builds up with more and more tension over a minute and a half, but never dips in momentum.

Overall, this is a good album by Dreams of Sanity. It's far from perfect, but it's a huge improvement upon their debut, and a precursor to what will become their finest work, with their next album.


Album · 1997 · Gothic Metal
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My introduction to Austrian metal band Dreams of Sanity came about with their 2000 release, 'The Game', which is an incredible album and certainly inspired to me to track down the rest of their discography. However, while seeing reviews online that seemed to praise their earlier work as superior, I found myself feeling slightly disappointed by their raw-sounding debut, 'Komödia'.

While I can understand the lyrical themes or imagery that might come with being labelled as "gothic", I've never quite considered gothic metal itself a subgenre. Perhaps I find it too pedantic or pretentious, but I just like to keep things simple. As a result, I consider Dreams of Sanity to be a power/progressive/possibly symphonic metal band. Long, intricate song structures with plenty of exotic musical passages, guitar and keyboard solos, odd time signatures, higher-ranged vocals and multiple songs that follow the same theme... it's all here.

It's just not very good.

The band are tight. They're all very good musicians, and the production is alright, though very raw and harsh compared to the bands later releases. But I just don't find anything really all too exciting in the music itself. The songs all drag on, with seemingly very few moments that actually stand out. Tracks like 'The Meeting' and 'The Ending' are alright, but even they tend to lag at times.

I can't really sum it up any better than this; I like this band, but I'm not a fan of this album. Check out 'The Game' instead.

TO/DIE/FOR All Eternity

Album · 1999 · Gothic Metal
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Y'know what, I really don't know what to say about this album! I've had this in my playlist for quite some time, pondering over what to write in my review. It's a good album, but nothing inspirational is jumping out for me to put into words. I suppose that's reflective of 'All Eternity', itself. I don't usually write reviews like this, but allow me to indulge a moment of your time while I just ramble on and whatever comes out, comes out.

The music is good. No problems there. It's easy to listen to, and the crunchy guitar riffs works well with the melodic keyboards. The vocals drone on quite a bit though. There's not a wide pallet of dynamics in them, they're just there. They're good, but they're not anything memorable.

Which pretty much defines 'All Eternity' in a nutshell. I could listen to the record from start-to-finish with no problems, but I can't really pick out any specific songs that I'd consider highlights.

I'll try though.

'Live in You', 'In the Heat of the Night', 'Sea of Sin', and 'One More Time' are all worthy of being considered highlights. I guess. The thing is, much like this review, this album just doesn't know when to end. Every song sounds like the one that came before it, and by the last few tracks you'll probably find yourself perturbed that it's still not finished.

Or maybe that's just me.

In conclusion; might be great for gothic metal enthusiasts, but for me, it's just a good album, which is just "there". But at least I managed to write this review after all.

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