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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.


gothic metal top albums

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THEATRE OF TRAGEDY Velvet Darkness They Fear Album Cover Velvet Darkness They Fear
4.59 | 15 ratings
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MOONSPELL Under Satanæ Album Cover Under Satanæ
4.54 | 13 ratings
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SAVIOUR MACHINE Legend, Part I Album Cover Legend, Part I
4.49 | 6 ratings
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LACRIMOSA Inferno Album Cover Inferno
4.36 | 9 ratings
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CRADLE OF FILTH Cruelty and the Beast Album Cover Cruelty and the Beast
4.19 | 26 ratings
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TYPE O NEGATIVE Life Is Killing Me Album Cover Life Is Killing Me
4.20 | 21 ratings
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WITHIN TEMPTATION The Dance Album Cover The Dance
4.27 | 9 ratings
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THEATRE OF TRAGEDY Aégis Album Cover Aégis
4.22 | 11 ratings
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THE GATHERING Mandylion Album Cover Mandylion
4.14 | 27 ratings
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CRADLE OF FILTH Midian Album Cover Midian
4.16 | 17 ratings
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SEIGMEN Total Album Cover Total
4.40 | 4 ratings
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THE SINS OF THY BELOVED Lake of Sorrow Album Cover Lake of Sorrow
4.28 | 6 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


Album · 1997 · Gothic Metal
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I always find Lacrimosa's albums a decidedly hit-or-miss proposition, and Stille is a perfect example of this; coming out a couple of years after Inferno, which perhaps is my favourite Lacrimosa release, I find that it adopts a grandiose pomposity not justified by the gravitas of the music offered. The vocals present don't quite attain the operatic quality they're groping towards, the classical and metal influences are both drab and fail to grab the listener's attention, and on the whole the music seems sparse and minimalistic where it really cries out to be rich, lush and baroque. In short, it seems to consistently fall short of the standard it sets for itself.

MIRZADEH Desired Mythic Pride

Album · 2014 · Gothic Metal
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Time Signature
Symphonic visions of madness...

Genre: symphonic Gothic metal / melodic black metal

Formed in 2000, the Finnish act Mirzadeh probably qualify as veterans now. Desired Mythic Pride is their third full-length effort, and they also have a number of underground releases under their belt. Desired Mythic Pride lyrically deals with life and reality (and myth) of ancient Finland, which is definitely a concept that is intriguing in its own right.

Musically, the album falls somewhere between melodic black metal, Gothic metal, and symphonic metal. The record is teeming with melody, and virtually every song contains layers of keyboards on top of the more traditional metal instrumentation, and this adds a symphonic and epic effect which definitely suits the lyrical theme of the album. While there are elements of black metal in the form of some well-timed blastbeat-and-tremolo sections, the music on Desired Mythic Pride - bar the symphonic element – actually has more in common with dark power metal than both black metal and "standard" Gothic metal. A good example of this is 'Myrkkymieli'. In fact, the primary black metal aspect of this album is Mirox's screechy vocals. The album is neatly concluded with 'Rise with Norther Witchcraft', which pretty much summarizes all the stylistic elements on the album.

The production is crisp and pristine, as it should be. A kvlt lo-fi production simply would not suit this kind of music. The musicianship is also quite impressive in terms of its tightness and precision. As mentioned Mirox provides your typical harsh black metal screeched, and these are combined with growls and clean singing. I really like his clean singing voice, which reminds me of a more powerful version of a Danish singer-songwriter called C.V. Jørgensen.

Despite all its attractive points, this album is, at the end of the day, not quite my cup of tea. I acknowledge Mirzadeh's impeccable musicianship and songwriting skills, but the epic and symphonic elements just do not work for me, and I can think of artists, such as Dimmu Borgir, and Carach Angren, that are much more successful at combining black metal and Gothic metal with the symphonic approach. I think that this album would probably have been more up my alley, had the keyboards been completely absent and had Mirox stuck to his clean singing voice.

Still, if you like melodic black metal and Gothic metal with epic and symphonic elements, then I definitely recommend that you give Desired Mythic Pride a listen; it does have a lot of good things to offer, and the competent musicianship and professionalism of Mirzadeh cannot be overestimated.

(review originally posted at

DARKSEED Diving Into Darkness

Album · 2000 · Gothic Metal
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Taking their death-tinged gothic metal style into a somewhat more cybernetic and spacey direction (thanks, in no small part, to Stefan Hertrich's electronic contributions), Darkseed when they recorded this album were reduced to a trimmed-down lineup of Hertrich and two guitarists (with former member Willi Wurm providing drums here solely in a guest capacity), but this first album since the departure of their longterm bassist Rico Galvagno is sufficiently successful that it's no surprise that the group put out a few more albums with this trimmed-down lineup before fleshing their numbers out again in the mid-2000s. Gothic metal fans who like a little sci-fi with their eyeliner may enjoy this one.


Album · 1993 · Gothic Metal
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siLLy puPPy
TYPE O NEGATIVE also known as “The Drab Four” made a name for themselves on their third album BLOODY KISSES by creating a rock opera type sounding album that has become very influential in both the goth and doom world. The songs are pretty much goth pop with a few interesting sound effects thrown in here and there. It is goth in the sense that it is about loneliness, depression, anger and the usual negative estranged feelings associated with the subculture. The flow of the album is strong as one song leads into the other seamlessly.

The beauty of this album is that it isn't one of those gothier-than-thou snobathons but instead it is a parody of gothic subculture stereotypes. The album had a minor hit with the track “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All) of which the video was a hit on MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head. The popularity of this album in the goth-tinged 90s made this the very first platinum record for Roadrunner Records. There are a few surprises on here as well such as the Seals and Crofts song “Summer Breeze” which came out even before Marilyn Manson covered the Eurythmics' “Sweet Dreams.”

Overall I find this to have more of a garage rock sound like The White Stripes or even a grunge or punk sound at times. When I think of other true goth metal bands like Cradle Of Filth, for example, this doesn't come close to the intensity usually associated with true metal bands. I wonder why this is categorized as metal at all as it seems to be only a minor element to the whole sound with more focus on Peter Steele's Dracula-like vocal style making it an eccentric blend of gothic rock, however, there is just enough doom metal to keep me from protesting its inclusion into the genre, although never anything outlandish and energetic. This album could be just a tad shorter for me but fairly uniform in quality throughout.

SENTENCED The Cold White Light

Album · 2002 · Gothic Metal
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Sentenced play a style of fun, accessible gothic metal which draws more from mainstream, commercial metal styles than it does from any particular strand of extreme or underground metal - it's basically gothic rock with metal riffs. The most shocking thing about the album is probably the lyrics, with Excuse Me While I Kill Myself riding a fine line between being a petulant, irritating rant and needlessly trivialising suicide, but otherwise this is fairly middle-of-the-road stuff which is fun to listen to but doesn't exactly take many risks. Gothic metal fans who prefer music with a little more bite might find this boring; personally, I find it fun but a little vacuous.

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