Gothic Metal

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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.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_metal

Sub-genre collaborators (shared with Symphonic Metal):
  • DippoMagoo


gothic metal top albums

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PARADISE LOST Obsidian Album Cover Obsidian
PARADISE LOST
4.82 | 10 ratings
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PARADISE LOST Draconian Times Album Cover Draconian Times
PARADISE LOST
4.36 | 42 ratings
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THEATRE OF TRAGEDY Velvet Darkness They Fear Album Cover Velvet Darkness They Fear
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4.30 | 24 ratings
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PARADISE LOST Icon Album Cover Icon
PARADISE LOST
4.20 | 40 ratings
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MOONSPELL Wolfheart Album Cover Wolfheart
MOONSPELL
4.22 | 24 ratings
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PARADISE LOST Tragic Idol Album Cover Tragic Idol
PARADISE LOST
4.21 | 21 ratings
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TYPE O NEGATIVE October Rust Album Cover October Rust
TYPE O NEGATIVE
4.17 | 29 ratings
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WITHIN TEMPTATION The Dance Album Cover The Dance
WITHIN TEMPTATION
4.25 | 13 ratings
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MOONSPELL Irreligious Album Cover Irreligious
MOONSPELL
4.19 | 21 ratings
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THE GATHERING Mandylion Album Cover Mandylion
THE GATHERING
4.15 | 37 ratings
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LACRIMOSA Inferno Album Cover Inferno
LACRIMOSA
4.24 | 12 ratings
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CRADLE OF FILTH Cruelty and the Beast Album Cover Cruelty and the Beast
CRADLE OF FILTH
4.11 | 31 ratings
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gothic metal Music Reviews

PARADISE LOST Tragic Idol

Album · 2012 · Gothic Metal
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poslednijat_colobar
The thirteenth studio album made by death / doom / gothic Godfathers Paradise Lost is a strong return to form and is characterized with catchy slow gothic metal sound with elements of doom metal. Yet the songs are quite memorable, but the solos and the musical lines are quite heavier than during the last fifteen years or something. The album marks the new polished era for the heavier sound of the band, because the last time they made such heavy music, they have been unexperienced with obvious weaknesess either in production or in songwring process of the songs. Classy record recommended even for fans of different metal subgenres!

PARADISE LOST Obsidian

Album · 2020 · Gothic Metal
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poslednijat_colobar
Paradise Lost has always been a band that crucially changes the style of music they are composing, as well as being noted as godfathers for half of the genres they are playing in. We can responsibly announce that the production of such a great album could have been expected due to the good shape of the band in the recent years. This time it is even better. Obsidian is a one of a kind. The mixture of gothic, doom and death metal is harmonically and balancedly executed. The proportion of clear and death vocals are very well estimated. The guitar solos are great, the melodies are memorable, fresh and alive. The rhythm section is catchy. The proportion of harder and softer songs is mesmerizing. When you listen to the album for only a second time you have the feeling of a classic album. One of their best and probably the most balanced and musically well-executed record. Highly recommended!

SAVIOUR MACHINE Saviour Machine I

Album · 1993 · Gothic Metal
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UMUR
"Saviour Machine" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by US goth/progressive metal act Saviour Machine. The album was released through Christian music label Frontline Records in August 1993. It was re-released through Massacre Records in 1996 and thereby received a more widespread release. The album was initially sold in Christian book stores throughout the US, but after a few weeks it was banned from sale from those stores as it was deemed controversial, because of the lyric line "The Dragon slides between her thighs" from the "Legion" track. A track which features apocalyptic lyrics about the rise of Satan...

...and the lyrical approach and generally dark nature of Saviour Machine´s music are essential to describing the band´s sound on this debut album. Saviour Machine may be a band dealing with Christian lyrical themes, but they deal with the darker sides of Christianity and themes like hypocrisy among Christians and the biblical apocalypse.

Stylistically the music on the album is a combination of gothic rock/metal and progressive rock/metal (with rare touches of traditional heavy metal like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden). 80s/90s goth rock artists like The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, and Fields of the Nephilim are valid references, but Saviour Machine are a more heavy metal oriented act. The progressive part of the band´s music is due to unconventional song structures and not technical playing. It´s music featuring an epic atmosphere further enhanced by Eric Clayton´s semi-operatic baritone vocals. He has a strong voice and a paatos filled commanding delivery. His performance here is one of the highlights of the album. His Andrew Eldritch meets David Bowie vocal delivery is probably a bit of an aquired taste but there´s no arguing the sincerity and authenticity of his performance. Piano/keyboards are in addition to guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, also an important part of the band´s sound.

The material are well written and varied, but still consistent in style. There´s a good tracklist flow, and harder edged rock/metal tracks are followed by slower epic tracks and the album even features a couple of majestic semi-ballad songs in "Son Of The Rain" and "A World Alone". There are several highlights on the album like the above mentioned epic "Legion", the dark and heavy "Killer", which features a middle eastern inspired lead guitar melody, and powerful goth rock/metal tracks like "Carnival of Souls", "Force of the Entity", and "The Mask". Common for most tracks are that although they all feature vers/chorus structures, they all also feature a lot of other parts and musical ideas, which is where the label progressive comes from. Some tracks are a little more simple and direct than others, but the song structures are generally adventurous in nature.

The album features a dark, organic, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and paired with the high level musicianship, and some very unique songwriting, this is through and through a high quality release. It´s not often you come across artists, who are instantly recognisable, who have a unique personal sound, and who are on fire with passion about their music and the way it is performed. Saviour Machine are one of those rare artists who leave no doubt that they mean every word which is sung and who has done all they can possibly do to perform every part of their music with the intensity it deserves. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

PARADISE LOST Obsidian

Album · 2020 · Gothic Metal
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adg211288
The UK's Paradise Lost is a band that is no stranger to change. One might argue they've made their career on it. They went from humble death-doom metal beginnings to gothic metal superstars across their first five albums. Next they descended into gothic rock and electronic territory for One Second (1997) and Host (1999) respectively. Even when metalling it up again with Believe in Nothing (2001), they were now influenced by genres like alternative metal and industrial metal. Then Paradise Lost started to come full circle, shedding these elements by the time of In Requiem (2007), which saw them back in the frame of doomy gothic metal. Then the doom metal started coming to the fore all the more. Then back came the growling vocals of their early days for the first time in years for The Plague Within (2015) and then finally with Medusa (2017), Paradise Lost released their first death-doom metal album since 1991's Gothic. So what could Obsidian (2020), their sixteenth studio album, possibly be?

The answer is an album that could easily be described as a summary of everything that has made Paradise Lost the special band that they are. The most gothic metal they've been since Tragic Idol (2012), yet Obsidian doesn't again retire Nick Holmes' growling vocals with it, instead leaving us with something that may be what classic albums like Icon (1993) and fan favourite Draconian Times (1995) might have sounded like if Nick had never stopped growling in the first place. That alone makes Obsidian another rather unique entry in the Paradise Lost discography. There are certainly also some nods to their more gothic rock based material.

While it's true that some may be disappointed that the return to death-doom metal has already been largely moved on from – the most Medusa-like track featured here is the closing Ravenghast and fans of that album are recommended to get a version of the album with the bonus tracks for more similar material – I find myself impressed by the ability of Paradise Lost to not make direct copies of their previous album's sound very often. Even when two consecutive albums like Icon and Draconian Times are similar in style, it's always just the two albums before the band is changing things up with their influences again and there's very few artists that's true of. And with Obsidian they prove they can still surprise – a band that thirty years on from their debut, remains just as relevant and never derivative of themselves.

The song selection is also strong, not that this is an area that Paradise Lost usually has any trouble with. They've long proven their knack for making the individual track standout from the rest of the album. And once again, they've managed to make a release I know I'll be listening to many times over and will go down as a favourite for 2020.

PARADISE LOST Draconian Times

Album · 1995 · Gothic Metal
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UMUR
"Draconian Times" is the 5th full-length studio album by UK doom/goth metal act Paradise Lost. The album was released through Music for Nations in June 1995. Since the release of "Icon (1993)" there´s been one lineup change as drummer Matthew Archer was asked to leave after the tour supporting the album. The band didn´t feel Archer had grown as a musician with the same speed as the rest of the band, and they felt he held them back. New drummer on "Draconian Times" is Lee Morris who came from a stint with British heavy/power metal act Marshall Law.

Stylistically "Draconian Times" is very much a sibling album to "Icon (1993)". Paradise Lost enjoyed great success with "Icon (1993)" and "Draconian Times" feels a bit like the band didn´t want to deviate too much from that successful formula. So it´s basically doom metal with goth rock leanings. Heavy sustained chords with soaring lead themes on top and a heavy- to mid-paced rhythm section backing it up. Piano/keyboards are used a bit more on this album compared to earlier releases. Nick Holmes have obviously become a bit more confident singing instead of just shouting in key, as he predominantly did on "Icon (1993)", so the vocal department of "Draconian Times" is slightly more varied than on the predecessor. The goth rock influence is overall also much stronger on "Draconian Times" than it was on "Icon (1993)". "The Last Time" even fully crosses into goth rock/metal territory.

The material on the 12 track, 48:55 minutes long album are generally well written, although not all tracks stand out equally much. To my ears highlights include "Hallowed Land", "The Last Time", "Forever Failure" (which features some pretty eerie voice samples of Charles Manson), and "Shadowkings". "Draconian Times" features a melancholic atmosphere, which is one of the great assets of the band´s sound, and Paradise Lost successfully combine the heavy gloomy tracks with slightly more uplifting and hard rocking up-tempo tracks like "The Last Time" and "Once Solemn".

The sound production is powerful, clear, and detailed. A little less heavy than the sound on the predecessor, but still pretty heavy. Upon conclusion "Draconian Times" is a quality release by Paradise Lost, which feels like a natural successor to "Icon (1993)". The band haven´t taken longer steps than they were ready to, but have still developed their sound in a slightly less heavy and more rock oriented direction. I wouldn´t call "Draconian Times" a perfect release as there are simply too many unremarkable tracks featured on the album, but that´s no different from the material featured on "Icon (1993)", so no surprises there. It´s still a good quality release through and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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