'''Gothic metal''' is, naturally, a subgenre of [[Music/HeavyMetal heavy metal]]. It sounds dark, like gothic rock; it's got the sonic amplitude of metal; and it's depressing, like DoomMetal. Many of the bands have female vocalists; many also use the classic SopranoAndGravel trick. There are few bands that have never used either, though there are some that have a male vocalist as the frontman.

Gothic metal has its roots in death/doom, which is, as the name implies, DeathMetal mixed with DoomMetal. [[Music/ParadiseLost The]] [[MyDyingBride Peaceville]] [[{{Anathema}} Three]], who served as the {{Trope Codifier}}s for death/doom, gradually incorporated several traits into their music (some traits being brought in from GothicRock) that would shape the genre; keyboards, violins (in the case of MyDyingBride), female vocals, and deeper (often bass-baritone) vocals. Around the same time as the Peaceville Three, the American TypeONegative, coming from a slightly different musical background (ie. not death/doom), started incorporating traits from gothic rock into their music also; to this day, it's unclear whether Type O Negative or the Peaceville Three did it first, but it's generally agreed to be one of those four bands that kickstarted the genre.

It is hugely popular in Europe, especially Scandinavia, where many of the bands are from. Possibly as a result of its popularity, and the stigma brought on by the false idea that "gothic metal = metal for goths", many bands have fought against being categorised as gothic metal, though it doesn't have the same stigma as [[NuMetal other]] [[{{Metalcore}} names]] [[{{Emo}} would]]. In addition to this, there are also countless arguments as to which bands actually count as gothic metal, due to the rather vague definition of what gothic metal is. Expect there to be arguments should you refer to Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Nightwish, Epica or HIM as part of this genre.

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Examples of bands associated with the gothic metal genre:
* Music/AfterForever (Disbanded as of 2009.)
* Music/{{Anathema}} - TropeMaker, along with Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. Later became a quiet atmospheric/progressive rock band.
* Before the Dawn
* Music/CelticFrost ({{ur example}} circa Into the Pandemonium)
* Cemetary (though they started off as a DeathMetal band)
* Charon
* Closterkeller
* Music/CradleOfFilth (mixed with {{Black metal}})
* Danzig (overlaps with DoomMetal and [[Music/HeavyMetal Traditional Heavy Metal]])
* Dark the Suns
* Draconian
* Music/{{Epica}} - Some think of them more as [[SymphonicMetal symphonic]] [[PowerMetal power metal]], albeit darker than the norm and with added death growls.
* Eternal Tears Of Sorrow - Combined with MelodicDeathMetal. However, their earliest work was ThrashMetal.
* Music/{{Evanescence}} - Mixed with a little AlternativeRock and AlternativeMetal.
* Music/ExistTrace, although they have moved away from this in recent releases.
* Fallout - An early band of Peter Steele and Josh Silver from Type O Negative, formed in 1979. They released one independent single, Rock Hard/Batteries Not Included, in 1981 before breaking up. Rock Hard is quite a standard rock song with synths. However, Batteries Not Included is definitely Gothic Metal - as it displays all the traits that Type O would become famous for, albeit includes some dated sounding synths. Since the band only recorded two songs, we don't know what direction they might have taken so it would be premature to call them the first Gothic Metal band. However this probably would have been the case if they had recorded more material at the time.
* Forever Slave
* Music/TheGathering - YMMV, once again. They eventually moved away from metal altogether to focus on a strange blend of trip-hop and progressive rock, but it's debatable whether their actual metal material was ever gothic metal. They certainly played a major part in the rise of female-fronted goth metal, either way.
* Graveworm
* HIM - Another YMMV band, probably the second-most on this list next to Evanescence. They call themselves "love metal", which presumably means "stop asking us about our fucking genre", but overall it's unclear whether they're gothic metal or not.
* Music/{{Katatonia}}
* Lacrimosa (later)
* Music/LacunaCoil - Since around ''Karmacode'' they moved away from gothic metal to more of an alternative rock/metal sound that [[BrokenBase divided the fanbase]].
* Lake of Tears
* Leaves Eyes - The current band of Theatre of Tragedy's ex-vocalist Liv Kristine.
* Moonspell
* Music/MyDyingBride - TropeMaker, along with Paradise Lost and Anathema. Later became a straight-forward doom metal band with frequent flashes of their earlier gothic metal and death/doom.
* Nemesea
* Music/{{Nightwish}} - Like Epica, they're often considered more of a symphonic power metal band; they started showing elements of gothic metal with ''Century Child'', and have got slightly darker with each album since.
* The Old Dead Tree
* A Pale Horse Named Death (features Music/TypeONegative drummer Sal Abruscato on vocals)
* Music/ParadiseLost - A TropeMaker, sometimes considered the major one; also the TropeNamer with their album ''Gothic'', which is more of a death/doom album but displays traits of gothic metal.
* Music/{{Revamp}} (Born from Ex-After Forever vocalist, Floor Jansen.)
* Rotting Christ (also BlackMetal and FolkMetal)
* Sentenced
* Septicflesh (along with SymphonicMetal and DeathMetal)
* The Sins of Thy Beloved
* Music/{{Sirenia}}
* Sorrowseed (overlaps with Melodic BlackMetal and Doom Metal, moreso on their first album than their newest, which drops a lot of the gothic and doom elements in favor of more black metal)
* Stream of Passion - Arguably, maybe more ProgressiveMetal.
* Music/TheatreOfTragedy - TropeCodifier, the ones who pioneered the SopranoAndGravel technique (Paradise Lost, CelticFrost and The Gathering had all used it before, but Theatre of Tragedy were the ones who made it popular). If you encounter a gothic metal(-ish) band that has two vocalists, one male and one female, then they ''will'' be strongly influenced by Theatre of Tragedy.
* Theatres des Vampires
* Music/{{Tiamat}}
* Trail of Tears
* Music/{{Tristania}}
* Music/TypeONegative - One of the {{Trope Maker}}s.
* Virgin Black
* Music/WithinTemptation - Definitely with their debut album, ''Enter''; their material afterwards is only debatably part of this genre (in fact, there are even some that question their later material's metalness).
* Music/WoodsOfYpres - Started as {{Black Metal}} and progressed to {{Doom Metal}} circa Woods III and IV before finally becoming Gothic on Woods 5.
* Xandria

!!Gothic metal displays the following tropes:
* GenreShift - Gothic metal bands are renowned for doing this. The genre itself was created thanks to several death/doom bands doing this. Several goth metal bands then moved into other genres - Paradise Lost and Theatre of Tragedy into electronic rock, Anathema and The Gathering into [[AlternativeRock alternative]]/[[ProgressiveRock progressive rock]], Tiamat into some strange brand of experimental goth rock, Lacuna Coil into AlternativeMetal... the list goes on and on.
* InternetBackdraft - The debate over whether certain bands belong to the genre or not. The most commonly-debated bands are probably Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, After Forever, Epica, HIM, Nightwish and The Gathering.
* {{Narm}} - Some bands in the genre have been known to cause this.
* SopranoAndGravel - There are very few bands that have not played with this technique at some point in their career. The genre was also responsible for popularising the technique in metal, resulting in it becoming a cliche.
* TearJerker - Sometimes the music can get pretty depressing.
* TropeCodifier - Theatre of Tragedy, and to a lesser degree Tiamat and The Gathering.
* TropeMaker - The Peaceville Three (especially Paradise Lost) and Type O Negative.
* TropeNamer - Paradise Lost's ''Gothic'' album.