Primary Stylistic Influences:
+ DoomMetal, DeathMetal, GothRock, AlternativeMetal

Secondary Stylistic Influences:
+ AlternativeRock, PostPunk, DarkWave, NuMetal, BlackMetal

'''Gothic Metal''' is, naturally, a subgenre of HeavyMetal. 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]] [[Music/MyDyingBride Peaceville]] [[Music/{{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 GothRock) that would shape the genre; keyboards, violins (in the case of Music/MyDyingBride), female vocals, and deeper (often bass baritone) vocals. Around the same time as "The Peaceville Three," the American Music/TypeONegative, coming from a slightly different musical background (i.e. not Death / Doom), started incorporating traits from Gothic Rock into their music also; to this day, it's unclear whether Music/TypeONegative or "The Peaceville Three" did it first, but it's generally agreed to be one of those four bands that kickstarted the genre. Novembre also had some degree of early influence on the genre, but it can generally be agreed upon that their impact was minimal at best when compared to the bigger three. Lastly, Katatonia and Bethlehem's early work also had some minor influence, though they quickly moved away from the genre in favor of moody, prog-tinged alternative rock (Katatonia) and experimental rock (Bethlehem).

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|Music}} 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: Music/{{Evanescence}}, Music/LacunaCoil, Music/WithinTemptation, Music/{{Nightwish}}, Music/{{Epica}}, or Music/{{HIM}} as part of this genre.

Examples of bands associated with the Gothic Metal genre: [[index]]

* Music/AfterForever
* Music/{{Anathema}}: TropeMakers, along with Music/ParadiseLost and Music/MyDyingBride. Later became a quiet Atmospheric / ProgressiveRock band.
* ''Asriel'': A Japanese example. Probably most well known for making music for VisualNovel/ElevenEyes.
* ''Atrocity:'' Early material was pretty straightforward DeathMetal, but they got a whole lot weirder as time went on; Gothic Metal is really the only label that sticks at this point.
* Bethlehem ([[GenreBusting infamously hard to classify]], but this is probably one of the more accurate labels)
* Music/CelticFrost (UrExample circa Into the Pandemonium)
* ''Cemetary'' (Though they started off as a DeathMetal band)
* Music/{{Charon}}
* Music/CradleOfFilth (mixed with BlackMetal)
* Music/{{Danzig}} (overlaps with AlternativeMetal, DoomMetal and [[HeavyMetal Traditional Heavy Metal]])
* Music/{{Draconian}} (also DoomMetal)
* Music/{{Epica}} - Some think of them more as [[SymphonicMetal symphonic]] [[PowerMetal power metal]], albeit darker than the norm and with added death growls.
* Music/EternalTearsOfSorrow - Combined with MelodicDeathMetal. However, their earliest work was ThrashMetal.
* Music/{{Evanescence}} (overlaps with AlternativeMetal and NuMetal)
** ''Music/{{Fallen}}'' (2003)
* Music/ExistTrace, although they have moved away from this in recent releases.
* Music/{{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.
* Music/ForeverSlave
* 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.
* Music/{{Graveworm}}
* Music/{{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/{{IGNEA}} (Modern oriental metal with lots of gothic and symphonic elements)
* In Solitude (''Sister'', also traditional heavy metal, though they had elements of this on ''The World. The Flesh. The Devil'')
* Music/{{Kamelot}} - Always had significant elements of this, but ''Poetry for the Poisoned'' is where they really put those elements front and center.
* Music/{{Katatonia}} (early material was a GenreBusting mix of DeathMetal, DoomMetal, BlackMetal, and GothRock somewhat akin to Bethlehem, while everything from ''Discouraged Ones'' onward was moody, gothic-tinged alternative rock)
* Music/LacunaCoil - Since around ''Karmacode'' they moved away from gothic metal to more of an AlternativeRock / [[AlternativeMetal Metal]] sound that [[BrokenBase divided the fanbase]].
* Music/LakeOfTears
* Music/LeavesEyes - The former band of Theatre of Tragedy's ex-vocalist Liv Kristine.
* Music/{{Moonspell}} (early material was blackened folk metal)
* Music/MotionlessInWhite (mixed with Metalcore)
* Music/MyDyingBride - TropeMaker, along with Paradise Lost and Anathema. Later became a straight-forward DoomMetal band with frequent flashes of their earlier gothic metal and Death/Doom.
* Music/{{Nemesea}} - Their first album "Mana" can be considered gothic metal, but since then they've been moving more towards an alternative rock style.
* 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.
* [[Music/NovembersDoom November's Doom]] (combines this with [[DeathMetal Death]] / [[DoomMetal Doom]] and ProgressiveMetal)
* Novembre (early work was death/doom)
* Oceans of Slumber (also ProgressiveMetal, a bit of a NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly example)
* October Tide (also death/doom)
* Music/TheOldDeadTree
* Music/APaleHorseNamedDeath (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.)
* Music/RottingChrist (also BlackMetal and FolkMetal)
* Music/SaviourMachine - Arguably the most popular (and infamous) band of this type in the ChristianMetal scene. Noteworthy for developing a sizable secular fanbase, particularly in Europe.
* Music/{{Sentenced}} (early material was DeathMetal)
* Music/{{Septicflesh}} (along with SymphonicMetal and DeathMetal)
* Music/TheSinsOfThyBeloved
* Music/{{Sirenia}}
* Music/{{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)
* Stillborn (also traditional doom metal)
* ''Stream of Passion:'' Arguably, maybe more ProgressiveMetal.
* ''Swallow the Sun'' (A hybrid of this, MelodicDeathMetal, ProgressiveMetal, and DoomMetal)
* Music/TheatreOfTragedy - TropeCodifier, the ones who pioneered the SopranoAndGravel technique (Paradise Lost, Music/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.
* Music/{{Tiamat}}
* Tribulation (''The Children of the Night'' onward, though they had some elements of this on ''The Formulas of Death'')
* Music/{{Tristania}}
* Music/TypeONegative: One of the TropeMakers.
* Music/{{Unsun}}: An interesting (and short-lived) example with enough technical and compositional experimentation to give them a foot in ProgressiveMetal. Featuring Mauser of Music/{{Vader}}!
* Music/VirginBlack (also SymphonicMetal)
* 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 BlackMetal and progressed to DoomMetal circa ''Woods III'' and ''IV'' before finally becoming Gothic Metal on Woods 5. [[/index]]

!! 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 Gothic Metal bands then moved into other genres: Music/ParadiseLost and Music/TheatreOfTragedy into electronic rock, Music/{{Anathema}} and Music/TheGathering into [[AlternativeRock Alternative]] / [[ProgressiveRock Progressive Rock,]] Music/{{Tiamat}} into some strange brand of experimental Gothic Rock, Music/LacunaCoil 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: Music/{{Evanescence}}, Music/LacunaCoil, Music/WithinTemptation, Music/AfterForever, Music/{{Epica}}, Music/{{HIM}}, Music/{{Nightwish}}, and Music/TheGathering.
* {{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 cliché.
* TearJerker: Sometimes the music can get pretty depressing.
* TropeCodifier: Music/TheatreOfTragedy, and to a lesser degree Music/{{Tiamat}} and Music/TheGathering.
* TropeMakers: "The Peaceville Three" (especially Music/ParadiseLost) and Music/TypeONegative.
* TropeNamer: Music/ParadiseLost's ''Gothic'' album.