Here on deathdoom.com you can read about most of the central doom metal subgenres, including gothic doom metal. Don’t miss the other genre guides, like the ones to funeral doom metal and death/doom metal. If you’re completely new to doom, there’s also a full genre guide to doom metal.
Mandatory gothic doom metal bands:
- My Dying Bride
- Paradise Lost
- The Foreshadowing
- Theatre of Tragedy
What is gothic doom metal?
Gothic doom metal is a genre without clear borders. Many gothic doom bands are simultaneously death/doom metal, funeral doom, symphonic metal or some form of contemporary gothic rock. What unites the bands is often the sorrow from the gothic lyric themes. Female vocals are usual, but not mandatory. In many bands, but not at all, keyboards and electronics are prominent.
Essential and popular gothic doom metal bands
This is a list of the most important gothic doom metal bands. I’ll mix the most popular ones with my personal favorites. Personal favorites, like The Foreshadowing, will have an extra cool black background.
Mayhem (!)-related gothic doom project based in Portugal. Completely female-fronted, sharing members with quality doom metal band Mourning Lenore. Disbanded in 2013. I’m not crazy about this band, but they are quite popular.
German death/doom metal band with strong gothic elements. Full-length “Unlit” is a solid doom metal offering.
Draconian is one of the most famous gothic metal bands, combining death/doom metal aesthetics with piano, keyboards and female vocals. The debut “Arcane Rain Fell” is a highlight, but there are also plenty of good songs on the others album. Don’t miss out on guitarist Johan Ericson’s funeral doom solo project Doom:VS!
Austrian Gothic metal that takes elements from acoustic folk metal and symphonic rock. I’m surprised they didn’t get bigger considering the genre mix they bring to the table.
Legendary Norwegian death/doom that went in a gothic doom metal direction late in their career.
A more rocking, contemporary take on gothic doom metal. Similar to Paradise Lost 90’s period, but a bit more on the cheesy side. Decent.
My Dying Bride
One of the original British death/doom metal bands, but also a gothic metal pioneer with the violin, theatricism and romantic writing.
On Thorns I Lay
Long-running gothic death/doom metal act from Greece. 2018’s “Aegean Sorrow” is one of their strongest releases yet.
Paradise Lost have successfully been switching between different metal genres for years. The depressive nature of the music and the fact that one of their albums is actually called “Gothic” often, accurately or inaccurately, lands them in the gothic metal genre.
Female fronted doom metal with elements of gothic, darkwave and electronic. Quite different from most gothic doom metal bands. 2017 album “Ghosts” is a good introduction to the band.
Underrated Polish 90’s band with some quality releases in its discography. The most highly regarded Sirrah album “Acme” is an interesting mix of influences; it’s hard to pinpoint whether it’s a doom, gothic, progressive or avant-garde album.
Italian band The Foreshadowing is a personal favorite of mine with a discography filled with highlights. Embodies everything that’s good about gothic doom metal. Their walls of down-tuned guitars are monolithic, and Marco Benevento’s baritone vocals are out of this world. Check them out now!
The Sins of Thy Beloved
Norwegian gothic doom band, heavy on the violins and romantic themes. The old school muddiness in the 90’s production is refreshing.
Theatre of Tragedy
Early Theatre of Tragedy was very important for the gothic metal genre, shaping the beauty/beast concept with a female vocalist and a death metal growler. Migrated to more contemporary styles after the first few albums.
Type O Negative
One of the most famous gothic metal bands and an obvious entry in this article. I’ve never been a big fan, but Peter Steele’s voice and style is certainly unique.
Another dramatic, romantic gothic doom metal act with a long, popular discography. The opera parts are a bit of a turnoff for me, but I can see why people like them.