Gothic metal also is not restricted to a single vocal style. Within gothic metal there arew 4 main vocal styles: Deep operatic male vocals, clean female vocals, harsh male vocals (usually a screech/shreik, Cradle of Filth stlye]), and "Beauty and the Beast" where harsh male vocals trade off with clean female vocals.
Some of the gothic metal pioneers were Type O Negative, Cradle of Filth, and Moonspell.
The genre started thanks to three British death/doom bands, Paradise Lost, Anathema and My Dying Bride, known as the "Peaceville Trio" due to being signed to Peaceville Records. These three were among the pioneers of death/doom, but they soon added other elements to their music, including female vocals and the use of keyboards and, in the case of MDB, violins. The genre grew thanks to Katatonia, Tiamat, Theatre of Tragedy , Type O Negative and The Gathering.
There is some controversy regarding the term amongst members of the metal community; it has been used to describe bands such as Evanescence, Nightwish and Epica, who have nothing to do with the genre and are mainly called "gothic metal" because of their female singers. Some use the term to mean "metal bands with female singers", even though the pioneers of the genre had male frontmen.
Finally, it has nothing to do with goths. Gothic metal is a straight-up metal genre, not a fusion of metal and goth rock. The goth subculture is not affiliated with gothic metal; obviously there are some who listen to gothic metal, but it's not "goth music". This is something many ignorant people get wrong, believing that "gothic metal" means "metal for goths".
Not gothic metal - Evanescence, Nightwish, HIM, Epica, Delain, Therion, Sirenia, Nemesea, After Forever.
'True' Gothic metal bands are not some posers with dark clothes and eyeliner pretending to be goths, like any other sub genre of music gothic metal also has its own atmosphere and appearance like black metal with corpse paint etc. Gothic metal musicians are not pretending to be goths when they wear black, they are just creating an atmosphere.
It is widely hated and ignored by old school goths mainly for being called "Goth" metal and they will never give it a chance to know that it actually has the dominant lyrical themes of gothic fiction and poetry.
· Female-fronted metal bands are not (all) Gothic Metal
· Symphonic Metal is not Gothic Metal
· Epic/Atmospheric Metal is not Gothic Metal
· Gothic Rock is not Gothic Metal
· Depressive/Suicidal Rock/Metal is not (necessarily) Gothic Metal
Usually, but not always, gothic metal focuses on religion and issues of faith, looking at the negative and the dark instead of the sunshine and rainbows.
Gothic metal is generally referred to, somewhat accurately, as a tamed-down version of black metal.