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A subgenre of metal that grew out of death/doom and has a dark atmosphere, mournful and often introspective lyrics, and a gothic aesthetic. Vocals vary between growls, shrieks, deep bass/baritone male vocals and female vocals.

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".
Gothic metal bands - Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Katatonia, Tiamat, Type O Negative, Theatre of Tragedy, The Gathering, Tristania, Trail of Tears, The Sins of Thy Beloved, Cradle of Filth, Graveworm, Moonspell, Draconian, Charon, Before the Dawn, Lacuna Coil (early), Within Temptation (first album).

Not gothic metal - Evanescence, Nightwish, HIM, Epica, Delain, Therion, Sirenia, Nemesea, After Forever.
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Gothic metal is a type of metal which is fairly heavy, with heavy guitars, but what attributes most to gothic metal is the unique vocals, which make it gothic. If it's a male vocalist, the vocals will be low and deep, and in some gothic metal bands, there is no screaming/growling. If it's a female vocalist, then she just sings in her normal singing voice (no screaming, no POP voice - whining, moaning).
John said, "Hey what's that type of metal called when the dude sings really low, is it black metal or something?" . Micheal said, "No dude, it's gothic metal".
by K. Madness December 01, 2006
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A loosely defined genre of metal, originally stemming from a comination gothic rock and other genres of metal (in many cases black). The majority of gothic metal bands have a heavy use on keyboards. Common lyical themes are sex, love, and self discovery.

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.
Cradle of Filth, Lacuna Coil, and Type O Negative are probably the most main-stream gothic metal bands in the U.S.A.
by Necrotika June 13, 2006
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A sub-genre of metal music which employs melodic, slow electric guitars and often classical instruments with operatic and growled vocals. Gothic metal has no direct connection with the gothic sub-culture instead that many people with dark aesthetics tend to like it. Lyrical themes include Darkness, depression, dark fantasies, dark aspects of love, isolation, medieval themes. Gothic metal is mostly ruined by posers who think that bands like nightwish, within temptation, cradle of filth and every god damn female fronted band is goth metal.
'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.

路 Female-fronted metal bands are not (all) Gothic Metal
路 Symphonic Metal is not Gothic Metal
路 Epic/Atmospheric Metal is not Gothic Metal
路 Gothic Rock is not Gothic Metal
路 Depressive/Suicidal Rock/Metal is not (necessarily) Gothic Metal
some Gothic Metal Bands : Tristania, Sirenia, (older) Theatre of Tragedy, Draconian (Gothic-doom metal), Darkwell, Lacrimosa, Theatres des Vampires, Avrigus, Fields of Nephilim (later works), Trail of Tears, How Like a Winter, Sins of thy Beloved, Octavia Sperati, The Vision Bleak, Beseech, Sonata Nocturna, Shroud of Tears
by Soulless Rocker June 19, 2010
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A genre of music based on a combination of heavy rythymn guitar coupled with fast and furious solos.

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.
Gothic metal bands include Angels of Apathy, Twice Scorned, and Slavedrum.
by Twice Scorned May 14, 2004
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