Frequently misunderstood and misapplied as a term, goth rock is an offshoot of post-punk that existed primarily during the early to mid 80s. Its reputation as the darkest and gloomiest form of underground rock is largely deserved, though today that reputation stems more from the visual style of its bands and black-clad followers. Sonically, goth rock took the cold synthesizers and processed guitars of post-punk and used them to construct sorrowful and often epic soundscapes. Early on, its lyrics were usually introspective and intensely personal, but its poetic sensibilities soon led to a taste for literary romanticism, morbidityor things like religious symbolism. Goth rock was generally not a critically acclaimed style, given its penchant for relentlessly mournful dirges, and melodramatic excess. However, it spawned a devoted, still-thriving subculture that kept its aesthetics alive long after the music's initial heyday had passed. The godfathers of goth-rock were British post-punkers Joy Division, whose bleak, remote, obsessively introspective music and lyrics laid the initial foundation for goth. But for all intents and purposes, the true birth of goth rock was "Bela Lugosi's Dead," the 1979 debut single by Bauhaus. Already chilly post-punk outfits like the Cure and Siouxsie & the Banshees became full-on goth bands around the same time, and their heavy, menacing makeup and dark clothes became an important part of their fans' expression. As goth rock's popularity spread among a certain segment of sensitive, alienated youth (first in the U.K., where most of its bands came from, then in the U.S.), its fashion sense grew more and more outlandish, and the original sound evolved somewhat.
The Cure, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and the Mission UK incorporated more pop and alternative elements in their music, while the Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, and the American band Christian Death took a heavier, sometimes metal-influenced approach. By the end of the '80s, the original goth-rock movement had ceased to exist, but the music mutated into new forms and continued to influence many of rock's darker subgenres. During the '90s, the goth sound began to cross-pollinate with industrial music, producing hybrids that appealed to both sides, as well as the darkwave subgenre The latter half of the '90s also saw goth rock's influence cropping up all over heavy metal; a new breed of progressive black metal bands drew heavily from goth's sound and style, while some alternative metal bands also borrowed from goth rock's visual imagery (including Marilyn Manson, who - despite countless news reports to the contrary - is not a goth-rock artist).
goth rock bands: The Cure, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of Nephilim, H.I.M. (His Infernal Majesty) and many others....
by Deathbyspoons August 9, 2004
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Goth rock is a sub-genre of post punk music which originated in the UK in the late 70s (specifically 1979).

The first goth song is said to be "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus because even though the song was supposed to be written tongue-in-cheek, the band performed it with naive seriousness and the audience understood it with seriousness.

Goth rock characteristics include a 4 / 4 post punk beat, a drum machine, baritone vocals (common in men, like Peter Murphy of Bauhaus and Andrew Eldritch of The Sisters of Mercy), flanging guitar used for atmosphere and a prominent bassline. Some goth bands use characteristics of tribal music in their work, too (see: Southern Death Cult and Stairs - Uncertain Journey by Christian Death).

Contrary to belief, goth has not "evolved" and throughout the decades, the sound has relatively stayed the same. However, other dark or spooky genres and bands have cropped up throughout those decades which commonly get called "goth". This is false as goth only specifically refers to bands within that genre, not any band that uses a "dark" image or "spooky" lyrical themes.

Bands like Marilyn Manson and EBM bands like God Module are commonly mistaken for "Goth" when they're part of different genres.

The sound for all three of these groups are completely different, therefore could not be considered to be part of the same genre.
It is common for a goth to listen to goth rock, darkwave, deathrock and post punk but they can enjoy genres like metal (symphonic and Gothic in particular), industrial, EBM and synth pop too, just as long as they realise that the latter list are not goth genres.
by DeadDeathrocker April 18, 2017
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crap 'phrase' made to stereotype to completely different styles or rock into one so some dumbarsed pop/hip hop/r&b/woteva loving twat can TRY and insult ppl because they like a style of music, it takes a lot less talent to get ppl to write lyrics 4 u and stand in front of a camera saying them to a beat
"people who use 'gay goth punk rock' are uncultured idiots"
by Charlie February 20, 2004
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"crap 'phrase' made to stereotype to completely different styles or rock into one so some dumbarsed pop/hip hop/r&b/woteva loving twat can TRY and insult ppl because they like a style of music, it takes a lot less talent to get ppl to write lyrics 4 u and stand in front of a camera saying them to a beat"

I agree a 100% with that, I don't listen to pop rock or goth rock per se, I listen to metal. KoRn has some gothic influence as far as tone of some of their songs, especially Blind. SOAD is more punk leaning as far as lyrics and melody.
Maybe I should ask a DJ at a prom to play some classic "gay goth punk rock" hits like Blind by KoRn or Sugar by SOAD. Can't think of a better way to shock these MTV trend-whoring pop/rap junkies.
by Sam February 25, 2004
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The guy made the definition obviously hasn't heard a full song from Korn or SOAD, much less tried to learn or interpet their lyrics. Probably saw their music videos once on MTV, and changed the channel after 5 seconds because they looked different. Most likely a trendy-ass music prep that listens to nothing but pop and (c)rap shit played on TRL and doesn't know the difference between a punk and a goth. I'm not crazy about Slipknot and haven't heard of saliva, but anyone that calls Korn or SOAD gay are trying too soft to handle their music or too dumb to appreciate their artistry(especially that of SOAD).
by Sam February 15, 2004
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