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Top 10 Gothic Metal Albums


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This sort of thing is all the rage at the moment on the forums and is sorely lacking here.

Here is my top 10, following the one album per band rule. If a band straddles the doom or black genres I've gone with an album that (sort of) fits the gothic metal genre. @Vampyrique I've updated and filled out my list. 

 

10a. Sirenia - 'Perils of the Deep Blue' (2013)

Morten Veland's project has now really become his main event, with many more Sirenia albums now in existence compared with his Tristania work. This album is arguably my favourite of the Sirenia material. It has an epic scale but it's catchy and engaging all the way through, with a phat yet luscious production. This is the second last yet best album he would record with Ailyn on vocals. She has such a special voice. 

10b. To/Die/For - 'Jaded' (2003)

This is from the rock side of the genre. To/Die/For were untouchable for catchy melodic music around this era, and this album is just brilliant. Jape's deep voice was in its prime and the songs here are all gothic rock anthems. 

9. Saturnus - 'Martyre' (1999)

The final release from the Kim Larsen lineup of Saturnus, this album begins with the beautiful choir of '7' before launching into one of gothic metal's most exquisite moments with that riff from 'Inflame Thy Heart'. This album is just full of near perfect riffs and near perfect vocals with the spoken word, mid range bark and full deep growl. Spinetingling. 

8. Moonspell - 'Irreligious' (1996)

We are now officially in masterpiece territory. This is one of many classics from the 90s as you can see from the list. Tracks like 'Opium' and 'Full Moon Madness' are timeless. 

7. Tristania - 'Widow's Weeds' (1998)

A true gothic album, this contains choirs, creaking church doors, organs and some incredible metal. Morten Veland's second appearance on the list. That guy is a genius. I went with this, their debut, over the more upbeat 'Beyond the Veil' because this has the real ivy-on-manor-house-walls feel that perfectly sums up the genre. 

6. Theatre of Tragedy - 'Aegis' (1998)

I was so tempted to put 'Velvet Darkness They Fear' in this spot rather than 'Aegis', but I think 'Aegis' just wins out due to some nice memories of a girl from university who used to like listening to this when we were being intimate. The band dropped the growls and replaced them with Raymond's dulcet speaking voice, and they amped up the repetitive catchiness and sweetness. What they ended up with was a beautiful album and me getting laid. 

5. My Dying Bride - 'Like Gods of the Sun' (1996)

This album really changed my life. Technically I would class 'The Angel and the Dark River' as gothic metal as well, and on a good day I prefer that album, but this album just fits the vibe of gothic metal so perfectly. When I first heard the title track on Australian radio back in 96 I knew I'd found the next level. This is dark with fabulous twin guitar harmonies and a great violin sound back when it was still original. Oh man I love this album. 

4. Paradise Lost - 'Draconian Times' (1995)

Paradise Lost are responsible for so much in this genre. This album is nearly perfect in its production, artwork, texture and sophistication. When I discovered this album back in about early 1996 I thought this band was the classiest metal band I'd ever come across. 

3. Cradle of Filth - 'Dusk and Her Embrace' (1996)

Writing out these little reviews is bringing home how important this genre is to me. Cradle's 'Dusk' album is a theatrical masterpiece. Romantic keyboards, epic soundscapes, beautiful gothic riffs and some of Dani's best lyrics. Amazing artwork too. 

2. Anathema - 'Alternative 4' (1998)

Is this gothic metal? It's close enough and I'm running with it. The violin, piano and mournful guitar riffs all work on crushing the heart with some of Vincent's best vocal lines and Duncan Patterson's best lyrics. Yes, 'Fragile Dreams' and 'Inner Silence' are well recognised classics, but check out 'Lost Control' and 'Feel' for crying out loud. Just amazing. I used to have 'Feel' on a tape that I had recorded from the radio back in 1998. God, what an era. 

1. Type O Negative - 'October Rust' (1996)

And here's number 1. This isn't just my favourite gothic metal album of all time (which is bloody saying something, let me tell you), but it's also probably my favourite album of all time of any genre (if that's even possible to call). Peter Steele and Josh Silver are just so far beyond the rest of the planet on this album that it's hard to believe it was created by humans. Songs like 'Love you to Death', 'Red Water (Christmas Mourning', 'Wolf Moon' and 'Haunted' are untouchable. 'Be My Druidess' has one of the greatest ending riff/vocal lines of all time. Everything about this album is romantic, emotional and gothic. 

 

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On 20/03/2017 at 9:15 AM, BlutAusNerd said:

Interesting. I don't listen to a ton of gothic metal, but I would like to dig through my collection for research and participate in this.

 

Sent from my HTC6535LVW using Tapatalk

 

 

That would be cool. I would really be interested to see what people who weren't into the genre listed as their favourites. That would take some digging, but I'm sure most in the internet age could cobble together a list, even if they were least worsts!

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8 hours ago, TheDemonicWoman said:

Gothic metal is ****** sensational and with the many bands, there is something for everyone. Really doesn't matter if you love extream death metal like I do. I am sure you will also love symphonic and gothic metal like I worship.

I love bands like Xandria, Therion, Metalwings etc

Nice post! Therion are awesome, especially the 'Theli' and 'Vovin' albums. They were part of that great 90s scene. Who else are you into? 

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20 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said:

When I finally get my list together, you'll be able to remove your wrist that had ages past been cemented in eternal mourning to your brow and proclaim that you're no longer alone... 

One of the hardest things in creating a list of gothic metal is to figure out what is actually gothic metal and not simply romantic doom, or darkened pop metal, or symphonic melodic metal. In the end I just went with albums and bands that gave me the gothic vibe, had forlorn lyrical topics, maybe a violin or two. To paraphrase Fenriz: "Gothic metal isn't about one sound, it's about a feeling you get". 

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7 minutes ago, Requiem said:

One of the hardest things in creating a list of gothic metal is to figure out what is actually gothic metal and not simply romantic doom, or darkened pop metal, or symphonic melodic metal. In the end I just went with albums and bands that gave me the gothic vibe, had forlorn lyrical topics, maybe a violin or two. To paraphrase Fenriz: "Gothic metal isn't about one sound, it's about a feeling you get". 

I don't think it's so much that as that Gothic metal has a lot of crossover with other metal styles. Gothic black metal, Gothic doom, Gothic/symphonic metal, etc... you just don't hear of a lot of it that stands on its own. Sort of like how speed metal is often found as power/speed metal, speed/thrash metal, heavy/speed metal, but seldom just as speed metal. Kind of an interesting concept I guess. I'm sure my list will have lots of those combinations in it, but I think even I'll be surprised at how it actually shakes out.

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7 minutes ago, BlutAusNerd said:

I don't think it's so much that as that Gothic metal has a lot of crossover with other metal styles. Gothic black metal, Gothic doom, Gothic/symphonic metal, etc... you just don't hear of a lot of it that stands on its own. Sort of like how speed metal is often found as power/speed metal, speed/thrash metal, heavy/speed metal, but seldom just as speed metal. Kind of an interesting concept I guess. I'm sure my list will have lots of those combinations in it, but I think even I'll be surprised at how it actually shakes out.

I think that's pretty much what I was saying. I like the idea that we're being somewhat liberal with genre boundaries for gothic metal. I know how much it pains you to see a band mislabelled by genre ;) 

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I kept the same criteria as Requiem: one album per band, otherwise it would likely be dominated by two bands. And I use 'gothic' as a descriptor rather than the common genre definition. I provided some brief notes for each album. This is only a rough idea of my top ten as it is hard to include only ten.  

 

Theatres des Vampires - Bloody Lunatic Asylum

An absolute masterpiece. TdV really had something special going on in the late 90s/early 00s before they changed their direction and split with their vocalist. 

 

Cradle of Filth - The Principle of Evil Made Flesh

It's brutal, ugly, and utterly atmospheric in its funereal gloom. One of many masterpieces that the band has released. 

 

Darkness of Blood - A Dream of Vampires in Astral Dementia

It doesn't get any more vampiric than this obscure masterpiece, trust me. This is a blood overdose.   

 

My Dying Bride - As the Flower Withers

Whist essentially being a death metal album, it does display some gothic touches here and there. Some of their later albums may wear the descriptor better but, nevertheless, this is my personal favourite of theirs.  

 

Dimmu Borgir - Spiritual Black Dimensions

I normally wouldn't refer to Dimmu Borgir as gothic but this particular album is. I think this was due to the changes in line-up and it's no surprise that it is very similar to Mirrored Hate Painting, only more majestic. 

 

Moonspell - Wolfheart

I have a difficult time choosing between this and Irreligious but I think I prefer Wolfheart stylistically.  

 

Deinonychus - The Weeping of a Thousand Years

An anomaly amid their catalogue, Deinonychus decided to fully immerse themselves in gothic atmospheres on this album. 

 

Evenfall - Still in the Grey Dying

Excellent album, similar to early Theatres des Vampires.  

 

Anathema - The Silent Enigma

Excellent album, more engaging than their debut. I prefer earlier Anathema over their later stuff. 

 

Paradise Lost - Icon

I am not entirely sure this is my favourite of theirs but Icon, along with Gothic and Draconian Times, represents Paradise Lost at their best. 

 

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21 hours ago, Vampyrique said:

I kept the same criteria as Requiem: one album per band, otherwise it would likely be dominated by two bands. And I use 'gothic' as a descriptor rather than the common genre definition. I provided some brief notes for each album. This is only a rough idea of my top ten as it is hard to include only ten.  

 

Theatres des Vampires - Bloody Lunatic Asylum

An absolute masterpiece. TdV really had something special going on in the late 90s/early 00s before they changed their direction and split with their vocalist. 

 

Cradle of Filth - The Principle of Evil Made Flesh

It's brutal, ugly, and utterly atmospheric in its funereal gloom. One of many masterpieces that the band has released. 

 

Darkness of Blood - A Dream of Vampires in Astral Dementia

It doesn't get any more vampiric than this obscure masterpiece, trust me. This is a blood overdose.   

 

My Dying Bride - As the Flower Withers

Whist essentially being a death metal album, it does display some gothic touches here and there. Some of their later albums may wear the descriptor better but, nevertheless, this is my personal favourite of theirs.  

 

Dimmu Borgir - Spiritual Black Dimensions

I normally wouldn't refer to Dimmu Borgir as gothic but this particular album is. I think this was due to the changes in line-up and it's no surprise that it is very similar to Mirrored Hate Painting, only more majestic. 

 

Moonspell - Wolfheart

I have a difficult time choosing between this and Irreligious but I think I prefer Wolfheart stylistically.  

 

Deinonychus - The Weeping of a Thousand Years

An anomaly amid their catalogue, Deinonychus decided to fully immerse themselves in gothic atmospheres on this album. 

 

Evenfall - Still in the Grey Dying

Excellent album, similar to early Theatres des Vampires.  

 

Anathema - The Silent Enigma

Excellent album, more engaging than their debut. I prefer earlier Anathema over their later stuff. 

 

Paradise Lost - Icon

I am not entirely sure this is my favourite of theirs but Icon, along with Gothic and Draconian Times, represents Paradise Lost at their best. 

 

Awesome choices. There are a couple there that I'm not familiar with and will have to check out. 

I have to say, I'm surprised to see one of the first couple of albums from Theatre of Tragedy and Tristania missing. Are you into these albums? 

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I remember thinking early Theatre of tragedy was ok but not really my thing. I like Tristania but I only own their debut Widow's Weeds and I'm not too familiar with them beyond their early albums. 

My list is a rough idea my top ten, and it is partial to my tastes in music in general. It wasn't really meant to be an ideal representation of gothic metal; rather, it was my favourite albums that tangentially or directly fall within the scope of gothic when used as a descriptor. There are many albums that I could have included but it is hard to narrow it down to ten. 

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On 13/08/2017 at 0:30 PM, Vampyrique said:

I remember thinking early Theatre of tragedy was ok but not really my thing. I like Tristania but I only own their debut Widow's Weeds and I'm not too familiar with them beyond their early albums. 

My list is a rough idea my top ten, and it is partial to my tastes in music in general. It wasn't really meant to be an ideal representation of gothic metal; rather, it was my favourite albums that tangentially or directly fall within the scope of gothic when used as a descriptor. There are many albums that I could have included but it is hard to narrow it down to ten. 

I updated this thread because I wanted to explain my choices better. Plus I remembered that I'd forgotten Saturnus which I feel really does fit the gothic metal framework that I'm working in just as much they do a doom one. 

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3 hours ago, Requiem said:

I updated this thread because I wanted to explain my choices better. Plus I remembered that I'd forgotten Saturnus which I feel really does fit the gothic metal framework that I'm working in just as much they do a doom one. 

Martyre is definitely a Gothic metal album, it doesn't have much to do with doom at all. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

My top 10 Gothic Metal Albums

1 Tristania - Widow's Weeds

2 The Sins of Thy Beloved - Lake of Sorrow

3 The Gathering - Mandylion

4 Tristania - Beyond The Veil

5 Sirenia - An Elixir For Existance

6 Draconian - Sovran

7 Trail of Tears - Disclosure in Red

8 Sirenia - At Sixes And Sevens

9 The Gathering - Always...

10 Theatre of Tragedy - Theatre of Tragedy

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5 hours ago, Earendel said:

My top 10 Gothic Metal Albums

1 Tristania - Widow's Weeds

2 The Sins of Thy Beloved - Lake of Sorrow

3 The Gathering - Mandylion

4 Tristania - Beyond The Veil

5 Sirenia - An Elixir For Existance

6 Draconian - Sovran

7 Trail of Tears - Disclosure in Red

8 Sirenia - At Sixes And Sevens

9 The Gathering - Always...

10 Theatre of Tragedy - Theatre of Tragedy

Excellent list!

'Lake of Sorrow' is really high here. I really need to finally buy this. I couldn't find a new copy on ebay so maybe I'll try discogs. Interesting to see both classic Tristania albums but only Theatre of Tragedy's debut creeping in at number 10. Great to see another Sirenia fan. I see you lean towards their early few albums, which I also love, although I do prefer their two of their last three.

Love your number 1! 

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9 hours ago, Requiem said:

Excellent list!

'Lake of Sorrow' is really high here. I really need to finally buy this. I couldn't find a new copy on ebay so maybe I'll try discogs. Interesting to see both classic Tristania albums but only Theatre of Tragedy's debut creeping in at number 10. Great to see another Sirenia fan. I see you lean towards their early few albums, which I also love, although I do prefer their two of their last three.

Love your number 1! 

Thank you!  I found Lake of Sorrow and Perpetual Desolation  available in CD format on amazon. I love Theatre of Tragedy's first three albums. Albums released after Aegis are not for me. They're have too much electronic influences. Not my cup of tea. Tristania is my beloved gothic metal band. I simply adore Widow's Weeds and Beyond The Veil! I think Widow's Weeds is essence of gothic metal. To be honest I love all Tristania albums with Vibeke on vocals. I miss her so much. I really like Sirenia. Especially their two first albums as you can see. Also Perils of The Deep Blue and The Seventh Life Path are amazing :)

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I agree with you 100% on all of this! All the opinions you’ve posted are mine too. 

If you haven’t already, check out the latest Sirenia album ‘Dim Days of Dolor’. It could almost be my favourite of theirs.

And yes, the first three Theatre of Tragedy and the Vibeke Tristania albums (especially the first two) are stunning!

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