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
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
, 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
, 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".