Gothic rock

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Gothic rock

Development phase: late 1970s
Place of origin: Western Europe
Stylistic precursors
Punk Rock · psychedelic rock · Glam Rock
Bauhaus · The Cure · Siouxsie and the Banshees
Instruments typical of the genre
Electric guitar · electric bass · drums · drum computer

The gothic rock , often only as a Goth or Gothic denotes a style of rock music, the end of the 1970s is from the post-punk -Umfeld emerged and in the 1980s and early 1990s within the Dark Wave was popular movement . Due to its numerous roots in punk , glam and psychedelic rock , the forms of expression are manifold. The genre was shaped by bands such as Bauhaus , Joy Division , Siouxsie and the Banshees , The Cure and the early The Sisters of Mercy .

Between 1997 and 1998 Gothic Rock died out almost completely, with the exception of a few artists. However, it experienced a revival after the turn of the millennium, which manifests itself through strong links to American death rock .

Gothic rock provoked the development of Gothic culture in the early 1980s .

Origin of name


The origin of the term Gothic in relation to a genre from the post-punk environment is not clear. According to various sources, it is said to go back to Martin Hannett , who described the album Unknown Pleasures he produced by the Joy Division group in the middle of 1979 as "dance music with subliminal Gothic elements" . In September of the same year Tony Wilson, head of Factory Records , was a guest with Joy Division on the BBC program Something Else and described the band's music as "gothic" . Around the same time, Steven Severin, bassist for the group Siouxsie and the Banshees , used the term "gothic" to describe the music on the second Siouxsie and the Banshees album Join Hands . In November 1979 "Gothic" was criticized as a new genre name by the music magazine Sounds :

"Gothic is an overused name for the genre, but the effect of Joy Division's music is the same as that [...] of the banshees."

- Penny Kiley, British music journalist

Exactly one year later, in November 1980, “Gothic” reappeared as a genre label, this time in a review of the Bauhaus album In the Flat Field . In a February issue three months later came the sounds of the article The Face of Punk Gothique , which deals with the group UK Decay apart sets and with the growing Gothic rock movement. According to Abbo, singer with UK Decay, "Gothic" was an insider term in London in the early 1980s for a small scene around the bands UK Decay, The Southern Death Cult , Gloria Mundi, Sex Gang Children and Bauhaus.

In addition, the term "positive punk" was used. Originally coined by the journalist Richard North (alias Richard Cabut), it first appeared in 1983 in a February issue of the British music magazine New Musical Express and was used as a synonym for early Gothic rock until the mid-1980s.


Until the mid-1980s, Gothic remained a term that was mainly used sporadically in Great Britain. Although it was already known in other areas such as Germany at that time and is mentioned in the specialist press, bands such as Joy Division or Siouxsie and the Banshees in Europe and North America were primarily marketed under the names New Wave and Post-Punk . It was not until the end of the 1980s, and with the publication of the book Gothic Rock Black Book (1988) by Mick Mercer , that Gothic established itself worldwide as a genre name. For a while in Europe, the term “Gothic Wave” was in circulation in order to distinguish the genre from other (dark) wave forms (e.g. electro wave ).

Stylistic features

Gothic rock is characterized by its bass and guitar playing and its timbre - usually underlaid with electronic sound effects - numerous Gothic rock pieces are psychedelic . Typical effects are flanger , delay (delay) or reverb (reverb effects), mostly in combination with warm overdrive or clear guitar sounds (so-called "moody slide guitars" ). This can be heard in groups such as the Bauhaus , Siouxsie and the Banshees , The Cure and the early works of the Cocteau Twins and the Sisters of Mercy . Many of the early Gothic songs are based on the way Punk played. However, they use clear melodies and dispense with the permanent use of whole chords.

"One of the reasons Gothic stood out because of the guitarists who used a type of chord and run that hadn't been used before."

- Trevor Bamford, guitarist for the gothic rock band Every New Dead Ghost

Gothic Rock is a semi-tonal musical style, which means that it lives primarily through the use of semitones and is usually played in the minor ( Aeolian or Phrygian mode ). But major keys are also present. The bass guitars are mostly tuned down to produce a deep, dark or heavy sound and thus to achieve the desired effect. In contrast to this, high notes are often struck or plucked with an electric guitar (so-called “picking” ). A special feature here is the use of the bass guitar as a musical instrument that is equivalent to the electric guitar. In some Gothic-Rock pieces it is also in the foreground as a leading instrument. Another striking feature in this context is the use of the slide guitar technique, for example in Hollow Hills by Bauhaus. Another characteristic feature is the use of a rhythm box or drum computer , as used by bands such as The Sisters of Mercy, The March Violets , Clan of Xymox , Garden of Delight or Lady Besery's Garden .

Since the 1990s, attempts have been made to create a wider and fuller sound through multi-track recording and with the help of overdubbing technology. The single track recordings of a musical instrument are superimposed several times and sometimes pushed into one another in such a way that a wall of sound is created, as is particularly evident in the music of American gothic rock bands such as Mephisto Walz or Trance to the Sun , but also in British bands like Vendemmian (among others on their album Transition ) could be heard.

Different types of singing can be identified in Gothic Rock. While the early gothic rock bands were still heavily influenced by the brash singing of punk rock, the singing of groups from the mid / late 1980s, such as The Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim , fluctuated between bass and undertone singing . At the beginning of the 1990s, both vocal variants stood side by side: bands such as Moonchild and Corpus Delicti cultivated a style based on the mezzo-soprano or tenor and baritone of early Gothic, while Love Like Blood and 13 Candles , for example , the deep-voiced vocal type characteristic of late 1980s groups preferred.

The standard line-up of a gothic rock band is mostly limited to vocals, guitar, bass and drums or drum computers. A second guitarist, like the one used in metal, is not infrequently dispensed with. This only appears sporadically in groups of the second generation, such as Fields of the Nephilim, whereby the sound image can be greatly changed and appear more rock-oriented. Many Gothic songs deal with the Gothic novels (including Edgar Allan Poe ), and later horror literature ( HP Lovecraft , especially with the Cthulhu myth ), but also philosophical, political, social and media-critical topics.

Although several variants of Gothic Rock emerged as early as the 1980s, there was no strict breakdown into sub-genres, as is prevalent in metal or punk , among others . The term Gothic Punk is only used sporadically for those bands that are clearly oriented towards the punk roots of the genre.



Gothic rock is a style of music that has outgrown the post-punk environment and has influences from glam and psychedelic rock . This style emerged in England in the late 1970s as part of the general tendency of the punk scene at the time to split up into new genres. The initiators of this time were bands like Joy Division , Bauhaus , Siouxsie and the Banshees , The Cure and The Sisters of Mercy .

The Gothic-Rock movement, however, did not form a loose collection of bands that acted independently of one another, but a network of musicians who were sequentially active in various Gothic-Rock bands. The ramifications within this network ranged from groups such as Gene Loves Jezebel and Xmal Deutschland , All About Eve and Skeletal Family to The Cult , Sex Gang Children , The Mission and The Sisters of Mercy. Similar interactions existed between Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure , but also Specimen , whose guitarist Jon Klein later joined Siouxsie and the Banshees.

However, many of these bands initially did not release pure Gothic albums. The transitions from post-punk to gothic rock were very fluid, and different styles were linked within one work. A style change within a title was also not uncommon. First and foremost, it was the hits that shaped Gothic Rock into an independent genre, such as The Passion of Lovers , Bela Lugosi's Dead and She's in Parties by Bauhaus; Spellbound , Arabian Knights and Cascade from Siouxsie and the Banshees or Alice , Marian and Temple of Love from the Sisters of Mercy. Bela Lugosi's Dead in particular is now considered the first gothic rock title in history.

Early Gothic Rock, which is also dubbed Gothic Punk due to its roots in post-punk , is familiar to many listeners under the name "Batcave", named after a London nightclub that is also the fulcrum of the Gothic scene in southern England . In the west of the USA, stylistically similar bands formed, which were grouped there under the name Death Rock .

From the mid-1980s, Gothic Rock increasingly broke away from its post-punk structures, and important representatives of the genre such as Bauhaus , Sex Gang Children and The Southern Death Cult went their separate ways. During this time, psychedelic rock emerged as a supporting element. There were also artists, such as the Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and Fields of the Nephilim , who were more and more oriented towards the hard rock of the 1970s, such as Led Zeppelin . This style of playing experienced its heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s when groups such as Love Like Blood , The Tors of Dartmoor , Rosetta Stone or Two Witches tried to follow in the footsteps of their idols.

Fields of the Nephilim itself slipped gradually into the hard rock environment under the influence of bands like Motörhead . At the latest in the 1990 work Elizium , all typical Gothic style features, as they can still be heard in pieces such as Secrets , Darkcell , The Sequel , Laura or Trees Come Down , had disappeared.

Motörhead's influence can also be found in the Sisters of Mercy, who simultaneously released a relatively hard-rock-heavy work with Vision Thing before they stepped out of the limelight together with the Fields of the Nephilim. Following their leading figures, numerous bands turned their backs on Gothic Rock in the years 1995 to 1998 and turned their attention to styles such as Gothic Metal or Synth Rock . In contrast, the audience's interest in Gothic Rock declined noticeably, so that a number of newcomer bands barely got beyond demo status and finally ceased their activities due to a lack of record contracts.

“In the end, Gothic went down like a sinking ship, only under the wrong conditions. The captain and crew disembarked first, while the passengers and rats followed them reluctantly. When the life jackets came into use, there were only a handful of stowaways on board, and they didn't even know which course the ship had taken. So they turned the bow opposite to the sun and let the tides do the rest. "

With the growing popularity of Gothic Metal , Gothic Rock was almost completely pushed out of the public eye at the end of the 1990s and was only noticed to a limited extent by the media. Only in the new millennium did it experience a revival worldwide.

Thought leaders and influencing factors

The Doors , The Velvet Underground , The Stooges , The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd as well as the solo artists David Bowie , Lou Reed , Iggy Pop and Nico are important precursors and main inspirations of Gothic Rock .

The 1960s

In 1967 the American psychedelic rock band The Doors released their debut album of the same name, which was both thematically and lyrically similar to the music that was later called Gothic . Artists like Siouxsie Sioux ( Siouxsie and the Banshees ), Ian Curtis ( Joy Division ) and Ian Astbury ( The Southern Death Cult ) count The Doors among their influences. In fact, The Doors were the first band to be called Gothic Rock outside of the post-punk context back in 1967 . However, it would be over a decade before the term Gothic Rock gained importance in the UK.

Around the same time, the first album of the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground, supported by Andy Warhol , was released, which, like the soloist Nico, proved to be groundbreaking for bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus and Joy Division. Especially the band Siouxsie and the Banshees, originally formed for just one gig, referred to Andy Warhol, especially to his idea of ​​15 minutes of fame. With the works The Marble Index (1969) and The End (1973), which were perceived as gloomy and self-destructive, Nico himself provided various Gothic bands with a lasting influence.

The Rolling Stones and the early Pink Floyd are also cited as sources of inspiration. For example, the gothic rock band Mephisto Walz covered the piece Paint It, Black under the title Painted Black . Steve Severin (Siouxsie and the Banshees) said he experimented with pink-floyd-like psychedelic elements on the 1980 album Kaleidoscope . Robert Smith counts the 1969 Pink Floyd work Ummagumma to be one of the inspirations for the 1981 The Cure album Faith .

Gothic artists such as Bauhaus and Siouxsie and the Banshees drew further influences of a thematic and visual nature from B-horror movies, such as the Hammer film productions . At their concerts, Bauhaus often let themselves be illuminated by floor-mounted spotlights and otherwise used reduced light in order to achieve the same effect as was used in the horror films of the 1960s.

The 1970s

The early 1970s ushered in the glam rock era, the most prominent representatives of which were David Bowie, T. Rex and The Sweet . Gothic bands such as Specimen and Bauhaus found inspiration for the production of their own songs in Glam Rock - the latter even used a slowed guitar riff by Gary Glitter for their title Bela Lugosi's Dead and then covered two glam rock titles: Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie and Telegram Sam from T. Rex. Some glam rock bands later found their way onto the playlists of the London Batcave Club.

In 1976, Doctors of Madness released the album Late Night Movies, All Night Brainstorms as one of the first bands, a mixture of punk and glam rock, which was unsuccessful at the time, but some of the Sex Gang Children or Alien Sex Fiend musically and visually Anticipated basic ideas. A short-term member of the Doctors of Madness was David Letts alias "Dave Vanian", who also set standards with his punk band The Damned and caused a sensation in his vampire outfit as early as the second half of the 1970s:

“Long before there was a clearly defined Gothic look, fans came to our concerts dressed like Dave. [...] Other bands were all about safety pins, spat and bondage pants, but when you went to a The Damned show, half the city cemetery was in front of the stage. "

- Brian James, British musician and guitarist for The Damned

The Damned also musically inspired a number of bands, such as The Deep Eynde , Ex-Voto , Nosferatu or Stone 588 , who later became famous in the Gothic environment.

In 1977 Iggy Pop and again David Bowie paved the way for the later music scene with the collaborative works Low (David Bowie) and The Idiot (Iggy Pop). Iggy Pop's The Idiot in particular was described by Joy Division , Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Sisters of Mercy as the musical work that shaped their own career.

“When Siouxsie & The Banshees went into the studio less than a year later to record their first album, they told their producer Steve Lillywhite to sound like The Idiot. When the guys, whom Peter Hook affectionately referred to as the "four idiots from Manchester", were creating the group that would later be called "Joy Division" at around the same time, The Idiot ran non-stop in the background - and was still spinning two years later on the turntable when singer Ian Curtis hanged himself in his kitchen. "

History of origin by country

Great Britain and Ireland

First generation (1979–1986)

Siouxsie and the Banshees and Bauhaus are specifically considered the initiators of Gothic Rock. Around 1979, together with groups like Joy Division, they developed the prototype for what grew into an independent musical style in the first half of the 1980s.

The albums by Siouxsie and the Banshees, which conquered the market between 1979 and 1983, had a significant influence on the development of the gothic rock movement. The 1979 album Join Hands , which Siouxsie Sioux describes as "gothic" , represents the transition from post-punk to gothic rock. Especially the fourth work Juju has all significant stylistic elements and is considered an "incontestable archetype" for the gothic genre . Numerous subsequent Gothic bands, such as the Cocteau Twins (Scotland), Skeletal Family (England), Mephisto Walz (USA), Corpus Delicti (France) or Stone 588 (USA), refer to the music of the Banshees.

“With the release of the Juju album, the banshees took on a new dimension. If they were a noisy punk band very early on, in the following years they gained more and more epic breadth. [...] Your guitar walls inspired hundreds of new bands. "

- Ralf Niemczyk : Spex , January 1986

After the release of their 1983 live album Nocturne , Siouxsie and the Banshees gradually left their Gothic-Rock phase behind them.

The Bauhaus group started in 1979 with their single Bela Lugosi's Dead - an improvised song recorded live in the studio that entered the British independent charts on January 26, 1980 and is now one of the classics of the genre. Influenced by glam rock greats like David Bowie and T. Rex and especially with the album Mask from 1980, Bauhaus advanced to become the “Godfathers of Goth” in the 1980s. They celebrated their last big success in 1983 with the hit She's in Parties . After the band broke up, the remaining part, guitarist Daniel Ash and drummer Kevin Haskins, tried his luck under the name Tones on Tail and released the 12 "maxi-single Burning Skies that same year , which is an experimental and psychedelic form of the Gothic Rock offered and reached number 11 in the British independent charts. Tones on Tail broke up in 1984 due to differences within the band.

The third band that gave the Gothic movement important style-defining impulses was Joy Division. Even if it is primarily attributed to the post-punk environment and its classification as a Gothic band is controversial, the use of the guitar and the distinctive bass playing of her two works Unknown Pleasures (1979) and in particular Closer (1980) had a lasting influence on the genre .

“Joy Division shaped a unique sound - a new sound within the gradual progress of musical development. They had their own recognizable, individual style. And then suddenly there were fifty other bands who liked Joy Division and therefore adapted the same style. "

- Genesis P-Orridge , singer of the industrial group Throbbing Gristle

For many critics, Joy Division were "the most depressing band the world had ever seen" and whose lyrics were only about "death and destruction" . The British music magazine Sounds described the album Unknown Pleasures in an article entitled Death Disco as "the last record you would put on before you commit suicide" . Ian Curtis , singer and central figure in the band, committed suicide on May 18, 1980 . After his death, the remaining band members formed the group New Order , whose 1981 debut Movement was still in the post-punk framework and served as a source of inspiration for bands like The Danse Society or Clan of Xymox . New Order themselves later turned to synthpop.

Between 1980 and 1981 other groups were founded, such as the aforementioned The Danse Society ( Clock , 1981), The Sisters of Mercy ( The Damage Done , 1980), Dead or Alive ( Number Eleven , 1981), Play Dead ( Poison Takes a Hold , 1981), The March Violets ( Religious as Hell , 1982), and The Lords of the New Church ( The Lords of the New Church , 1982), a British-American collaborative project carried out by members of the punk bands The Dead Boys , Sham 69 and The Damned was formed. At the same time, UK Decay and The Cure , both originally formations from the punk and post-punk environment, turned to the growing Gothic movement. UK Decay's change in style can be traced back to the Bauhaus song Bela Lugosi's Dead , which the band was enthusiastic about. This change occurs with the 1981 single Unexpected Guest . The Cure changed their style after they had made a few appearances with Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1979 and Robert Smith temporarily stood in as a replacement for Banshees guitarist John McKay. This change was noticeable almost a year later on the single A Forest and the album Seventeen Seconds and culminated in the releases Faith (1981) and Pornography (1982). 1982 bassist Simon Gallup left The Cure and formed the band Fools Dance , which offered a style clearly oriented towards The Cure on their EP of the same name. The Sisters of Mercy celebrated their first real success with the single Alice , which reached # 8 in the British independent charts at the end of 1982 and has now made it possible for the band to perform at the Lyceum in London

In 1982 and 1983 groups such as Sex Gang Children ( Beasts , 1982), Cocteau Twins ( Garlands , 1982), The Southern Death Cult ( Fatman / Moya , 1982), Skeletal Family ( Trees / Just a Friend , 1983), Specimen ( Returning from a Journey , 1983), Gene Loves Jezebel ( Promise , 1983) and Alien Sex Fiend ( Ignore the Machine , 1983). During this time Gothic was first regarded as an independent musical movement, the centers of which were London and West Yorkshire , especially the city of Leeds .

“For years as we toured across the country outside of Leeds, I couldn't figure out what was going on. I just didn't see how the other places were different from Leeds. Eventually I noticed that people were wearing other colors, other than black. Take any gig in Leeds, however: the entire audience usually wore black. It was really a Goth city. "

- Simon Denbigh, singer and songwriter for the gothic rock band The March Violets, 1995

The Batcave Club opened in London and, as the hub of local Gothic bands, it also gathered international artists such as Nick Cave ( The Birthday Party ), Virgin Prunes ( ... If I Die, I Die , 1982) and Christian Death around itself and thus replaced the Clarendon Ballroom , a music club in Hammersmith , London, where many of the early gothic rock bands made their first appearances., One of the highlights of 1982 was the "Futurama IV" on September 11th at the Deeside Leisure Center in Queensferry , Wales as well as the " Christmas on Earth " festival on December 26th in the London Lyceum , which "was the biggest event of the Gothic movement to date" .

After Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Lords of the New Church had already performed live on both sides of the Atlantic in 1980/1981, Specimen also gave their first concerts in the USA in 1983 in the CBGB Club and in the Danceteria in New York and then took over the support for Christian Death in Los Angeles. The Sisters of Mercy followed suit in the fall of 1983 and toured Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In this way, an ever larger, intercontinental exchange took place, which decisively shaped the development of the American death rock scene in the further course of the 1980s.

As early as the mid-1980s, however, many leading Gothic bands broke up, changed their style or were dropped from their record labels. Only a few groups, such as Red Lorry Yellow Lorry from the circle of the Sisters of Mercy, Balaam and the Angel ( World of Light , 1984), The Rose of Avalanche ( First Avalanche , 1985) or Nervous Choir ( 1060 Hold Everything , 1986), tried at the time to continue Gothic Rock and to add new elements.

“In the mid-1980s, the Gothic scene was in ruins. The Batcave was a thing of the past, and with it all the bands that had once been on the front lines were gone. "

The Southern Death Cult disbanded in 1983. That same year, Ian Astbury founded the group Death Cult, which was subsequently renamed The Cult , and focused on the American market. With the name change, the music changed. Only the 1984 The Cult debut Dreamtime still has the usual sounds for Gothic Rock with songs like Go West and A Flower in the Desert . Bands like Gene Loves Jezebel and The Cure did the same and roamed the United States States to be successful depend on their Gothic image. All About Eve emerged from fellow campaigners of Gene Loves Jezebel (Julianne Regan) and Xmal Germany (Manuela Zwingmann), which after a line-up change and the gothic-oriented pieces End of the Day and D for Desire took a completely new direction and turned to folk rock turned to. Dead or Alive began a career as a disco band in 1983 . Wayne Hussey , a former member of the group, then switched to the Sisters of Mercy, who rose to the "Godfathers of Goth" with their album First and Last and Always and thus succeeded Bauhaus.

In 1985, The Sisters of Mercy split due to internal disputes. First Gary Marx left the band and together with Anne-Marie Hurst (Skeletal Family) founded the group Ghost Dance , which offered pop-influenced rock music with Gothic influences. The remaining members Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams followed a few months later and formed the band The Sisterhood , which had to rename itself after a legal battle with Andrew Eldritch in The Mission . Eldritch claimed the name Sisterhood and released the album Gift together with other musicians involved, such as Alan Vega and Patricia Morrison . The Mission countered with the single Serpents Kiss , which reached # 1 on the British indie charts. Around the same time, the Fields of the Nephilim, one of the most influential Gothic bands of the late 1980s and a serious counterpart to the Sisters of Mercy, started.

Second generation (1987–1997)
Fields of the Nephilim , live at WGT 2008

A second wave of Gothic Rock was initiated with the Fields of the Nephilim's debut album, Dawnrazor (1987), as well as a comeback by the Sisters of Mercy. The latter brought out Floodland (1987), their most commercially successful work to date. Both bands achieved the same status as the leading figure for the coming Gothic generation as Siouxsie and the Banshees or Bauhaus once had for the first generation.

In the same year, The Mission made their first appearance on British television and their debut God's Own Medicine hit the German and US charts.

The success of The Cure's Disintegration album , which was released in spring 1989, contributed to this boost and helped the Gothic movement to flourish again. Despite its pop character, this work represents a return to the mood of the early Faith and Pornography albums .

New bands like Altered States ( Is Anyone Out There?, 1988), Every New Dead Ghost ( River of Souls , 1989), Sins of the Flesh ( First Communion - Into the Heart of Darkness , 1990), Nosferatu ( The Hellhound EP , 1991), Rosetta Stone ( An Eye for the Main Chance , 1991), Dream Disciples ( Veil of Tears , 1991), Witching Hour ( Hourglass , 1992), Suspiria ( Allegedly , 1993), Children on Stun ( Hollow , 1993) and Restoration ( Tears & Ribbons , 1992), which emerged from Vendemmian ( Between Two Worlds , 1993), paved the way for the 1990s.

As a result of new music trends, such as grunge , Madchester , Britpop and techno , which had already pushed the heavy metal movement of the 1980s back underground, these bands had a harder time and could hardly build on the successes of their predecessors.

“The breakthrough of nirvana was sudden and profound - the list of its victims was as long as the decade that had passed. In the end it was little more than a short cold shower, but the drop in temperature was fatal for many bands and it destroyed them in the same way as punk had affected those bands 14 years earlier whose careers had also left irreparable damage. "

In addition, this second generation of Gothic Rock had to struggle with its “ street credibility ” and met with little approval from the media and labels. The style was considered obsolete and was largely ignored by the press despite the massive potential of an audience.

“Every band was frantically trying to destroy or deny any connection to the» Gothic «category. And any band with this classification has been mercilessly ignored by the music press. [...] Bands with strong backing from big record companies became known, the others robbed of their existence. "

- Trevor Bamford, guitarist for the gothic rock band Every New Dead Ghost

These record labels included Beggars Banquet , WEA Records , PolyGram and Mercury Records , a sub-label of the Universal Music Group . Meanwhile, The Mission turned away from Gothic Rock with the 1990 album Carved in Sand . This work is clearly influenced by U2's The Joshua Tree and, with the exception of Deliverance , has no gothic-relevant pieces to offer. The Fields of the Nephilim broke up a year later as a result of differences of opinion. Singer Carl McCoy broke up with the rest of the band to devote himself to his project The Nefilim, which was clearly heavily metal . In 1992 the remaining members of the group tried to join earlier Fields works with a new band called Rubicon . The debut What Starts, Ends flopped and was lost in the mass of Gothic productions of the time. Another year later the Sisters of Mercy released their last successful single Under the Gun due to label-related difficulties . Three years earlier they had clearly broken away from their Gothic style with the album Vision Thing . In this way, all spearheads of the Gothic-Rock movement fell away.

“Vision Thing was all sorts of things, but definitely not Gothic Rock. […] I like heavy metal as music, but I have a different idea of ​​what heavy metal is. [...] Motörhead are ingeniously primitive. I also like Metallica songs . [...] Nevertheless, the Sisters will not become a metal band. "

Regardless of this, a number of other bands emerged in the mid-1990s, who musically followed in the footsteps of the Fields of the Nephilim and The Mission or tried to build a bridge between the two Gothic generations: Die Laughing ( Glamor and Suicide , 1995), The Horatii ( Riposte , 1995), 13 Candles ( Come Out of the Dark , 1995), This Burning Effigy ( To Bestial Gods ... , 1996), Manuscript ( The Diversity of Life , 1996), Seraphin Twin ( The Chapter of Spoils , 1996), Return to Khaf'ji ( From Darkest Sky , 1996), Cries of Tammuz ( Dumuzi Awakens , 1996), Libitina ( A Closer Communion , 1997) or Passion Play ( Name No Names EP , 1998) started as the last representative of this second generation. The Whitby Gothic Weekend and the annual, two-day Sacrosanct Festival in the Astoria, London , offered opportunities to perform .

Peter Murphy ( Bauhaus ), live in London, 2006

Another wave of Gothic did not materialize in Great Britain. Few groups, such as The Ghost of Lemora ( Reach for the Ground , 2004), Voices of Masada ( Another Day , 2006), Solemn Novena ( As Darkness Falls , 2006), and Corpse Cabaret ( Misery and Pain , 2006), which predominantly based on the roots of the genre, established themselves again at this time or brought the first sound carriers onto the market. However, since the late 1990s, some of the gothic rock initiators, such as Bauhaus ( Gotham , 1998), Siouxsie and the Banshees, Fields of the Nephilim ( One More Nightmare / Darkcell AD , 2000), The Mission and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and The Cult, which had since disbanded, and celebrated successful, if less gothic-relevant comebacks.

Unlike in Great Britain, Gothic Rock has never been commercially successful in other parts of the world. He always acted underground .

United States

Gothic rock in the USA developed primarily within the death rock movement that spread in the Los Angeles area during the decline of punk. The bands summarized under the name Death Rock differed considerably from each other. While groups such as 45 Grave, The Flesh Eaters or TSOL offered music that was very similar to the bands later called horror punk , groups such as Christian Death ( Only Theater of Pain , 1982), Super Heroines ( Cry For Help , 1982), voodoo Church ( Voo-Doo Church , 1982), Theater of Ice ( The Haunting , 1982) and Kommunity FK ( The Vision and the Voice , 1983), but also Lydia Lunch's short-lived project 13.13 ( 13.13 , 1982), a clearly Gothic-influenced one Style. At the latest in the mid-1980s, the boundaries between the genres blurred when leading British bands opened up for the American market and Christian Death toured Europe in 1984. The publications of the formation Carcrash International with members of Sex Gang Children and Christian Death were representative of this overlap .

At the same time groups like Gargoyle Sox ( As the Master Sleeps , 1985), Mephisto Walz ( Mephisto Walz , 1986), Screams for Tina ( Strobelight Funeral , 1986) and Requiem in White, which were both early death rock bands, started British Gothic groups were among their influences. Hardcore punk formed a special influence , through which many representatives of American Gothic stood out from the British Gothic rock bands and which made the music appear significantly harder. In 1988 the American label BOMB! Under the title American Gothic there is also a compilation that brings together some of these artists.

A similar scene developed around New York with bands such as The Naked and the Dead ( The Naked and the Dead , 1985), Of a Mesh ( Of a Mesh , 1986) and Fahrenheit 451 ( Turn It Up ! , 1986). which, however, acted under European influence from the start and dined from the death rock of the west coast. Of a Mesh were stylistically out of line, as were the early Sex Gang Children or Sunglasses After Dark: they were one of the few Gothic groups that added a violin to their instruments .

Bands like Red Temple Spirits ( Dreaming to Restore an Eclipsed Moon , 1988), Death Ride 69 ( Elvis Christ , 1989), Autumn Cathedral ( Asleep Within Waves , 1989), Ex-Voto ( Don't Look Back , 1990), The Wake ( Harlot , 1990), London After Midnight ( Selected Scenes from the End of the World , 1992), The Shroud ( Drowning Dreams , 1992), The Prophetess ( The Prophetess , 1993) and Blade Fetish ( Absinthe , 1992), with Members of the bands Trance to the Sun and This Ascension followed the path they had chosen. The groups Judith ( Föhn , 1995) and Mors Syphilitica ( Mors Syphilitica , 1996) emerged from Requiem in White . Rozz Williams, former singer of Christian Death, founded the combo Shadow Project ( Shadow Project , 1991) together with Eva O from the Super Heroines .

Especially with the sluggish and effective productions of Requiem in White, Mors Syphilitica, This Ascension and Trance to the Sun, “an increasingly ethereal sound with an occasionally stuffy atmosphere” emerged , which is called “Ethereal” in the USA and as " Ethereal Wave " was called. The influence of European groups, especially the 4AD label, such as Cocteau Twins , Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil as well as The Cure and All About Eve , is decisively stronger than that of Death Rock. Tess Records, the label of Faith and the Muse , dealt with this type of music in the 1990s, another label was Projekt Records, which came up with similar bands such as Lycia and Love Spirals Downwards .

Monica Richards (Faith and the Muse) and Marzia Rangel (ex- Scarlet's Remains ), live 2009.

Faith and the Muse ( Elyria , 1994), who also come from the circle of Christian Death and Mephisto Walz, have meanwhile expanded their output to include ethnic and neoclassical elements. The Moors ( The Moors , 1998) followed a similar path, combining Gothic Rock with Gaelic and Bulgarian folklore.

Other bands that became active in the mid-1990s were Sunshine Blind ( Love the Sky to Death , 1995), The Deep Eynde ( City Lights , 1995), Stone 588 ( Door in the Dragon's Throat , 1995), Black Atmosphere ( Redeem , 1995), Praise of Folly ( Disillusioned , 1996), Autumn ( The Hating Tree , 1996), The Last Dance ( Tragedy , 1996) and Ninth Circle ( Ninth Circle , 1996). The most popular band of this time, however, was London After Midnight, which attracted attention in the USA in the early 1990s and quickly became known worldwide with their second album Psycho Magnet (1996) and a style partly based on sleaze and hard rock attained.

In 1997 and 1998, however, the gothic rock movement stagnated in the USA and hardly any publications came onto the market. It was only with the albums by Cinema Strange ( Cinema Strange , 2000), Diva Destruction ( Passion's Price , 2001) or lesser-known groups like The Drowning Season ( Hollow , 2002), that a Gothic crystallized in the new millennium, especially in the state of California. Revival, whose continuation through bands like Frank the Baptist ( Different Degrees of Empty , 2003), Hatesex ( Unwant , 2005), Scarlet's Remains ( Scarlet's Remains , The Palast Gray , 2005 & 2008), Pins and Needles ( Pins and Needles , 2005) or Batzz in the Belfry ( Sparks Fly Upward , 2007).

Germany, Austria, Switzerland

In Germany, the first Gothic-style bands started back in 1979, almost parallel to the British scene. Especially bands like Geisterfahrer (1979), Xmal Deutschland (1980), Leningrad Sandwich (1980), Belfegore (1982), Asmodi Bizarr (1983), Marquee Moon (1984), the short-lived Calling Dead Red Roses (1985) or Remain in Silence ( Monument , 1985) from Hanover, were the figureheads of the German underground movement.

In 1980 the band Xmal Germany formed in Hamburg , which celebrated successes above all in the English area and whose hit Incubus Succubus still fills the dance floors today. In addition to the band Geisterfahrer ( shadow ahead , 1980), also from Hamburg, and the Düsseldorf-based Belfegore ( A Dog is Born , 1983), it was one of the first German gothic bands during the time of the Neue Deutsche Welle .

The Berlin-based Leningrad Sandwich were best known for their two albums Heat (1982) and Steps (1983). The band's bass player was Dimitri Hegemann , who made a name for himself in the techno field in the 1990s as the owner of the Tresor Club.

In the second half of the 1980s, many of these bands disappeared or had become uninteresting for the genre. Only a few groups, such as Taste of Decay ( Calling EP , 1986) from Harrislee and Mask for ( Mask for , 1986) from Hamburg - both bands that were stylistically based on Bauhaus , as well as Voices of Stille ( Morgenstern , 1987) from Düsseldorf , Arts & Decay ( Trail of Tears , 1988) from Kaiserslautern and the Girls Under Glass , which emerged from the Calling Dead Red Roses in 1986 and published their debut Humus in 1988 , were active and well-known nationwide at the time.

In 1989 there were signs of an upswing that experienced a heyday a few years later: Numerous newcomers, such as Eyes of the Nightmare Jungle ( Shadow Dance , 1989), Love Like Blood ( Sinister Dawn , 1989), Sweet William ( To Have a Relapse , 1990 ), Catastrophe Ballet ( Monologues of the Past and the Future , 1991), The Tors of Dartmoor ( The Obvious Darkness , 1991), Garden of Delight ( Enki's Temple , 1992), Still Patient? ( Salamand , 1992), Moonchild ( Shed No Tears , 1993), Dronning Maud Land ( Aphorism , 1993), The Merry Thoughts ( Second Generation , 1993), Swans of Avon ( When Heaven Falls , 1994), The House of Usher ( Stars Fall Down , 1994), Head on Fire ( Nostalgia , 1995) and The Hall of Souls ( Hope , 1995) dominated the German Gothic underground for the next half decade.

Between the middle and the end of the 1990s, Gothic Rock regressed on an international level, occasionally due to a saturation of the market. Germany was not spared either. Only groups like Lady Besery's Garden ( Perceptions , 1996), Morbid Poetry ( Pilgrims , 1996), Fallen Apart ( Resistance, Dependence, Defeat , 1996), Capital Hell ( Stories of Passion & Seriousness , 1997) and Vermillion Fields ( Veiled , 1998 ), but also bands from Austria, such as Kiss the Blade ( Black as Disillusion , 1997) and Whispers in the Shadow ( Laudanum , 1997), and from Switzerland, such as After Darkness ( Murnau , 1995), also released albums Market. Groups like Cadra Ash, however, lacked opportunities to finance the publication and distribution of an album. The Gothic era in Germany came to an end for the time being.

In the new millennium, there was a revival in the old style: groups like Zadera or Bloody Dead and Sexy refer to the roots of the genre in punk and link early Gothic Rock with the production possibilities of today. In the course of the 1990s, defining terms such as batcave and gothic punk were used for this early style of playing Gothic . Other bands, such as Beyond the Wall of Sleep ( First Dust , 2000 and Rock at a Dead Place , 2002), did not make their debut until this decade, despite their activities in the 1990s. New Gothic bands less obscured in Gothic Punk also became known, primarily after the success of the Death Rock and Gothic Punk revivals. This is how the remaining members of the Garden of Delight group designed the successor project Merciful Nuns ( Lib. 1 , 2010). Other groups such as Salvation AMP ( Hidden Faces , 2013) and Aeon Sable ( Per Aspera Ad Astra , 2010) soon appeared.

Western Roman countries

The Western Romance countries include France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The most industrialized regions of these countries (in Spain, for example, Madrid and Catalonia) formed the breeding ground for local Gothic-Rock scenes. However, due to the financial outlay, many bands could hardly release regular albums and thus often limited themselves to cassette and single releases, which they distributed at concerts or via smaller labels.

Soror Dolorosa, 2012 in Bilbao

The earliest Gothic-Rock representatives in France were Danse Macabre ( Danse macabre , 1983), Leitmotiv ( Philosophy , 1983), Odessa ( Attente , 1984), Neva ( Hallucination / Frénézie , 1987), Les Enfants de l'Ombre ( La haine rode et nous guette , 1988) and Passions Mortelles ( Artifices , 1990). Since the boundaries to other wave genres were often fluid and the increased use of minimal electronic elements shaped the sound, some of these groups, such as Leitmotiv, were also assigned to the French cold wave movement. In the 1990s, Lucie Cries ( Les saisons du doute , 1990), Corpus Delicti ( Twilight , 1993), Dead Souls Rising ( Ars magica , 1995), The Brotherhood of Pagans ( Tales of Vampires , 1995) and Jacquy achieved international fame Bitch ( Volume 1 , 1995). Corpus Delicti, in particular, was able to gain a larger fan base both in Germany and in the United States. Other groups included Land of Passion ( The Arrival , 1996) and Lacrima Necromanzia ( Solam , 1996), while recent artists include Violet Stigmata ( Décompositions & reliques , 2002), Eat Your Make-Up ( First Dinner , 2005) and Soror Dolorosa ( Blind Scenes , 2011).

Italy also had an active gothic wave scene at an early stage, groups such as Deafear ( Stairs , 1983), Carillon del Dolore ( Trasfigurazione , 1984), The Dead Relatives ( VM quattro , 1985), The Art of Waiting ( La caduta del simbolo , 1986), Limbo ( In limbo / Poisoned Kisses , 1986), Symbiosi ( Uscire , 1987) and Il Giardino Violetto ( Danse macabre , 1989) are examples of this. With the Spiritual Bats ( Spiritual Bats , 1993), Lacrime di Cera ( La vanità del sangue , 1994), Ermeneuma ( Presagio , 1994), Holylore ( Sefiroth , 1995) and the Burning Gates ( Risvegli , 1996), Italy also referred to the following Decade on a lively infrastructure. From the second half of the 1990s, however, a musical-cultural decline could be seen here as well, only a few years later with bands such as Avant-Garde ( Avant-Garde , 1999), Chants of Maldoror ( Thy Hurting Heaven , 2000), Vidi Aquam ( Apocalisse , 2002), Bohémien ( Danze pagane , 2003), Human Disease ( Our Flesh Deception , 2004), Le Vene di Lucretia ( Le vene di Lucretia , 2005) and Echoes of Silence ( Echoes of Silence , 2006) a heyday followed.

The reformed Parálisis Permanente live 2013

Spanish gothic rock bands also appeared for the first time in the early 1980s. The groups were closely connected to the burgeoning punk scene in the Spanish metropolitan areas and based their game on the Bauhaus and Joy Division as well as on Dead Kennedys , The Cramps and The Birthday Party. Many of the active groups such as Sangre Cristiana ( Sangre Cristiana , 1985) mainly published self-recorded and distributed cassettes. Only a few groups like Parálisis Permanente ( El Acto , 1982) and Desechables ( Maqueta , 1982) were able to market entire albums. The early death of the Parálisis Permanente singer Eduardo Benavente had a lasting effect on the Spanish scene and caused a burgeoning bloom. Some bands release isolated vinyl singles, including Los Seres Vacios ( La Casa De La Imperfección , 1983), one of the first Spanish bands to present quieter, less punk-heavy Gothic, and El Último Eslabón ( Dame Una Prueba , 1983). In 1988 the label Grabaciones Goticas was founded, which initially dedicated itself to Gothic Rock and Hard Rock, with an attitude based on the Gothic scene . The rock group Gothic Sex ( Divided We Fall , 1994) achieved particular fame in the mid-1990s , which became popular due to their provocative demeanor and Gothic-oriented fashion, but also in the criticism of other scene designers was to play simple hard rock and just a cliché-laden Gothic -Image to maintain. Meanwhile, the Grabaciones Goticas label also released three compilations in the course of the early 1990s, which, in addition to new music groups, were also dedicated to bands that were previously only known in tape trading circles . Including Otras Voces , La 5ª Civilizacion and La Casa Usher . The first two editions of the sampler series Spanish Gothic Bands (both 1991) were released on cassettes, the third and final edition (1994) on CD. With the increasing marketing opportunities, independent ways of playing Spanish Gothic Rock developed. Part of the on Spanish Gothic bands presented groups like La Guillotina ( Sacrificios Al Volcán , 1996) oriented more towards the second generation of gothic rock and use it a particularly deep undertone which guttural growling comes close. In the mid-1990s, the Spanish scene dried up. Many groups regrouped, disbanded completely or changed their musical orientation. New interpreters such as Extremauncion ( los conocerás por sus ruinas , 1995) appeared only occasionally. Grabaciones Goticas also temporarily ceased its activities during this period. However, the label was reactivated in the late 2000s to market further releases from Los Humillados ( El Canto Agónico De Las Estatuas , 2008). With the new possibilities of virtual marketing and the success of the death rock revival that originated in the USA, new Spanish Gothic bands such as Belgrado ( Belgrado , 2011) and Sect ( Sect , 2011) became known from 2011. In the course of the increased attention, among others, Parálisis Permanente reformed in 2013.

Nordic countries

The first gothic bands in Scandinavia included Musta Paraati ( Romanssi , 1982), Geisha ( Geisha EP , 1983) and Hexenhaus ( Ikiyö / Katakombi , 1984) from Finland as well as Fra Lippo Lippi ( In Silence , 1981) and Garden of Delight ( Blessed Minutes , 1984) from Norway - not to be confused with the German band of the same name.

From the second half of the 1980s, other Finnish groups appeared, such as Dorian Gray ( 1986 AD ), Russian Love ( Nergal , 1988), Two Witches ( Like Christopher Lee , 1989), Dancing Golem ( Dancing Golem , 1994), Sad Parade ( Immortal Illusion , 1995), Varjo ( Ensinäytös , 1998), The Shadow Dance ( Temple , 1998), followed in the new millennium by The Candles Burning Blue ( Pearls Given to the Swine , 2001), Suruaika ( Nekropoli , 2004) and Dreamtime ( The Sleeper Awakes , 2007).

However, gothic rock productions from Sweden in particular became more popular: groups such as The Solar Lodge ( A Reflection , 1988), Funhouse ( Sunset , 1991), The Preachers of Neverland (Autoskopia, 1992), Catherines Cathedral ( Flowerdust ) were founded here , 1993), Medicine Rain ( Native , 1994), Sons of Neverland ( Soulkeeper , 1995) and Malaise ( Fifty Two Ways , 1996), some of which are international thanks to various label collaborations (including with the English record company Nightbreed Recordings) Achieved successes. Third generation bands such as The Misled ( Secret Sea , 2002), Imaginary Walls ( Palace of Rain , 2003) and Dr. Arthur Krause ( Before and After , 2004) became known internationally.

In Denmark, especially in the Copenhagen area, there was a small Gothic-Rock scene in the mid-1980s, but it was mainly limited to demo recordings and live activities. Regular sound carriers were only produced sporadically. Some regionally known bands of this era were ADS , Before and Alive with Worms .

In contrast to Finland and Sweden, Norway produced few new artists, such as The Morendoes ( There Is No Salvation , 1994) or their successor band Elusive ( Destination Zero , 2001), and was primarily known for its Gothic Metal productions.

Australia and New Zealand

Early Australian gothic / wave bands were Ducks in Formation ( Darkness Falls , 1982), Dorian Gray ( The Emperor's New Clothes , 1982), Gravity Pirates ( This Way to the Cargo Cult , 1986), Toys Went Berserk ( Guns at My Head , 1986), Murder Murder Suicide ( Christians , 1986) and I Spartacus ( Crank , 1986). Unlike many European countries, however, Australia's Gothic scene had its heyday in the 1990s with acts like Lemon Avenue ( Love and Necromancy , 1991), Ikon ( Why , 1992) and Big Electric Cat ( Dreams of a Mad King , 1994). Role in this development had labels such as the first in Sydney -based Left as in Sinister , which was operated by members of the band Lemon Avenue and through the compilation series Candles and intrigue helped newcomer bands to their first releases, and Heartland Records in Melbourne . The latter featured groups such as Subterfuge ( Darkland Awakening , 1994), Meridian ( Sundown Empire , 1996), Leviathan ( Illusions of Life in the Womb , 1996), Love Lies Bleeding ( The Way of All Flesh , 1997) and those from New Zealand derived combo Disjecta Membra ( Achromaticia , 1997).

Bands like Ostia ( From the Aether , 1997) and Scissor Pretty ( Are You Home?, 1999) followed, according to American bands, a sound image close to the Ethereal in the style of the Cocteau Twins and The Cure, while The Mark of Cain ( Battlesick , 1989) and Hard Candy ( Tattoo , 1992) Gothic rock merged with garage punk or contemporary alternative rock . The last-mentioned melange continued in the new millennium The Redresser ( Afterlife , 2002) and This Gentle Flow ( This Cage , 2009). Two of the few still active Australian gothic rock bands are 13 Bats ( Dust , 2010) and Ascetic ( Self Initiation , 2013 and Everything is Becoming , 2015).

The beginnings of Gothic Rock in New Zealand go back to 1981. At this time groups such as Danse Macabre ( Between the Lines , 1981) and The Pin Group ( Ambivalence , 1981) were already releasing titles in the style of Joy Division and The Cure, followed two years later by Sons in Jeopardy ( Ritual , 1983), the have often been compared to the Theater of Hate . Especially in the metropolitan areas of Auckland and Wellington , and with the support of labels like Club Bizarre, smaller, regional scenes were able to develop, which in the 1990s bands like Burnt Weeping Eyes (1993), Reserved for Emily (1997), Winterland ( Ceremony , 1998) and the aforementioned Disjecta Membra.


In Japan gothic rock bands are grouped under the name J-Goth . A small scene developed in Tokyo as early as 1983, centered around groups such as Phaidia ( Dancing Death , 1985), Nubile ( Spyral Totem Toler Than East , 1984), Monochrome World ( Monochrome World , 1984), Gara ( Manifest , 1985) , Still ( Real Time , 1985), Mannequin Neurose ( Mannequin Neurose II , 1985), Neurotic Doll ( Reveal , 1986), Kokushoku Elegy ( Kokushoku Elegy , 1986), The Lautrec ( Rag Doll , 1986) or Bardo Thödol ( Feeble Voice , 1987). Towards the end of the 1980s this scene gradually ebbed away and was replaced by the visual kei trend, which is optically based on Gothic fashion, but stylistically has no connection to Gothic Rock.

“Musically, there are worlds between Gothic music and Visual Rock. These bands put on a lot of make-up, style their hair and wear black bondage fashion. But everything is exhausted in these outward appearances. The purpose of these bands is mostly not to perform music, but to wear make-up and often to decorate themselves conspicuously. Your music is in truth ancient, popular hits with long-worn love poetry. Some Japanese mass media refer to these bands as Japanese Gothic bands. "

- Kazhiko Kimra, Japanese musician and graphic designer

Since the 1990s, only a few Gothic bands have been musically active, including Jelsomena ( The Lord's Will , 1990), Gille'Loves ( Barairo no Kyūketsuki , 1993), their successor band Fiction ( Lucifer to iu na no Oningyō , 1997), Art Marju Duchain ( Demon est Deus inversus , 2000) and 13th Moon ( Dance to the Death EP , 2008).

South Africa

With the change in South Africa from an emerging country to a western industrialized state, music movements such as punk and post-punk were also able to gain a foothold in the big cities at the end of the 1970s. Although post-punk groups such as Dog Detachment ( The Last Laugh , 1983) already used elements of Gothic Rock and were based on British models such as Echo & The Bunnymen , the genre itself did not experience its fullest in South Africa until the second half of the 1980s Heyday. Leading bands were u. a. No Friends of Harry ( One Came Running , 1987) from Johannesburg , The Gathering ( Perfect Souls / Wooden Walls , 1988) from Pretoria and The Awakening from Cape Town (not to be confused with the 1990s dark rock combo of the same name from Johannesburg). Other groups from this era included The Attic Muse, The Autumn Ritual, The Death Flowers of Nocypher (later renamed The Lords of Gehenna) and Penguins in Bondage.

Ten years later, stragglers such as the Johannesburg groups The Awakening ( Risen , 1997) and The Eternal Chapter ( The Eternal Chapter , 1998) as well as the now London-based Descendants of Cain ( Atziluth , 2000) followed. However, this boost was short-lived. The Eternal Chapter disbanded after two releases. The Awakening, who recorded a traditionally oriented work with Risen , changed their style in the following years and turned to the more heavy-metal-inspired dark rock . They only returned to their roots with the 2009 album Tales of Absolution and Obsoletion .

Influence on other genres

Gothic rock influenced a number of subsequent musical movements, such as Madchester , Shoegazing , Britpop and Trip-Hop , and contributed significantly to the development of Gothic Metal .

For example, the Madchester band The Stone Roses created two clearly Gothic-oriented pieces on their 1985 debut single So Young / Tell Me , produced by Martin Hannett (Joy Division), and they were later influenced by Gothic Rock than they did 1990s single I Wanna Be Adored was released. The noise pop bands My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain included Joy Division, The Birthday Party, Bauhaus, The Cure (also optically) and Siouxsie and the Banshees among their influences. Also Slowdive , which later belonged to the most important representatives of Shoegazing left, inspired by the music of Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure:

“We already have a connection to Gothic Rock, we don't want to deny that. Up until a few months ago you were laughed at by the press when you committed yourself to Gothic. Now Gothic is being accepted again, just like The Cure. A year ago you weren't allowed to say that you liked The Cure, but at the moment they are hip again, as is Siouxsie, who is currently having a great influence on our singer Rachel. "

- Neil Halstead, singer and guitarist for the band Slowdive, 1991

“Nick (our bass player) is a total The Cure fan and that's why we always steal their bass lines. We all have very different musical tastes and we like different bands accordingly. There are only two bands that we all like and they are The Cure and Joy Division. "

- Rachel Goswell, singer and guitarist for Slowdive, October 21, 1993

The trip-hop combo Massive Attack worked on their 1998 album Mezzanine with Gothic elements (including on Group Four and Man Next Door ) and suggested (with an ironic note) the name "Goth Hop" as a title for the new style . Some of the tracks on the album, such as Teardrop , were sung by Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins). Also Portishead is often given a Gothic influence. The American music magazine Rolling Stone described the Portishead debut Dummy in 1995 as "Gothic Hip Hop" .

Furthermore, Gothic Rock initiated the development of Gothic Metal . This form of music emerged in the first half of the 1990s after different groups from the Death Doom environment had taken up elements of Gothic Rock and Dark Wave. Leading the way were bands like Paradise Lost , My Dying Bride and Tiamat , who worked with female vocals, growling and film music- like keyboard sounds. Conversely, bands from the Gothic-Rock environment, such as Love Like Blood , Dreadful Shadows or The Nefilim , a follow-up project to the Fields of the Nephilim , made similar attempts by combining metal elements with conventional Gothic Rock.

Early groups associated with Gothic Rock such as Joy Division also exerted influence on individual projects within the Americana or alternative country scene, namely bands such as The Walkabouts , 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand , whose style is also known as "Goth (ic) Country ”. In Germany, Lacasa Del Cid took a similar route .

Over the course of the new millennium, a wave of indie rock bands began, drawing on the music of Joy Division, The Cure, Bauhaus and Echo & The Bunnymen . These include Interpol , Editors , Bloc Party , Dragons , Franz Ferdinand , She Wants Revenge or Monozid . There is only an indirect reference to the so-called Dark Rock , as some of its representatives came from Gothic Metal or sometimes even Gothic Rock, but musically began to orientate themselves more towards modern alternative rock . For this reason, darker alternative bands have often been and are falsely labeled or marketed as Gothic, although the Gothic reference mostly relates to the styling and image of said groups rather than to their musical style.

Important representatives

Major labels

  • 4AD (UK)
  • Alice in ... (D)
  • Anagram Records (UK)
  • Apollyon Rekordings (D)
  • Cleopatra Records (US)
  • Dion Fortune (D)
  • Grave News Limited (UK)
  • Jungle Records (UK)
  • M & A Musicart (SWE)
  • Nightbreed Recordings (UK)
  • Orphanage Records (US)
  • Resurrection Records (UK)
  • Strobelight Records (A)
  • Supporti Fonografici (I)
  • Talitha Records (D)
  • Tess Records (US)


  • Mick Mercer: Gothic Rock Black Book . Omnibus Press (January 30, 1989), ISBN 0-7119-1546-6 .
  • Mick Mercer: All You Need to Know About Gothic Rock . Pegasus Publishing (October 21, 1991), ISBN 1-873892-01-2 .
  • Mick Mercer: Gothic Rock . Cleopatra Records (January 1993), ISBN 0-9636193-1-4 .
  • Mick Mercer: Hex Files. The Goth Bible . Overlook TP (May 1, 1997), ISBN 0-87951-783-2 .
  • Dave Thompson: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2003, ISBN 978-3-85445-236-2 (Original edition: The Dark Reign Of Gothic Rock )
  • Dave Thompson: The Dark Reign of Gothic Rock . Helter Skelter Pub (March 13, 2008), ISBN 1-900924-48-X .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bohn, Chris: Joy Division: University of London Union - Live Review. Melody Maker, February 16, 1980; archived from the original on November 8, 2012 ; Retrieved April 11, 2016 : "Joy Division are masters of this gothic gloom" McCullough, Dave: Closer to the edge (Joy Division Closer album review). Sounds (UK magazine) July 26, 1980, archived from the original November 8, 2012 ; Retrieved April 11, 2016 : "Young men in dark silhouettes, some darker than others, looking inwards, looking out, discovering the same horror and describing it with the same dark strokes of gothic rock" Rambali, Paul: A Rare Glimpse Into A Private World. The Face, July 1983, archived from the original on December 17, 2014 ; accessed on April 11, 2016 : "Curtis' death wrapped an already mysterious group in legend. From the press eulogies, you would think Curtis had gone to join Chatterton, Rimbaud and Morrison in the hallowed hall of premature harvests. To a group with several strong gothic characteristics was added a further piece of romance. " Savage, Jon: Joy Division: Someone Take These Dreams Away . In: Mojo (magazine) . July 1994. "A definitive Northern Gothic statement: guilt-ridden, romantic, claustrophobic" Abebe, Nitsuh: A Life Less Lived . In: Pitchfork . January 24, 2007. "Familiar classics from the bands who turned out to be goth's godfathers - Joy Division, the Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie & the Banshees"

  2. Simon Reynolds: Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 . Penguin, 2005, ISBN 0-14-303672-6 , p. 358
  3. Peter Matzke, Tobias Seeliger: The Gothic and Dark Wave Lexicon . 2002, ISBN 3-89602-277-6 , p. 185
  4. Sven Friedrich: Gothic! - The scene in Germany from the point of view of its makers - Gothic Rock . 2000, ISBN 3-89602-332-2 , p. 36
  5. ^ Dreadful Shadows interview with statements by Jens Riediger and Love Like Blood . In: Neurostyle Musikmagazin , 3/96, p. 46
  6. a b c d Dave Thompson, Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , p. 152
  7. Steve Keaton: UK Decay - The Face of Punk Gothique . In: Sounds , 1981.
  8. Jump up ↑ Richard North: Positive Punk: Punk Warriors . In: New Musical Express , February 19, 1983.
  9. Harald Inhülsen : Nico - Live . In: Musikexpress / Sounds , issue 12/1985, December 1985, p. 54 (including mention of their influence on Gothic Rock).
  10. Joe Asmodo: Report on the German Gothic band Garden of Delight . In: Zillo Musikmagazin , issue 2/94, February 1994, p. 63.
  11. Benoît Blanchart: Review of an album by the German Gothic band Morbid Poetry . In: Side Line Magazine , issue 1/1997, spring 1997, p. 57.
  12. Evolver: Vampires live longer: Bauhaus - The story of a style , report on the British gothic rock band Bauhaus .
  13. Mick Mercer: Zillo Report - Gothic History Part 5 . In: Zillo Musikmagazin , issue 11/95, p. 75, November 1995
  14. a b Dave Thompson , Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , p. 13.
  15. Susanne Georg: Interview with the British band Fields of the Nephilim . In: Zillo Musikmagazin , issue 7/8/90, July / August 1990, p. 12.
  16. Jörg Bartscher-Kleudgen : Interview with the German band Beyond the Wall of Sleep , Gothic. Magazine for Underground Culture , Issue 22/95, 1995, p. 6.
  17. Dave Thompson, Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , pp. 12/13.
  18. a b Dave Thompson, Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , p. 203
  19. Dave Thompson, Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , p. 90.
  20. Dave Thompson, Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , p. 347.
  21. Susanne Georg: Interview with the British band Fields of the Nephilim . In: Zillo Musikmagazin , issue 7/8/90, July / August 1990, p. 10.
  22. ^ Zillo Special: The Sisters of Mercy - Biography, Interviews, Discography , 1991, p. 54.
  23. a b c Dave Thompson, Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , p. 361.
  24. ^ Arvid Dittmann, Markus Matzel: Artificial Tribes. Young tribal cultures in Germany - The Gothics . 2001, ISBN 3-933773-11-3 , p. 135.
  25. ^ John Stickney: Four Doors to the Future: Gothic Rock is Their Thing ( Memento from January 2, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) , report on the psychedelic rock band The Doors , 1967.
  26. Marcus Stiglegger : Preacher Men. Mysticism and Neo-Mythology in British Gothic Rock . In: Marcus S. Kleiner and Thomas Wilke (eds.): Pop & Mystery. Speculative cognitive processes in popular cultures . transcript, Bielefeld 2015, ISBN 978-3-8394-2638-8 , pp. 63–80, here p. 63 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  27. Dave Thompson, Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , p. 56.
  28. Dave Thompson, Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , p. 59.
  29. Dave Thompson, Kirsten Borchardt: Shadow World - Heroes and Legends of Gothic Rock . 2004, ISBN 3-85445-236-5 , p. 139.
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