Gothic is a term that encompasses various artistic and cultural movements throughout history, including literature, architecture, art, fashion, and music. Gothic music, often referred to as goth, has different subgenres such as gothic metal and gothic rock, is a subgenre that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is characterized by its dark and atmospheric sound, introspective lyrics, and a sense of melancholy and romanticism. Drawing inspiration from Gothic literature and aesthetics, gothic music explores themes of darkness, beauty, introspection, and the macabre.
Gothic music varies in style, ranging from more atmospheric and ethereal compositions to rock songs. It can have a slow and melancholic pace or a more energetic and upbeat tempo. The vocals in gothic music can be deep, resonant, and expressive, adding to the overall atmospheric and emotional impact of the music.
Gothic music frequently incorporates elements of ambient, creating a sense of immersion and setting a somber and introspective mood. The use of orchestral arrangements, choral sections, and unconventional instruments further enhances the gothic atmosphere and adds layers of texture to the music.
Lyrically, gothic music explores a wide range of themes, often delving into darkness, beauty, love, death, isolation, and the supernatural. The lyrics reflect on the complexities of human emotions, examining themes of longing, despair, and the search for meaning. Gothic music often draws inspiration from Gothic literature, such as the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and Bram Stoker, creating narratives that evoke a sense of mystery, romance, and introspection.
Gothic music has seen the rise of influential bands and artists who have made significant contributions to the genre and left a lasting impact on the music scene. Some notable gothic artists include Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, Fields of the Nephilim, and London After Midnight.