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Gothic rock

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Gothic rock is a musical subgenre of post-punk
Post-punk
Post-punk is a rock music movement with its roots in the late 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock explosion of the mid-1970s. The genre retains its roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental...

 and alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

 that formed during the late 1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 and emerging post-punk
Post-punk
Post-punk is a rock music movement with its roots in the late 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock explosion of the mid-1970s. The genre retains its roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental...

 scenes. According to both Pitchfork
Pitchfork Media
Pitchfork Media, usually known simply as Pitchfork or P4k, is a Chicago-based daily Internet publication established in 1995 that is devoted to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interviews. Its focus is on underground and independent music, especially indie rock...

 and NME
NME
The New Musical Express is a popular music publication in the United Kingdom, published weekly since March 1952. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s, changing from newsprint in 1998. It was the first British paper to include a singles...

, protogoth bands are Joy Division
Joy Division
Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis , Bernard Sumner , Peter Hook and Stephen Morris .Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences...

, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus
Bauhaus (band)
Bauhaus was an English rock band formed in Northampton in 1978. The group consisted of Peter Murphy , Daniel Ash , Kevin Haskins and David J . The band was originally Bauhaus 1919 before they dropped the numerical portion within a year of formation...

 and The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

. The genre itself was defined as a separate movement from punk rock during the early 1980s largely due to the significant stylistic divergences of the movement; gothic rock, as opposed to punk, combines dark, often keyboard-heavy music with introspective and depressing lyrics. Gothic rock then gave rise to a broader subculture
Goth subculture
The goth subculture is a contemporary subculture found in many countries. It began in England during the early 1980s in the gothic rock scene, an offshoot of the post-punk genre. The goth subculture has survived much longer than others of the same era, and has continued to diversify...

 that included clubs, fashion
Gothic fashion
Gothic fashion is a clothing style worn by members of the Goth subculture; a dark, sometimes morbid, eroticized fashion and style of dress. Typical Gothic fashion includes dyed black hair, black lips and black clothes. Both male and female goths wear dark eyeliner and dark fingernails. Styles are...

 and numerous publications that grew in popularity in the 1980s.

Style, roots and influences


Gothic rock takes the guitar and synthesizer sounds of post-punk and uses them to construct "foreboding, sorrowful, often epic soundscapes". According to music journalist Simon Reynolds
Simon Reynolds
Simon Reynolds is an English music critic who is well-known for his writings on electronic dance music and for coining the term "post-rock". Besides electronic dance music, Reynolds has written about a wide range of artists and musical genres, and has written books on post-punk and rock...

, standard musical fixtures of the genre include "scything guitar patterns, high-pitched basslines that often usurped the melodic role; [and] beats that were either hypnotically dirgelike or 'tribal'". Reynolds described the vocal style as consisting of "deep, droning alloys of Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison
James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American musician, singer, and poet, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band The Doors...

 and Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Norman Cohen, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships...

". Many goth bands use drum machine
Drum machine
A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument designed to imitate the sound of drums or other percussion instruments. They are used in a variety of musical genres, not just purely electronic music...

s that do not stress the back beat
Beat (music)
The beat is the basic unit of time in music, the pulse of the mensural level . In popular use, the beat can refer to a variety of related concepts including: tempo, meter, rhythm and groove...

 in the rhythm. Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure tended to play the flanging
Flanging
Flanging is an audio effect produced by mixing two identical signals together, with one signal delayed by a small and gradually changing period, usually smaller than 20 milliseconds. This produces a swept comb filter effect: peaks and notches are produced in the resultant frequency spectrum,...

 guitar effect, producing a brittle, cold, and harsh sound that contrasted with their psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It emerged during the mid 1960s among folk rock and blues rock bands in United States and the United Kingdom...

 predecessors.

Gothic rock typically deals with dark themes addressed through lyrics and the music atmosphere. The poetic sensibilities of the genre led gothic rock lyrics to exhibit literary romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

, morbidity, religious symbolism, and/or supernatural mysticism. Musicians who initially shaped the aesthetics and musical conventions of gothic rock include Marc Bolan
Marc Bolan
Marc Bolan was an English singer-songwriter, guitarist and poet. He is best known as the founder, frontman, lead singer & guitarist for T. Rex, but also a successful solo artist...

, The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City. First active from 1964 to 1973, their best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although experiencing little commercial success while together, the band is often cited...

, David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

, Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Though considered an innovator of punk rock, Pop's music has encompassed a number of styles over the years, including pop, metal, jazz and blues...

, and The Sex Pistols. Though, Reynolds considers Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades...

 as "the true ungodly godfather of Goth" due to his "theatrics and black humor". Nico
Nico
Nico was a German singer, lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, and actress, who initially rose to fame as a Warhol Superstar in the 1960s...

's 1969 album, The Marble Index
The Marble Index (album)
The Marble Index is the second solo album by Nico, recorded in 1968 and released in 1969. The album featured long-term associate John Cale, who had worked briefly with Nico during her stint with The Velvet Underground...

, was also particularly influential. Gothic rock creates a dark atmosphere by drawing influence from the drones
Drone music
Drone music is a minimalist musical style that emphasizes the use of sustained or repeated sounds, notes, or tone-clusters – called drones. It is typically characterized by lengthy audio programs with relatively slight harmonic variations throughout each piece compared to other musics...

 used by protopunk
Protopunk
Protopunk is a term used retrospectively to describe a number of musicians who were important precursors of punk rock in the late 1960s to mid-1970s, or who have been cited by early punk musicians as influential...

 group The Velvet Underground, and many goth singers are influenced by the "deep and dramatic" vocal timbre of David Bowie, albeit singing at even lower pitches. J.G. Ballard was a strong lyrical influence for many of the early gothic rock groups; The Birthday Party
The Birthday Party (band)
The Birthday Party were an Australian rock band, active from 1973 to 1983.Despite being championed by John Peel, The Birthday Party found little commercial success during their career...

 drew on Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud
Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet. Born in Charleville, Ardennes, he produced his best known works while still in his late teens—Victor Hugo described him at the time as "an infant Shakespeare"—and he gave up creative writing altogether before the age of 21. As part of the decadent...

 and Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

.

In 1976, Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire is a vampire novel by Anne Rice written in 1973 and published in 1976. It was the first novel to feature the enigmatic vampire Lestat, and was followed by several sequels, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles...

 by Anne Rice
Anne Rice
Anne Rice is a best-selling Southern American author of metaphysical gothic fiction, Christian literature and erotica from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history...

 was published. The main character, although dark, wanted companionship and love. The book, according to music journalist Dave Thompson
Dave Thompson (author)
Dave Thompson is the British born author of over 100 books, largely dealing with rock and pop music, but also covering film, sports, philately, numismatics and erotica....

, slowly created an audience for gothic rock by word of mouth. The same year saw the punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 band The Damned debut. The group's vocalist Dave Vanian was a former gravedigger who dressed like a vampire 24 hours a day. Brian James, a guitarist for the group, noted, "Other groups had safety pins and the spitting and bondage trousers, but you went to a Damned show, and half the local cemetery would be propped up against the stage".

Origins and early development


The term gothic was used to describe Velvet Underground singer Nico as early in 1971. The term was used occasionally in the years that followed. In the late 1970s, the word "gothic" was used to describe the atmosphere of post-punk bands like Joy Division. In 1979, Martin Hannett
Martin Hannett
Martin Hannett , sometimes credited as Martin Zero, was a record producer and an original partner in Factory Records with Tony Wilson...

 described Joy Division as "dancing music with Gothic overtones". The same year, Tony Wilson
Tony Wilson
Anthony Howard Wilson, commonly known as Tony Wilson , was an English record label owner, radio presenter, TV show host, nightclub manager, impresario and journalist for Granada Television and the BBC....

 described the band as "gothic" on the television show Something Else
Something Else (UK TV series)
Something Else is a British television programme broadcast on BBC2 from 1978 to 1982 and targeted at a youth audience. It began in 1978 on Saturday evenings and was the first example of the genre known as "youth TV" encompassing unknown and largely untrained young presenters with undisguised...

. Not long after, this appellation "became a critical term of abuse" for a band like Bauhaus that had arrived later on the music scene. However, the term would not be adopted as "positive identity, a tribal rallying cry" until a shift in the scene in 1982. In addition, Simon Reynolds identifies The Birthday Party and Killing Joke
Killing Joke
Killing Joke are an English post-punk band formed in October 1978 in Notting Hill, London, England; other sources report the band formed in early 1979.Related news articles: Founding members Jaz Coleman and Geordie Walker have been the only constant members.A key influence on industrial rock,...

 as essential proto-goth groups. Despite their legacy as progenitors of gothic rock, these groups disliked the label. Adam Ant
Adam Ant
Adam Ant is an English musician who gained popularity as the lead singer of New Wave/post-punk group Adam and the Ants and later as a solo artist, scoring ten UK top ten hits between 1980 and 1983, including three No.1s...

's early work was also a major impetus for the gothic rock scene, and much of the fan base came from his milieu.

Bauhaus's debut single "Bela Lugosi's Dead
Bela Lugosi's Dead
"Bela Lugosi's Dead" is a gothic rock song written by the band Bauhaus. The song was the band's first single, released in August 1979, and is often considered to be the first gothic rock record released. It did not enter the UK charts. The b-side features the song "Boys" and some versions also...

", released in late 1979, is retrospectively considered to be the beginning of the gothic rock genre. According to Peter Murphy
Peter Murphy (musician)
Peter John Murphy is an English rock vocalist. He was the vocalist of the rock group Bauhaus, and later went on to release a number of solo albums, such as Deep and Love Hysteria...

 the song was written to be tongue in cheek but since the group performed it with "naive seriousness" that is how the audience understood it. Around the same time post-punk bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure fully embraced the goth sound. With their fourth album, 1981's Juju
Juju (Siouxsie & the Banshees album)
Juju is the fourth studio album by Siouxsie and the Banshees and was released in June 1981 through Polydor Records. After a slightly electronic bent made on a few tracks of their last album, the Banshees returned to a guitar-based sound for Juju, due to the now-official guitarist, John McGeoch...

, the Banshees established many of the classic Gothic qualities, lyrically and sonically. Steven Severin
Steven Severin
Steven Severin , is an English musician, composer, bassist and co-founding member of Siouxsie and the Banshees....

 attributes the supernatural lyrical aesthetic of the album to the influence of The Cramps
The Cramps
The Cramps were an American rock band, formed in 1976 and active until 2009. The band split after the death of lead singer Lux Interior. Their line-up rotated much over their existence, with the husband and wife duo of Interior and lead guitarist Poison Ivy the only permanent members...

. The Cure's "oppressively dispirited" trio of album Seventeen Seconds
Seventeen Seconds
Seventeen Seconds is the second studio album by The Cure, released in April 1980 by Fiction Records. It is the only Cure album to feature keyboardist Matthieu Hartley, and was featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The album reached number 20 on the British album charts...

 (1980), Faith
Faith (The Cure album)
Faith is the third album by British band The Cure, released in April 1981.- Overview :Faith is generally a brooding, atmospheric, and sombre album, although it has a flash of anger in the form of the song "Doubt", and some edge in the driving single "Primary"...

 (1981) and Pornography
Pornography (album)
NME reviewer Dave Hill wrote, "This record portrays and parades its currency of exposed futility and naked fear with so few distractions or adornments, and so little sense of shame...

 (1982) cemented that group's stature in the genre. They would later become the most commercially successful of these groups. The Cure's style was "withdrawn", contrasting with their contemporaries The Birthday Party, who drew on funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

, blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, and spastic, violent turmoil. Their 1981 single "Release the Bats
Junkyard (album)
Junkyard is a 1982 album by Australian post-punk group The Birthday Party.The album was recorded with Tony Cohen at Armstrong's Audio Visual Studios in Melbourne in December 1981 and January 1982. Additional tracks were recorded in London's Matrix Studios with punk producer Richard Mazda in May...

" was particularly influential in the scene. Killing Joke were originally inspired by Public Image Ltd.
Public Image Ltd.
Public Image Ltd are an English post-punk band formed by vocalist John Lydon , guitarist Keith Levene and bassist Jah Wobble, with frequent subsequent personnel changes. Lydon is the sole constant member of the band....

, borrowing from funk, disco
Disco
Disco is a genre of dance music. Disco acts charted high during the mid-1970s, and the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American, gay, psychedelic, and other communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and...

, dub
Dub music
Dub is a genre of music which grew out of reggae music in the 1960s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae...

, and later, heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

. Calling their style "tension music", Killing Joke distorted these elements to provocative effect, as well as producing a morbid, politically-charged visual style. After being a punk band, The Damned performed dramatic surges with a crooner's voice on the The Black Album.


Gothic rock thrived in the early 1980s. Clubs such as the Batcave
Batcave (club)
The Batcave was a nightclub in London, England at Meard Street, Soho. It is considered to be the birthplace of the English goth subculture. As one of the most famous meeting points for early goths, it lent its name to the term Batcaver, used to describe fans of the original gothic rock music...

, in London, provided a venue for the goth scene. In 1982, Ian Astbury
Ian Astbury
Ian Astbury is an English rock musician and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist for the rock band, The Cult.-Pre-Cult:...

 of the band Southern Death Cult
Southern Death Cult
Southern Death Cult was an English positive punk band in the early 1980s. It is now primarily known for having given its lead singer and parts of its name to the multi-platinum hard rock supergroup The Cult...

 used the term "gothic goblins" to describe Sex Gang Children
Sex Gang Children
The Sex Gang Children are a positive punk group that formed in the early 1980s in England. Although the original group only released one official studio album, they remain one of the more well-known bands out of the early Batcave scene and have reformed for new albums and touring various times...

's fans. Southern Death Cult were themselves icons of the scene, drawing aesthetic inspiration from Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 culture. The group appeared on the cover of NME in October 1982. The emerging scene was described as "positive punk" in a February 1983 article in NME. Journalist Richard North described Bauhaus and Theatre of Hate
Theatre of Hate
Theatre of Hate were a post-punk band formed in Britain in 1980.Led by singer-songwriter and ex-member of punk band The Pack, Kirk Brandon, the original group also consisted of: guitarist Steve Guthrie, bassist Stan Stammers , saxophonist John Lennard and drummer Luke Rendle from Crisis/The...

 as "the immediate forerunners of today's flood" and declared, "So here it is: the new positive punk, with no empty promises of revolution, either in the rock'n'roll sense or the wider political sphere. Here is only a chance of self awareness, of personal revolution, of colourful perception and galvanisation of the imagination that startles the slumbering mind and body from their sloth." That year, myriad Goth groups emerged, including Flesh for Lulu
Flesh for Lulu
Flesh for Lulu was an Alternative rock/Gothic band formed in Brixton, London, UK, and was active between 1982 and 1992. Their music was a mix of the New York Dolls and Rolling Stones with gothic rock's gloomy atmosphere and aesthetics.-History:...

, Play Dead
Play Dead (band)
Play Dead were an English Goth rock group from Oxford that grew out of the fading English punk scene in 1980. Though the band was identified with groups like UK Decay and Sex Gang Children, the band felt they didn't belong under the "Gothic" title...

, Rubella Ballet
Rubella Ballet
Rubella Ballet are a punk rock band formed in autumn, 1979, who released several albums before splitting up in 1991. They reformed in 2000.-History:...

, Gene Loves Jezebel
Gene Loves Jezebel
Gene Loves Jezebel are a gothic rock band from the early 1980s, now two separate bands of the same name, founded by identical twin brothers, Michael and Jay Aston .-Early years: 1980-1989:...

, UK Decay
UK Decay
UK Decay are Luton-based post punk band, formed out of the ashes of another local band called The Resistors, who were Steven Abbot guitar, Steve Harle on drums, Paul Wilson vocals, and Martin Smith bass....

, Blood and Roses
Blood and Roses
Blood and Roses is a 1960 vampire film directed by Roger Vadim based upon the novella Carmilla by Irish writer Joseph Sheridan le Fanu...

, The Virgin Prunes and Ausgang
Ausgang
-History:Ausgang formed from the ashes of previous band Kabuki. Some members had also been members of another band, The Solicitors. Max , Cub and Matthew were all previously in Kabuki, the band releasing one single before splitting up...

. The 4AD
4AD
4AD is a British independent record label that was started in 1979 by Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent, funded by Beggars Banquet Records, and is still active today...

 label released music in a lighter, more ethereal style, by groups such as Cocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

, Dead Can Dance
Dead Can Dance
Dead Can Dance are an ethereal neoclassical duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981, by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. The band relocated to London in May 1982 and disbanded in 1998. Their 1996 album Spiritchaser reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart...

 and Xmal Deutschland
Xmal Deutschland
Xmal Deutschland , often written as X-Mal Deutschland, was a musical group from Hamburg, Germany. Founded in 1980 with a completely female line-up, they became successful outside their native country. The lead singer of the band is vocalist Anja Huwe...

. The Icelandic group Kukl also appeared in this period, which included Björk
Björk
Björk Guðmundsdóttir , known as Björk , is an Icelandic singer-songwriter. Her eclectic musical style has achieved popular acknowledgement and popularity within many musical genres, such as rock, jazz, electronic dance music, classical and folk...

 and other musicians who later participated in The Sugarcubes
The Sugarcubes
The Sugarcubes were an Icelandic alternative rock band formed in 1986 and disbanded in 1992. They received critical and popular acclaim internationally.-History:...

.

Simon Reynolds speaks of a shift from early Goth to gothic rock proper, advanced by The Sisters of Mercy
The Sisters of Mercy
The Sisters of Mercy are an English rock band that formed in 1980. After achieving early underground fame in UK, the band had their commercial breakthrough in mid-1980s and sustained it until the early 1990s, when they stopped releasing new recorded output in protest against their record company...

. As journalist Jennifer Park puts it, "the original blueprint for gothic rock had mutated significantly. Doom and gloom was no longer confined to its characteristic atmospherics, but as the Sisters demonstrated, it could really rock." The Sisters of Mercy, influenced by Leonard Cohen, Gary Glitter
Gary Glitter
Gary Glitter is an English former glam rock singer-songwriter and musician.Glitter first came to prominence in the glam rock era of the early 1970s...

, Motörhead, The Stooges
The Stooges
The Stooges are an American rock band from Ann Arbor, Michigan first active from 1967 to 1974, and later reformed in 2003...

, The Velvet Underground, The Birthday Party, Suicide
Suicide (band)
Suicide is an American electronic protopunk musical duo, intermittently active since 1970 and composed of vocalist Alan Vega and Martin Rev on synthesizers and drum machines. They are an early synthesizer/vocal musical duo....

 and The Fall, created a new, harder form of gothic rock. In addition, they incorporated a drum machine
Drum machine
A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument designed to imitate the sound of drums or other percussion instruments. They are used in a variety of musical genres, not just purely electronic music...

. Reynolds identifies their 1983 single "Temple of Love
Some Girls Wander by Mistake
-Personnel:Tracks 1-2-3-4-11-12-13-17-18-19*Andrew Eldritch - vocals*Gary Marx - guitar*Craig Adams - bass guitar*Ben Gunn - guitar*Doktor Avalanche - drumsTracks 5-6-7-8-9-10*Andrew Eldritch - vocals, guitar*Craig Adams - bass guitar...

" as the quintessential Goth anthem of the year, along with Southern Death Cult's "Fatman". The group created their own record label, Merciful Release
Merciful Release
Merciful Release is a record label started by Andrew Eldritch, frontman with Leeds outfit The Sisters of Mercy. As Eldritch states in an early interview, he wanted to hear himself on the radio. He and Gary Marx played and recorded on the Sisters Of Mercy's initial single "Damage Done" and pressed...

, which also signed The March Violets
The March Violets
The March Violets are an English goth rock band of the 1980s, incorporating singers of both sexes, drum machine rhythms and echo laden electric guitar, much in the way of scene mates The Sisters of Mercy, who also originated from the city of Leeds...

, who performed in a similar style. The Violets toured with The Danse Society, a group inspired by The Cure in their Pornography period.

Subsequent developments



Southern Death Cult reformed as The Cult
The Cult
The Cult are a British rock band that was formed in 1983. They gained a dedicated following in Britain in the mid 1980s as a post-punk band with singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary", before breaking mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s as a hard rock band with singles such as "Love...

, a more conventional hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

 group. In their wake, The Mission UK
The Mission (band)
The Mission are a gothic rock band formed in 1986 from the splinters of the freshly dissolved rock band The Sisters of Mercy.The band was started by frontman Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams , soon adding...

, which included two former members of The Sisters of Mercy, achieved commercial success in the mid-1980s, as did Fields of the Nephilim
Fields of the Nephilim
Fields of the Nephilim are an English gothic rock band formed in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in 1984. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Carl McCoy, saxophonist Gary Whisker, Tony Pettitt on bass, guitarist Paul Wright and drummer Alexander "Nod" Wright...

 and All About Eve
All About Eve (band)
All About Eve were a British rock/pop band. The creative core consisted of the Coventry born Julianne Regan , and the Huddersfield born Andy Cousin , with other members changing over the years...

. Bands who continue to be associated with gothic rock include Alien Sex Fiend
Alien Sex Fiend
Alien Sex Fiend is a deathrock band from the UK, composed of the married couple Nik Fiend and Mrs. Fiend . Currently, the band is based in Cardiff, Wales.-History:...

, All Living Fear
All Living Fear
All Living Fear are an alternative rock band from the South West of England. The band was formed in 1992 by Matthew North and the core of the band was sealed in 1994 with the arrival of vocalist Andrew Racher....

, And Also the Trees
And also the trees
And Also The Trees are an English rock band, formed in 1979 in the United Kingdom. They are most notable for their poetic lyrics and evocative music which is strongly influenced by their native English countryside.-History :...

, Balaam and the Angel
Balaam and the Angel
Balaam and the Angel is a rock band formed in Cannock, England, during 1984.The three founding members members of the band, the Morris brothers, are Scottish. As children in Motherwell, they worked in the entertainment industry as part of a cabaret act...

, Claytown Troupe
Claytown Troupe
Claytown Troupe are a gothic rock band from Bristol, Bath and Weston-super-Mare, England.-Career:The band was formed in 1984 by lead singer Christian Riou, who claimed in an NME interview that a local clairvoyant advised him to form a band called "the Clayton Troop". By 1986, Claytown Troupe had...

, Dream Disciples
Dream Disciples
Dream Disciples were a British band, formed in 1990 by Col Lowing , Sid Bratley and Stephen McKean . Soon joined by Scott Prentice on drums, they made their debut with the mini-album Veil of Tears. They were later joined by Gordon Young and Karl North...

, Feeding Fingers
Feeding Fingers
Feeding Fingers is a music trio founded by award-winning multimedia artist, musician, author, animator and artist, Justin Curfman. The band was founded in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, but has since relocated to Germany.-Formation :...

, Inkubus Sukkubus
Inkubus Sukkubus
Inkubus Sukkubus are a British goth and pagan band formed in 1989 by Candia Ridley, Tony McKormack, and Adam Henderson.-History:Inkubus Sukkubus are a British goth and pagan band who have been releasing albums and touring since their formation as Incubus Succubus in 1989.-Incubus Succubus:Before...

, Libitina
Libitina (band)
Libitina is a British Gothic band formed in 1994 by University of Sheffield students. The band has released five albums on its own Libation Records label. Originally formed as a four-piece with Danny on vocals, the band pared down to a three-piece in early 1996...

, Fields of the Nephilim
Fields of the Nephilim
Fields of the Nephilim are an English gothic rock band formed in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in 1984. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Carl McCoy, saxophonist Gary Whisker, Tony Pettitt on bass, guitarist Paul Wright and drummer Alexander "Nod" Wright...

, Nosferatu
Nosferatu (band)
Nosferatu is an English gothic rock band formed in March 1988 by Damien DeVille, Vlad Janicek, and Sapphire Aurora. Their albums, singles, and DVD have sold over 100,000 copies worldwide, making them one of the most successful second wave gothic rock groups....

, Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone (band)
Rosetta Stone were a British goth band formed in the mid 1980s by Porl King and Karl North , plus their drum machine and synthesizer rack nicknamed "Madame Razor"....

, and Suspiria
Suspiria (band)
Suspiria were a Darkwave/gothic rock band from England. Formed in 1993 the line-up consisted of Matthew Carl Lucian and Mark Tansley.-History:Suspiria were a groundbreaking goth/darkwave band from Nottingham England between 1993-1998...

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American gothic rock began with 45 Grave
45 Grave
45 Grave are an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1979. The original group broke up in 1985 but vocalist Dinah Cancer subsequently revived the band. 45 Grave are noted as one of the first bands to mix punk rock with horror-themed lyrics, thereby positioning them as...

 and Christian Death
Christian Death
Christian Death is an American deathrock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1979. The band was founded and fronted by Rozz Williams. Christian Death is most notable for their first album Only Theatre of Pain....

, both of whom were strongly influenced by The Cramps. This style is often described as deathrock
Deathrock
Deathrock is a term used to identify a sub-genre of punk rock incorporating horror elements and spooky atmospherics, that emerged on the West Coast of the United States in 1979.-Characteristics:...

. European groups inspired by the style have also proliferated, including Xmal Deutschland and Clan of Xymox
Clan of Xymox
The band Clan of Xymox, also known as Xymox, formed in the Netherlands in 1981. Clan Of Xymox featured a trio of songwriters - Pieter Nooten, Ronny Moorings and Anke [also Anka] Wolbert - and gained success in the 1980s, releasing their first two albums on a prestigious independent UK label, a...

. These groups are associated with Dark Wave, which draws on gothic rock in addition to synthpop
Synthpop
Synthpop is a genre of popular music that first became prominent in the 1980s, in which the synthesizer is the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic art rock, disco and particularly the "Kraut rock" of...

 and industrial
Industrial music
Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan "industrial music for industrial people". In general, the...

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