Goth metal fuses the bleak, icy atmospherics of goth rock with the loud guitars and aggression of heavy metal, finding the middle ground between the two styles in a melodramatic sense of theater and lyrical obsessions with religion and horror. Prior to the emergence of goth rock as a post-punk genre, the vaguely medieval, minor-key sounds of metal bands like Rainbow, Dio, and Judas Priest had been described as "gothic," but true goth metal is always directly influenced by goth rock -- ethereal synths and spooky textures are just as important as guitar riffs, if not moreso. Thus, goth metal frequently holds appeal for listeners on both sides of the equation. Goth metal first emerged during the early to mid-'80s, centered around Los Angeles' so-called "death-rock" scene headed by Christian Death. Many goth metal bands have since sprung up in both America and Europe, with the tongue-in-cheek Type O Negative breaking out to a wider alternative metal audience in the '90s. During the latter half of that decade, goth metal also proved to be an important influence on black metal bands searching for new ways to darken their sound.
Other Styles in Heavy Metal