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. Its imagery and cultural proclivities indicate influences from the 19th century Gothic literature along with horror films and to a lesser extent the BDSM culture.
The goth subculture has associated tastes in music, aesthetics, and fashion. Gothic music encompasses a number of different styles including Gothic rock, Darkwave, Deathrock, Ethereal, Neo-Medieval and Neoclassical. Styles of dress within the subculture range from deathrock, punk and Victorian style attire, or combinations of the above, most often with dark attire, makeup and hair. Gothic rock (also referred to as goth rock or simply goth) is a musical subgenre of post-punk and alternative rock that formed during the late 1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock and emerging post-punk scenes. 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. Notable gothic rock bands include Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins, The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, Virgin Prunes, Sex Gang Children, Christian Death, The Damned, Southern Death Cult, This Mortal Coil, Flesh for Lulu, UK Decay, The Mission, Specimen, Theatre of Hate, Theatre of Ice, Xmal Deutschland, The Danse Society, Dead Can Dance, Clan of Xymox, 45 Grave, Gene Loves Jezebel, Kommunity FK, Fields of the Nephilim and Alien Sex Fiend, among many others. Gothic rock gave rise to a broader goth subculture that includes clubs, fashion and numerous publications that grew in popularity in the 1980s.