Gothtopia

The Top 20 Greatest Goth Albums of All Time, Nos. 10-1

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9. The Damned Phantasmagoria (MCA/PolyGram, 1985)

The Damned is a band that is easy to forget was just completely freakin' genius. Phantasmagoria focused a lot on heavy, deep vocals that give it a devilish, crooning quality on tracks like "Shadow of Love." It's the comparatively bright "Is It a Dream" that really stands out because it's about as poppy as goth gets. JEF WITH ONE F

8. Bauhaus Mask (Beggar's Banquet, 1981)

Bauhaus answered the question of how they would follow "Bela Lugosi's Dead" with an album that is consistently baffling but nowhere near as funereal as that landmark goth single. Instead Bauhaus' fascination with roleplaying -- and, to a lesser extent, reggae and dub -- comes to the fore in a set of songs that can be catchy ("Kick In the Eye") or spooky ("The Man With the X-Ray Eyes"), but are seldom dull. You're on your own with the title track and the song that takes each member's name as the title, though. CHRIS GRAY

7. Joy Division Closer (Factory, 1980)

Even more than 30 years later, this is one grim listen. One might expect that from a record that starts with a song called "Atrocity Exhibition" that promises "see mass murder on a scale you've never seen." Next comes "Isolation," whose dramatic synth swells make it kinda the cheeriest song on here. In their campaign of unrelenting dread, Joy Division's nearly airless music has a dogged determination that acts as a kind of armor or insulation against the horrors Ian Curtis is describing. This music may last a thousand years. CHRIS GRAY

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