Where Metalheads fit in the Gothic spectrum is an incredibly complicated issue, and a controversial one. On the one hand, many Goths (and Metalheads) point out that the two subcultures are separate entities, having different origins and music tastes, and other disparities in clothing and habits, and that the common confusion between the two is merely the fault of an uninformed public.
But on the other hand, the two groups do have enough similarities (particularly in a tendency to wear black and a love of things dark and spooky) for the two groups to mix, and more and more these days one will find crossovers in fashion and music. Clubs that play both metal and Goth music are certainly not uncommon.
Moreover, there are a number of Metal genres and bands that both sides can be found listening to, including the so-called “Gothic” or “Doom” metal genre (Type O Negative, Theatre of Tragedy) or bands that use Gothic imagery (Nightwish, Lacuna Coil), and arguably sound more “Gothic” than the original Goth bands. Not to mention the confusion the “Industrial Metal” genre (Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein) puts on the issue. It all ultimately depends on one’s definition of “Goth,” and whether it is sound, image or behaviour that determines the subculture.