Silly Metal Genre of the Day: Blackgaze

Not to be confused with black gays or black glaze, Blackgaze is an emerging and controversial metal genre. I get it. I do – blackgaze music does seem to have a certain… feel. But here is another example of the metal community deciding if something is ‘metal enough’ or not.

Blackgaze describes the kind of metal which combines black metal sounds with shoegaze.

If you’re unfamiliar with both genres, I’ll attempt to sum up both in bite sized readables, but do keep in mind that there is a lot of history to both worth investigating. Black metal is a genre characterized by shrieking vocals, freaking fast drumming and intense guitar riffs, combined with a ‘evil’ or ‘black’ spirit combined with face paint resembling death or corpses.

Sponsored link (story continues below)

Here’s a picture of black metal pioneers Mayhem. If you’re unfamiliar with the group, give their story a listen. You’ll find a fascinating tale with murder, intent, rage, and vision.


Shoegaze, on the other hand, is an indie/electrion/synth genre loosely defined by lots of guitar-driven and emotional riffs to create a pregnant atmosphere. It’s often regarded as ‘dreamy’ music, and can be harsh and distortion-driven OR soft and indie-tastic. Shoegaze gets it’s name from, according to a surprisingly apt description from Wikipedia, “[Shoegazing was coined] by the British music press to ridicule the stage presence of a wave of groups who stood still during live performances in a detached, introspective, non-confrontational state, often with their heads down.”

Here’s an example!

But let’s get down to brass tacks. Blackgaze is just ‘soft’ black metal. It’s like the adult contemporary of the black metal world. And, because this genre is driven by mostly American based bands such as DEAFHEAVEN and Ghost Bath, metal fans feel as if they don’t get to ‘use’ the black metal sound since it’s origins aren’t based in the arctic frosts of the Nordic lands.

To be fair, black metal is a very protected and hotly contested genre by both it’s practitioners and it’s fans. If you’d like a crash course on ‘trve black metal’ I recommend checking out this documentary called Until the Light Takes Us. Feeling lazy? Here’s a YouTube link to the whole dern thing:

What do you think of blackgaze? Should it be considered ‘real’ metal? Does it matter? I’m always ready for feed back.

Trve till death,


Image credit for Mayhem:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *