Lately I been very focused into a new metal sub-genre, that is bringing something, that in my opinion is very interesting: Post-Black Metal/ Blackgaze. I’m putting both labels together, because the bands associated to them, are commonly linked somehow, but they actually are not exactly the same.
This trend was born in France around 2002, with bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, Alcest and Amesoeurs considered as pioneers. Some albums regarded as seminal are Burzum’s “Filosofem” and Agalloch “The Mantle”, among some other which combine the classic Black Metal sound with a more atmospheric sound, neo folk influences and even electronic passages on their songs.
What is interesting about this sub-metal genre, is the fact that, blends two distant genres, such as shoegazing (e.g. My Bloody Valentine) with the rawness of the Black metal sound. Blackgaze, it is basically more like the classic post-punk (e.g. Joy Division) and shoegaze sound with clean vocals, blended with some black metal passages, generating a darker ambient than the classic shoegaze sound. Common examples of this sub-genre are French bands such as Les Discrets and Alcest.
In the case of Post-Black Metal, is quite different, because the sound is based more faithfully on the classic Black Metal sound, but the guitar sound and melodies are very similar to shoegazing structures. Blast beats and black metal growling are commonly present, although the bass and drum lines are very influenced by progressive rock and post punk. Two bands regarded as Post Black Metal, are the French Wolves in the Throne Room and Irish Altar Of Plagues.
In conclusion, this new trend seems to be quite accepted, but do not actually reaches the point in which people start to talk about it, and of course, start to generate some controversy. Regarding the case of Post Black Metal, and in my own personal opinion, seems a very natural next step of the genre, although, I do not consider that this is the future of the Black Metal scene. Blackgaze, on the other side, has been more accepted by the alternative music scene, because even if you can listening some black metal influences on it, is not black metal at all. If you are the kind of person that actually delight bands such as The Gathering, Anathema and Antimatter, you should definitely try Blackgaze, especially the one provided by Alcest, I’m pretty sure that you gonna enjoy as much as I did.
I guess that for the black metal puritans, and maybe the not so puritans; Post Black Metal, could be an actual insult to the scene; but if you consider yourself a black metal fan, that is open to experiment with new sounds and trends, then I strongly recommend you, listen the albums from Wolves in the Throne Room “Celestial Lineage “and Altar Of Plagues “Teethed Glory and Injury” (which I personally enjoy it really much).
Finally, I hope this post has been of your interest, and please post your opinions, because I really would love to know them.
See you next time around!