Blackgaze is a genre that combines black metal elements with shoegaze elements. This is a list of good blackgaze bands. The bands are often mixed and hard to classify, and could go under the term post-black metal. My problem with the genre is that many bands tend to sound the same. If you have any tips, or want your blackgaze band included, hit me up in a comment! Also, don’t miss my similar article on atmospheric black metal.
About the author
I’m Stefan Nordström, an aspiring musician and content creator. This is one of the ways I promote Soliloquium, my progressive death/doom metal band. If you’re searching for new music in the style, it would be awesome if you listened to my stuff on:
If you’re tired of reading you can just use my blackgaze playlist on YouTube (below). Most bands on the list are on it and I add new bands continually.
A Light in the Dark
Recommended album: A Long Journey Home (2017)
Slightly romantic-sounding band with a more conventional melodic style than most bands in the blackgaze and atmospheric black metal spectrum. A lot of the melodies are very memorable and the songwriting is solid. A band worth checking out.
Recommended album: Shelter (2014)
Alcest is the obvious blackgaze choice, but they’re also a really good band with many quality albums in their discography. The light shoegaze album “Shelter” is my favorite, but those looking for more metal in their gaze should start with “Les Voyages De L’Âme”
Recommended album: Amesoeurs (2009)
You can tell that Neige was in this band, because there are strong similarities to Alcest. The dreamy sound on the album is too inviting to resist no matter the familiarity.
An Autumn for Crippled Children
Recommended album: Only the Ocean Knows (2012)
Not completely convinced by what I’ve heard from this band, but they are one of the most popular bands in the genre. Some nice melodies in there. The sound does suffer from typical one man project issues like plastic-sounding drums though.
Origin: United States
Recommended album: New Bermuda (2015)
Deafheaven is a highly debated band, which many people either love or hate. I’m somewhere in the middle; not really understanding either super-hype och super-hate. It’s just fairly good blackgaze music.
Harakiri for the Sky
Recommended album: Arson (2018)
Popular blackgaze band with an interesting mix of music styles. More driving and less dreamy than most bands on this list. I find them slightly overrated, but still enjoyable.
Recommended album: The Circle (2017)
Heretoir have a slightly more extreme take on blackgaze, almost sounding like progressive death/doom metal (think Enshine) at times. It often works well, making them one of my favorite bands in the style.
Recommended album: Melting Sun (2014)
My cynic side suggests that Lantlôs mostly got popular since Neige was in the band for a few years. Still a pretty enjoyable atmospheric black metal band no matter what.
Recommended album: Jord (2018)
Freshly hyped band from Denmark. Deservingly so, because the new sound is a big step up from the previous releases, that were decent blackgaze.
Most popular blackgaze bands
Alcest (139 097 listeners)
Deafheaven (150 608 listeners)
Amesoeurs (81 207 listeners)
Les Discrets (80 238 listeners)
An Autumn for Cripped Children (30 030 listeners)
Source: last.fm “blackgaze” tag
Recommended album: Earthcult (2018)
I’m not much for instrumental bands, but Trna deliver some solid instrumental blackgaze. 2018’s “Earthcult” is a good place to start.
Recommended album: Disquiet (2016)
An unknown blackgaze band with a nice atmosphere that I’ve come to appreciate. A solid amount of emotion in there makes Unreqvited a band worth checking out! One of the most underrated bands in the style(s).
Recommended album: Anomie (2017)
This band from Azerbadzjan has a romantic vibe to it and utilizes lush keyboard layers. It’s unapologetically cheesy, making it an acquired taste. I find it cool when I’m in the mood, especially 2017’s “Anomie”.
Recommended album: Futility Report (2017)
White Ward is quite a unique-sounding band. They mix their blackgaze/atmospheric black metal sound with jazz saxophones. It sounds like it would never fit. Most times it is a surprisingly good combination.
Woods of Desolation
Recommended album: Torn Beyond Reason (2011)
A more extreme and depressive take on the early Alcest sound. A truly desperate-sounding take on blackgaze.