Does trebly distorted guitar with a lot of tremolo picking and dissonant intervals can be called black metal no matter what subject it refers? Or it is another genre then?

Some genres definitions like Anarcho-punk are more about lyrics than music itself

  • >"Does trebly distorted guitar with a lot of tremolo picking and dissonant intervals can be called black metal" — nope, composition matters too. it's hard to describe though, I don't know much music theory. Jan 5, 2017 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


I think that it is a little bit subjective and depends on whether you perceive a music genre from it's music only or from the lyrics and the whole aesthetics too. I as a musician only listen to the music to define what genre I am listening to.

An interesting experiment was done by StevieT in this video where he tried to play happy black metal. Is it black metal for you or not? I think it is completely subjective.

  • This video has two versions inside and none of it sound black metal to me
    – teodozjan
    Apr 27, 2016 at 14:51
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    But I checked other bands and they also doesn't sound black metal to me so I think you actually answered the question. Black metal is more about band declaration than identified music it is not possible to easy distinguish it from other extreme metal genres
    – teodozjan
    Apr 27, 2016 at 15:02
  • I agree. For example the band 'Thorns' has space themes. Somebody could say that it is not black metal but it gets listed into that category
    – papakias
    Apr 27, 2016 at 16:52
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    @TimSparrow Dream theater is one of my favourite bands. They play progressive metal and by definition it can incorporate any genre they like. :D
    – papakias
    May 17, 2017 at 10:24
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    @papakias exactly. This is about music craftmanship, not ideology.
    – TimSparrow
    May 17, 2017 at 10:33

Yes, it is, for Black Metal features a variety of recurring motifs: Except for the esthetics of evil and satanism, space (Thorns, Mare Cognitum), nihilism/senselesness/despair (Mgla, Shining) winter (Paysage D'hiver) and archaic nature (Cascadian Black Metal in general) are themes that frequently crop up in Black Metal.

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