Horror rock is a musical style, blending rock music with horror-related lyrical themes and appearances. The term is often used interchangeably with the more generally accepted term horror punk, as most horror-influenced bands are stylistically punk rock acts, but can also be used as an umbrella term for the genres deathrock, horror punk and psychobilly, all of which make use of horror themes.
For a more complete article, see horror punk.
Horror rock was spawned when punk act The Misfits began integrating horror imagery in their performance. Influenced by The Misfits, other rock groups began adopting horror imagery, often fusing it with other genres. For example, Murderdolls have successfully fused horror punk with glam – style heavy metal.
Horror metal is the result of fusing and type of heavy metal music with horror themes and imagery. It is also effectively any heavy horror rock band, and could be used to describe bands such as The 69 Eyes and Wednesday 13
Whilst horror punk can only be used to describe punk bands that utilise horror imagery and themes, horror rock can be used to describe any rock or heavy metal band that utilise horror. However, as noted above, since most acts will be of the punk genre anyway, this makes the term horror rock redundant. It is worth noting that all horror punk acts will also be horror rock, but not all horror rock bands would also be horror punk.
Despite the two terms sometimes being used (incorrectly) interchangeably, there is little similarity between horror rock and shock rock. While both may use horror or violence related lyrics and themes, shock rock uses elaborate theatrical techniques to shock or scare the audience, whereas horror rock relies purely on musical content to scare its audience.