Horror punk (also known as Horror rock) is a music genre that mixes proto-gothic and punk rock sounds with morbid and violent imagery and lyrics which are often influenced by horror films and science fiction B-movies. The genre is similar to and sometimes overlaps with deathrock, although deathrock leans more towards an atmospheric gothic rock sound while horror punk leans towards a 1950s-influenced doo-wop and rockabilly sound. Horror punk music is typically more aggressive and melodic than deathrock.
The Misfits and their first lead vocalist Glenn Danzig are recognized as the progenitors of horror punk. Bands like The Undead (founded by ex-Misfits guitarist Bobby Steele), Screaming Dead, The Damned, The Cramps, T.S.O.L, 45 Grave and Rosemary's Babies are also considered old school horror punk bands. The two compilations "This is Horror Punk" (Fiend Force Records) made the genre-name popular and introduced a new wave of bands like Blitzkid, The Other, Calabrese and Nim Vind among others to a growing audience.
Horror punk is generally apolitical in comparison to other punk rock subgenres, although some songs do refer to political events (e.g. the Misfits' "Bullet" which discusses the assassination of John F. Kennedy) and some artists like Jack Grisham (on the left) and Michale Graves (on the right) have espoused their own political views.
Horror hardcore refers to a hybrid of horror punk and hardcore punk. The Misfits' 1983 album Earth A.D. inaugurated this style and the bands Septic Death, The Banner and Integrity have also been categorized into this subgenre.