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Rock noir is a modern genre of music that is strongly influenced by bands such as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Crime and the City Solution, darker bands from the 1960s such as The Doors and The Velvet Underground, and composers such as Kurt Weill and Erik Satie. Often characterized by intricate and dark stories, the songs themselves are distinctly aggressive in their restrained manner and composition. With roots in cabaret, Goth, and Americana folk; the genre connects with imagery in struggle, violence, deceit, and doomed romance. It is “Duende” in its nature – music most often created from conflict and struggle rather than inspiring muses.

Although it has similarities to the Goth music scene, rock noir is more aligned with suspense and mystery rather than grotesque horror and demonic atmosphere. It captures a visual sense of shadows and ambiguity used in David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock, and film noir cinema - as well as symbolism found in poetry and literature.

The originators of the genre are the Italian band Belladonna, whose debut album Metaphysical Attraction (2006) is the first full-length rock noir album ever released.

More recently, the genre has found a younger set of artists stretching along America’s West coast such as The Holy Kiss, Magic Daggers, Death by Doll (Dame Darcy), The Divine Madness, and Rykarda Parasol. Other bands within the rock noir community include the Bellmer Dolls, The Vanishing, and Tex Napalm.

The term "rock noir" was coined in 2005 by Belladonna founders and songwriters Dani and Luana in order to accurately describe their musical genre in interviews and press releases. An emerging sibling genre, punk noir, combines dark, gothic/post-punk energy.

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