The Greatest Black Metal Bands

7.3k votes 442 voters 25k views 255 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Upvote your favorite black metal groups.

Known for fast tempos, shrieking vocals, distorted guitars and lo-fi recordings, black metal has emerged as one of the top heavy metal genres. Similarly to avant garde metal bands, black metal bands also feature unconventional song structures and lyrical emphasis on atmosphere. What does make black metal bands different than every other heavy metal band is that the band often will appear in corpse paint that looks like blood. A lot of the best black metal bands emerged in the first wave of black metal bands are still among the most beloved and most popular black metal bands. The genre originated in the 1980s and became associated with satanism and anti-religion lyrics.

So, what are the best black metal bands? Well for starters, any black metal bands list has to include the likes of Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Marduk and Deafheaven. Mixing black metal bands old and new, this list of black metal bands includes every great black metal band to have ever played. These are widely considered some of the top black metal bands. 

That said, it's up to you to decide what are the best black metal bands. If you notice a black metal band that isn't on this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best black metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest black metal musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular black metal bands that you might've heard of (255 items)
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
    + 142
    - 39

    most listed
    Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

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  2. 2
    + 136
    - 52


    Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  3. 3
    + 153
    - 66


    Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

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  4. 4
    + 132
    - 54


    Black metal, Heavy metal

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  5. 5
    + 101
    - 38


    Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

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  6. 6
    + 102
    - 38


    Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  7. 7
    + 115
    - 51


    Black metal, Heavy metal

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  8. 8
    + 122
    - 59


    Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

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  9. 9
    + 126
    - 70


    Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

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  10. 10
    + 103
    - 55


    Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

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  11. 11
    + 95
    - 51


    Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

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  12. 12
    + 77
    - 42


    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Black metal

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  13. 13
    + 40
    - 14


    Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  14. 14
    + 81
    - 46


    Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

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  15. 15
    + 73
    - 41


    Black metal, Heavy metal

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  16. 16
    + 71
    - 40


    Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  17. 17
    + 65
    - 35


    Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  18. 18
    + 81
    - 51


    Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

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  19. 19
    + 53
    - 30


    Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  20. 20
    + 68
    - 45
    Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands


    Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

  21. 21
    + 46
    - 28


    Black metal, Heavy metal

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  22. 22
    + 48
    - 30


    Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  23. 23
    + 63
    - 44
    King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

  24. 24
    + 42
    - 29


    Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

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  25. 25
    + 45
    - 32


    Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

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  26. 26
    + 26
    - 14
    Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands


  27. 27
    + 23
    - 11


    Black metal

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  28. 28
    + 24
    - 14


    Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  29. 29
    + 27
    - 17


    Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

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  30. 30
    + 24
    - 13


    Black metal

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  31. 31
    + 26
    - 18


    Black metal, Heavy metal

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  32. 32
    + 30
    - 22
    No image


    Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

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  33. 33
    + 29
    - 21


    Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

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  34. 34
    + 41
    - 33


    Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

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  35. 35
    + 34
    - 27


    Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal

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  36. 36
    + 16
    - 8


    Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

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  37. 37
    + 27
    - 18


    Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

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  38. 38
    + 22
    - 16


    Black metal

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  39. 39
    + 32
    - 26


    Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  40. 40
    + 30
    - 22


    Black metal, Heavy metal, National Socialist black metal

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  41. 41
    + 4
    - 1

    new! & added by Dustin Moore
    Symphonic black metal, Gothic metal, Black metal

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  42. 42
    + 21
    - 16
    No image


    Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  43. 43
    + 17
    - 10
    Behexen is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands


    Black metal

  44. 44
    + 18
    - 11


    Black metal, Heavy metal

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  45. 45
    + 23
    - 16
    Urgehal is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands


    Black metal, Heavy metal

  46. 46
    + 16
    - 10


    Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

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  47. 47
    + 17
    - 11


    Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

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  48. 48
    + 30
    - 28


    Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Electronic music

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  49. 49
    + 13
    - 10


    Electronic music, Black metal, Heavy metal

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  50. 50
    + 15
    - 10


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Melodic death metal

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