music The Greatest Black Metal Bands  

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List Rules 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 (263 items)
list ordered by

1
240 87
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Darkthrone Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

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2
226 92
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Bathory Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
222 96
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mayhem Black metal, Heavy metal

4
223 90
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Immortal Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

5
245 104
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Burzum Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

6
202 85
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Emperor Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

7
202 96
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gorgoroth Black metal, Heavy metal

8
228 117
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behemoth Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

9
176 69
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark Funeral Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

10
171 75
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Marduk Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

11
161 79
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Satyricon Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

12
144 69
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

13
79 42
Dimmu Borgir is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Dimmu Borgir Symphonic black metal, Gothic metal, Black metal

14
135 76
Venom is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Venom New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Black metal

15
90 46
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dissection Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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16
132 72
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enslaved Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

17
120 71
1349 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
1349 Black metal, Heavy metal

18
104 60
Taake is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Taake Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

19
70 37
Windir is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Windir Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

20
78 49
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ulver Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

21
89 59
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Rotting Christ Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

22
84 52
Old Man's Child is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Old Man's Child Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

23
105 76
Watain is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Watain Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

24
82 58
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Carpathian Forest Black metal, Heavy metal

25
51 28
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mgła Black metal

26
43 23
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Borknagar Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

27
75 56
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Belphegor Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

28
53 38
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

29
59 43
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ancient Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

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30
56 41
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Anaal Nathrakh Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

31
46 32
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Leviathan Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

32
94 83
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

33
43 31
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Arcturus Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

34
67 54
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Agalloch Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

35
50 32
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Summoning Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

36
63 51
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Cradle of Filth Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

37
89 85
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
King Diamond Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

38
51 42
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Xasthur Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

39
40 32
Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enthroned Black metal

40
53 45
Wolves in the Throne Room is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Wolves in the Throne Room Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal

41
32 19
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ragnarok Black metal

42
43 36
Shining is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Shining Black metal, Heavy metal

43
38 26
Naglfar is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Naglfar Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

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44
50 49
Samael is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Samael Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Electronic music

45
47 42
Drudkh is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Drudkh Doom metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

46
39 28
Hecate Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Hecate Enthroned Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

47
39 28
Behexen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behexen Black metal

48
40 29
Tsjuder is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Tsjuder Black metal, Heavy metal

49
18 8
Anorexia Nervosa is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Anorexia Nervosa Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Gothic metal

50
40 30
Nargaroth is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Nargaroth Black metal