Known for fast tempos, shrieking vocals, distorted guitars and lo-fi recordings, black metal has emerged as one of the top heavy metal genres of all time. Similarly to avant garde metal bands, black metal singers and groups also feature unconventional song structures and lyrical emphasis on atmosphere. What also makes black metal bands different than every other heavy metal band is that such bands will often appear in corpse paint that looks like blood. A lot of the best black metal bands emerged during the first wave of black metal bands in the 1980s; and, in fact, these artists are still among the most beloved and popular black metal groups ever with massive fan bases and cult followings.
So, what are the best black metal bands? For starters, any black metal bands list has to include the names Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Marduk and Deafheaven. Mixing both older and newer black metal musicians, this list includes every great black metal band to have ever played, and are widely considered some of the top black metal bands.
That said, it's up to you to decide which ones are the best black metal bands. 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 (albums and songs) instead of just voting for the most popular black metal bands that you might've heard of.