black metal 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

1
343 129
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Bathory Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

2
341 139
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Darkthrone Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

3
326 140
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mayhem Black metal, Heavy metal

4
335 146
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Burzum Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

5
285 119
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Emperor Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

6
301 130
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Immortal Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

7
310 163
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behemoth Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

8
272 138
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gorgoroth Black metal, Heavy metal

9
234 109
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Satyricon Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

10
226 97
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Marduk Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

11
241 99
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark Funeral Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

12
145 68
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dissection Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

13
152 86
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
191 95
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

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15
178 106
Venom is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Venom New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Black metal

16
140 79
Taake is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Taake Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

17
168 94
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enslaved Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

18
155 92
1349 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
1349 Black metal, Heavy metal

19
135 78
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Rotting Christ Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

20
82 40
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mgła Black metal

21
143 92
Watain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Watain Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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107 68
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Belphegor Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

23
102 67
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Carpathian Forest Black metal, Heavy metal

24
98 65
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ulver Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

25
106 66
Old Man's Child is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Old Man's Child Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

26
87 52
Windir is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Windir Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

27
76 51
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

28
112 83
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Cradle of Filth Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

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118 96
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
King Diamond Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

30
89 70
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Agalloch Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

31
121 100
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

32
53 28
Goatwhore is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Goatwhore Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

33
75 54
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ancient Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

34
54 36
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Borknagar Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

35
69 43
Satanic Warmaster is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Satanic Warmaster Black metal, Heavy metal, National Socialist black metal

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36
54 37
Impaled Nazarene is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Impaled Nazarene Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

37
60 44
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Leviathan Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

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

39
66 51
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Xasthur Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

40
55 34
Tsjuder is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Tsjuder Black metal, Heavy metal

41
65 43
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Summoning Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

42
70 57
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Anaal Nathrakh Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

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46 28
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ragnarok Black metal

44
54 42
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Arcturus Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

45
33 17
Anorexia Nervosa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Anorexia Nervosa Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Gothic metal

46
26 11
Funeral Mist is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Funeral Mist Black metal, Heavy metal

47
51 34
Hecate Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Hecate Enthroned Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

48
59 49
Drudkh is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Drudkh Doom metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

49
66 56
Wolves in the Throne Room is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Wolves in the Throne Room Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal

50
34 25
Blut Aus Nord is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Blut Aus Nord Doom metal, Dark ambient, Symphonic black metal