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

list ordered by

1
281 103
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Darkthrone Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

2
278 103
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Bathory Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
262 113
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mayhem Black metal, Heavy metal

4
283 116
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Burzum Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

5
236 95
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Emperor Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

6
256 105
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Immortal Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

7
230 108
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gorgoroth Black metal, Heavy metal

8
262 131
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behemoth Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

9
190 88
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Satyricon Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

10
190 82
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Marduk Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

11
189 80
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark Funeral Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

12
165 75
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

13
104 60
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
106 54
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dissection Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

The Best Black Metal Bands on Bandcamp

15
150 89
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
147 80
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enslaved Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

17
135 78
1349 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
1349 Black metal, Heavy metal

18
118 66
Taake is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Taake Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

19
107 64
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Rotting Christ Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

20
119 79
Watain is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Watain Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

21
77 42
Windir is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Windir Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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22
86 56
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ulver Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

23
89 59
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Belphegor Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

24
60 31
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mgła Black metal

25
92 57
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
64 41
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

27
87 61
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Carpathian Forest Black metal, Heavy metal

28
86 60
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

The Best Metal Songs About Cheating

29
75 60
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Agalloch Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

30
46 29
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Borknagar Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

31
65 47
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ancient Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

32
106 92
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

33
102 89
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
King Diamond Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

34
62 46
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Anaal Nathrakh Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

35
50 36
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Leviathan Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

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36
48 35
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Arcturus Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

37
55 36
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Summoning Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

38
39 22
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ragnarok Black metal

39
46 35
Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enthroned Black metal

40
25 10
Anorexia Nervosa is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Anorexia Nervosa Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Gothic metal

41
30 20
Blut Aus Nord is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Blut Aus Nord Doom metal, Dark ambient, Symphonic black metal

42
43 33
Impaled Nazarene is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Impaled Nazarene Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

The Best Metal Songs for Funerals

43
55 45
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Xasthur Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

44
48 39
Shining is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Shining Black metal, Heavy metal

45
57 48
Wolves in the Throne Room is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Wolves in the Throne Room Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal

46
55 51
Samael is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Samael Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Electronic music

47
42 28
Naglfar is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Naglfar Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

48
44 30
Hecate Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Hecate Enthroned Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

49
44 30
Behexen is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behexen Black metal

50
37 24
Goatwhore is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Goatwhore Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal