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 {#nodes}
list ordered by

1
257 96
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
248 99
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Bathory Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
241 101
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mayhem Black metal, Heavy metal

4
261 109
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Burzum Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

5
238 97
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Immortal Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

6
220 88
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Emperor Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

7
216 100
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gorgoroth Black metal, Heavy metal

8
244 122
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behemoth Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

9
183 77
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Marduk Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

10
180 72
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark Funeral Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

11
173 82
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Satyricon Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

12
154 71
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

13
89 51
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
100 49
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dissection Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

15
140 83
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

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16
128 73
1349 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
1349 Black metal, Heavy metal

17
139 75
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enslaved Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

18
111 63
Taake is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Taake Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

19
76 39
Windir is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Windir Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

20
83 51
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ulver Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

21
96 62
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Rotting Christ Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

22
112 76
Watain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Watain Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

23
84 57
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Belphegor Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

24
86 59
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Carpathian Forest Black metal, Heavy metal

25
87 55
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
53 29
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mgła Black metal

27
58 39
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

28
44 26
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Borknagar Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

29
50 33
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Leviathan Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

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30
99 85
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

31
61 44
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ancient Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

32
72 56
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Agalloch Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

33
46 32
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Arcturus Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

34
57 43
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
94 86
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
King Diamond Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

36
69 56
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
51 33
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Summoning Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

38
44 33
Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enthroned Black metal

39
45 36
Shining is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Shining Black metal, Heavy metal

40
52 43
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Xasthur Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

41
56 47
Wolves in the Throne Room is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Wolves in the Throne Room Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal

42
34 20
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ragnarok Black metal

43
42 29
Behexen is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behexen Black metal

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44
49 43
Drudkh is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Drudkh Doom metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

45
39 33
Impaled Nazarene is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Impaled Nazarene Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

46
39 27
Naglfar is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Naglfar Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

47
44 32
Nargaroth is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Nargaroth Black metal

48
26 20
Blut Aus Nord is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Blut Aus Nord Doom metal, Dark ambient, Symphonic black metal

49
40 29
Hecate Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Hecate Enthroned Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

50
50 51
Samael is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Samael Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Electronic music