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

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list ordered by

1
462 181
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

2
426 206
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

3
448 194
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

4
378 169
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

5
449 208
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

6
391 206
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

7
414 165
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

8
361 170
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

9
302 137
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

10
219 135
Dimmu Borgir is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Symphonic black metal, Gothic metal, Black metal

11
321 127
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

12
201 94
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

13
314 122
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

14
192 109
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

15
239 122
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

16
229 139
Venom is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Black metal

17
128 77
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

18
208 117
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

19
179 97
Taake is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

20
186 110
1349 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

21
182 110
Watain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

22
129 58
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

23
124 77
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

24
127 82
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

25
123 80
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal