Music

The Greatest Black Metal Bands 

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Updated November 19, 2019 28.7k votes 2.3k voters 48.8k views 280 items

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
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
2
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
3
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
4
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
5
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
6
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
7
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
8
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
9
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
10
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
11
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
12
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
13
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
14
Dimmu Borgir is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
15
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
16
1349 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
17
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
18
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
19
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
20
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
21
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
22
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
23
Samael is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
24
Nokturnal Mortum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
25
Limbonic Art is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands