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
430 162
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

2
410 176
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
386 189
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

4
374 155
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

5
401 193
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

6
338 159
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

7
288 114
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

8
337 156
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

9
273 129
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

10
289 115
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

11
355 193
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

12
224 111
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

13
174 87
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

14
191 114
Dimmu Borgir is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Symphonic black metal, Gothic metal, Black metal

15
167 95
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

16
209 127
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
165 90
Taake is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

18
189 113
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

19
108 50
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

20
170 103
1349 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

21
167 101
Watain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

22
114 73
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

23
123 72
Old Man's Child is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

24
119 78
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

25
103 60
Windir is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

26
114 75
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

27
111 75
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

28
86 58
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

29
140 112
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

30
137 111
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

31
138 105
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

32
65 43
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

33
66 37
Goatwhore is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

34
64 47
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

35
80 49
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

36
82 52
Satanic Warmaster is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, National Socialist black metal

37
82 61
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

38
77 57
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

39
69 51
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

40
83 64
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

41
46 30
Blut Aus Nord is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Dark ambient, Symphonic black metal

42
72 56
Drudkh is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

43
54 33
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

44
60 46
Impaled Nazarene is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

45
66 52
Shining is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

46
60 40
Tsjuder is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

47
40 22
Anorexia Nervosa is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Gothic metal

48
44 26
Absu is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

49
57 45
Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

50
59 40
Hecate Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal