Bands/Musicians The Greatest Black Metal Bands  

Reference
Originally by
21.7k votes 1.7k voters 41.6k views 281 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

Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page.
list ordered by
1
482 194
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk
2
452 217
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal
3
470 203
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal
4
478 216
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal
5
402 177
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal
6
416 219
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal
7
443 172
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal
8
382 177
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal
9
319 144
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal
10
336 134
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal
11
231 156
Dimmu Borgir is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Symphonic black metal, Gothic metal, Black metal
12
217 99
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal
13
335 125
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal
14
253 124
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal
15
206 117
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal
16
243 148
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
222 118
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal
18
137 80
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal
19
191 100
Taake is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal
20
146 61
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal
21
196 113
Watain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal
22
197 114
1349 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal
23
132 79
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient
24
134 82
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal
25
130 81
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal