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
428 160
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

2
405 175
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
382 187
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

4
370 152
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

5
286 111
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

6
397 191
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

7
331 159
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

8
335 154
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

9
269 129
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

10
287 113
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

11
352 191
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

12
223 111
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

13
172 87
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

14
188 113
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
209 124
Venom is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Black metal

16
165 94
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

17
164 89
Taake is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

18
188 112
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

19
105 50
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

20
169 103
1349 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

21
166 101
Watain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

22
112 73
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

23
119 77
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

24
120 72
Old Man's Child is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

25
113 75
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

26
100 59
Windir is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

27
109 75
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

28
85 58
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

29
136 110
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

30
136 103
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

31
138 112
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

32
64 36
Goatwhore is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

33
63 47
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

34
63 43
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

35
78 49
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

36
80 51
Satanic Warmaster is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, National Socialist black metal

37
76 57
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

38
80 61
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

39
68 51
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

40
81 64
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

41
60 45
Impaled Nazarene is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

42
53 32
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

43
44 30
Blut Aus Nord is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Dark ambient, Symphonic black metal

44
71 56
Drudkh is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

45
60 39
Tsjuder is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

46
57 44
Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

47
65 52
Shining is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

48
32 16
Funeral Mist is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Black metal, Heavy metal

49
57 39
Hecate Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

50
38 22
Anorexia Nervosa is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Gothic metal