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
334 131
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Darkthrone Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

2
333 123
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Bathory Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
318 128
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mayhem Black metal, Heavy metal

4
324 140
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Burzum Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

5
280 113
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Emperor Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

6
294 124
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Immortal Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

7
302 154
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behemoth Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

8
265 130
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gorgoroth Black metal, Heavy metal

9
223 93
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Marduk Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

10
226 103
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Satyricon Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

11
235 94
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark Funeral Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

12
139 63
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dissection Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

13
146 80
Dimmu Borgir is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Dimmu Borgir Symphonic black metal, Gothic metal, Black metal

14
187 90
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

The Best Black Metal Bands on Bandcamp

15
176 101
Venom is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Venom New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Black metal

16
138 75
Taake is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Taake Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

17
166 91
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enslaved Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

18
153 89
1349 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
1349 Black metal, Heavy metal

19
130 74
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Rotting Christ Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

20
142 89
Watain is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Watain Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

21
78 38
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mgła Black metal

The Top Clothing Brands for Men

22
98 61
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ulver Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

23
104 66
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Belphegor Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

24
100 64
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Carpathian Forest Black metal, Heavy metal

25
86 49
Windir is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Windir Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

26
104 64
Old Man's Child is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Old Man's Child Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

27
74 48
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

28
109 78
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Cradle of Filth Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

The Best Metal Drummers of All Time

29
52 25
Goatwhore is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Goatwhore Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

30
86 68
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Agalloch Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

31
119 99
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

32
114 95
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
King Diamond Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

33
74 53
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ancient Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

34
68 41
Satanic Warmaster is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Satanic Warmaster Black metal, Heavy metal, National Socialist black metal

35
53 35
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Borknagar Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

The Greatest Songs by '90s One-Hit Wonders

36
33 14
Anorexia Nervosa is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Anorexia Nervosa Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Gothic metal

37
51 36
Impaled Nazarene is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Impaled Nazarene Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

38
52 37
Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enthroned Black metal

39
64 49
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Xasthur Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

40
64 42
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Summoning Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

41
70 55
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Anaal Nathrakh Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

42
57 43
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Leviathan Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

The Best Metal Songs for Funerals

43
53 33
Tsjuder is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Tsjuder Black metal, Heavy metal

44
53 40
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Arcturus Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

45
45 27
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ragnarok Black metal

46
65 54
Wolves in the Throne Room is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Wolves in the Throne Room Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal

47
50 33
Hecate Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Hecate Enthroned Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

48
34 24
Blut Aus Nord is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Blut Aus Nord Doom metal, Dark ambient, Symphonic black metal

49
58 48
Drudkh is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Drudkh Doom metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

50
24 10
Funeral Mist is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Funeral Mist Black metal, Heavy metal