music 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 (263 items)
list ordered by

1
253 93
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Darkthrone Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

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2
245 98
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Bathory Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
237 100
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mayhem Black metal, Heavy metal

4
257 106
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Burzum Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

5
235 95
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Immortal Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

6
213 88
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Emperor Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

7
213 100
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gorgoroth Black metal, Heavy metal

8
238 121
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behemoth Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

9
179 77
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Marduk Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

10
177 72
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark Funeral Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

11
169 81
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Satyricon Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

12
151 69
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

13
98 48
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dissection Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

14
85 49
Dimmu Borgir is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Dimmu Borgir Symphonic black metal, Gothic metal, Black metal

15
137 80
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

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16
137 74
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enslaved Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

17
125 72
1349 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
1349 Black metal, Heavy metal

18
109 62
Taake is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Taake Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

19
76 37
Windir is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Windir Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

20
94 61
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Rotting Christ Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

21
80 50
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ulver Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

22
111 76
Watain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Watain Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

23
85 59
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Carpathian Forest Black metal, Heavy metal

24
80 56
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Belphegor Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

25
84 55
Old Man's Child is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Old Man's Child Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

26
53 29
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mgła Black metal

27
55 39
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

28
44 25
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Borknagar Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

29
49 33
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Leviathan Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

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30
98 85
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

31
60 44
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ancient Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

32
71 55
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Agalloch Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

33
45 32
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Arcturus Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

34
56 43
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Anaal Nathrakh Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

35
93 86
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
King Diamond Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

36
51 33
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Summoning Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

37
44 33
Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enthroned Black metal

38
45 36
Shining is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Shining Black metal, Heavy metal

39
52 43
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Xasthur Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

40
65 56
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Cradle of Filth Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

41
55 47
Wolves in the Throne Room is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Wolves in the Throne Room Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal

42
33 20
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ragnarok Black metal

43
42 29
Behexen is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behexen Black metal

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44
39 27
Naglfar is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Naglfar Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

45
48 43
Drudkh is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Drudkh Doom metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

46
50 50
Samael is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Samael Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Electronic music

47
38 33
Impaled Nazarene is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Impaled Nazarene Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

48
41 30
Tsjuder is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Tsjuder Black metal, Heavy metal

49
43 32
Nargaroth is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Nargaroth Black metal

50
25 20
Blut Aus Nord is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Blut Aus Nord Doom metal, Dark ambient, Symphonic black metal