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
411 157
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

2
393 172
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
367 184
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

4
280 106
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

5
359 147
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

6
382 188
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

7
320 154
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

8
328 150
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

9
283 108
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

10
260 127
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

11
344 188
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

12
181 106
Dimmu Borgir is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Symphonic black metal, Gothic metal, Black metal

13
164 82
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

14
215 108
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

15
159 90
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

16
202 121
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
159 87
Taake is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

18
184 109
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

19
167 100
1349 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

20
99 47
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

21
161 98
Watain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

22
118 74
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

23
107 71
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

24
98 56
Windir is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

25
116 70
Old Man's Child is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

26
111 73
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

27
104 72
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

28
80 57
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

29
133 99
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

30
133 106
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

31
62 33
Goatwhore is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

32
134 109
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

33
61 40
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

34
77 48
Satanic Warmaster is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, National Socialist black metal

35
60 45
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

36
68 48
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

37
74 47
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

38
78 59
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

39
59 42
Impaled Nazarene is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

40
73 55
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

41
42 27
Blut Aus Nord is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Dark ambient, Symphonic black metal

42
57 41
Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

43
78 62
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

44
38 19
Anorexia Nervosa is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Gothic metal

45
68 53
Drudkh is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

46
58 37
Tsjuder is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

47
51 31
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

48
56 37
Hecate Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

49
74 61
Wolves in the Throne Room is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal

50
62 50
Shining is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal