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
363 148
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

2
367 140
Bathory is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
342 152
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

4
301 123
Emperor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

5
359 157
Burzum is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

6
320 133
Immortal is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

7
239 101
Marduk is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

8
329 174
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

9
289 141
Gorgoroth is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

10
246 117
Satyricon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

11
253 100
Dark Funeral is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

12
168 93
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
207 98
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

14
154 72
Dissection is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

15
190 111
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
146 81
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

17
179 98
Enslaved is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

18
147 84
Taake is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

19
160 97
1349 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

20
153 94
Watain is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

21
88 44
Mgła is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

22
114 71
Belphegor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

23
101 68
Ulver is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

24
107 70
Carpathian Forest is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

25
111 68
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
89 54
Windir is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

27
80 52
Helhammer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

28
97 70
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

29
125 92
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

30
125 100
King Diamond is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

31
128 103
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

32
59 37
Borknagar is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

33
58 30
Goatwhore is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

34
57 43
Arcturus is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

35
76 56
Ancient is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

36
64 46
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

37
56 39
Impaled Nazarene is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

38
70 45
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

39
70 45
Satanic Warmaster is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, National Socialist black metal

40
37 17
Anorexia Nervosa is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dustin Moore added Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Gothic metal

41
55 39
Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

42
69 53
Xasthur is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

43
57 36
Tsjuder is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

44
74 59
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

45
64 50
Drudkh is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

46
48 29
Ragnarok is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal

47
54 35
Hecate Enthroned is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

48
59 48
Shining is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal

49
38 22
Absu is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

50
69 58
Wolves in the Throne Room is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal