Metal The Best Dark Metal Bands  

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914 votes 236 voters 16.3k views 40 items

Mixing elements of gothic metal, black metal, doom metal and extreme metal, dark metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that uses verbal images of horror and violence in the lyrics. While there's no firm definition of what is exactly a dark metal band, groups generally have dark themes with someone even having lyrics about the occult. That's why you see some dark metal bands flashing the infamous devil horns sign at shows, which has become synonymous with heavy metal bands

So, what is the best dark metal band? Any list of dark metal bands must have Bethlehem at or near the top of the list. Widely considered one of the forefathers of dark metal, Bethlehem is credited for inventing the term dark metal and for that, all dark metal bands owe them a debt of gratitude. Other bands who are considered the top dark metal bands include Moonspell, Eisregen, Ajattara and Samael. If you're a dark metal fan, you definitely know everyone on this dark metal list. If you notice that one of your favorite dark metal bands isn't on this list, feel free to add them.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best dark metal bands. GIve a thumbs up for your favorite dark metal band, and vote down the dark metal band you don't think is as good as the others. This list answers the questions "who are the best dark metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest dark 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 dark metal bands that you might've heard of. (40 items)
list ordered by

1
61 18
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

2
39 8
Bethlehem is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Death-doom, Experimental rock, Gothic metal

3
44 16
Ajattara is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Black metal, Acoustic music

4
44 17
Katatonia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Death-doom, Gothic rock

5
27 5
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

6
30 12
Samael is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Electronic music

7
22 8
Ranker Video
ourworldsatwar added Death metal, Doom metal, Dark metal

8
31 18
Moonspell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Gothic rock, Symphonic black metal

9
14 2
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

10
24 15
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

11
14 6
Tvangeste is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Symphonic black metal, Heavy metal

12
18 10
Throes of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Black metal, Progressive rock, Post-rock

13
19 12
Graveworm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Melodic death metal, Gothic metal

14
7 1
Triptykon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Doom metal, Thrash metal, Gothic metal

15
14 8
Swallow the Sun is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Doom metal, Death-doom, Progressive metal

16
20 15
Tiamat is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Progressive metal, Gothic rock

17
18 14
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

18
8 5
Myrkur is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
kotbayun added Dark Metal, Gothic metal, Pagan metal. Symphonic Black Metal

19
7 4
Caladan Brood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added

20
8 7
Barathrum is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Dark metal

21
6 5
Madder Mortem is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

22
5 4
Dolorian is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Doom metal, Dark ambient, Heavy metal

23
9 9
The Eternal is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Gothic rock, Gothic metal

24
7 7
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
GREYBOY added Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

25
1 1
Albez Duz is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
grifonzo007 added Occult Doom Rock, Gothic, Doom Metal

26
10 11
Beyond Dawn is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Synthpop, Black metal, Heavy metal

27
10 11
Eisregen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Dark metal

28
8 9
Heimdall is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Power metal, Dark metal

29
7 8
Dark Suns is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

30
6 7
Antestor is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Black metal, Dark metal

31
8 10
The Amenta is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Industrial metal, Black metal, Industrial music

32
7 9
Cadaveria is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Symphonic black metal

33
5 7
Soulpreacher is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Black metal, Dark metal

34
2 4
Unholy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Doom metal, Heavy metal

35
4 7
Slechtvalk is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

36
3 6
Moonlyght is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Melodic death metal, Black metal

37
1 4
Cruentis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Tyler DeMerchant added

38
0 3
Esoteric is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Doom metal, Heavy metal, Experimental music

39
1 5
Bloody Hammers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
OccultRock added

40
5 10
Ville Sorvali is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Viking metal, Technical death metal, Black metal