Metal The Best Dark Metal Bands  

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1.2k votes 296 voters 18.1k views 41 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. (41 items)
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list ordered by

1
62 10
Bethlehem is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Death-doom, Experimental rock, Gothic metal

2
48 9
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

3
40 10
Ranker Video
ourworldsatwar added Death metal, Doom metal, Dark metal

4
53 23
Ajattara is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Black metal, Acoustic music

5
43 16
Samael is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Electronic music

6
58 30
Katatonia is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Death-doom, Gothic rock

7
23 4
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

8
65 41
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

9
18 7
Tvangeste is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Symphonic black metal, Heavy metal

10
37 27
Moonspell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Gothic rock, Symphonic black metal

11
36 27
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

12
20 13
Throes of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Black metal, Progressive rock, Post-rock

13
21 14
Graveworm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Symphonic black metal, Melodic death metal, Gothic metal

14
26 19
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

15
11 5
Triptykon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Doom metal, Thrash metal, Gothic metal

16
17 12
Myrkur is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
kotbayun added Dark Metal, Gothic metal, Pagan metal. Symphonic Black Metal

17
11 8
Caladan Brood is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added

18
6 3
Cemetary is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Ferrist Bueller added Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

19
15 13
Swallow the Sun is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Doom metal, Death-doom, Progressive metal

20
9 7
Dolorian is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Doom metal, Dark ambient, Heavy metal

21
10 10
Barathrum is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Dark metal

22
21 23
Tiamat is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Progressive metal, Gothic rock

23
8 9
Antestor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Doom metal, Black metal, Dark metal

24
10 12
Eisregen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Dark metal

25
10 12
Beyond Dawn is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Synthpop, Black metal, Heavy metal