metal The Best Dark Metal Bands  

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711 votes 197 voters 14.8k views 39 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. (39 items)

1
53 11
Agalloch is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Agalloch Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

2
43 10
Ajattara is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Ajattara Doom metal, Black metal, Acoustic music

3
39 13
Katatonia is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Katatonia Doom metal, Death-doom, Gothic rock

4
31 7
Bethlehem is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Bethlehem Death-doom, Experimental rock, Gothic metal

5
30 8
Moonspell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Moonspell Doom metal, Gothic rock, Symphonic black metal

6
21 4
Summoning is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Summoning Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

7
19 4
Cradle of Filth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Cradle of Filth Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

8
25 10
Samael is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Samael Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Electronic music

9
13 3
Tvangeste is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Tvangeste Symphonic black metal, Heavy metal

10
17 7
Throes of Dawn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Throes of Dawn Black metal, Progressive rock, Post-rock

11
19 9
Graveworm is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Graveworm Symphonic black metal, Melodic death metal, Gothic metal

12
8 1
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

13
12 5
Swallow the Sun is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Swallow the Sun Doom metal, Death-doom, Progressive metal

14
19 12
Tiamat is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Tiamat Doom metal, Progressive metal, Gothic rock

The Best Darkwave Bands/Artists

15
12 6
Ranker Video
ourworldsatwar added Ceremonium Death metal, Doom metal, Dark metal

16
14 9
Rotting Christ is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Rotting Christ Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

17
7 3
Caladan Brood is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Caladan Brood

18
7 4
Barathrum is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Barathrum Black metal, Heavy metal, Dark metal

19
9 7
The Eternal is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
The Eternal Doom metal, Gothic rock, Gothic metal

20
9 8
Eisregen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Eisregen Black metal, Heavy metal, Dark metal

21
7 6
Heimdall is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Heimdall Power metal, Dark metal

The Best Industrial Bands

22
7 6
Dark Suns is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Dark Suns Doom metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

23
6 5
Antestor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Antestor Doom metal, Black metal, Dark metal

24
5 4
Madder Mortem is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Madder Mortem Doom metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

25
3 2
Dolorian is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Dolorian Doom metal, Dark ambient, Heavy metal

26
2 1
Triptykon is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Triptykon Doom metal, Thrash metal, Gothic metal

27
1 0
Albez Duz is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
grifonzo007 added Albez Duz Occult Doom Rock, Gothic, Doom Metal

28
10 10
Beyond Dawn is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Beyond Dawn Synthpop, Black metal, Heavy metal

The Best Gothic Metal Bands

29
8 8
The Amenta is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
The Amenta Industrial metal, Black metal, Industrial music

30
4 4
Slechtvalk is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Slechtvalk Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

31
2 2
Unholy is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Unholy Doom metal, Heavy metal

32
6 7
Cadaveria is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Cadaveria Doom metal, Thrash metal, Symphonic black metal

33
4 5
Soulpreacher is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Soulpreacher Doom metal, Black metal, Dark metal

34
3 4
Moonlyght is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Moonlyght Progressive metal, Melodic death metal, Black metal

35
1 2
Cruentis is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Tyler DeMerchant added Cruentis

36
0 1
Esoteric is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
bigdaddyg added Esoteric Doom metal, Heavy metal, Experimental music

37
3 5
Darkthrone is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
GREYBOY added Darkthrone Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

38
1 3
Bloody Hammers is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
OccultRock added Bloody Hammers

39
5 8
Ville Sorvali is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Dark Metal Bands
Ville Sorvali Viking metal, Technical death metal, Black metal