Best Black Metal Bands

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The Top TenXW

1Immortal

IMMORTAL, DARKTHRONE, BURZUM, MAYHEM AND EMPEROR should be at first spot irrespective of their position they equally important
This list totally wrecked
DIMMU BORGIR is greatly influenced by IMMORTAL

Awesome songs and pretty furious while still being enjoyable. I like their album At the Heart of Winter very much. This, Bathory and Dimmu Borgir are at the top of the league.

No one should be #1 except Immortal, they deserve the crown, heaviest, fastest and lyrically best black metal band of history and Bathory should be #2. - GREYBOYY

I don't like black metal, but these guys are pretty good. - Caleb9000

V32 Comments
2Bathory

An awesome band (formed by one man) and one of the pioneers in the black metal genre (together with Celtic Frost).
One of the best black metal bands I've heard.
One of the best viking metal bands I've heard.
One of the best thrash metal bands I've heard.
Classic band! Just listen Enter the Eternal Fire... And you'll know soon what I'm saying.

Why is C.O. F on the list? I thought this was a best black metal bands list not a freaky banshee howl/shriek band after every four bars. And also Carcass aren't black metal they are an awesome melo death band (not their silly grindcore music).
Back to the point, these guys and merciful fate are the pioneers of black metal. They invented it now and the best. I also think dimmu borgir should be at no 3 as well.

Well this is a strange list. What is Dimmu Borgir doing at #1.

No question number 2 after Venom.

V17 Comments
3Mayhem

An awesome band, greatly influences most bands of the death/black metal scene.
Dead was the first man to use the corpse paint.
The only band of the world to have a murderer and a murdered recording together.
Hail Mayhem! DARKNESS IS GLOWING!

This is the best Black Metal band of all time in my opinion. The band that created the Black Metal atmosphere in my view. - ahh28

Mayhem is my personal favorite black metal band just that fast dark heavy sound is so brutal and everything black metal should be. They have influenced thousands of bands with the ledgendary album de mysteriis dom sathanas. And the controversy over the band helped give black metal a name. Unfortunately they influenced many bands to start church burnings which is never good. - luluisro

De mysteriis dom sathanas is a masterpiece!

V30 Comments
4Dimmu Borgir

Honestly, I like Dimmu Borgir a lot (hate me), but they don't belong on this list. They aren't "true black metal", the top spots should belong to the bands Dimmu Borgir looked up to (Bathory, Immortal, Venom, Mayhem, Emperor, Celtic Frost)

Basically, they are too symphonic to be considered a true black metal band, because they took the "raw" element out of the music. - ryanrimmel

Dimmu Borgir! They should be a bit higher. Regardless, the rest of the bands (or most of them) are definitely worthy of their positions, such as Mayhem, Burzum, Immortal and of course, Bathory, however Behemoth should be up there too, or at least somewhere higher than they are. But hell, all metal (with the exception of the not so good metal) is good metal.

Dimmu Borgir should definitely be number one. Yeah this list is ok but this band should get higher position. All the ten bands are my favourites specially dimmu, mayhem and behemoth. Shagrath has such a class voice and the guitar of silenoz! Oh man! You just can't stop head banging while listening to them. My favourite is mourning palace and puritania. Heil Dimmu!

This is the best

V46 Comments
5Burzum

He is the one man super band with the vocals of a crazy man!

My personal favorite artist in any form in any category for anything, definitely deserving of the number 1 spot, having pioneered second wave black metal. Even though he now refuses to associate himself with the scene and had no intention to start or take part in it in the first place. However, leaving my passion for Burzum aside, if it was placed second to Bathory I wouldn't be ultimately dissatisfied. But anything else? Bull. - KeyToTheWatchtower

This solo project has become some of the best Black Metal out there. - ahh28

King of Black Metal Sound

V29 Comments
6Emperor

Wtf!! How is Emperor not at the top of this list?? While I'll give Venom credit for starting the genre in a way, their music on the other hand sucks. Emperor are the kings of Black Metal! Every great element of Black Metal (other than the general riff structure and vocal approach, which goes to Mayhem) was done first by this band. Dimmu Borgir sounded like an Emperor tribute band at first and Satyricon isn't even Black Metal anymore they're more like Black Rock. Great list but Emperor should be a no-brainer #1 here. Kudos for throwing Celtic Frost in the list as well!! - sorteal

Emperor took everything a Black Metal band was supposed to be with the same general style as well as the embrace of church burnings, and then made it even better with their songwriting and brilliant vocals and musicians. The atmosphere and ominous feeling you get from listening to their stuff from "In the Nightshade Eclipse" gives many people chills and really feels like some evil force is present. Also, Emperor called it quits before they could become bad (as many bands stay active for way too long while their music becomes worse and worse), making many look up to them as "legends".

Emperor is definitely the cream of the crop when it comes to black metal. They do represent the pinnacle of songwriting, musicianship, conveyance of emotional intensity and atmosphere as far as I know and hear - not to mention one of the only BM bands I've ever seen that don't look and sound like pretentious idiots.

Best black metal band I've heard

V16 Comments
7Darkthrone

Darkthrone is True Norwegian Black Metal and should be number 2m/

Super heavy satanic black metal, people say that black metal bands don't have as many things unique about them as other metal bands do, but this band has edged it up, along with Cradle Of Filth obviously

What this voters are sure posers. If you don't appreciate Darkthrone than you have no idea what black metal truly is

What what's Darkthrone below Dimmu Borgir Darkthrone's actually black metal

V12 Comments
8Gorgoroth

How come these guys aren't at the top? Gorgoroth is but the most brutal (yet understandable in terms of melody) black metal band of all, these are the most satanic group of musicians there is and wrote the hymn of black metal that is Sign of an Open Eye.

One of the darkest and best black metal bands! Should be on at least top 5!

By far Infernus is a master of Black Metal, I would put Gorgoroth above everybody except for Immortal, they should be second.

This band is pure crap. Their music sucks and they are terrible people. We really need to ban these satan worshiping jerks from making music and somehow prevent them from harming people and stuff.

V31 Comments
9Behemoth

Behemoth should be way higher, and it is the best deathly black metal band to date (anytime) so its gotta be one of my favorites

Their not to black metal these days but I love their older raw black metal albums behemoth are defiantly one of my favorites.

This is the god of death metal in poland along with vader-basically death metal band but but many songs of this band has a twendency to black metal, they are one of the most professional band in the history-by the way nergal is cured and can compose more legendery songs like before

I know they gave up black metal, but they're still freakin' epic. Especially with their latest album. - IronSabbathPriest

V25 Comments
10Venom

Even though bands like Venom, Celtic Frost or Mercyful Fate have influenced the genre a lot, neither of them are actually black metal. I'd say that Venom would be for thrash / speed metal list. - levtomas1998

Just because later bands change the style of black metal, it doesn't mean Venom, Celtic Frost weren't black, Celtic Frost were even Death Metal. - GREYBOYY

crazy 2 here the music sounds better than a whole lot better than there counterparts

Lets not be stupid. There wouldn't be black metal with out these guys.

They influenced the imagery and coined the term, but they didn't actually make the music.

V10 Comments

The Newcomers

?Mütiilation

The Contenders

11Satyricon

Hell! Why so low? They deserve to be in the top 3 along with mayhem and burzum! New black metal bands suck! For me dimmu borgir is not the real bm their melodies really ruin the black metal essence..

Cradle of Filth are not black metal, nor the Dimmu Borgir, at least my opinion band who created anthem for norwegian black metal sound should be on the top of the list.

They are not mainstream I bet if I go out and ask nards with avenged 7fold and death magnetic Metallica shirts who satyricon was they would not know

God of black metal

V9 Comments
12Marduk

Probably the most blasphemous band on the planet, as well one of the best black metal bands nowadays, the reason black metal is still strong. Check out their in my opinion best album, Panzer Division Marduk, and you'll know what I'm talking about, and they still reign mighty and unstoppable.

Amazing Swedish Black Metal band. - ahh28

Unbelievable evil, great for all the family, best growler in the business.

Should be number one! Don't shoot me!

V8 Comments
13Naglfar

The best melodic black/death metal hybrid there is. The band has many influences from Dark Funeral and Dimmu Borgir in their compositions.

They should be at number 6.

Melodic yet aggressive,you can drown your sorrow deep within the song's melody

V1 Comment
14Celtic Frost

18? What? This is by far the best black metal band ever! Granted, they experiment with a lot of different types of metal, but black metal is the true sound of Celtic Frost. Tom Warrior is an absolute genius, and he's basically my biggest inspiration for writing music

The first true Black Metal band. (Bathory is good but Hellhammer/Celtic Frost is ridiculously great) Danse Macabre is the most terrifying track you can hear.

Saddens me that the greatest, most influential black metal band is not 1st. - IronSabbathPriest

V2 Comments
15Watain

Watain is literally the best black metal band ever, it's one of the bands that made me the one who I am today

One of the best swedish black metal bands out there. Just listen to songs like Legions of the Black Light and Malfeitor and you'll see their greatness. - zappyo29

Devils blood, black Flames march and the wild hunt are three of the greatest black metal songs ever - maverick88

I like Venom but it's not black metal Watain actually is

V4 Comments
16Agalloch

They have released five albums, all of which are brilliant. I even got a signed copy of Marrow of the Spirit from the band! - IronSabbathPriest

V2 Comments
17Dark Funeral

Great list but I think Dark Funeral should be much higher

Top 15? Dark funeral should be at least top 5!

I honestly do not understand how this guy's are not at least top 5... Those lyrics and riffs are just amazing, and those screams... Just amainzg

Should be higher.

V5 Comments
18Dissection

With such lyrical themes such as satanism, darkness and death but can still remain musically melodic and beautiful (black-metal wise), Dissection is definitely one of the greatest Black Metal bands ever, at least way greater than Demon Burger.

Anti-cosmic metal of death...

Please don't put bands like dimmu borgir here... They're not black metal band!

Pure Satanic swedish Black Metal. Hail the Legacy!

Dissection should be in the top 10 - no question!

V5 Comments
19Enslaved

Not just a great Black Metal band, but one of the most creative and innovative bands making music today. Enslaved consistently release quality albums.

Enslaved should be higher on this list. One of the best bands of the past 20 years, black metal or otherwise.

Frost is my favorite black metal album. There are a lot of great albums in black metal such as spiritual black dimmensions by dimmu Borgir, pure holocaust by immortal and anything by gorgoroth and dark funeral but frost just stand out in this genera just like transylvanian hunger

Should be in the top ten. - IronSabbathPriest

V2 Comments
20Appalachian Winter

Nowhere near black metal - Ananya

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List StatsUpdated 6 Feb 2016

3,000 votes
189 listings
5 years, 251 days old

Top Remixes (42)

1. Dimmu Borgir
2. Old Man's Child
3. Emperor
Pulsar
1. Bathory
2. Satyricon
3. Immortal
ryanrimmel
1. Dimmu Borgir
2. Emperor
3. Graveworm
Rhapsody

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