Best Black Metal Bands


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The Top Ten

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.
[Newest]Immortal... Hands down best ever!

2Dimmu Borgir
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!
DIMMU BORGIR IS THE BEST SYMPHONIC BLACK METAL BAND EVER! Come on guys! When you hear their songs like Gateways, Sorgens Kammer Del II, The Serpentine Offering, The Progenies of Great Apocalypse, Dimmu Borgir, you do not belong any longer in this world. Their music is extraordinary.
If you all see live performance of GATEWAYS at Oslo, Dimmu Borgir will definitely be at topmost position. They have used whole orchestra and choir in it. This performance is beyond perfect! This is the most amazing live performance I have ever seen! They deserve place at #1 position.
[Newest]Don't know how they come second and a bull like immortal is in the top position.

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.
[Newest]The very first Black metal band I've heard and was absolutely just blown away.. even when they switched to Viking metal

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


Blends terrifying and brutal together. As someone who comes from thrash and death metal Mayhem introduced me to Black Metal and I have yet to find a black metal band as talented as them.
[Newest]Awesome band, the best band of all time

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.


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


[Newest]Burzum, Darkthrone, Bathory, and then everything else. Burzum and Darkthrone pioneered the genre (Mayhem is terrible) that we currently refer to as black metal, and Bathory could be interpreted as responsible for all black and Viking metal, plus I only get true emotional effects from those 3 bands, maybe Emperor on a good day, everything else is kind of... Bad.


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!!


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.
Emperor are my all time favorite black metal band. Their first two albums totally annihilate any other band I've ever heard. They should be number 1 or at least number 2 next only to Burzum of Mayhem.

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
[Newest]It doesn't matter if Behemoth is the best Blackened DEATH Metal band. This is a Black Metal top 10 so Behemoth shouldn't even be here since they don't even play Black Metal anymore.

Cradle of filth are not BM.
Darkthrone is True Norwegian Black Metal and should be number 2m/
Highly respected Black Metal.


[Newest]The band that got me into black metal!

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.
[Newest]I love this band, their sound is so abrasive and evil.

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..
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
What, you have to revise this invalid list and adjust it instantly, this band should be at least in top 5
[Newest]They are one of the best

The Contenders

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


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.


Lets not be stupid. There wouldn't be black metal with out these guys.
[Newest]Created black metal and coined the name

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!
.. This Position must be a matter of Definition... Its musicality isn't second to none until today.. Especially “Storm of the Lights bane " freezy, high melodic dark killer hits like " night's blood "
[Newest]Pure Satanic swedish Black Metal. Hail the Legacy!

Unbelievable evil, great for all the family, best growler in the business.
Amazing Swedish Black Metal band.


ı have never listened these frightening musics ever
[Newest]Very very violent music and it's not even death metal!

14Dark 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

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.
Definitely one of my favourites, listened to this since I was 13!

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.


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


17Celtic 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.

Not just a great Black Metal band, but one of the most creative and innovative bands making music today. Enslaved consistently release quality albums.
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
Enslaved should be higher on this list. One of the best bands of the past 20 years, black metal or otherwise.

19Old Man's Child
Must be next to Dimmu Borgir


Must be top 20 on ANYONES list

The band that made me listen to black metal
Not black metal, but great.

21Satanic Warmaster
The chant of the barbarian wolves is my favorite song of them

Epic Black Metal Band! Very underrated as they aren't legends or anything but they deserve just as much love. Just listen to 'Birth of the Hero' and 'Storm'


One of the most underrated bands! Cannot wait to get their third album!
Out right amazing stuff.

The I.N.R.I. album is some of the best first wave black metal music. listen to it and just try to prove me wrong. should be in the top twenty of any black metal list.

24Carpathian Forest
You can't make a list without this band they are so good at making their music
The most negative band on earth. I love them.
How are these guys not #1 they rule!

25Appalachian Winter


27Antim Grahan
This must be number 1 just hear "forever winter" or "in love whit suicide" an your life's going to change
One of best black metal band I have ever seen, I love this band so much. They should be number 1, their songs are like drugs! Listen it once, than you can't stop listening!
It should be in number 1 cause they have gave us best black metal songs to listen
[Newest]These guys are really good


Very good riffs and good vocals
Taake's got something to it. It's works are melodic, yet sometimes they carry certain unique appeal that I like about them. This appeal is for example mostly heard on album called taake.
I don't vote this band because it's my favourite, but because it can't be in the 36º position. They are one of the top ten.
[Newest]Best black metal I know

30Negură Bunget
One of the best black metal band

Hail from Nepal

Outstanding musicians
It takes your soul through dacian cultures and shadows... Amazing feelings.
BM from Romania, "'n Crugu Bradului" and "Om" in my opinion are the two albums that every BM fan should listen, the atmosphere is just mind blowing. They use folk instruments and the lyrical themes are about transylvanian spirituality, mythology and nature.


32Ancient Rites

Should be in the top 10 AT LEAST!

34Deathspell Omega
Marrying the raw, destructive, and dark energies of black metal to technical guitar-work has led to the creation of some of the most unorthodox and utterly bizarre sounds to infiltrate the genre. Abstract song structures, constant fluctuations in tempo, and a bass player who actually gets to be heard are some of the excellent qualities DsO bring to the table. They don't play live shows, only do a handful of interviews, and don't release any information about band members or their works. Instead of the usual, glamorous displays usually found in the black metal genre, DsO takes a decidedly less travelled road. Check out Paracletus and their Drought EP to hear some of the most mind-bogglingly addictive black metal out there.
Darkest black there is, and that's why it is black metal called black isn't it?

35Crimson Moonlight
Veil of Remembrance is the greatest Black Metal album I have ever heard.
Pilgrim's vocals are not of this world
VoR is great but The Covenant Progress is even better with the epic blackness of 'Path of Pain', 'A Painting in Dark' and 'Eyes of Beauty'

36Lord Belial

37Abigail Williams
These guys are an awesome band who capture all the aspects of black metal and throw in some amazing melodies
Love these guys! They are the sound of the new blackend death sludge!


This band is awesome, you understand if you listen to the tara album
The new albums are evil and reek of occult magick abzu album is best so far.


They might not be black metal anymore. But you can't deny the brilliance of their albums. Bergtatt is an amazing black metal album that I find as underrated.
Bergtatt is the best black metal album ever. Period. No one comes close
Ok, I understand that Ulver is not in the top 3, becouse it's ambient/electronica now, but come on! Bergtatt is most atmospheric, aggresive and beautiful album ever at one time!


Windir is like Death, Legendary
Windir is not in the top 10? Even if not, 57 seriously? Laugh out loud this is not serious
One of the greatest Norwegian Black Metal Band Norway has ever known.

44Satanic Slaughter

45Carach Angren
Top 5 for sure these guys are amazing
Best black metal band to date, the lyrics the symphonic bits, the guitar, the screams. everything fits together in one masterpiece.
What the hell is this doing all the way down here?
[Newest]Come on these guys deserve a place in the top tens. Venom isn't even black metal

Sick, insane and horrifying beyond bellied. Not for people with suicidal thoughts!
Silencer is a must have for dsbm fans, me myself am only a slight fan of xasthur in that genre but I have to say I have compared death - peirce me to other dsbm albums and I have to say damn nattramn is one strong vocalist. no one is compared to nattramn when it comes to his screams. and I have to say nattramn was or still is one crazy ass dude.

In my opinion, Lyrical Content has rather little to do with the Genre. For example, you could rewrite a Mayhem song to be about how much you love kittens. It would have Black Metal riffing, Vocals, etc. It would still be Black Metal. The same goes for "Christian Metal". "Christian Metal" is NOT a Genre. Antestor is NOT a "Christian Metal" band. They are a Black Metal Band with Christian Lyrical Themes.
just hear it, and your life will change


Melodic Black Metal from Taiwan. Simply awesome. They mix the ancient Asian instruments with the modern day metal instruments.
Awesome band, a good alternative to all the creepy atmospheres of tradirional black metal



Raw black metal, in my opinion the only black metal band keeping the genre alive and frost is an epic drummer
How are 1349 so far down? They are right now (2014) one of the best Black Metal bands. They also have one of modern metal's best drummers; Frost! Definitely deserve top 15.
1349 should be much higher, one of the rawest and most awesome black metal bands ever!


I'm not a big fan of the evil stuff but they make some really fast good black metal
Wow how can they be only 54? There is a few bands here that should be higher and of course we can't put them all in the top ten but man, TSJUDER their agressivity and the passion for true black metal is legendary

53Lightning Swords of Death



561833 AD
Better than any overrated crap!
Should definitely be in the top 10

57Linkin Park
What who put this on the list Linkin Park isn't black metal they're nu metal they're not even good THEY SUCK
The most evil sounding band. literally blacker than mayhem
Of course, the greatest black metal band of all time.

Even though they changed so much after every recording, aspera hiems symphonia is one of my favorite albums!


We Hail Thy Entrance is the best blast metal song of all time. Give these guys a listen they're absolutely amazing.
Awesome band! Very dark and melodic, listen to "We Hail Thy Entrance",
"Together we Summon the Dark" "Fhinstinian Nightbreed", and "I've Watched the Moon Grow Old"!

These guys are amazing I mean come on stronghold is legendary and lost tales is one of the best BM eps I have ever heard
Ha 61. these guys are amzing and 1 of the biggest bands to come out of Austria along with abigor and belphegor.


63Anorexia Nervosa
It's a good band

So black and depressing
Old school 1st wave bm one of my fave bands

Nor traditional black metal but one of the best DSBM bands.

"Darkness and Diversity"-Triptykon Facebook
Extremely Black.
Devastatingly Heavy musically and emotionally
Beautiful, passionate, Tranquil at moments

BM from Germany, they released two full-length albums "Pervers & Geisteskrank" and "Vergewaltigt & Verflucht" both are good, best scream in track "Mord & Totschlag".

I have met Striborg, interesting guy. Very underrated and definitely a better Composer than Varg Vikernes. His bleak, distorted, twisted Black Metal is just sex.


69Master's Hammer
Best lyrics and occult atmosphere ever. Just listen to their epic Ritual Album.


Leviathan is why I'm into black metal he deserves all possible thanks I can give


73Anaal Nathrakh
85? What? At least in the top ten list..
Top 30 at least

Listen to them they are nice. give it a try

One of the very best black pagan metal band

I really like their new ideas in music. Their song writting is always complex with many chords, and they are using melodic guitar links. I miss though, the female vocals they used in "The Ophidian Wheel".
Not exactly 'black metal' sth like blackened death but still pioneers of this black art

A very good finnish black metal band that would blow your mind!


79Opera IX


81Frost Like Ashes

Best Black metal Band


84Diabolical Masquerade

Awesome danish black metal band!

Drudkh have shown that great black metal doesn't have to come from Norway. drudkh always delivers great albums my favorites being "Blood In Our Wells" and "Autumn Aurora"
Drudkh brings great albums my favorite being "blood in our wells"
Drudkh is the best black metal ambient/folk oriented style- band of the XXI century. They are unique, folkish melodic and atmospheric. Blood in Our Wells is their best relase to date

87The Ruins of Beverast

Kvist is highly underrated in my opinion. They are a very worthy symphonic Black Metal band from the mid nineties
Should at least be in the top 20s. Very great stuff!
One of the best album I've listened to in recent times.

Awesome black metal from Belgian
Belgium actually but anyway still awesome band

90Thy Light


Black Metal from Italy, listen to the Marmorea Lapide Ombrati.



95Enfold Darkness



98Forgotten Tomb

Why is amaranthe on this list? They are a good band but they are not even close to black metal


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This list was created 4 years, 322 days ago and has been voted on over 2,000 times. This top ten list contains 171 items, has been remixed 26 times.

Updated Saturday, April 18, 2015

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