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]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.


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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!
They are just awesome man! I just can't stop banging head while listening to them. My favourite song is Sacrilegous scorn and progenies. Heil Dimmu Borgir!
[Newest]Don't know how they come second and a bull like immortal is in the top position.
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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.


Obviously the best you will know why they are the greatest with the most succesful black metal album ever
Just mayhem. Nothing else.
Mayhem deserves the top 1 spot.
Other bands are great though.
But nothing compares to Mayhem
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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.
Bathory is the main pioneer of the genre and produced one of the best black metal songs out there like 13 Candles, A Fine Day to Die, Enter the Enternal Flame etc. and they (he - Quorthon) showed that they (he) can compose in other genres like viking metal with songs such as "One Rode to Asa Bay" and "Foreverdark Woods". They deserve first place for sure!


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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.
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He is the one man super band with the vocals of a crazy man!
This solo project has become some of the best Black Metal out there.


Simply epic! Best black metal out there. Deserves to be on #1. The songs are about the worst depressions you can find!
Burzum should be number 2 right behind immortal
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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
Even though Behemoth is a very good band and have some black metal influences, it is death metal and should not be on this list.


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


The band that got me into black metal!
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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!
Everyone knows why this band is one of the best with gaahl on vocals they could of easily been the best black metal band in the world
This was a hard to decide, I love all these bands on this list.
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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..
I absolutely love Satyricon, despite their recent mainstream changes. They are still excellent musicians and marketers, and they play with a composure and methodicality and technicality that I can only compare to that of the Beatles in the Pop-rock scene or that of Wintersun in the Melodeath scene. They are kings, no pun intended.
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
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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.


Lets not be stupid. There wouldn't be black metal with out these guys.
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Unbelievable evil, great for all the family, best growler in the business.
Amazing Swedish Black Metal band.


I only say panzer division marduk
Swedish black metal gods
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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!

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.


Watain is literally the best black metal band ever, it's one of the bands that made me the one who I am today
In any case, Watain is the best black metal band.
They are just great.

15Dark Funeral
Great list but I think Dark Funeral should be much higher
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
Top 15? Dark funeral should be at least top 5!
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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.
.. 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 "
Anti-cosmic metal of death...

Please don't put bands like dimmu borgir here... They're not black metal band!
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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
There albums are great and they were the first BM band I listened to and they are one of my favorites. this is my list in no specific order. immortal, enslaved, behemoth, mayhem, dimmu borgir, satyricon, burzum, darkthrone, drudkh, gorgoroth, emperor, dark fortress, bathory, and take. but that is ust my opinion.

18Celtic Frost
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.
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

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


Must be top 20 on ANYONES list

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.

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

22Appalachian Winter


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


The band that made me listen to black metal


28Antim 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
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30Ancient Rites

31Negură 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.

Should be in the top 10 AT LEAST!

33Deathspell 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.

Very good riffs and good vocals
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.
Just a great band
Easily one of the best BM artist along with Behemoth, Gorgototh, and Mayhem
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35Crimson Moonlight
Veil of Remembrance is the greatest Black Metal album I have ever heard.
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'
Pilgrim's vocals are not of this world
This is a great band but this list is wrecked. How is dimmu borgir ontop of the list?
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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


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.
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!
They aren't black metal anymore, but Bergtatt is one of the best albums ever, and Natten's Madrigal is also. To see them at #41 is shameful.

42Satanic Slaughter


Sick, insane and horrifying beyond bellied. Not for people with suicidal thoughts!

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


Really? Antestor is on this list? WHY? Come On people! ANTESTOR IS A Christian BAND! I'm sorry, but in my opinion... Christianity should not be involved with Black Metal. BLACK METAL WAS MADE AND WILL FOREVER BE AN ENEMY OF THE Christian CHURCH! THIS shouldn't EVEN BE ON THE LIST! And on the Dimmu Borgir thing... They used to be good. Like a tribute band to emperor... But they SUCK now. Burzum, Mayhem, Gorgoroth, Immortal, and Emperor are the GODS of Black Metal and should forever be. Ave Satani. And long live TRUE BLACK METAL!


Raw black metal, in my opinion the only black metal band keeping the genre alive and frost is an epic drummer
1349 should be much higher, one of the rawest and most awesome black metal bands ever!

Just listen to Herbstleyd

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



51Lightning Swords of Death

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
I'm not a big fan of the evil stuff but they make some really fast good black metal
Don't know why these aren't at the top they piss all over mayhem, hasny anyome heard primevil fear

53Carach 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.
Great Band, should be among the top ten list



Windir is like Death, Legendary
Windir is not in the top 10? Even if not, 57 seriously? Laugh out loud this is not serious

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"!



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.


64Master's Hammer
Best lyrics and occult atmosphere ever. Just listen to their epic Ritual Album.


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


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


70Opera IX


Best Black metal Band

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

74Anorexia Nervosa

Awesome danish black metal band!

How isn't this with celtic frost and hellhammer? Best doom/black metal, and now with the new album...



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

791833 AD
Its Indian BM band listen to them its insanem/


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



84Enfold Darkness




88Frost Like Ashes

89Forgotten Tomb




93Diabolical Masquerade

94Anaal Nathrakh
Top 30 at least

A combination of blac and death metal should be number 3 at least

Listen to them they are nice. give it a try

97Aurora Black

98Limbonic Art


100Grave Declaration

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This list was created 4 years, 123 days ago and has been voted on over 2,000 times. This top ten list contains 154 items, has been remixed 23 times.

Updated Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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