Best Black Metal Bands


The Top TenXW


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.

Extremely awesome my friends

V34 Comments

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.

V21 Comments

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. - ahh28

Mayhem are a band more famous for their actions then their music. That being said, mayhem are one of the bed bands in this scene. Each vocalist brings something new to the table. Necrobutcher's heavily distorted metallic bass sound coupled with Euronymous's stellar guitar work made black metal what it is. They also knew how to make some catchy-ass riffs and not loose and inch of their evil sound. By far one of the beat metal bands. Oh, and Varg; he killed Euro and messed the reputation of black metal up.

De mysteriis dom sathanas is a masterpiece!

V33 Comments

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

Can't believe Burzum isn't #1 There is something wrong with people who have voted!

V29 Comments
5Dimmu 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.

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 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 is the best black metal group, because melody in one song its important than shouting and dimmu is nice in melody

V45 Comments

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 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.

Defines Black Metal

V18 Comments

Cradle of filth are not BM.

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

Highly respected Black Metal. - ahh28

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

V16 Comments

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.

Needs to be number one

V34 Comments

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

V29 Comments

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

The riffs these guys produced are incredible. #2 behind Bathory and the best Norwegian Black Metal band ever - ryanrimmel

V12 Comments

The Newcomers


Why did I have to add tormentor to this list? Shame on you internet metalheads!


Black. Speed. Metal.

The Contenders


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.

V14 Comments

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

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


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.

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

Amazing Swedish Black Metal band. - ahh28

Very very violent music and it's not even death metal!

V8 Comments
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

Dark Funeral must be in the top 10! You idiots!

V8 Comments

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

V7 Comments
16Appalachian Winter

Nowhere near black metal - Ananya


Einherjer is not so much a "Black Metal" band, but more a viking metal band, kinda like Bathory by the way.
They may have some BM influences but to call them BM is wrong.

18Celtic 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

#17? No way! They deserve to be in the top five. - IronSabbathPriest

V4 Comments

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!

Pure Satanic swedish Black Metal. Hail the Legacy!

V9 Comments

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

The band that made me listen to black metal

Not black metal, but great.

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List StatsUpdated 28 Nov 2015

3,000 votes
188 listings
5 years, 181 days old

Top Remixes (38)

1. Dimmu Borgir
2. Old Man's Child
3. Emperor
1. Dissection
2. Watain
3. Burzum
1. Satyricon
2. Enslaved
3. Burzum

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