Best Black Metal Bands


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The Top Ten

Dimmu 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 deserves this one. Very great band. Actually, my favorite band over all.
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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.
More comments about Immortal

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!
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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.
Obviously the best you will know why they are the greatest with the most succesful black metal album ever
This is the best Black Metal band of all time in my opinion. The band that created the Black Metal atmosphere in my view.


More comments about Mayhem

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.
More comments about Bathory

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.
This is an east one! Emperor is not only 'important' as far as defining the genre goes, but represents the height of musicianship, song-writing and producdtion values in black metal. Only the proggier bands like Arcturus and Agalloch can match them, and that only sometimes.
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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
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
Their not to black metal these days but I love their older raw black metal albums behemoth are defiantly one of my favorites.
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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
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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.


More comments about Darkthrone

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..
After all those year, they still release great music and every album brings something different without this emo-sympho-blackish crap. Kings.
What, you have to revise this invalid list and adjust it instantly, this band should be at least in top 5
More comments about Satyricon

The Contenders

crazy 2 here the music sounds better than a whole lot better than there counterparts
Venom was the forerunner in it all no other compares
The Creators of Black Metal along with Celtic Frost and Bathory... for me Venom is the best Black Metal Band
1. Venom
2. Mayhem
3. Immortal
4. Burzum
5. Celtic Frost
6. Gorgoroth
7. Behemoth
8. Dimmu Borgir
9. Satyricon

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


I only say panzer division marduk

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!


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!
More comments about Dark Funeral

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.


17Celtic Frost


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

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'



22Carpathian Forest
You can't make a list without this band they are so good at making their music
I just love this band.

23Appalachian Winter


25Carach 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

26Satanic Warmaster

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
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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.

32Deathspell Omega

33Toxic Holocaust

34Abigail Williams
These guys are an awesome band who capture all the aspects of black metal and throw in some amazing melodies

35Lord Belial

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


38Satanic Slaughter


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!


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

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


44Crimson 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'




48Mercyful Fate
If Dimmu Borgir is on number 1 then Mayhem should be on no. -minus 50 and Mercyful Fate should be on -minus 51!
If you still don't understand what I mean then listen to Albums 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' by Mayhem and 'Melissa' by Mercyful Fate! And you'll soon realize the true meaning of Black Metal! 666


I know they're more classic/progressive/power/black but they still are my faves on this list.. Followed closely by Bathory and Immortal
Listen to their albums Melissa and Don't Break the Oath, and you will find reasons to vote this band to take it up to the top ten!

49Lightning Swords of Death

Raw black metal, IMO 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!

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



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


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"!
We Hail Thy Entrance is the best blast metal song of all time. Give these guys a listen they're absolutely amazing.



59Rotting Christ
Hail to the Greek Gods!
They are just unique and always come with new ideas...
I could call them pionners
Very unique and very good as well. Defiantly one of the best so underrated
More comments about Rotting Christ


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.



So black and depressing



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

68Opera IX


70Master's Hammer
Best lyrics and occult atmosphere ever. Just listen to their epic Ritual Album.

Best Black metal Band

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

73Anorexia Nervosa

Awesome danish black 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".




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



83Enfold Darkness




87Frost Like Ashes

88Forgotten Tomb




92Diabolical Masquerade

93Anaal Nathrakh
Top 30 at least

Should be in the top 10 AT LEAST!

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


97Aurora Black

98Limbonic Art



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This list was created 3 years, 322 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list contains 131 items, has been remixed 16 times.

Updated Friday, April 18, 2014

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