Top 10 Best Black Metal Bands
Quorthon didn't only revolutionize and sow the seeds for the rest of the Scandinavian BM scene, he also frickin invented Viking Metal, I mean how cool is that.
Bathory (1984) is quite possibly the most influential black metal album ever, and Blood Fire Death (1988) is just objectively one of the most classic metal records of all time.
I'm not a black metal fan so I haven't heard that much black metal bands. All I know are these classic old bands and some blackened death/thrash bands. Burzum and all burzum copy bands suck, 1 riff for ten minutes make me sleepy. Darkthrone have some good albums but also many boring ones. Venom sound just like hardcore punk. Emperor is epic and Bathory (except the first album) is glorious. They are the best in what I have heard.
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.
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.
Even if you don't think it was the best musically (I don't), you still have to admit that it was the one that made the biggest impact. Burzum, Immortal, and Emperor were founded around the time of Dead's suicide. Darkthrone's style changed due to the suicide and Euronymous denouncing Death Metal's "trendiness". Euronymous also played the media by claiming they were all doing this in the name of Satan to receive more publicity. They were some of the first to commit the church burnings. Euronymous's murder was legendary. Dead brought Black Metal corpse paint, self-harm performances, and made the 2nd Wave of Norwegian Black Metal notable by the press.
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.
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.
Creators of modern black metal, Dead was first to wore the corpse paint, and Euronymous invented "machinegun-like" drumming and cold, atmospheric norwegian riffs. And Hellhammer did it very well, not to forget Necrobutcher, the best thing is that most people can hear him very easily on PFA and Deathcrush. Also the most notorious band ever, having really unique band story and a lot of intriguing event. The embodiment of black metal in my honest opinion.
My favourite Black Metal Band..When I first heard A Blaze In The Northen Sky it brought shivers to my body and I couldn't sleep the entire night thinking of what I just heard. It was ugly, scary, dark and beautiful at the same time...
True Norwegian Black metal : repetitive, monotonous, hypnotic. Try to listen to it with full concentration on the music, it's like traveling to another imaginary world
Darkthrone is ' True Norwegian Black Metal! Even during their Death Metal era they produced awesome material like Soulside Journey.
True norwegian black metal as it gets! Listen to Transilvanian Hunger(of course), pure coldness, rawness and excellent riffs. Shame they abandoned their black metal roots.
Black Metal has been a genre of adaptation. The original artists used what was available at the time to make outstanding metal music. Immortal takes the cake for best Black Metal band, because their sound evolved with the times. As high end production and tone control became available to them, they utilized it. Other bands purposefully release Black Metal with sub-par production to evoke the sound of the poorly recorded originals. Immortal does not jump onto the pretentious "kvlt" bandwagon with their sound. Instead, they have put their focus into making Black Metal for a new generation.
Glad Immortal is at least in the top 5 as they should be. If likely don't know what black metal is unless you've at least once did Olve Eikemo's face paint while screeching about my kingdom cold in the mountains of madness.
They are this far the only black metal bad that don't worship the absent deity that all the "kvlt" asses worship and kiss the ass of. I'm talking about the little girl scout that calls herself satan. Immortal, rather than preaching about a pointless and nonexistent creature, write about winter and mysticism and about the realm they have dubbed "Blashyrkh." They're music is incredible and Abbath's voice doesn't sound so awful like that pathetic excuse of a black metal vocalist that calls himself Gaahl. He forces an awful scream during live performances that butchers Gorgoroth's already horrible music. Immortal should set an example of what a fantastic black metal band is whereas Gorgoroth should set an example of what an awful band that dresses a certain way and acts a certain way for publicity is.
Whether or not you consider them to be the best, they're regardless the most black metal band there is besides Gorgoroth. And, I would say they're even more-so black metal -- they haven't released their names, they've perhaps stuck to the sound more than anyone else. It doesn't get more black metal than Immortal.
Say what you want about Vikernes as a person, but there is no denying his legendary legacy within the BM scene, both aesthetically and musically. His early albums took Black Metal in a completely different direction from the rest of the scene and have influenced countless of modern artists.
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.
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.
He produces great metal but I only listen to him for the music what he does and has done is his business though. other then that he is great musician along side bathory dimmu borgir immortal darkthrone mayhem emperor and even early behemoth
Was the first Norwegian band to successfully blend raw, underproduced black metal with symphonic, progressive and avant-garde elements while staying true to the original Black Metal aesthetics. They have a streak of 4 unmatched albums in the Symphonic Black Metal genre. All of their musicians are incredibly talented, and even if some of them have been convicted for arson and murder, I still hold them in very high regard.
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".
What! 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!
In the Nightside Eclipse was my introduction to Black Metal...there are plenty of aspects that led me to fully appreciate Black Metal...the highlight being the atmospheric quality (besides from the chilling sensation in the body) evokes an an intense yearning desire to voyage on a journey to wilderness, solitude and peace eternally away from the hustle and bustle of the city...sounds ridiculous but wow..
Has a lot more symphonic inspiration and steers away from the kvlt black metal toilet bowl sound, but Dimmu Borgir is definitely a legend in the black metal scene. I mean who doesn't love death cult armageddon.
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.
Whilst staying true to their black metal origins, this band's sound evolves with every album. They're are pleasure to listen to, it's pure escapism for me. Love the fact that every album has a different feel and sound too.
While they're not completely black metal but, I feel they deserve their position on this list. They had a huge influence on a lot of extreme metal bands that emerged after the mid-90s.
There is just no denying that Storm In The Light's Bane is the most catchy black metal album of all time. Oh yeah and Nödtveidt was an absolute fiend.
I love many of the bands I've seen here. Watain, Gorgoroth (Infernus), Marduk, Behemoth, Darkthrone, Emperor, Mgla, etc. I could go on. They're all amazing and they've all affected me and my life immensely, some more than others.
Yet none come close to the legend that is Dissection. It's dissapointing that they aren't higher up on the list.
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.
Their song themes are very dark and evil but what stands out to me is their musicality. They were playing so much more melodic and genius music than in my opinion a lot of other bands
Early Gorgoroth was the best. From 1993-1997 was their peak. Hat is literally the greatest black metal vocalist ever (unfortunately he is very underrated and has the sad name of Hat) and Pest being a great replacement for Hat. During this time, Infernys wrote some of the most evil riffs ever. Recommended album would be Pentagram, honestly my favorite black metal album. But the Ghaal and King of Hell era was just mediocre. Walking tabloids and scene queens don't go well with true Norwegian 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.
Thanks Satan for Gorgoroth, so glad they exist. Norwegian scene was already dying when the Gorgoroth came, and they made it great once again. Pure brutality and wickedness, just attack attack attack! Too bad Gaahl and King left because Gorgoroth is pretty weak now.
Easily one of black metal's darkest, most aggressive bands, Gorgoroth has consistently forged the path for bands looking for a heavier shade of the black metal movement.
Not the best, but they're great, and I love them. I think Kirk Hammett put it the best. "Listening to Venom is like watching a bad horror movie, as long as you don't have high expectation's you'll enjoy it a lot"
Venom should be much higher. They aren't famous for a singer suicide, rage killing of a random gay, or murder within the band.
And yet they make some of the best thrash or black metal around
If you don't put Venom number 1 then you weren't there when the black metal album was released. Sorry but you're just too young to vote.
Venom not only started black metal, but also all of extreme metal such as thrash, death etc.
They are definitely one of the best black metal bands I know. Although I'm no satanist I still love there music. And to all those people saying that they don't do black metal anymore listen to their newest album The Satanist.
See, the thing is with Behemoth- Adam is a really nice guy, who has battled lukemia and donated to charity. These guys aren't the church burning, animal sacrifisers that people associate with black metal. I actually like behemoth and I hate most black metal. Besides, Adam (Nergal) is a great musician, also doing blues and country music. Good band
The only black metal band that has good production. Every black metal band is like "we sound so evil" but the production is absolutely horrible. Behemoth stands out to me because they have amazing and evil and huge production
Probably the best blackened death metal out there. Their early stuff is absolutely great as it is extremely raw and heavy. Personally their 2 latest albums are of their best, specially Evangelion.
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.
One of the most surprising things for me regarding Celtic Frost, was the fact that they are from Swiss, like were you ever there?
And the were one of the most influential group on the genre.
Saddens me that the greatest, most influential black metal band is not even in the top ten.
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.
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.
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.
Agalloch was one of the most creative bands of the 2000s and while all their music might not have been 100% BM, it always served as an underlying genre to their style. Ashes Against The Grain was an excellent entry point into BM for me - the album got me to look past harsh vocals and appreciate the genre's other great aspects. Since then I've learned to love harsh vocals. Thanks Agalloch!
This is the band that has defined my life. Ever since I heard The Mantle for the first time ever, my way of thinking and interests altered for the better. The dark dismal lyrics, sometimes about nature, are just so so powerful. I could not ask for a better gift in my life than Agalloch!
They have released five albums, all of which are brilliant. I even got a signed copy of Marrow of the Spirit from the band!
Black Metal in a non-conventional way! A lot of atmospheric and acoustic passages. Melancholy and epic musicianship!
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.
MARDUK is insane, evil, powerful, are the kings of black metal. They have all elements of this genre. The sound is pure hell. Without taking merit to the first five, MARDUK is among the top three.
After 25 years Marduk is still holding to their roots of what they created in black metal. In my opinion, they are one of the very best bands.
Marduk on fifteen? Really? And where the hell is Kampfar? Or Urgehal? A top of black bands without them in the first ten is just a joke, in my opinion.
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.
They own my heart and respect (and ears.. lol) not only for remarkable musical diversity, but also for their strong phylosophy and ideological influence upon the audience. Their music is thoughtful and their energy is overwhelming! Hail Watain! Incipit Chaos!
Just listen to Waters of Ain from them. 14 Minutes of pure awesomness, my favorite black metal song of all time!
Oi! Watain should be MUCH higher than some of these weird bands. please! Watain under Dimmu? The hell?
I remember first hearing havenless during the metal evolution episode covering extreme metal, more specifically Norwegian black metal.
A wise man does need to prove his point. Enslaved the best! It took a while for them to reach the top perhaps. But now that the have reached it, they are incomparable! Perhaps Alcest should also be ranked on top!
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
Not just a great Black Metal band, but one of the most creative and innovative bands making music today. Enslaved consistently release quality albums.
For the longest time black metal had become really stagnant and most of the new bands were just recycling the old and not being any innovative until the genre. Until Wolves in the Throne Room arrive and took black metal to new places. They are by far the best modern black metal bands to date.
If you want to listen to songs about Hell, Satan, and Demons plus some actual melodies and a choir here and there THIS is the band you need to listen too.
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
Really? 18? Dark Funetal kicks ass! They definitely should be way higher on the list. Top 5 at least.
Dark funeral are awesome! I think they should be higher on this list!
My favorite proto black metal band. 1st wave is obviously the best and I HATE IT when people say " well it's not really black metal, more thrash or speed etc". They just don't sound like 2nd wave. But Hellhammer is my favorite. I'm sorry, but they should have stuck to hellhammer rather than change to Celtic Frost... that's my opinion
So black and depressing
Their music is organic, impassioned and often quite beautiful. They consistently deliver high quality songs.
Taking black metal to new places with heavily emotional music.
I love the stories, symphony and the brutality of this band. They are definitely one of my favorite more modern black metal bands that I couldn't include a top ten without including them.
The everything on this band is amazing.
The vocals are possibly the most listenable of any black metal band I've ever heard, alongside Darkthrone.
The symphonies are breathtaking, and the lyrics perfectly match the atmosphere given off by said symphonies.
Drums are no slouch either, with very well structured parts and an insanely talented player.
Guitars could stand to shine a bit more, though.
I just found this band the other day and I am so glad I did! They are so amazing. I was listening to their latest album, "Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten," and the story was so incredible. The whole ouija story was incredible! I definitely recommend.
Best symphonic black metal band ever existed to date, symphonies are just flawless. I am shocked how the band isn't even in top 10.. I think those who haven't listened Carach Angren should rot in hell.
Such a nice and pleasant band
You can feel their songs.. Ah.. such.. I don't know what to say about them...
Their songs (almost all) are so pleasant.
Alcest invented the blackgaze. They went far from the stereotypical black metal tematics talking about otherwordly, melancholic and ethereal things.
The most negative band on earth. I love them.
In my opinion, the best black metal band.
Great cover of A Forest of The Cure.
How are these guys not #1 they rule!
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.
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.
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!
47? Come on, I mean, ok they aren't black metal anymore, but there's one argument that they should be in top 30-20, and that is "Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler"