Top 10 Best DSBM (Depressive/Suicidal Black Metal) Bands

If you find yourself drawn to the raw, intense emotions of traditional black metal but crave an even deeper dive into despair, you might be ready to explore DSBM (Depressive / Suicidal Black Metal). DSBM is a Metal sub-genre and a type of Black Metal. The main themes of DSBM songs are hate, death, misery, pain, sorrow and loneliness of human life.

With its piercing shrieks, dissonant guitars, and relentless blast beats, DSBM isn't meant to be "easy listening". It's a sonic mirror for the darkest parts of the human experience. A visceral expression of hopelessness and isolation... and here are the best to do it.
The Top Ten
1 Xasthur Xasthur is a black metal and acoustic project of American musician Scott Conner, formed in 1995. Xasthur was perhaps the most notable black metal group from America. In 2010, Conner announced the end of Xasthur, after 8 black metal albums. However, in 2015, Conner revived Xasthur as an acoustic project... read more

Xasthur is a perfect DSBM band. When you listen to Xasthur, what do you feel? The pain, sadness, and weakness? Yes, that's right. This perfect DSBM project has changed my life. I have one song where I cry every time I listen to it, which is Walker of Dissonant Worlds. This song and the whole album (To Violate the Oblivious) is an absolute masterpiece.

Also, the album Subliminal Genocide is perfect. The song Malice Hidden in Surrealism is one of my favorites from this album, along with Prison of Mirrors and Beauty Is Only Razor Deep. The last album, Subject to Change, is a bit weird, but there are some good songs too, like Holding Yourself Hostage and Proven to Be Broken. But the important thing is that Xasthur is a perfect band, and you should listen to them. (Also, sorry for my English.)

2 Thy Light

Everything with Thy Light is on point. The cacophonous distortion, sounding almost as if shoegaze had had a child with black metal, will chill you to your very soul every time. The anguished screaming sends a dark cloud over a song already lurking in the darkness.

Thy Light is top-tier DSBM. You can really feel the despair, sadness, and fading hope. Also, the vocals are very good. "In the decaying reality, I am just a crawling worm in a world of lies."

Thy Light, from Brazil, is absolutely amazing. With powerful screams and fantastic composition, their music is impressive. They are everything.

3 Lifelover

Lifelover is unique. The songs "Mental Central Dialog," "Myspys," and "Twitch" feature some of the most desperate, depressive, and painfully inspiring guitar riffs, vocals, and lyrics on this Earth.

I really love this band. But I believe to get the full experience, you kind of need to know Swedish.

After I listened to Lifelover for the first time, I was depressed for the rest of the day. Enough said.

4 Silencer Silencer was a Swedish black metal band. Based in Stockholm, the group formed in 1995 and disbanded in 2001 releasing only one full-length album and a demo.

I listened to Death - Pierce Me, and I am not kidding when I say that it was the scariest and worst song I've heard in my life. I was sort of getting into it at first, but the first scream completely startled me, and it turned me away from this band immediately.

Let's not forget how mentally insane Nattramn supposedly is/was. This is how I imagine prison is mentally.

Thank you, Nattramn and Leere. Each one of us has felt this miserable at least once in our life. Silencer carries their music with a perfect sense of melancholy after there's actually nothing left to destroy, all is dead and gone, and so must you.

All in all, Silencer is an essential DSBM legend band. However, listen to them with caution and keep sharp objects away from reach.

5 Trist

Trist should be number one. No band uses such easy, dark riffs to create the most melancholic atmosphere. The songs are long and dark, mostly instrumental, sometimes pierced with painful screams - not like, for example, Lifelover, which uses more piano and spoken words.

Trist is a genius of the DSBM genre. You can feel the melancholy and pure pain in his music, and you know it's real.

One of the best DSBM bands out there. It should be at least top two in my opinion.

6 Nocturnal Depression

My descent into the creative agonizing vortex of DSBM began with Nocturnal Depression. I heard "... And Fall The February Snow" and was blown away by its heart-breaking, obscure beauty. I was hooked immediately and now, of course, I'm a huge fan of a myriad of other DSBM artists.

ColdWorld, Thy Light, Sterbend, Drowning The Light, From The Sunset, Forest & Grief - these are bands I am very fond of. But Nocturnal Depression will always occupy the central chamber in this "DSBM junkie's" heart.

I remember the first time I heard this type of music, and the one that really caught me was Nocturnal Depression. I don't even know how they aren't in first place. I don't care about the other bands, but if you're trying to listen to DSBM for the first time, Nocturnal Depression is the band. Period.

7 Shining

While Shining, specifically Nikolas, hates being labeled a part of the DSBM genre, they certainly have the depressive element in droves. Progressive in songwriting, varied in vocal styles, and completely sincere in delivery, The Eerie Cold era Shining is some of the best black metal I've ever listened to.

Insanely emotional and mind-blowingly creative, you have to listen to Shining as a metal fan of any sort.

So bleak, atmospheric, and depressing, Shining has to be the best DSBM artist out there. They use samples very effectively and are just perfect. Admittedly, they have some not-so-good songs, but seriously, when they write a good song, they write a good song.

8 Psychonaut 4

No matter how this voting will end, Psychonaut 4 is the most complete band in DSBM and, for me, even in the whole music world. It's not about taste. It's about fact.

Perhaps, the band's native country is one of the main reasons their music is so real, dark, painful, and even lovely. I think Psychonaut 4's spirit embodies the Georgian spirit: fighting love, hate, self, others, and just fighting, but in the end, neither winning nor losing. To tell the truth, their music has even saved my life once, instead of making me worse.

9 Make a Change... Kill Yourself

Their first album is just unbeatable, more than a masterpiece. I highly recommend their first album if you are looking for true depressive music. Just sit alone at night with your headphones on and start from the first song, then the second, and so on to the last. Then you will know how amazing the album is.

The first band I really listened to, knowing of the DSBM genre, and I can't express how beautifully sad and raw emotion comes through in these songs. Brilliant work and beautiful music.

No other band can capture what it feels like to be completely lost in anguish and pain.

10 I'm In a Coffin

As much as I like other DSBM bands, I'm In a Coffin is something really special. Just pure crushing despair, in the best way possible.

Corpses in living masks, enough said.

The Contenders
11 Woods of Desolation

Just the best combinations of sounds. Guitar tone, vocals, lyrical theme, riffs, beautiful melodies, and heavy depressive riffs that simultaneously bring you up while exploring the absurdity of life. Love it and cannot get enough.

Woods of Desolation is a mix of raw, passionate, and sorrowful elements. The band can be both crushingly heavy and gently melodic. They are my favourite DSBM band by a long stretch.

The ironic thing about this band is that it doesn't make me depressed. Far from it. There is so much beauty in the music.

12 Drowning The Light

Drowning The Light plays a form of simple nihilist black metal that takes me to a dimension beyond reality. This is because of the sound of the guitars, and the guitar melodies are dominating the music of this band. It's just that they are quite inventive in their riffs, with some more elements of doom metal to it.

When you hear a DSBM band, the main thing that attracts you is its atmosphere. In this case, no other band can match Drowning The Light.

Drowning The Light is an awesome band with some of the greatest works in the depressive metal scene. I like their intros for almost every song by them.

13 Leviathan Leviathan is an ambient black metal solo project of Jef Whitehead (A.K.A. Wrest), formed in 1998. Wrest records and plays all instruments including vocals entirely on his own. Despite having early problems with the release of Massive Conspiracy Against All Life, it was released March 24, 2008 in Europe... read more

Leviathan's music should be at least second. It's some of the best DSBM around! They even have an amazing split with Xasthur!

Definitely one of the most haunting black metal bands out there. Tentacles of Whorror is a perfect example.

Easily one of the best out there.

14 Life is Pain

I was listening to this during my first serious overdose.

This is the music of the damned, depressed, and dying.

15 Happy Days

Why is Happy Days in the tenth place? It should be at least in the top five. I can't rate these bands in order, but if I were to make a top ten list of DSBM bands, it would contain the following bands: Hypothermia, Lifelover, Apati, Psychonaut 4, Happy Days, Gris, Nocturnal Depression, Totalselfhatred, Forgotten Tomb, and Austere. And not Xasthur. Xasthur is a very overrated band.

You can just feel the pain in these lyrics. They're just amazingly depressive in a sophisticated way. I like the album Happiness Stops Here the most (especially the songs Don't Go, Letting Go, and Take Me Away).

16 Blutklinge
17 Dhishti

Dhishti is miles ahead of any other band on this list. They show that truly unique black metal can be created outside of what we typically think of as "the black metal world."

Sick, disturbing, and depressive in the blackest way possible.

One of the best creative sounds that I've heard.

18 ColdWorld

I first discovered ColdWorld a long time ago, and it didn't really click with me at first. At the time, this was prior to my love for black metal, and I wasn't used to such raw-sounding music. But the more I listened to black metal, it just grew on me. I came back to this artist and listened again and again. Melancholie² soon became one of my favorite albums of all time, and I listen to it very often. The Stars Are Dead Now is a great piece of work as well.

I only wish he'd come out with a new album. ColdWorld creates such a unique atmosphere that I can't describe. My favorite song has to be either Cancer or Hymn to Eternal Frost. I strongly recommend ColdWorld to anyone getting into DSBM.

19 Totalselfhatred

Totalselfhatred introduced me to the genre. The instrumentation and monolithic atmosphere are amazing. Some of the most refined sounds in DSBM.

Wow, only 24th? I never thought they were that underrated! One of the first DSBM bands I discovered with Lifelover and Psychonaut 4, and my favourite one! Their tracks have the power to fill me with intense melancholy and a weird feeling I can't even describe. Powerful.

Way underrated here. Should be in the top 5 for sure.

20 About Abortions

This is the most authentic DSBM band I have ever listened to. Every song talks about the real lives of Solitudo Cyfer and Thirteen Forever, about what they went through and their true emotions. They also give a lot of importance to issues every person has to deal with nowadays, like cyberbullying, mental issues, and depression.

Before listening to About Abortions, be aware that all the darkest feelings you have been trying to lock inside and not show will come out of your soul, destructive like a blow.

21 Austere

I am really disappointed that this band is lower than I wanted it to be. I would have put these guys right above Woods of Desolation. But songs like Just For A Moment, This Dreadful Emptiness, and Memories... It's easy to see that these guys are extremely underrated.

DSBM forever.

Underrated. I would like to see Austere in the top ten because this band is a very talented group and makes sorrowful and painful black metal better than most of the bands above it.

But Leviathan? It's not a DSBM band at all.

New Zealand is the last place I would expect to find truly miserable, authentic DSBM, and yet here it is. I think they deserve a good ranking mostly off the back of "To Lay Like Old Ashes".

22 Forgotten Tomb

Forgotten Tomb is wonderful DSBM! Why is it so underrated? The scream is so painful and pathetic, and the lyrics are something else... special.

The pure emotion Herr Morbid drains into his music is more than enough to be a strong contender.

Love's Burial Ground is now Negative Megalomania!

23 Hysteria

Very depressive band from Croatia. Should be ranked higher.

24 Apati

I think this band isn't the best in DSBM, but these guys are really talented and I love their songs. RIP Obehag.

25 Cosmic Church
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