Top 10 Greatest Black Metal Albums

The Top Ten
1 De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas - Mayhem

I always contended that Blood Fire Death was the greatest black metal album ever, but recently I saw Mayhem perform this album in its entirety live, front row. I knew the show was going to be intense, but wow. They gradually turned the lights down and fogged up the entire venue. After a dramatic intro, the members came out wearing black hooded robes. I was about 5-10 feet from Necrobutcher and Charles Hedger for pretty much the entire show. I made eye contact with Necrobutcher at least 20 times that night, and he had this blank, intimidating stare that could turn a man to stone.

Anyway, I had never seen a video of a recent Mayhem show, and during the first breakdown in Funeral Fog, Atilla comes out with his hood up, and he literally looked like a demon of some sort. They made the whole album seem like a concept album with weird rituals in between songs. By far, this was the most captivating show I've seen since King Diamond.

Sorry I rambled a lot.

2 In the Nightside Eclipse - Emperor
3 Under the Sign of the Black Mark - Bathory

One of my top 15 favorite albums of all time. The reason why this is the best black metal album is that it could be released at any point in time (including today) and still be perfect, due to its experimental nature and unique production.

Bathory is great, but I would choose Blood Fire Death and Hammerheart. Hail Bathory!

The best black metal album ever!

4 Hvis Lyset Tar Oss - Burzum

Torment, hatred, passion, rage, sadness, and darkness in the purest form delivered through the incomparable howls, thrashing riffs, and smashing drums of the most inspired musician of the millennium. And what a badass name too!

I believe there will be nothing better than this masterpiece! The intention was to bring a counter-reaction to death metal. He was the reason that black metal was born! This album is more than black metal!

A lot of my favorites here, but this one encapsulates black metal as I like it - less mindless drum pounding, more reflection.

5 Storm of the Light's Bane - Dissection

I can't understand its position. Must be a matter of definition if it's a black metal thing. The musicality of this album is still unmatched, second to none in extreme metal.

Melodic and violent, led by a man who followed his beliefs, no matter what you think of them, until the end.

This or The Somberlain has to easily be the best black metal, if not the best album of all time.

6 Filosofem - Burzum

Varg Vikernes' masterpiece! This album got me into the world of black metal.

Best after The Mysteriis in my opinion.

7 At the Heart of Winter - Immortal

My favorite black metal album by my favorite black metal band. It has great production, fantastic riffs, and awesome lyrics.

Simply the best one in its genre, alongside Bathory's Hammerheart.

8 Transilvanian Hunger - Darkthrone

Very good album. It was one of the first BM albums that I heard. It's not my favorite of all time. It's just my favorite in the top ten, as well as Gorgoroth's Destroyer and Immortal's At the Heart of Winter. Those three are my favorites in the top 10 on this list.

One of the albums that got me into extreme metal. It's amazing!

I got this when I was 8 or 9 years old, one of my favorites.

9 Panzerfaust - Darkthrone
10 Bergtatt: Et eeventyr i 5 capitler - Ulver

Bergtatt effortlessly blends black metal and folk music. The true black metal masterpiece.

The Contenders
11 A Blaze in the Northern Sky - Darkthrone
12 Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk - Emperor

The true emperors of black metal with their unmatched evilness and magic. Each song has more riffs than some albums.

This should be number 1! Simply the best black metal album. It has never been bettered. How is this only at 14?!

This and Nightside are absolute classics. Everything that came later is pretty mediocre though.

13 Nemesis Divina - Satyricon

This devilish stuff totally blends in the real darkness. Masterpiece!

14 Blood Fire Death - Bathory

The album that perfected the guitar sound for the 2nd wave of Black Metal to follow and prototyped so-called Viking, pagan metal, is basically indefinable. Any top ten black metal list should include Bathory or early Venom for that reason. They are beyond this.

A true masterpiece! With unique production and beautiful acoustic parts, Quorthon's fantastic harsh vocals, and killer riffs, there is no way to describe this masterpiece. So great, so brutal, and so beautiful at the same time.

This is great to listen to while playing Skyrim.

15 Dark Medieval Times - Satyricon

Basically, these guys started the whole "Viking medieval" thing in black metal, later used by Enslaved and many other bands. This album doesn't get the attention it deserves. Each song on the album is basically my favorite.

The flutes and ambient keyboards just make this album so atmospheric. It takes me to another time and place, far away from the degeneracy and shallowness of the modern world.

This needs to be higher. It's basically pre-Opeth.

16 Bathory - Bathory

This album should be number one because it basically started the black metal scene.

17 Sons of Northern Darkness - Immortal

What's wrong with you people? This is the greatest black metal album ever! Next to Blood Fire Death from Bathory!

18 Panzer Division Marduk - Marduk
19 The Mantle - Agalloch

Perfection is this blackened prog-folk metal album. Perhaps a one-of-a-kind band. Take note that this is not what a purist would call "black metal", but this album is a journey in itself. Hypnotic.

I don't have enough linguistic resources to express the beauty of this atmospheric black metal album.

20 Deathcrush - Mayhem

In my opinion, the best Mayhem album, as it contains the live versions of the band's most emblematic period. Also, the best black metal album, as it embodies the full spirit of the genre.

I love this one. Death metal/grindcore elements in this album are awesome. Ultra-fast drumming, tempo changes, everything is awesome, and Euronymous's best riffs.

I don't like putting one album over the next... but Deathcrush is amazing.

21 Exercises in Futility - Mgła

One of the best albums ever created (without division into music genre).

Every time I listen to this album, I wonder how beautiful it was.

22 Pentagram - Gorgoroth

This one should be at least top 10. Come on!

23 Far Away from the Sun - Sacramentum
24 ...Doedskvad - Taake

No matter how all of you voted for Mayhem, this is the best black metal album ever.

25 Unchain the Wolves - Destroyer 666

Underrated album, better than many because they don't just rip off Bathory while capturing that early black metal sound.

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