Most Influential Black Metal Bands

There were two waves of Black Metal. First one was from Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Brazil, and the second one entirely from Norway.

Here are the bands who proved to be the most influential acts for Black Metal.
The Top Ten
1 Bathory Bathory was a Swedish Black/Viking Metal band formed in 1983 by Quorthon and Jonas Åkerlund. Bathory's first 4 albums layed the blueprint for Scandinavian Black Metal. Quorthon is often credited with creating the "shrieking" vocal style of Black Metal. Their 5th album, Hammerheart (1990) displayed... read more

To my mind, Bathory are worth of at least sharing the first place with Celtic Frost, as I love both bands. However, I would put Bathory above, as Quorthon had more diversity. Rest In Valhalla.

Nearly every Black metal musician has been touched by Bathory. I do not know what this genre would be without Quorthon. Would it even exist the way that it does? Very unlikely.

The musical style of Black Metal was defined by Bathory. The lowfi production, the thrashy low tuned guitar riffs by Quorthon... Everything proved to be highly influential on Black Metal genre.

2 Mayhem Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, regarded as one of the pioneers of the Norwegian black metal scene. The band is also known for the infamous events surrounding them including the 1991 suicide of vocalist Dead (in which former guitarist Euronymous took pictures of Dead's... read more

The first ever pure Black Metal band which was both musically and lyrically a Black Metal band.
And they were the men who made the genre what it is today with suicides, church arsons and murders.

The highly distorted guitars and speed drumming makes it so unique compared to other black metal bands. Freezing moon is a must listen song

3 Venom Venom are an English extreme metal band formed in 1979 in Newcastle upon Tyne. Coming to prominence towards the end of the new wave of British heavy metal, Venom's first two albums—Welcome to Hell and Black Metal—are considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general.

Yes they are a band that helped develop black metal, but stylistically they aren't black metal. They're more speed/heavy metal than anything. It's they're raw production quality on their first two albums and the lyrics/imagery that contributed to black metal, but they themselves aren't black metal. The same deal with Mercyful Fate. They're still a great band though.

Not a Black Metal band in any way, but the term Black Metal came out of their Album with the same title!

4 Darkthrone Darkthrone is a Norwegian black metal band. It formed in 1986 as a death metal band under the name Black Death. In 1991, the band embraced a black metal style influenced by Bathory and Celtic Frost and became one of the leading bands in the Norwegian black metal scene. Their first three black metal... read more

A missing link between Death Metal and Black Metal... The two musicians Nocturno Culto and Fenriz started as a Death Metal band but later changed to a Black metal group and own the genre in their unique style.

Dimmu Borgir isn't Black Metal. Darkthrone, Burzum and Mayhem made black metal the way it is today.

5 Burzum Burzum is an influential black metal solo project of Norwegian musician and writer Varg Vikernes. Burzum came to prominence at the beginning of the Norwegian Black Metal scene in the early 1990s. Vikernes was imprisoned for 21 years for the murder of Mayhem guitarist Euronymous, and charges of church... read more

The multi-instrumentalist genius Varg Vikernes showed a different pathway of Black Metal with albums like Det Som En Gang Var and Filosofem, sadly which was followed by only a few musicians.

6 Celtic Frost Celtic Frost was a Swiss extreme metal band from Zürich. They are known for their strong influence on the development of extreme metal. Formed in 1981 as Hellhammer, the band became Celtic Frost in 1984 and was active until 1993.

Swiss Extreme Metal band Celtic Frost were Avant-garde and were an experimental metal act but their albums like 'To Mega Therion' and 'Morbid Tales' were genre defining releases!

Not only Celtic Frost were influential on Black Metal, they heavily influenced Death Metal bands like Death & Obituary and even labeled as a Death Metal band in their 1984-85 albums.

7 Mercyful Fate Mercyful Fate was a Danish heavy metal band from Copenhagen, formed in 1981 by vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann.

Danish Heavy Metal band Mercyful Fate led by King Diamond helped the Black Metal cultures (like Corpse Paint) to be popular.

8 HellHammer Hellhammer was a Swiss extreme metal band from Nurensdorf, active during 1981–1984. They are regarded as a key influence on black metal, and one of the founders of death metal.
9 Immortal Immortal is a black metal band from Bergen, Norway, founded in 1990 by frontman and guitarist Abbath Doom Occulta and former guitarist Demonaz Doom Occulta.

Lyrics are non-satanic, their music is the heaviest Black Metal ever, what else do you want?

Abbath Doom Occulta, Demonaz Doom Occulta, Grim, Horgh... Need I say more?
For me this is the most talented Black Metal band only next to Bathory and Burzum.
Lyrically no other black metal bands can beat them, and musically they are the chosen ones!

Immortal nr.1. Old school of "Pure Holocaust" Black Metal. They are "The true" Sons of the Northern Darkness.

10 Sarcófago Sarcófago was an influential Brazilian extreme metal band. They were fronted by Sepultura's original singer, Wagner Lamounier, and Geraldo Minelli.
The Contenders
11 Emperor Emperor was a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands.

The band which literally started Symphonic Black Metal.

12 Cradle of Filth Cradle of Filth are a British extreme metal band that formed in Suffolk in 1991. The band's musical style evolved from black metal to a cleaner and more "produced" amalgam of gothic metal, symphonic black metal and other extreme metal styles.

Yes, maybe they are not "pure" black metal but the first 3 albums were mostly black metal and for sure they influenced many teens who went on to form trve black metal bands. Trust me!

Possibly the best band ever in any genre.

13 Dark Funeral Dark Funeral is a Swedish black metal band from Stockholm Sweden, founded by guitarists Blackmoon and Lord Ahriman in 1993. They emerged during the second wave of black metal.
14 Dissection Dissection was a Swedish extreme metal band. They formed in 1989 by Jon Nödtveidt and later disbanded in 2006, followed by Nödtveidt's suicide. Their sound is usually described as "melodic blackened death metal".

Not only was "Storm of the Light's Bane" one of the best received albums in the black metal community during the second wave, Dissection helped define and pinnacle melodic black metal. I feel they should be much higher on the list. (especially above Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir! )

15 Marduk Marduk is a black metal band from Norrköping, Sweden. The band formed in 1990 and released their first album in 1992. Their name is derived from the Babylonian god Marduk, patron deity of Babylon.
16 Dimmu Borgir Dimmu Borgir is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, the name of which means "dark cities" or "dark castles/fortresses" in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse.

Dimmu Borgir and Emperor helped form symphonic black metal and helped create bands like Old Man's Child, Behemoth and Cradle of Filth (I don't see how they're influential, they are just another mall core band like with Slipknot). They also use lots of melodies and symphonic instruments and sometimes clean vocals which was unusual for black metal at the time. It was all about using a popular form of music that everyone enjoyed (thrash metal) and using it as a weapon for Satanist propaganda and making it heavier and more progressive than ever.

Dimming Borgir also taught all the black metal bands that it's not all about Satanist themes and blast beats. In For All Tid and Stormblast, they were purely melodic and featured less blasts beats and satanist themes than their later stuff.

17 Gorgoroth Gorgoroth is a Norwegian black metal band based in Bergen. Formed in 1992 by Infernus, the band is named after the dead plateau of evil and darkness in the land of Mordor (a fictional location in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings).

I've seen them live, once you start listening to them, you can't stop

18 Behemoth Behemoth is a Polish blackened death metal band from Gdańsk, formed in 1991. They are considered to have played an important role in establishing the Polish extreme metal underground.
19 Satyricon Satyricon is a Norwegian black metal band formed in Oslo, Norway in 1991 by vocalist Satyr and drummer Frost. The band's first three albums typify the Norwegian black metal style. Since their fourth album in 1999, the band has moved towards a more traditional heavy metal style.

If this was a list over most influental second wave BM bands Darkthrone, Satyricon and Mayhem would be top 3. No words for how much they have ment for me. Both with Frost's creative drumming and Wongravens deep early norse lyrics!

20 Rotting Christ Rotting Christ is a Greek extreme metal band formed in 1987. They are noted for being one of the first black metal bands within this region, as well as a premier act within the European underground metal scene.

This is the first black metal band to hail from Greece. They were the first black metal band to have influenced many metal bands with their melodic black metal and dark metal sound. I believe this is truly the best dark and melodic black metal band ever!

The 3 main reasons they are influential:
1) They have inspired so many bands during the early days and they were among the main bands which formed the whole scene.
2) The albums are all great.
3) They are true and humble if you meet them in person.
4) They have much respect for the fans.
5) They travel around the world unstoppably for over 30 years without a pause.
6) They have performed in over 150 countries.
7) Just having this name... is a difficult job.
8) They have been occasionally imprisoned in many countries due to lack of freedom of speech
9) They give to many young musicians the chance the perform with them (every 4-5 years the lineup changes for this reason)
10) I just love their message.

All bands mentioned in the list are very great and influential.
Non Serviam m/

21 Mgla
22 Nargaroth
23 Taake
24 Ulver
25 Beherit
8Load More
PSearch List