Most Influential Black Metal Bands

Nord666
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 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.

Bathory came up with the black metal style and influenced thousands of other bands

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. - LadyBanshee

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2 Venom 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. - MetalFoREVer1228

Not a Black Metal band in any way, but the term Black Metal came out of their Album with the same title! - Nord666

Invented black metal

3 Mayhem 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.

Though Deathcrush was heavily influenced by early Death Metal/Grindcore bands and contained Gore themed lyrics (death worship) and a few Satanic songs but it was a highly influential album that took away Black Metal from Speed Metal,inserted "death growls" in Black Metal and crafted a new way of guitar playing (by Euronymous) that there was needed just one guitar player to play Black Metal unlike Bathory and Death Metal bands and other Metal genres in that time. - GREYBOYY

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. - Nord666

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

The most notorious and along side gorgoroth, famous

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4 Celtic Frost Celtic Frost Celtic Frost was a Swiss extreme metal band from Zürich. They are known for their heavy influence on extreme metal genres.

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. - GREYBOYY

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! - Nord666

5 Immortal 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?

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

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! - Nord666

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6 Dimmu Borgir 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.

Dimmu borgir should be in top 5 they are quite influential they do awesome live shows I love this band db forewer

Dimmu ix one of ma best band with an amagine attitude and Vocal Which they have put in Burn in hell, metal heart when I listen to them I cnt Stop head banging they R just Amagine

7 Burzum 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. - Nord666

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8 Sarcófago Sarcófago Sarcófago was an influential Brazilian extreme metal band. They were fronted by Sepultura's original singer, Wagner Lamounier, and Geraldo Minelli.

The band which was influential to Mayhem, the corpse paint and the blast beats at certain way were one blueprint. The first full- lenght álbum INRI es the probe of the sound of black metal.

9 Mercyful Fate 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. - Nord666

The guys deserve the same amount of credit that Venom has

10 Emperor 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. - Nord666

The creators of Symphonic Black Metal. - GREYBOYY

The Contenders

11 Darkthrone Darkthrone Darkthrone is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1986 under the name Black Death. The band consists of 2 multi-instrumentalists, Fenriz and Nocturno Culto. Originally a death metal band, in 1991, the band switched to a black metal style influenced by Bathory and Celtic Frost and became one of the ...read more.

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

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. - Nord666

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12 Gorgoroth 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.

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

Gorgoroth is quite influencial it should been in top ten they have done some awesome events like black mass krakow

13 Xasthur 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.

#14? , no complains, such amazing depressing lyrics and songs keeps me alive - Ananya

14 Enslaved Enslaved Enslaved is a Norwegian extreme metal band formed in Haugesund in June 1991. They are currently based in Bergen, Norway.
15 Cradle of Filth 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.

16 Behemoth 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.

You can very good listen too behemoth

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17 HellHammer 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.
18 Dark Funeral 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.
19 Nargaroth V 1 Comment
20 Rotting Christ 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!

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List StatsUpdated 24 Aug 2017

300 votes
31 listings
5 years, 182 days old

Top Remixes

1. Bathory
2. Immortal
3. Dimmu Borgir
Ananya
1. Bathory
2. Celtic Frost
3. Venom
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