Top Ten Darkest Bands of All Time

This list is about darkness in music, not about the musicians. Many musicians did horrible things in their lives but did not produce "Dark Music".
The Top Ten
1 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 corpse and used one of them as the front cover for one of their live albums) and the 1993 murder of... read more

I know this list has nothing to do with the acts some of these musicians did in their lives, but the way Dead killed himself and Euronymnous took a photo of his dead body and placed it as the front cover of their album Dawn of the Black Hearts is one of the darkest things I have ever heard. How do you people not find that unsettling?

I love their music no doubt, but it has a much, much darker sound than anything I've ever heard of. The guitar sounds like it is electrocuting someone, and the vocals are, no pun intended, dead. Just look at the bands history, and you'll see just why they are number one on this list.

Should be number one. Not only is their music very dark, the band in general is just dark. They started Norwegian Black Metal and even started the church burnings. Euronymous was their guitar player and one of the darkest, most controversial musicians of all time.

2 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 albums—A Blaze in the Northern Sky, Under a Funeral Moon and Transilvanian Hunger (sometimes dubbed... read more

Literally like four of these bands are actually dark. Darkthrone, Mayhem, and Death are the only ones here even resembling anything heavy. No Gnaw Their Tongues? No Sunn O))) or Portal? Impetuous Ritual?

I don't mind mayhem but darkthrone is WAY Darker. The name literraly says it!

Well, the name says it

3 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).

Probably the darkest band of all time because of how truly satanic they are. And they might be one of the only known metal bands who do worship and glorify Satan.

should be first. these guys are actual Satanists and some of the members are part of the Church Of Satan. attending a Gorgoroth concert is like attending a real Satanic Black Mass, they've got sheep heads on stakes, crucifications, and other sorts of similar imagery going on. Mayhem were mainly doing it for shock value and same with Darkthrone. but this band...they're the real deal

4 Sunn O)))

They have the creepiest stuff I've ever heard.

They trapped their claustrophobic friend in a coffin and recorded vocals

5 Joy Division Joy Division were an English post-punk band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band consisted of singer Ian Curtis, guitarist and keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, and drummer Stephen Morris.

By far the darkest band on the list. Joy Division put forth a personal darkness that is more real than any Satanist metal band. This band gives you the chills when you actually read the lyrics. The songs, "In a Lonely Place," "Decades," and "The Eternal" are masterpieces that portray a personal darkness that is almost too close to home.

An abyss that laughs at creation,
A circus complete with all fools,
Foundations that lasted the ages,
Then ripped apart at their roots.
Beyond all this good is the terror,
The grip of a mercenary hand,
When savagery turns all good reason,
There's no turning back, no last stand.

Nobody understands what darkness is in music. It's not how heavy it is, or how often they say "Satan" in a song. Darkness lies in gloom, lyrics, etcetera, which is what Joy Division was.

6 Slayer Slayer was an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California, formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. They rose to fame with their 1986 album Reign in Blood, and is credited as one of the big four of thrash metal bands, the others being Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax... read more

Very anti-Christian band. Anti-Christian the ed songs include Raining Blood, Disciple, and Jihad.

7 Stalaggh
8 Death Death was an American death metal band formed in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner. Death is considered to be one of the most influential bands in heavy metal and a pioneering force in death metal. Its debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, has been widely regarded as the first death metal record, while the band's driving force, Chuck Schuldiner, is acknowledged as the "Godfather of Death Metal." Death released 7 studio albums, and are the band that started the Florida Death Metal scene. They were known for their death metal classics Lack of Comprehension and Crystal Mountain. Death ended in 2001 when Schuldiner died of Brain Cancer.

Boy are they dark. They have a dark logo, dark album covers, dark song meanings, this is one dark band.

Scream Bloody Gore is on of the most brutal and darkest Metal albums of all time, the Denial Of Life track is terrifying,Leprosy is even Darker.

9 Nurse With Wound

Industrial music on the opposite side of Rammstein.

10 Evanescence Evanescence is an American alternative rock/alternative metal band. It was founded in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.

DARK?! bahahaha what a joke. well, maybe if you're a 12 year emo kid then they are the darkest band out there but once you've heard metal, Evanescence is about as dark as your average Hot Topic angst band

I love this group very much & I'm listening their "Going under" right now!

Not an Evil band but very Dark.

The Contenders
11 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.

Look up the backstory behind this band's obscurity. It's chilling.

12 Emperor Emperor was a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands.

How is korn above Emperor?! Are you nute? The drummer STABBED a guy 38 times in the back! He then went and burned down a church with Varg Vikernes and Euronymous.

I'm not sure whether Varg Viking actually burnt down a church.

13 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.

The Monotheist was a Doom/Gothic hyper heavy and dark album.

Their first stuff was kinda dark but man the monotheist was just darkness surrounding. but that's why I love it

14 Korn Korn is an American nu-metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band's current lineup includes founding members Jonathan Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer, Brian "Head" Welch, and Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, with the addition of Ray Luzier, who replaced the band's original member, David Silveria in 2007. Korn was originally formed by three of the members of the band L.A.P.D... read more

Their first album shows a girl on a swing looking up on a man who's shadow looks unsettling. Their last song of their first album Daddy, talks about how lead singer Jonathan Davis was molested as a child. They also have other albums such as Life is Peachy, Issues, and Follow the Leader which are also pretty dark. Dark nu metal band and I like it!

Their self-titled debut album deals with themes of child abuse, drug abuse, and bullying. Plus, it even has a creepy cover of a little girl on a swing starring back at a creepy shadow.

Also, listen to Daddy. The final track on the album. And you'll truly see why they deserve a really high spot on this list.

In a way, KoRn is much darker then bands like Slayer and most black metal bands, because they actually meant it, most of their songs are actually based off of experiences in Jonathen Davis's life, whereas Slayer has said their music is not to be taken seriously.

15 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, singer John "Ozzy" Osbourne, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward.

The band became mainstream after improving after their debut album got panned. In 1978, Osbourne was fired and replaced with former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Who went to release... read more

The creators of Heavy Metal music. Not as dark as Curtis, Reznor or Smith.

Come on, inventers of Doom Metal,25 is too low.

The first dark metal band.

16 King Diamond Kim Bendix Petersen, better known by his stage name King Diamond, is a Danish heavy metal musician. He is known for his extensive vocal range, usually sung in falsetto. King Diamond was originally known as the vocalist for Mercyful Fate, but has become notorious for his horror themed Concept albums that he has released as a solo artist. He is also known for his Satanism which he does not see as a religion, but a philosophy by which he lived even before reading Anton LaVey's The Satanic Bible.

For a satanist, King Diamonds work really isn't all dark and gloomy. It's pretty much just regular heavy metal with satanic lyrics.

honestly, you'd be surprised how tame this guy's music is compared to the others on this list. like he looks like he plays black metal but his music with Mercyful Fate as well as his solo stuff is actually just regular heavy metal in the vein of Iron Maiden

17 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.

Some of the bands that was put before this is ridiculous! Has anyone actually ever taken the time to read the lyrics versus these other band's lyrics? CoF needs more appreciation then they are credited for!

"Her ghost in the fog" Absolute horror song...

18 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 arson. In prison, Burzum released 2 dark ambient albums recorded entirely on synthesizers. Burzum... read more

Needs to be higher. Why? The guy who runs this group, Varg Viking, literally killed his bandmate and burned down a church. Definitely a Top 5.

Easily one of the darkest bands there. The atmosphere is purely evil and I'm not too sure why CC is above, yeah CC has deranged album covers but death metal often doesn't truly create that dark, sinister mood to it. a band doesn't need to have intense blast beats to be "dark".

To people who haven't listened, Burzum isn't just on here because of the murder. Songs like Det Som Engang Var have a dark, hypnotic energy that *feels* evil, in a way music justifies a lot better than words do.

19 Deicide Deicide is an American death metal band formed in 1987 by bassist and vocalist Glen Benton and drummer Steve Asheim. They are known for their blasphemous and satanic lyrics which have resulted in bans, lawsuits and criticisms from religious groups and the public. Frontman Glen Benton is also known for being a theistic satanist, even going as far as to repeatedly branding an inverted cross into his forehead on at least 12 different occasions.

Glen Benton is an evil genius. The first three albums and Stench of Redemption is a must for death metal fans.

Glenn Benton is filled with pure hatred for Christianity.

20 Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock band, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.

Listen to Lights In the Sky/Corona Radiata, and you'll know why they are up here.

Have you even seen the music video to Closer?

21 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.

Has anyone heard the satanist album? Dark as all hell in everyway possible.

Should be higher!

22 Neurosis Neurosis is a post-metal band, based in Oakland, California. They formed in 1985 as a hardcore punk band, and their sound progressed towards a doom metal style that also included influences from dark ambient and industrial music as well as incorporating elements of folk music.
23 Cannibal Corpse Cannibal Corpse is a American death metal band from Buffalo, New York, formed in 1988. The band is known for their graphic album covers, explicitly violent lyrics and song titles like "I C** Blood" The group got into mainstream after performing the song "Hammer Smashed Face" in the 1994 film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. In 1995, vocalist Chris Barnes left the band to focus on his new death metal project... read more

The fact that Evanescence was picked well before this is abysmal. Cannibal Corpse is a dark and gritty band with brutal album covers, song titles, and lyrics. This should be top 3.

Cannibal Corpse is gory, yes, but I would actually say bands like KoRn and Joy Division are darker, because their lyrics can apply to people living with abuse and depression. Cannibal Corpse lyrics are like a horror movie, while Joy Division and KoRn lyrics are more like a suicide note, so which one is darker?

Not hating on CC cause they're awesome, but they aren't dark at all. Their music is violent and gory, yes, but its mostly tounge-in-cheek, the kind of lyrics that are actually funny in a strange kind of way.

24 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 old school Heavy Metal with a Nordic folk twist, creating Viking Metal. Majority of their work was Viking Metal , but Bathory is most well known for their first 4 , which proved influential to many future Black Metal bands. Bathory ended in 2004 when Quorthon died of heart failure.

A really Anti-Christian band. But they're surprisingly not devil worshipers.

25 Alice in Chains Alice in Chains is an American grunge/alternative metal band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley.

Try to listen to Nutshell or Down in a Hole without crying.

These guys expressed there true pain in their music.

Probably the most depressing band of all time.

8Load More
PSearch List