Best Symphonic Black Metal Bands

The Top Ten

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

Known as the creators of symphonic black metal, listed to their first album, it's got all their best stuff on it.

In the Nightside Eclipse is more than just a masterpiece. It is a landmark of human accomplishment, it's the musical equivalent of the construction of the pyramids, the Great Wall, the moon landing etc.

Dimmu Borgir are good but Emperor are on another level all together. Just listen to their 1st 2 albums. Absolute black metal classics! - Oliwally

2 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.

I don't care about what's considered too commercial. I appreciate quality production that talent warrants. I listen to all types of music and dimmu borgir is easily in my top ten of all genres not just black metal or metal in general for that matter.

I'd say 2-3 is a good spot for them. Elitists hate them with every fiber in them because they are too popular. I think they are great, and popularity should be a good thing.

Black metal is all about "no rules," but if a band doesn't follow a bunch of strict rules! They are considered posers. Dimmu Borgir is just hated cause they have good production and are symphonic. That's just stupid ino - ryanrimmel

My favorite band alongside amon amarth, machine head, lamb of god, nile and bodom! Saw them live and they were great!

This was the band that got me into black metal

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3 Carach Angren Carach Angren Carach Angren is a symphonic black metal band from the Netherlands, formed by two members of the now-defunct bands Inger Indolia and Vaultage.

Carach Angren is one of the best black metal, and one of the best metal bands I have ever heard. They are simply amazing! The epic symphonies, the killer guitars, and the haunting vocals just make Carach Angren amazing. Seregor's vocals is one of the most unique black metal vocals ever, he sounds like he's possessed (by black metal). All of their albums are amazing stories. I honestly cannot wait for their new album "Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten" to come out! - SirSkeletorThe3rd

Carach angren is not an ordinary band, they know how to create atmosphere and catch the attention completely with their guttural vocals and melodies... - Ananya

This band has everything. Extremely talented vocals, perfect instruments, well written lyrics, and the perfect level of symphony.

A smarter version of Dimmu

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4 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.

The least of the favoured in my opinion, they aren't really black metal but you should listen to their first 5 albums, they were the best.

The reason they are so good in the symphonic black metal scene is because they use the idea of slow burning long songs, and plus they have a very original sound, which mostly derives from Dani Filth's voice in combination with the rest of the band and the way they use short songs to lead into longer one which makes even more epic, truly brilliant!

I Love Cradle Of Filth!

Dusk and her embrace is the only black metal album they made.

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5 Graveworm Graveworm

This band is great...

Awesome band!

So many roads, so many places
A million towns, a milliard faces
It's called: world population
But the appropriate name, world domination

6 Eyes of Noctum

1 album, The best symphonic black metal album in the history of metal. Truly creative.

7 Old Man's Child Old Man's Child Old Man's Child is a Norwegian black metal band from the city of Oslo. The band is the brainchild of Galder who is the only permanent member of the band now.

Probably the most similar to Dimmu Borgir and very underrated

Most underrated band in the black metal scene

8 Vesania

Vesania is syphonic blackened death metal from Poland. Very good band!

9 Anorexia Nervosa

Great band. One of my favorites.


10 Obtained Enslavement

This band easily share the first place with emperor

The Contenders

11 Tvangeste

Too bad they haven't released anything since 2003. awesome and highly underrated band

Why are these Trannys on this list.

12 Dark Fortress

Wicked stuff but not symphonic at all.

13 Agathodaimon

Wonderful mixture of gothic metal and symphonic black metal. The melancholy atmosphere along with the intensity is very atmospheric.

Too bad they have ended...

14 Summoning

... What is a symphonic black metal list without Summoning? I can't believe nobody brought them here till yet

It is so different in sound ffrom other metal bands - so original


This black metal band is pure EPICNESS. the music and choirs are just amazing! You don't have to growl, scream and sing about Satan, demons, and hell all of the time to be a black or death metal band like most people believe.
All you really need to do is have scary yet awesome music and sing (beautifully of course) awesome lyrics about death or doomsday or your woes.

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15 Stormlord

The best on here

16 Opera IX

I think they were one of the first true symphonic black metal bands instead Emperor, alongside Arcturus (their second demo "Demo '92" made the appearance of symphonic keyboards) and they released it in 1992, even before the release of "In the Nightside Eclipse".

17 Limbonic Art

The throne of black symphonic metal belongs to them..

Good stuff. Really black metal.

Absolute masters of ambiental/symphonic black metal, they deserve so much more. Their first 2 albums alone should be a separate category of greatness, frustratingly underrated!

My Favorite

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18 Windir Windir Windir was a black metal band from Sogndal, Norway. The band combined black metal with folk music and mythology.

The best folk/viking black metal band out there! With songs like 1184, Todeswalzer, Journey to the End, and a lot more makes them unbeatable!

19 Demonic Resurrection

One of the best band in India is demonic resurrection.. The demon king is just a killer and the unrelenting surge of vengeance no words for this song... Front man of this band he just incredible... Watch them they ate to good

Full of surprizes

Man, they deserve to be in the top 10. - disharna

The best

20 Bal-Sagoth

This list is wrong along with many others. The Best symphonic black metal band of all time is Bal-Sagoth!

Very underrated

I agree bal-sagoth is very underrated and very unique in their sound my list would be bal-sagoth,dimmu borgir, cradle of filth, dark tranquility.

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List Stats

600 votes
46 listings
4 years, 204 days old

Top Remixes

1. Emperor
2. Eyes of Noctum
3. Cradle of Filth
1. Emperor
2. Dimmu Borgir
3. Old Man's Child



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