Best Symphonic Black Metal Bands

The Top Ten

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

Sebastian Bach of black metal

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.

Emperor is the EMPEROR

2 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.

They have some good symphonic black metal songs

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

Dimmu Borgir just...the best!

3 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

They know how to create atmosphere and captivate with their melodies... - Ananya

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

The band that has the most "symphonic" elements...

4 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!

I think earlier cradle was priceless...I don't think they care much about whether it is black metal or anything gothic.. It's just a change of direction... Yet so beautiful...

5 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 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

Orion's band - Doomed_God

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

9 Obtained Enslavement

As per other comments. 2 absolutely brilliant efforts put this band in the top 3 at least

Definitely belongs with Emperor in first place

This band easily share the first place with emperor

10 Anorexia Nervosa

Great band. One of my favorites.


The Contenders

11 Tvangeste

Way too underrated. Their sound is truly majestic.

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.

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!

The best of the genre by far

18 Nightwish Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland. The band was formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and lead singer Tarja Turunen. It's currently formed by Tuomas, Emppu, lead vocalist Floor Jansen, bassist and vocalist Marco Hietala, more.

Most kvlt band ever! - Diplomate

Nightwish is NOT black metal. They do not sing about death, hatred, religions, and crime!

Probably the best symphonic metal band, but not black at all; should not to be on this list - hub66

What the hell!
They are just symphonic metal not symphonic black metal!
Whoever put them in this list must stop listening metal and start listening rap!

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 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".

The best a band can put up some melody in the BM genre

21 Bal-Sagoth

Underrated, and this band is the other creator of symphonic black metal.

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.

22 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!

23 God Dethroned
24 Shade Empire

Omega Arcane excellent in every way

Love these guys

Completely underrated! They are almost the best!

Should be much higher. Omega Arcane is a masterpiece!

25 Septicflesh
26 Morgul

Check out the debut "Lost in Shadows Grey".

Underrated to say the least, they create aura that entrances. Check out "The Horror Grandeur"

They have a unique style of symphonic black metal

27 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.
28 Children of Bodom Children Of Bodom is a melodic death metal band from Espoo, Finland. Formed in 1993, the group currently consists of Alexi Laiho, Janne Wirman, Henkka Seppälä, Jaska Raatikainen and Daniel Freyberg.

CoB is not Black metal, but Power/Death Metal

29 Darzamat

Nice Polish band with excellent multiple vocals.

30 Equilibrium Equilibrium is a German folk metal band. The band's music combines elements of folk music, power metal, black metal and symphonic metal with various other influences.
31 Cosmic Infusion
32 ChthoniC

Teipe symphonic black metal

33 Abigail Williams Abigail Williams is an American black metal band, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, but now based in Olympia, Washington.
34 Advent Sorrow

That's the band you're searching! Deep and dark growls!

Best Growls ever. Look up "Like A Moth To The Flame"

Seriously one of the most original growls/screams in any black metal ever. gives me chills, and definitely should be higher on this list.

35 Mystic Circle
36 Crematory

This is not a black metal at all! - Narsilion

They are simply great, tears of time, the fallen, fly...

37 Diabolus Arcanium

An emerging symphonic metal act from India!

38 Fleshgod Apocalypse Fleshgod Apocalypse is an Italian death metal band. Formed in 2007, the group resides in Perugia and are currently signed to Willowtip Records and Nuclear Blast. The band is known for their fusion of metal with technical death metal.
39 Sinphonicon
40 Amidst the Withering
41 Vesperian Sorrow
42 Antestor

Cool christian black metal band

43 Alghazanth

Why isn't this band in the top 3?

44 Mirrorthrone

Extremely underrated band and would have easily been my favourite but haven't releasedone a new album for like 10 years now :(

45 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.

Can't beat Behemoth and their growls are far superior to Slipknot (though, I don't listen to Slipknot), as well as their style and content. Much heavier, they don't pick fights with other bands and their stage/death paint blows any American wannabe metal band BS out of the water.

This is not symphonic black metal, this is black/death metal - Narsilion

Uses symphonic style black metal instrumentation and mixes it with the Slipknot style death growls, Demigod is one of their best albums.

46 Ceremonial Castings

They should be a must listen to for every black metal, doom metal, etc. Fan. Not only talented, but cool guys, GREAT live. They live, eat, breathe music. Do their own mixing/mastering. Immortal Black Art, so many great songs, that in my humble opinion best cd. But many like Salem 1692.

47 Vaakevandring
48 Within Temptation Within Temptation is a Dutch symphonic metal band founded in April 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt.

Like about Nightwish, Within is not black...

49 Troll
50 Mysteriarch

Symphonic black metal from North Carolina, USA. Solid stuff man

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