music The Greatest Black Metal Bands  

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List Rules Upvote your favorite black metal groups.

Known for fast tempos, shrieking vocals, distorted guitars and lo-fi recordings, black metal has emerged as one of the top heavy metal genres. Similarly to avant garde metal bands, black metal bands also feature unconventional song structures and lyrical emphasis on atmosphere. What does make black metal bands different than every other heavy metal band is that the band often will appear in corpse paint that looks like blood. A lot of the best black metal bands emerged in the first wave of black metal bands are still among the most beloved and most popular black metal bands. The genre originated in the 1980s and became associated with satanism and anti-religion lyrics.

So, what are the best black metal bands? Well for starters, any black metal bands list has to include the likes of Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Marduk and Deafheaven. Mixing black metal bands old and new, this list of black metal bands includes every great black metal band to have ever played. These are widely considered some of the top black metal bands. 

That said, it's up to you to decide what are the best black metal bands. If you notice a black metal band that isn't on this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best black metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest black metal musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular black metal bands that you might've heard of (264 items)
list ordered by

1
+ - 220 77
Darkthrone 
                    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Darkthrone Crossover thrash, Black metal, Crust punk

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2
+ - 207 79
Bathory 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Bathory Thrash metal, Viking metal, Black metal

3
+ - 206 85
Mayhem 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mayhem Black metal, Heavy metal

4
+ - 205 79
Immortal 
                    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Immortal Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

5
+ - 190 86
Gorgoroth 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Gorgoroth Black metal, Heavy metal

6
+ - 218 97
Burzum 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Burzum Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

7
+ - 186 79
Emperor 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Emperor Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

8
+ - 167 60
Dark Funeral 
                    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dark Funeral Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

9
+ - 212 108
Behemoth 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behemoth Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

10
+ - 160 65
Marduk 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Marduk Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

11
+ - 152 69
Satyricon 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Satyricon Medieval music, Medieval metal, Thrash metal

12
+ - 138 64
Celtic Frost 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

13
+ - 66 32
Dimmu Borgir 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dimmu Borgir Symphonic black metal, Gothic metal, Black metal

14
+ - 128 68
Venom 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Venom New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Black metal

15
+ - 81 40
Dissection 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Dissection Melodic death metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

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16
+ - 115 62
1349 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
1349 Black metal, Heavy metal

17
+ - 124 65
Enslaved 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enslaved Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

18
+ - 97 53
Taake 
                    is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Taake Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

19
+ - 80 46
Carpathian Forest 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Carpathian Forest Black metal, Heavy metal

20
+ - 101 65
Watain 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Watain Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

21
+ - 84 52
Rotting Christ 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Rotting Christ Gothic metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

22
+ - 63 32
Windir 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Windir Viking metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

23
+ - 70 43
Ulver 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ulver Folk music, Electronic music, Gothic metal

24
+ - 80 47
Old Man's Child 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Old Man's Child Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

25
+ - 71 49
Belphegor 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Belphegor Black metal, Blackened death metal, Death metal

26
+ - 50 32
Helhammer 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands

27
+ - 37 18
Borknagar 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Borknagar Progressive metal, Viking metal, Black metal

28
+ - 57 37
Ancient 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ancient Black metal, Heavy metal, Melodic black metal

29
+ - 43 25
Arcturus 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Arcturus Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal, Black metal

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30
+ - 44 26
Mgła 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mgła Black metal

31
+ - 45 28
Leviathan 
                    is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Leviathan Dark ambient, Black metal, Heavy metal

32
+ - 94 78
Mercyful Fate 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

33
+ - 52 35
Anaal Nathrakh 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Anaal Nathrakh Industrial metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

34
+ - 58 41
Cradle of Filth 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Cradle of Filth Gothic metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

35
+ - 63 50
Agalloch 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Agalloch Doom metal, Post-metal, Dark ambient

36
+ - 49 37
Xasthur 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Xasthur Dark ambient, Black ambient, Black metal

37
+ - 88 80
King Diamond 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
King Diamond Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Black metal

38
+ - 46 29
Summoning 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Summoning Black metal, Heavy metal, Symphonic metal

39
+ - 37 22
Naglfar 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Naglfar Black metal, Heavy metal, Blackened death metal

40
+ - 40 31
Shining 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Shining Black metal, Heavy metal

41
+ - 38 29
Enthroned 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Enthroned Black metal

42
+ - 29 16
Ragnarok 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Ragnarok Black metal

43
+ - 50 42
Wolves in the Throne Room 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Wolves in the Throne Room Doom metal, Dark ambient, Black metal

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44
+ - 37 24
Hecate Enthroned 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Hecate Enthroned Symphonic black metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

45
+ - 46 44
Samael 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Samael Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Electronic music

46
+ - 16 5
Anorexia Nervosa 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Anorexia Nervosa Symphonic black metal, Industrial metal, Gothic metal

47
+ - 38 26
Nargaroth 
                    is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Nargaroth Black metal

48
+ - 34 28
Impaled Nazarene 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Impaled Nazarene Thrash metal, Black metal, Heavy metal

49
+ - 37 26
Tsjuder 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Tsjuder Black metal, Heavy metal

50
+ - 37 26
Behexen 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Metal Bands
Behexen Black metal