10 Best Black Metal Bands

Black metal, born and bred in the icy reaches of Norway, is the last truly scary form of rock and roll music; the 10 best black metal bands truly make, or did make, music your parents just would not understand. Blinding speed, pagan and Satanic lyrics, and band members committing murder and burning churches have all combined to create a musical subgenre almost mythical in its terrifying nature. Here are the 10 best black metal bands in history:

  1. Emperor – One of the original Norwegian bands, Emperor blazed the trail from black metal's lo-fi beginnings to its symphonic, epic future. Any one of their early albums can be considered a black metal classic. They truly top the 10 best black metal bands.
  2. Darkthrone – The most rock and roll-sounding of the early Norwegian bands, Darkthrone began twenty years ago and still churn out distorted anthems to thi day. "A Blaze in the Northern Sky" is a seminal black metal classic, and cements their place on the list of 10 best black metal bands of all time.
  3. Mayhem – The band that turned a photograph of their lead singer's suicide into an album cover, Mayhem were truly evil. Their terrifying music is a good match to that reputation.
  4. Wolves in the Throne Room – This American band touches on the pagan aspects of black metal. Their work is the future of the genre, making them an easy choice for any list of 10 best black metal bands.
  5. Ulver – The most progressive and musical of the early Norwegian bands, Ulver have gone on to a career many bands of any genre would envy. Their beginnings as one of the best black metal bands have shaped their sound even as they have continued to grow.
  6. Nachtmystium – Progressive in the vein of Ulver is this Chicago-based black metal band. They continue to push the envelope of what black metal can be, and deserve a spot on the list of best black metal bands.
  7. Bathory – Some call Bathory the first black metal band. Whether they are is not worth arguing; all that needs to be known is that they were a great band and truly influential on metal history.
  8. Immortal – Immortal were one of the Bergen, Norway originals. Their solid music places them in this spot on the list of 10 best black metal bands of all time.
  9. Gorgoroth – Gorgoroth continue the terrifying tradition of black metal in Bergen, Norway. Their lead vocalist, Gaahl, is a truly powerful figure.
  10. Venom – This British band coined the phrase "Black Metal" on a classic song and album of the same name. Without them, none of these other bands would have ever been formed, making them an apt end to this list of 10 best black metal bands.
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