The Most Popular Black Metal Band, Ranked

Choose the band you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 16, 2024 06:31
Fans of Black Metal often engage in heated debates about which band truly captures the essence of this intense music genre. With its roots deeply embedded in the harsh climates of northern Europe, Black Metal has evolved into a global phenomenon, branching into various subgenres that keep the scene alive and kicking. A ranking system helps clarify which bands are resonating most with audiences today, and it reflects the dynamic shifts in listener preferences over time. By participating in the voting process, fans contribute to a community-driven assessment that highlights the current leaders in the Black Metal scene. This not only supports bands by elevating their visibility but also guides new listeners towards impactful and influential music within the genre. Your vote helps paint a clearer picture of the Black Metal landscape, ensuring that the rankings represent a collective agreement rather than a singular opinion.

What Is the Most Popular Black Metal Band?

  1. 1


    A pioneering Norwegian black metal band that formed in 1984, known for their controversial history and influential music.
    • Debut Album: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (1994)
    • Key Members: Necrobutcher, Hellhammer, Attila Csihar
  2. 2


    The solo project of Norwegian musician Varg Vikernes, one of the most influential acts in black metal.
    • Debut Album: Burzum (1992)
    • Genre: Black Metal, Ambient Black Metal
  3. 3


    A band from Norway that started as a death metal band but became one of the most respected names in the black metal scene.
    • Debut Album: Soulside Journey (1991)
    • Shift to Black Metal: A Blaze in the Northern Sky (1992)
  4. 4


    Formed in 1992 in Norway, Gorgoroth has been a controversial and influential force in black metal.
    • Debut Album: Pentagram (1994)
    • Controversies: Stage performances, legal battles
  5. 5


    Known for their epic themes of battles and the cold, Immortal is one of the most iconic bands in black metal.
    • Debut Album: Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism (1992)
    • Key Albums: At the Heart of Winter (1999)
  6. 6


    A symphonic black metal band from Norway, Emperor is known for their technically complex music and grandiose themes.
    • Debut Album: In the Nightside Eclipse (1994)
    • Key Members: Ihsahn, Samoth
  7. 7


    Norwegian black metal band known for their evolution from raw black metal to a more experimental sound.
    • Debut Album: Dark Medieval Times (1994)
    • Evolution: Incorporation of rock elements in later albums
  8. 8


    Swedish band that played a crucial role in the development of black metal as well as viking metal.
    • Debut Album: Bathory (1984)
    • Key Albums: Under the Sign of the Black Mark (1987), Blood Fire Death (1988)
  9. 9


    Swedish black metal band known for their relentless speed and aggressive sound.
    • Debut Album: Dark Endless (1992)
    • Theme: Anti-Christian, war
  10. 10


    Originally a black metal band, Behemoth has evolved into a death metal powerhouse, while still retaining their black metal roots.
    • Debut Album: Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic) (1995)
    • Evolution: Shift towards death metal

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Black Metal band. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or band is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 149 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each band once every 24 hours. The rank of each band is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Black Metal Band

Rank #1 for the most popular Black Metal band: Mayhem (Source)
Black metal emerged in the 1980s. It evolved from the early thrash and death metal scenes. Bands in this genre often use fast tempos and shrieking vocals. They also employ heavily distorted guitars. Lyrics often focus on themes of darkness, evil, and mysticism.

The early wave of black metal bands set the foundation. They used raw production techniques. This created a cold and grim sound. Their music was harsh and unpolished. This rawness became a signature of the genre. Early bands also experimented with corpse paint. This is a style of makeup that makes the wearer look like a corpse. It added a theatrical element to their performances.

The second wave of black metal began in the early 1990s. Bands from Scandinavia, especially Norway, led this wave. They took the raw sound of the first wave and refined it. They added more atmosphere and depth to their music. This wave also saw an increase in the use of keyboards. This added a dark and haunting layer to the music.

The second wave also brought controversy. Some musicians engaged in criminal activities. These included church burnings and even murder. These acts shocked the public and brought attention to the genre. However, many fans and musicians did not condone these actions. They focused on the music and its artistic expression.

Black metal bands often create a strong visual image. Album covers feature dark and eerie artwork. Band photos often show members in desolate landscapes. This imagery complements the themes in their music. It creates a complete aesthetic experience for the listener.

Live performances are intense and theatrical. Bands use fog machines, pyrotechnics, and elaborate stage setups. This creates an immersive experience. The audience feels the power and emotion of the music. Performances are often in small, dark venues. This adds to the intimate and intense atmosphere.

The genre has evolved over the years. Some bands stick to the traditional raw sound. Others experiment with different styles. They incorporate elements from other genres. These can include folk, ambient, and even electronic music. This has led to subgenres like symphonic black metal and depressive black metal.

Despite its niche status, black metal has a dedicated fan base. Fans appreciate the genre's raw emotion and artistic expression. They connect with the themes of darkness and mysticism. The genre has also influenced other forms of music and art.

Black metal continues to grow and evolve. New bands emerge, bringing fresh ideas to the genre. They push the boundaries of what black metal can be. The genre remains a vital and dynamic form of artistic expression. It challenges listeners and artists alike.

In conclusion, black metal is a unique and influential genre. It has a rich history and a dedicated following. Its raw sound and dark themes set it apart from other forms of music. The genre continues to evolve, inspiring new generations of musicians and fans.

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