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Black Metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It often employs fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, double-kick drumming, and unconventional song structure.

During the 1980s, certain thrash metal bands established a prototype for black metal. This so-called "first wave" included bands such as Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. A "second wave" emerged in the early 1990s, which consisted primarily of Norwegian bands such as Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal and Emperor. This scene developed the black metal style into a distinct genre.

Black metal has been met with considerable hostility from mainstream culture, mainly due to the misanthropic and anti-Christian ideology of many artists. Additionally, some musicians have been associated with church burnings, murder or National Socialism. For these reasons and others, black metal is often viewed as an underground form of music.

Black Metal Sub-Genres

Atmospheric Black Metal

Depressive Black Metal

Melodic Black Metal

Pagan Black Metal

Symphonic Black Metal

War Metal


Sub-genre collaborators:
  • adg211288 (leader)
  • 666sharon666
  • TheHeavyMetalCat

black metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

NAGELFAR Hünengrab im Herbst Album Cover Hünengrab im Herbst
4.74 | 14 ratings
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PROGENIE TERRESTRE PURA oltreLuna Album Cover oltreLuna
4.80 | 10 ratings
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WODENSTHRONE Loss Album Cover Loss
4.74 | 10 ratings
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MARE COGNITUM Phobos Monolith Album Cover Phobos Monolith
4.74 | 10 ratings
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IMMORTAL At the Heart of Winter Album Cover At the Heart of Winter
4.54 | 42 ratings
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WINTERHORDE Maestro Album Cover Maestro
4.72 | 9 ratings
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WODENSTHRONE Curse Album Cover Curse
4.61 | 14 ratings
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EMPEROR Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk Album Cover Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
4.46 | 53 ratings
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DEATHSPELL OMEGA Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon Album Cover Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon
4.58 | 11 ratings
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DISSECTION Storm of the Light's Bane Album Cover Storm of the Light's Bane
4.41 | 40 ratings
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NACHTLIEDER Lynx Album Cover Lynx
4.88 | 4 ratings
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SATYRICON Nemesis Divina Album Cover Nemesis Divina
4.42 | 27 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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Wanderers: Astrology Of The Nine
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Wanderers: Astrology Of The Nine
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Rending The Veil Of Flesh
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black metal Music Reviews


Album · 2019 · Black Metal
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Daemon feels like something of a back to basics album for Mayhem - rather than trying the sort of production experiments or thematic weirdness which characterised albums like Grand Declaration of War, Ordo ad Chao, and Esoteric Warfare, they produce some straight-ahead no-nonsense black metal. You could sort of see this as the third of a triptych of Mayhem's "pure" black metal studio albums, along with De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas and Chimera.

Of those three, I don't think it quite reaches the consistently high quality of Chimera, and it certainly isn't as groundbreaking as De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, but it's a fun outing which proves that Mayhem are still no slouches, even if they risk going through the motions at this point.


EP · 2018 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
One of the newer mystery bands out there, STONE RAM has only released a few singles in 2019 followed by this short three track EP titled “GrauzaM” which i assume refers to the German word “grausam” which means “cruel, horrible.”

Absolutely no info on this band but i sampled this short EP on its Bandcamp page just to check out some new sounds from far flung places. This band comes from Montrose, CO which is located in the western part of the state.

This band is also difficult to describe since all three of the tracks are completely different but each exciting enough that i really want to hear a full album from this guys. While the album cover resembles a typical black metal band, this group is anything but.

The opening “The Darkest Life I’ve Ever Known” is a gloomy dark ambient track with moaning synthesizer sounds and ghoulish whispers emerging from the darkness. A pretty cool opener for sure. It sounds like dude is “ghouling” in German but i’m not sure.

“Primal Obsession” is a riff based track. While the atmosphere is more in the black metal world, the riff is rather melodic and more like melo-death metal but really slowed down to mid-tempo while dude’s vocals are sort of croaking along in a semi-spoken manner. The drums lazily accompany the guitar but also provide some fills. There are spoken word samples that remind me of Skinny Puppy or Ministry so there is an industrial feel but the track then changes into a death metal styled riff session only with black metal creepiness. The process repeats.

“Till Fjell In Kaldt Av Gunnen” is the longest track but less than five minutes. It starts out with more film samples but then turns into a caustic black metal type of track with slow plodding guitar riffs and a slow drumbeat to match. The vocals are submerged beneath the din and are barely audible while the receptive guitar riffs hypnotizes. After the intro starts to seem like its dragging for too long, the steam picks up and the track flirts with death metal riffing along with some folky elements that sounds like Tyr but alternates between these. After an atmospheric ambient break with some Darth Vader breathing back to death metal business only once again it’s an interesting hybrid between death and black with the folk musical scales.

This one really makes me want to hear more! These musicians present many great ideas on this short 10 minute and 11 second EP that makes me excited to hear any potential debut album that will emerge. They got something that many are lacking and i can hear the potential oozing from its blackened pimply pores!

SULPHUR Thorns in Existence

Album · 2009 · Black Metal
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"Thorns in Existence" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian black/death metal act Sulphur. The album was released through Dark Essence Records in November 2009. Sulphur was formed in 1999 out of the ashes of the Bergen based black metal act Taakeriket. An act which existed from 1996 to 1999. Sulphur released the "A Relic for the Damned" demo in 2000, but then disappeared for a while before returning in 2005 with the "Outburst of Desecration" demo, which earned them a label deal with Osmose Productions for the release of the debut full-legth studio album "Cursed Madness (2007)".

Stylistically the material on "Thorns in Existence" continues in a similar technically well played progressive black/death metal style as the one Sulphur introduced on "Cursed Madness (2007)". The difference lies mostly in the quality of the material and especially in the consistency of the material and how well the album flows. I´m still reminded of an act like Enslaved, although Sulphur aren´t clones by any means. The vocals are predominantly in the high pitched raspy black metal camp, but there are also more death metal oriented growling vocals featured on the album, as well as the rare use of clean vocals.

The material on the 10 track, minutes long album are well written and relatively varied (the band successfully combine epic atmospheres, brutality, and chaotic darkness within intriguing song structures), and as a result "Thorns in Existence" is an entertaining release throughout the playing time. The album features a powerful and detailed sound production too, and upon conclusion it´s a high quality sophomore release by Sulphur. They may not have the most original style nor the most distinct sounding playing/singing style (which is about the only thing keeping me from rating "Thorns in Existence" higher than I do), but there is still something about the album which reeks high class in all departments and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

FORMICARIUS Rending The Veil Of Flesh

Album · 2020 · Symphonic Black Metal
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Kev Rowland
This is the second album from Formicarius, who have brought in of Kevin Paradis of Benighted to provide drum duties this time around. He isn’t the only guest either as Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) and Nicholas Miller (Aklash) are involved on “Early Will I Seek Thee”. Both bassist Hægtesse and guitarist Lord Saunders provide different types of vocals, while there are also some female backing vocals here and there which provide some clarity through the symphonic black metal onslaught which I suspect are provided by keyboard player Morath. The final member of the band is lead guitarist Nazarkardeh, who can often be found leading the death metal act De Profundis.

There are times when this album is very good indeed, showcasing all that one would expect from this style of music, but for me it just isn’t consistent enough to make it a great piece of work. There is a reason why notes are seldom held for very long from singers in this style of music, and there are too many instances when there is just too much quavering and going off key. But the use of a twin vocal attack of black and death must be applauded as it’s not something which is heard very often. I would like the keyboards to be more aggressive and slightly more forward in the mix, but that would have to be at degradation of the guitars which are very good indeed with strong interlinks and riffs. It easy to see why Paradis is in such demand these days as he really takes control here and provides an incredible foundation for the rest of the band to work with.

If they can keep him in the band and continue to drive forward then the next album could see them taking the genre to a whole new level.


EP · 2018 · War Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Coming from the remote Australian city of Darwin which sits all the way at the top of Aussie territory and a vital link with Indonesia to the north, the bestial black war metal act FORNICATADOR is lurking in the shadows of Australia’s most tropical metropolis and creating unfathomable evil sounds. Like many bands in this darkened fusion of death metal brutality cross-pollinated with the black metal underground, not much is known about this one-man band whose identity is Guy Watson aka Masokist who performs all instruments and vocals. But mystery is all a part of the image i suppose.

In the war metal world, there’s a tendency to eschew the modern trends of making “pretty” black metal with hi-fi production effects or symphonic sophistication. On this second EP titled NUCLEAR RAPE, the focus is firmly placed on sounding as lo-fi fucked up as possible which makes this EP sound a lot like a demo would have in the old days and in fact some sources claim that this is indeed a demo but the fact that this is for sale on Bandcamp as an official release, i’d have to dispute those charges.

One look at the blasphemous cover art and you’ll know you’re getting a musical style that wants to push all the buttons by blending sexual perversions with anti-Christian rhetoric. While the lyrics are indecipherable (as usual) there’s no missing the fact that with track titles like “Defecated Christ” or “Penis Of Christ,” that this is music designed to piss of the religious folk but personally it’s only the music i care about so let’s move on. This is basically a typical lo-fi war metal release with emphasis on noisy and murky distorted guitar riffs that offer plenty of feedback and reverb from hell.

This is basically the sonic equivalent of a nuclear holocaust which is why the EP is called NUCLEAR RAPE as you feel you’re being assaulted for the entire time you are listening to this. The EQ is tweaked for maximum irritation, the war metal march is either slow and distorted beyond imagination or rampaging like the Hulk on a bad day. This EP successfully delivers the disturbing underground feel that its going for however like most of these types of acts, the brevity is welcome due to the fact that the one-dimensional nature is like throwing a fire log into the volcano and watching it incinerate in a microsecond. The effect wears off quickly but is quite exhilarating while it is on fire.

In all honesty, these four tracks probably feature the most feedback and noisy mess of sound that i’ve ever experienced on a metal album. While this style of music has always seemed like a musical cul-de-sac where there’s nowhere left to go, it’s amazing that this only came out in 2018 and seems to have taken the evil mind fuck to an even more disturbing level. Sub-level that is. This hypnotic dark music seems like it is designed to accompany an intense gazing session at the cover art and therefore really does evoke the very essence of black magic unlike other black metal styles. For that i’ll have to admire its sheer determination to go as black and light-free as possible. In a short duration i actually enjoy this quite a bit but this is like a ridiculously sweet dessert where after a few bites, i’m quite satisfied and ready to move on.

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ENSLAVED Live Retaliation

Movie · 2003 · Black Metal
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No reviews yet & only 3 ratings for the great ENSLAVED's 1st video production? To quote Will Smith, " unacceptable." Live Retaliation is a very worthy representation of ENSLAVED live. The concert itself is a bit short, but the band shows its skill in playing their varied and fairly complex music. They play a good mix of their oldest songs and more recent ones; Monumension was the band's most recent album at the time.

The audio tracks are a very nice addition, for folks who don't own a lot of their records. Grutle doesn't interact extensively with the audience in concert, beyond introducing the songs & band members. However, that's a problem I have with the great majority of live concerts. The audio quality could be clearer at times, but I'm quibbling. If you love some progressive rock along with your extreme metal, nobody does it better than ENSLAVED. This is well worth your time and money!

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