Welcome to metal’s most grim and frostbitten genre. For this Loud List, we traveled across black metal’s icy tundra to bring you our picks for the 10 Greatest Black Metal Bands.

When it comes to black metal, the unholiest of lands are Norway and Sweden. Few countries and claim such rich black metal heritage. You’ll find plenty of Norwegian acts who’ve mastered the art of bleak and negative space, such as Emperor, Darkthrone and Enslaved. Be sure to stick around for Darkthrone’s clip in this video, because there’s a sensibility to the band’s live performances that brilliantly captured in their signature 1920s horror style.

Moving on to Sweden, masterful acts like Dissection and Marduk hail from the country. There’s a unique range of dynamics found throughout Swedish black metal and those two bands are perfect representations. Dissection exhibited a more melodic sensibility, while Marduk continues to vomit blasphemies in perhaps the genre’s most violent manner.

Throughout the last 30 years, black metal has remained unrelenting and insidious, so check out the essential acts in our list of the 10 Greatest Black Metal Bands!

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