Thumbs up: +5
This is a list of some of my favorite black metal albums, one per artist, semi-random order. Its not a list of what I consider to be the best black metal albums of all time, but the ones I like the most. I'll keep updating it as I keep discovering more of the genre.

1-7 - 10/10
8-17 9/10

Created by: Jericho Rehling | 21.05.2014



1. The Meads Of Asphodel - The Murder Of Jesus The Jew
A stunning, twisted masterpiece of experimental British black metal. Highly theatrical at times, sometimes just downright bizarre, and always darkly humorous. A very gripping journey of diverse styles that I absolutely cannot stop listening to.
2. Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain
Agalloch needs no introduction on this site, but just in case - they're an American folk black metal group that's put something special into every release, and even their latest two are weak only in comparison to this album and The Mantle. It's hard to beat listening to this album while watching a blizzard or thunderstorm.
3. A Forest Of Stars - A Shadowplay For Yesterdays
Another experimental UK group, A Forest Of Stars play a demented, eccentric, and charming blend of Victorian steampunk influences and atmospheric black metal. A Prophet For A Pound Of Flesh remains my all-time favorite song.
4. Nechochwen - Heart Of Akamon
Nechochwen is a fairly unknown black metal duo from the Appalachians in the US, and they blend the region's Native American history with black metal marvelously. The production is a little unpolished, but it only adds to the ambience. They also happen to be very cool dudes.
5. Caladan Brood - Echoes Of Battle
These Summoning-inspired Americans are perhaps a bit more bombastic than their main inspiration, but it works. They masterfully translate Erikson's masterpiece novels into some of the best "epic"-style atmospheric black metal out there, and their debut is just as good as anything Summoning has done.
6. Summoning - Oath Bound
The enigmatic Summoning is one of the first ever black metal bands I heard, back when I was a metal novice who thought Amon Amarth was the cutting edge of brutality. Their grandiose style of "epic" black metal captures Tolkien's works marvelously, and they're quite responsible for introducing me to the atmospheric side of the genre.
7. Primordial - To The Nameless Dead
I first encountered Primordial when I was watching a documentary on the origins of folk metal. Two of their songs were performed live for the documentary, and I was so enraptured that afterwards I immediately tore through their discography to find them and purchase the albums, not even finishing the documentary. To this day, To The Nameless Dead grips me with the same enthusiasm and leaves me breathless. Even though I've been getting more heavily into Primordial's first four albums these days, I have to admit that none of them come close to approaching TTND in power or impact.
8. Rotting Christ - Theogonia
I admit that this was a hard one to select, as Rotting Christ is my absolute favorite band and I rate 3 of their other albums just as highly. I eventually had to settle and pick the one that introduced me to the band. This album continues the fierce-yet-catchy melodic black metal that Rotting Christ has been releasing since Triarchy, but replaces the gothic elements of their past five albums with a Mediterranean folk influence. It really works. And makes for great workout music.
9. Negator - Old Black
This is it. The first black metal album I ever heard. This German band plays absolutely, unapologetically unoriginal old-school Swedish-style black metal, heavy distortion and never-ending blast beats included, and it absolutely KILLS. Surprisingly catchy after about 4 or 5 listens, too, after you pick up your melted face.
10. Imperium Dekadenz - Procella Vadens
Another absolutely excellent German group, Imperium Dekadenz plays fairly straightforward atmospheric black metal, laced with gorgeous piano and a killer vocal performance. Also makes for very good background music.
11. Melechesh - Emissaries
A rich fusion of Mesopotamian melodies and melodic black metal, Emissaries has a unique combination of catchiness, groove, and ferocity that brings me back to this album time and time again. Seriously, though, it's a blast. These guys are absolutely a blast live, as well, and I eagerly look forward to the dream Mediterranean-themed Rotting Christ, Melechesh and Septicflesh tour that really needs to happen.
12. Immortal - At The Heart Of Winter
A classic by a classic, At The Heart Of Winter is the last Immortal record that really grips my interest long enough to sit through. But damn, it really grips my interest. A fantastic album with a great blend of rawness, cheesiness, and intensity.
13. Progenie Terrestre Pura - U​.​M​.​A.
A fairly new album to me, but quite an excellent one, and one that I anticipate listening to countless times to come. One of the few "cyber" metal records I've thoroughly liked. It's a strange, almost eerie journey through what seems to be the lovechild of Metroid Prime's OST and black metal.
14. Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini
The hype is deserved on this one, truly I tell you. Quite a ride. BitterCOld described parts of this album's sound as a "gallop", and that is absolutely the correct term for it. Quite an interesting album with enough going on to keep you interested for listen after listen.
15. Samael - Ceremony Of Opposites
Powerful Swiss black metal, Ceremony Of Opposites is dark and gripping. Predating their journey into electronic elements, Ceremony Of Opposites focuses on creating its atmosphere through minimal keyboards, sharp and grooving riffs, and sadistic vocals. Great lyrics on this one, too, which is not something I can say for many early 90's black metal albums.
16. Lifelover - Pulver
A truly interesting ride. Happy, infectiously catchy melodies mixed with some of the most fucked up vocals I have ever heard. A very emotional and fascinating work that I have been listening to almost daily since I first heard it. I don't know if Lifelover will ever release new material, but the four albums (and their EP) that already exist are all excellent and well worth introducing yourself to anyways.
17. Dark Fortress - Ylem
I've never been sure what to call this album, genre-wise. It's certainly melodic, definitely a little spacey, kinda progressive at times. No matter what you enter it into iTunes as, though, Ylem is certainly an excellent listen. From the fantastic opening riff to the closing notes, these Germans really bring it.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Jericho Rehling ]



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Erik M. - 21.05.2014 at 20:45  
Nice list. Have heard most of these and I like all of them a lot. Let me know if you want suggestions for some style of BM.

Oh, and I would certainly call Omega Arcane over-the-top. And LMHSYF is the best Summoning album for me, though I agree about their brilliance. Hell, Dol Guldur is rated lowest (aside from Lugburz) on my list and it's still 8.5-9 material. The problem with that list is that like you, I also love all their albums, so the order isn't set in stone, so to say. Btw, I think Wolfheart is a little out of place here. It's been a while since I listened to it, but I would say it's mainly gothic with BM and folk elements. Check out my other lists as well if you're curious.
Jericho Rehling - 23.05.2014 at 08:03  
Written by Erik M. on 21.05.2014 at 20:45

Nice list. Have heard most of these and I like all of them a lot. Let me know if you want suggestions for some style of BM.

Oh, and I would certainly call Omega Arcane over-the-top. And LMHSYF is the best Summoning album for me, though I agree about their brilliance. Hell, Dol Guldur is rated lowest (aside from Lugburz) on my list and it's still 8.5-9 material. The problem with that list is that like you, I also love all their albums, so the order isn't set in stone, so to say. Btw, I think Wolfheart is a little out of place here. It's been a while since I listened to it, but I would say it's mainly gothic with BM and folk elements. Check out my other lists as well if you're curious.


Perhaps it is indeed over-the-top; I was thinking it was pretty on-line with the symphonic power metal that got me into metal so I don't it consider it too much. ;p

I think that some of the other Summoning albums are perhaps better, musically, but Dol Guldur remains my favorite, as it was the first Summoning album I was introduced to, and none of the others are able to captivate me quite as completely as it does. As for Wolfheart, I think it has a significant enough black metal element to list it here, though I agree its more gothic than black, I still consider it an element of the genre.

And i'm always interested in suggestions for new music. I've actually been using your list of death doom albums extensively these past couple weeks to discover new music; death/doom is the metal style I like the most asides from black.
Erik M. - 23.05.2014 at 17:17  
Written by Jericho Rehling on 23.05.2014 at 08:03

Perhaps it is indeed over-the-top; I was thinking it was pretty on-line with the symphonic power metal that got me into metal so I don't it consider it too much. ;p

I think that some of the other Summoning albums are perhaps better, musically, but Dol Guldur remains my favorite, as it was the first Summoning album I was introduced to, and none of the others are able to captivate me quite as completely as it does. As for Wolfheart, I think it has a significant enough black metal element to list it here, though I agree its more gothic than black, I still consider it an element of the genre.

And i'm always interested in suggestions for new music. I've actually been using your list of death doom albums extensively these past couple weeks to discover new music; death/doom is the metal style I like the most asides from black.


Yeah, whether something is over-the-top or cheesy is pretty subjective and to me power metal is often like that (over-the-top and cheesy, that is), hence why I think Shade Empire is over-the-top as well (due to their bombastic sound). Funnily Dol Guldur is actually one of my least favourites (it used to be my favourite though, when I just discovered Summoning), though it's still excellent. Your experience with Dol Guldur is pretty much what I have with LMHSYF (and the other two top 3 albums). Fair enough about Wolfheart. I mean, Summoning isn't exactly a typical BM band either, haha.

And yeah, I noticed your +1 on my list, thanks. I'm glad it's helpful to you. That's basically what it's for (though I really need to finish the list some time). Just comment on the list if you like to, and/or recommend me albums for the list.
Jericho Rehling - 23.05.2014 at 17:20  
Written by Erik M. on 23.05.2014 at 17:17

Written by Jericho Rehling on 23.05.2014 at 08:03

Perhaps it is indeed over-the-top; I was thinking it was pretty on-line with the symphonic power metal that got me into metal so I don't it consider it too much. ;p

I think that some of the other Summoning albums are perhaps better, musically, but Dol Guldur remains my favorite, as it was the first Summoning album I was introduced to, and none of the others are able to captivate me quite as completely as it does. As for Wolfheart, I think it has a significant enough black metal element to list it here, though I agree its more gothic than black, I still consider it an element of the genre.

And i'm always interested in suggestions for new music. I've actually been using your list of death doom albums extensively these past couple weeks to discover new music; death/doom is the metal style I like the most asides from black.


Yeah, whether something is over-the-top or cheesy is pretty subjective and to me power metal is often like that (over-the-top and cheesy, that is), hence why I think Shade Empire is over-the-top as well (due to their bombastic sound). Funnily Dol Guldur is actually one of my least favourites (it used to be my favourite though, when I just discovered Summoning), though it's still excellent. Your experience with Dol Guldur is pretty much what I have with LMHSYF (and the other 2 top 3 albums). Fair enough about Wolfheart. I mean, Summoning isn't exactly a typical BM band either, haha.

And yeah, I noticed your +1 on my list. Glad it's helpful. That's basically what it's for (though I really need to finish the list some time). Just comment on the list if you like to, and/or recommend me albums for the list.


Will do! If I can find anything you don't already have. Almost everything I've heard from the genre before seeing the list has at least their artist represented on the list. You even have Graveyard Dirt and Before The Rain, which are about as underground as I've gotten.
Erik M. - 23.05.2014 at 17:26  
Written by Jericho Rehling on 23.05.2014 at 17:20

Will do! If I can find anything you don't already have. Almost everything I've heard from the genre before seeing the list has at least their artist represented on the list. You even have Graveyard Dirt and Before The Rain, which are about as underground as I've gotten.


Damn, I was still editing my last message.

And yeah, at certain points I had even 2 or 3 albums/band on the list, but I eventually decided to have just 1 album/band because even now it's still fairly long. I wouldn't say Before the Rain is that unknown/underground. Bands that I think are more underground would be indeed Graveyard Dirt, Sadness, Celestial Season, Decomposed, Why Angels Fall and Whispering Forest, to name a few.
Jericho Rehling - 23.05.2014 at 17:30  
Written by Erik M. on 23.05.2014 at 17:26

Written by Jericho Rehling on 23.05.2014 at 17:20

Will do! If I can find anything you don't already have. Almost everything I've heard from the genre before seeing the list has at least their artist represented on the list. You even have Graveyard Dirt and Before The Rain, which are about as underground as I've gotten.


Damn, I was still editing my last message.

And yeah, at certain points I had even 2 or 3 albums/band on the list, but I eventually decided to have just 1 album/band because even now it's still fairly long. I wouldn't say Before the Rain is that unknown/underground. Bands that I think are more underground would be indeed Graveyard Dirt, Sadness, Celestial Season, Decomposed, Why Angels Fall and Whispering Forest, to name a few.


Ah, my mistake. This site is my only exposure to the metal scene, really, so I'm unsure about the popularity of a lot of bands. I know maybe three other people around my university who listen to metal sub genres other than the -cores. And I'll check those other groups out! Thanks!
Erik M. - 23.05.2014 at 17:41  
Written by Jericho Rehling on 23.05.2014 at 17:30

Ah, my mistake. This site is my only exposure to the metal scene, really, so I'm unsure about the popularity of a lot of bands. I know maybe three other people around my university who listen to metal sub genres other than the -cores. And I'll check those other groups out! Thanks!


Nah, don't worry about it. I'm usually busy with editing out any mistakes I made in my posts. I often post them too quickly, but I do want to correct my own mistakes.

Well, the amount of votes for an album and the popularity index (which also shows the amount of fans that a band has) are both an indication as to how popular a certain band/album is. I'm far from new to the metal scene, but I've become more active due to Metal Storm, so about 3 years ago I think. Sadly none of my friends (except for my brother) enjoy doom metal. which is my favourite subgenre. Though black metal is pretty close to doom for me. Oh, and definitely check out Sadness' debut. One of the most original albums I've ever heard. To me it sounds like avantgarde gothic/death doom, but I seem to be the only person on the planet who hears "avantgarde" in their sound. The whole album is on Youtube.

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