Thumbs up: +22
The UK isn't exactly known for its black metal so here's a list of the best we have to offer, proving we have a number of unappreciated gems that can compete with the best there is. Each of these are hand-tested by me and come with a money back guarantee. Each offers something interesting and excellent, not just a bunch of ordinary dross picked for their regional significance! For further reading you could do worse than check out the Metal Archives reviews. Apart from Thus Defiled which has yet to receive any they all garnered positive reviews, some overwhelmingly so (Fen, TAoP, Forefather, Spearhead, Lyrinx). No order.

If you were wondering about the list picture... it's a cushion. That's how black metal the British are.

Created by: !J.O.O.E.! | 06.08.2010

1. Fen - The Malediction Fields
Post-Rock/Black Metal: Majestic, sweeping and epic with a raw subtext. The leaders of their field -
2. Akercocke - The Goat Of Mendes
Progressive Black/Death Metal: Suave and Satanic: bringing sexy back to hell -
3. The Meads Of Asphodel - Murder of Jesus the Jew
Experimental Black Metal: Medievil dress-up lovers do it their way with thought provoking lyrical themes -
4. The Axis Of Perdition - Deleted Scenes From The Transition Hospital
Industrial Black Metal: Silent Hill worshipping mentalists make the apocalypse sound even less appealing -
5. A Forest Of Stars - The Corpse Of Rebirth
Black Metal: Sophisticated violin-laden Victorian blackened poetry -
6. Code - Resplendent Grotesque
Avant Garde Black Metal: Forward thinking take on the genre featuring Ved Buens Ende's frontman, fans of which (and Virus) will likely cream themselves over this -
7. Anaal Nathrakh - The Codex Necro
Grind/Black Metal: The Brummie Cunts go nuts with nihilistic brutality. Die On Your Knees! -
8. Winterfylleth - The Ghost Of Heritage
Pagan Black Metal: Anglo-Saxon Paganists pay homage to their heritage with dirging melancholy -
9. Wodensthrone - Loss
Black Metal: The UK's premier Drudkh competition -
10. Forefather - Steadfast
Viking Black Metal: You want epic, uplifting guitar leads and air-punching harmonies? Then that's what you get -
11. Bal-Sagoth - The Power Cosmic
Symphonic/Epic Black Metal: Oh you wanted REALLY epic black metal... then try this -
12. Caïna - Temporary Antennae
Post-Rock/Experimental Black Metal: Strange and unpredictable, highly textured musings from a single mind -
13. Lyrinx - Nihilistic Purity
Depressive Black Metal: Another critically revered slice of downtrodden misery. -
14. Frost - Cursed Again
Mayhem Black Metal: The closest you'll ever get to De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas without the genuine article (MS profile isn't the UK's Frost) -
15. Askival - Eternity
Folk Black Metal: Deep, contemplative folk inspired compositions from Scotland. The thinking man's Primordial -
16. Worms Of Sabnock - Dark Harmonies
Melodic Black Metal: The Meads of Asphodel members take on more traditional, flute, string and clean vocal driven melody. A personal favourite of mine, especially the song "In The Shadows Of A Genius" -
17. Skaldic Curse - Pathogen
Progressive Black Metal: Cold, frosty and intense with a complex and darkly intelligent bent. More than meets the eye and begs for multiple spins -
18. Spearhead - Decrowning The Irenach
Death/Black Metal: Critically acclaimed, crushingly precise blackened bludgeonings. Technical wizards that are destined for big things -
19. Archaicus - The Elder Scape
Black Metal: Re-lighting the early Satyricon torch with spectacular results. From my home county too -
20. Thus Defiled - Daemonspawn
Death/Black Metal: Little different from Spearhead; a huge, deep tone with many sick rhythms and nifty solo's to satisfy the hungriest metaller -
21. Basilisk - A Joyless March Through Cold-Lands
Raw Black Metal: Stylish and highly memorable lo-fi riffage. So good Joyless (of Forgotten Woods) ripped off their songs in the form of a bootleg -
22. Emit - Abortions
Dark Ambient/Noise/Black Metal: Inhuman cuts of static, fuzz, hatred and God knows what else. Not for the faint of heart -
23. Ebonillumini - The Ebon Channel
Post-Black Metal/Female Vocal: Beautiful soaring lady voices adorn this little gem of an EP -
24. Ghast - May The Curse Bind
Doom/Black Metal: Dirty, dank and depraved heaviness of the most digusting kind. Not what you'd expect from the Welsh -
25. Niroth - Niroth
Black Metal: Traditional black metal done right: plenty of cleverly structured chord progressions amidst a misty production -
26. Void - Void
Industrial Black Metal: Contorted and unpredictable entry in the industrialised black metal circuit -
27. Halo Of The Sun - Ghosts
Ambient Black Metal: Dark, slow and brooding. They'll get under your skin rather than burn it straight off -
28. Vostok - From Lofty Peaks
Black/Doom: Affectingly gentle music whilst torturously vocaled black/doom from Scotland -
29. Subvertio Deus - Psalms of Perdition
Orthodox Black Metal: If Wodensthrone be the UK's equivalent of Drudkh then Subvertio Deus are surely our version of Deathspell Omega -
30. Fyrdsman - Forgotten Beneath the Soil
Black Metal: Debut EP of soaring epic melody and pagan pride -
31. Acolyte - Leng
Progressive Black Metal: Taking more than a few pointers from Enslaved, Acolyte's debut EP is a stunningly strong and striking prog-black affair with a sound as confident as bands many years their senior. -
32. Achren - The Forgotten King
Fun, bouncy little thrash band with some epic, melodic touches. -
33. Adalruna - A Wolf in Hallowed Places
Well it wouldn't be a British list without at least one racist band. Surprisingly decent music though. Epic, folky and rough round the edges. This reminds me of early Wyrd quite a bit, with a bit of Summoning thrown in. -
34. Adorior - Author of Incest
Vicious, beastial deathy black metal with one of the feistiest and tiniest female vocalists I've ever heard and seen. -
35. Beautality - Providence
Stunningly brilliant, driving and often intense post-black metal from London. Some brilliant song writing going on here. These guys are destined for big things. -
36. Blutvial - I Speak of the Devil
A UK band with a classic Norwegian sound. Loud, noisy and quintessentially black metal with no bells and whistles. -
37. Chronocide - The Solitude of Man
Nasty blackened grind. Want more Anaal Nathrakh in your life? Well look no further than Chronocide. They'll do you right. -
38. Contra Ignem Fatuum - Detritus
These guys only released one EP, and even that EP only had one proper song on. Sandwiched between two spooky ambient numbers, the title track is a 15 minute tour-de-force of murky, fuzzed out hypnotic black metal with a Xasthur-like suffocating weight. -
39. De Profundis - The Emptiness Within
Pretty nice progressive black metal. It's all right I guess. -
40. December Moon - Source of Origin
Nice little hidden UK gem from way back in 1996. Pretty standard black metal fair with lovely production, diverse and interesting songwriting and melodies and good and frostbitten vocal performance. -
41. Desolate Winds - In Times of Cold
Lovely, 2 track EP of frozen-planet ambient black metal. Very ethereal and encapsulating. -
42. Ealdulf - Hrimcealde Sæ
Funny how I never cottoned on to how great this band were till I updated this list. Some of the most awe-inspiring leads and epic chord progressions I've ever heard in a black metal band, with a beautifully cozy production to lay it on. Mandatory stuff. -
43. EbonyLake - In Swathes of Brooding Light
Quite simply for fans of The Axis of Perdition and other dissonant black metal. The difference with these guys is that they splice a neoclassical component into it, making it as original as it is challenging. And boy, this stuff is challenging (but brilliant) -
44. Hecate Enthroned - The Slaughter Of Innocence, A Requiem For The Mighty
You probably already know this since it's a bonafide meloblack classic. If not you should probably fill in that gap in your black metal history. -
45. Livimørket - Dark Totality
A whopping 39 minute track, this superb demo alternates between eerie, mist-ridden ambience and thick, coarsing drone-like ambient black metal. The music of swamps. -
46. Lychgate - Lychgate
Greg Anderson's black metal project is already set to dominate a number of lists in 2013, and for good reason. An incredible progressive black metal album that draws upon the complexity of Opeth and injects it into a black metal template. -
47. Man Made Origin - False Consciousness
Dark and brooding progressive metal with a heavy black metal leaning. Scotland have done themselves proud with this diverse and deep debut. Quite brilliant. -
48. Nhor - Within the Darkness Between the Starlight
Undoubtedly the strongest gaze-y, atmos-black album I've heard in a long time, and poised to take a high spot on my 2013 list. Worth checking out his recent boxset, which contains everything he's done. An amazing journey from folky ambient to layered and powerful black metal. -
49. Old Corpse Road - 'Tis Witching Hour... As Spectres We Haunt This Kingdom
Folk-black metal that isn't lame or cheesy. Blasting, fast-paced black metal amidst some very tasteful folk passages and instrumentation. -
50. Old Forest - Into the Old Forest
I would have to describe this as a more black metal, stripped down The Meads of Asphodel (unsurprising considering it has one of the original members at the helm here). Very nice and atmospheric black metal with a smatterings of keys, and other effects throughout. -
51. Omega Centauri - Universum Infinitum
Definitely one of the modern black metal bands to look out for. Their split with Smohalla this year is one of the most striking pieces of music to make its mark on the UK black metal scene in a while and could easily spearhead the way forward for contemporary black metal. -
52. Shoulder of Orion - Winterstar
Bloody solid progressive black metal with some nice bassy oomph. Classy. -
53. Vehement - Collapse
Met the guy from this band at a Nile gig and it turned out he lives only a town away from me. Even more surprising it turns out his band is rather excellent. Pounding, modern black metal that reminds me quite a bit of Ondskapt. Intense and traced with subtle melody, I'm looking forward to seeing them when they visit my town. -
54. Voices - From the Human Forest Create a Fugue of Imaginary Rain
From Akercocke's ashes Voices arise. Blasting deathy black metal with David Gray's classic drumwork written all over it. Retains all of Akercocke's progressive nature so expect varied and interesting song writing. -
55. Wode - Demo '11
Nasty, rough and raw black metal making quite a name for themselves on the touring circuit at the moment. Get 'em while they're young. -
56. Aklash - Aklash
Melancholic black metal of high quality standard. Bit like Winterfylleth's first album I suppose -
57. Patrons Of The Rotting Gate - Pride In Descent
Highly potent progressive black metal from Northern Ireland with a Hate Forest level of aggression. You gotta love that band name too -

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by !J.O.O.E.! ]


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Comments: 7  
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Lokaeda - 29.04.2012 at 19:52  
Gonna check a lot of bands that seem interesting
!J.O.O.E.! - 29.04.2012 at 19:53  
Written by Guest on 29.04.2012 at 19:52

Gonna check a lot of bands that seem interesting

Hope you find a few that you like
Lokaeda - 29.04.2012 at 19:57  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 29.04.2012 at 19:53

Hope you find a few that you like

Already got a likey for Winterfylleth
!J.O.O.E.! - 20.09.2013 at 20:00  
Finally updated it (from Achren onwards).

Also spent a few hours compiling a Spotify playlist with every UK black metal band I could find (went through all the ones on MA).

Most of this list can be found here, along with a bunch of crappy bands and such, and a few not completely black metal bands.

Spotify Playlist


Added links to actual music.
mz - 20.09.2013 at 21:41  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 20.09.2013 at 20:00

Finally updated it (from Achren onwards).

Also spent a few hours compiling a Spotify playlist with every UK black metal band I could find (went through all the ones on MA).

Most of this list can be found here, along with a bunch of crappy bands and such, and a few not completely black metal bands.

Spotify Playlist


Added links to actual music.

Thank you. I hope you do the same thing with your best of UK doom list .
Will definitely look into this one
!J.O.O.E.! - 20.09.2013 at 21:43  
Written by mz on 20.09.2013 at 21:41

Thank you. I hope you do the same thing with your best of UK doom list .
Will definitely look into this one


Yeah, I'll definitely get around to it though it's going to be immensely harder considering how much doom (and good doom) the UK has to offer.
DreadfulYgg - 11.11.2013 at 22:01  
Beyond the top 10, I know practically nothing on this list, but that's good! All the more to hopefully be pleasantly surprised with.

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