The ten best Norwegian metal bands

Categories: Lists, Metal!

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Dimmu Borgir, circa 2001.

Sweden is to death metal what Norway is to black metal. Norway's sixth sense for finding black metal with the right amount of heavy guitar distortion, banshee shrieking vocals and an unrefined recording quality gives them a black flame kick that fuels the fire of many metal fans. Keep reading for the ten best Norwegian metal bands.

See also: The ten best Swedish metal bands

10. Darkthrone
It's hard to believe that one of the leading Norwegian black metal bands in the '90s such as Darkthrone actually got its start in death metal, but it did, and the band didn't make the change because they sucked at it. Quite the contrary. The outfit could've succeeded in either subgenre. Darkthrone has a much more lo-fi sound than the average black metal band, which goes hand in hand with its evil vicious shrieks.

9. Enslaved
Enslaved started out as a very traditional black metal band, gradually adopting a more progressive and even innovative sound while striving to be grand and atmospheric. The act's lyrics have always charted new lands full of Norse mythology with some lyrics even in Icelandic and Old Norse languages -- though today, the band primarily write lyrics in English. Enslaved's newer progressive sound can throw off those who seek consistent aggression, but the group balances harsh and clean vocals better than most.

8. Funeral
Just like its name may suggest, Funeral is a pioneer of the subgenre funeral doom metal, which creates an atmosphere deep in the depths of despair with decomposing slow tempos, dark, ambient synth sounds and chants mixed in with Cookie Monster vocals. Funeral's eptiaph should read: "Twas one of the first bands to incorporate orchestration and female vocals. Here lies the beloved forefathers of funeral doom metal."

7. Immortal
Instead of a drastic change, Immortal grew slowly as musicians while keeping their black metal raw and heavy. With faces painted like most black metal bands -- more than the goth kid in high school and less than a Halloween costume -- Immortal strayed from its subgenre's propensity for satanic lyrics and church burnings. In its place, the band capitalized on the emotion and isolation of barren Norway with a mythical world of its own, "Blashyrkh," full of icy-cold death, demons and warfare.


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88 comments
Mike Kolb
Mike Kolb

There actually 10 Norwegian metal bands?

Jonah Menzies
Jonah Menzies

So basically, it's a list of all the Norwegian black metal bands in existence

Brendan Flynn
Brendan Flynn

Dimmu Borgir. Period. Their first few albums were even in Norwegian.

John Dalby
John Dalby

The ONLY black metal is Darkthrone. They never got in the papers because they never got caught. Fenriz was/is the smartest person in that scene. And he never was in the controversy. Coincidence??? Not a chance...

Courtney Van Dell
Courtney Van Dell

To this day I will not see another Dimmu show.... not after that last one that felt like a clan rally...

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

And the most ill informed unfunny music related joke goes to: Henry Kelsey

Henry Kelsey
Henry Kelsey

Wait, there are even 10 bands from there?? LOL

Mark Bebernes
Mark Bebernes

Courtney Van Dell I think this may be of interest!

teababe27
teababe27

I could not disagree more with #4.

Brendan Flynn
Brendan Flynn

finally an article about music and not rap. fuck yes.

Bobby Kunkel
Bobby Kunkel

Tom Bond Leonard Aceves we need some Norwegian metal and fires in our lives again

James Gold
James Gold

sounds good, man. Sounds good. Cheers to you.

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

Lol James Gold next to nothing I say is to be taken seriously unless it's veterans affairs related (and not in the infidelity department) and I hope you appreciate that haha. I'm all about the local comedy troupes so I'll definitely see you at your next stand up act and buy you a beer :)

James Gold
James Gold

Ben's a friend of mine and was messing with him. So it's not like he's some stranger I'm talking shit to or something.

James Gold
James Gold

Settle down there, guy. No one's mocking your precious emo crap

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

Can't tell if thats your stand up comedy background floundering James Gold but if you used an ounce of Google-Fu, you'd find out its black metal related bands etc.

James Gold
James Gold

What the hell does all that even mean, Ben? :)

James Gold
James Gold

Damn. I thought that was a movie still from "Dark City." lol

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

Eric Chipp agreed. That being said in no particular order: Behexen, Horna, Archgoat, Beherit, Sargeist, Thy Serpent, Barathrum, Ajattara, Alghazanth.

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

Please dont beat my beloved black metal to death like you have with writing stories/lists about hipsters.

Shaun Anthony
Shaun Anthony

Santos Illustration. You should be involved in this \m/ \m/

Sean Hochman
Sean Hochman

emperor frontman Ihsahn -Official- has 5 albums that pickup right where emperor left off. HIGHLY RECCOMENDED!!!

Eric Chipp
Eric Chipp

Anders Johansson someone needs to suggest some Finish metal!

Ben Hutcherson
Ben Hutcherson

I'd probably drop Dimmu (that's just me), but would also have considered adding Zyklon, (early) Ulver, Khold, and Ved Buens Ende.

Sorva
Sorva

Enslaved (who should be rank 1, or at least top 3) and Immortal are way too low on the list...Especially with bands like Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon, Gorgoroth and Burzum being higher up... Shitty list tbqh, but hey, a citizen of the US wrote it. It's quite rare to find a US citizen with good taste, whether it's music, food or anything else, really.

Hermann Quohog
Hermann Quohog

Second such list I have seen today and I think this is just as shit as the other

abrams.js
abrams.js

because self-defense is cold-blooded /eyeroll

Kyle Kyle Kyle
Kyle Kyle Kyle

...at least above Mayhem...cuz you know, murder.

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