Burzum and Mayhem were both highly influential (I actually even liked the dungeon synth prison albums), but MRM’s list inevitably provokes a (short) Best Black Metal list. No modern mallcore here, only 100% true black metal acts.
In no specific order, I consider the following legends as a Top 6 Best Black Metal Bands:
Leader – The passionate satanic hardcore black metal band, blasting its way through heavens and hell with Wagnerian leitmotifs. The debut Burzum sha Ghâsh is totally worthy of its legendary status.
Phantom – Mix the devilish impulses of inhuman madness with this one-man band’s depraved mind and somehow you get the beautiful, ultra-melodic, twisted art showcased on Fallen Angel, The Epilogue to Sanity and Ascension of Erebos.
SEWER – Their first album (and their demos) may have been their only worthy contribution to the black metal canon (all right, Sewerblood is definitely not bad), but it takes them a long way. Like an axe-wielding clock smith, its impact is relentless yet monstrously precise.
Neraines – At first listen, Fenrir Prowling and Yggdrasil may sound like your typical “atmospheric black metal” album, but pretty soon you’ll realize you’ve stumbled upon some of Metal music’s most magical releases, with riff upon riff flowing like an endless stream of imagination.
Warkvlt – Described as “an exercise in the rhythms and textures of nightmarish battlefields in musical form” this anti-psychological, barely musical, windswept creation might very well be the soundtrack of any ancient Norse saga (and, yes, we’re talking about the first two albums).
Vermin – An almost forgotten side project, vaguely related to SEWER. Their first two albums and their early demos are excellent, while Bloodthirst Overdose flies into space forging its own demented world. Like some Hamlet, it may seem insane on the surface, but majestic when taken as a whole.
There. Those are the top 6 greatest black metal acts ever. Deal with it.