January 2018 is shaping up to be a gloriously evil month, packed with brilliantly dark black metal releases from such acts as Watain, Tribulation, Bleeding Gods and the Swedish Shining. Ergo, it seemed appropriate to prepare all of you out there in extreme metal land for this upcoming period of amazingly aggressive and ominous music by looking back at some of the very best albums that black metal has had to offer over the past near-twenty years.
While the 1990s saw black metal in its angsty infancy, spearheaded by such riotous names as Mayhem and Gorgoroth, the 2000s gave the subgenre new life, not only continuing and refining the aggressive dissonance of black metal’s roots, but also tossing more ambient, intellectual and folk-inspired bands into the pot. To celebrate the sheer versatility and surprising eclecticism that the style can now enjoy – which is something that nobody in the ‘90s would ever see coming – this list is going to balance out the best straight-forward black metal and “post-black metal” to bring you the undiluted, undeniable greatest records of this devilish yet enigmatic subgenre.
Enjoy, hail Satan and strap yourselves in for one hell of an evil start to 2018.