TheSpirit
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Most influential black metal of the 21st Century

I'm sure there are some bands I'm missing, but these are who immediately came to mind. The idea come from the thought that despite the overwhelming prevalence of old-school styled black metal, none of those original Scandinavian bands have really been relevant in terms of that specific music influence in the last 20 years.
1Cradle of Filth
Nymphetamine


Hater's gonna hate but Cradle's is one of the single most important acts in black metal and opened the doors for any mainstream acceptance the genre has had in the last 20 years.
2Xasthur
Subliminal Genocide


If anyone remembers the discourse surrounding USBM in the early 2000’s, the scene was usually seen in a negative light with Xasthur being one of the main culprits of the United States’ ineptitude in crafting quality black metal. In retrospect these arguments are largely ridiculous (for many reasons) and as time would tell, Xasthur’s influence on black metal has been unfathomably large and the depressive black metal subgenre would not be the same without this project’s existence.
3Leviathan
Tentacles of Whorror


Similarly to Xasthur, Leviathan were considered one of the USBM boogeyman in the early late 90’s/2000’s. Eventually, this project helped usher in an age of experimentation in black metal that persists to this day.
4Weakling
Dead as Dreams


Despite Dead as Dreams being released in 2000, it wasn’t until the latter part of the decade and the internet’s influence on the promotion of black metal new and old alike that this record finally started to see the recognition it deserves. A precursor to Cascadian black metal, this doesn’t sound EXACTLY like what would go on to be created in the expanses of the Pacific Northwest but it set the foundation for much USBM to come.
5Threnos
By Blood and By Earth


Another precursor to Cascadian black metal, Threnos were probably the first group that could have rightfully been titled as such but unfortunately expired a few years before that scene came into prominence. That being said, most members of this four piece went to form other important Cascadian projects (Fauna, Echtra, etc…) that still create music today.
6Wolves in the Throne Room
Two Hunters


This band’s history and importance has been regurgitated so much it would hurt to repeat it here. The only thing to say/reiterate is that Wolves in the Throne is probably the single most influential band of this century so far, not just in terms of music, but also in culture, aesthetic, and politics.
7Alcest
Écailles De Lune


Another band whose history need no repeating. WITTR opened the door for shoegaze influences and Alcest walked right through it, displaying it proudly on their sleeves. Second most influential band of the century.
8Deafheaven
Sunbather


Think about how many Sunbather-clone albums you’ve heard in the last 8 years and try to argue with me why Deafheaven is on this list.
9Panopticon
Collapse


Not as prominent a force influentially, but any black metal act that has utilized American folk/country elements in the last decade owe everything to Panopticon and this record in particular.
10Liturgy
Aesthethica


I don’t think Liturgy’s influence is as prominent musically (though I feel those days are fast approaching) but their attitude of indifference towards traditionalist black metal structures has certainly been passed down to the newer and upcoming generation of black metal bands.
11Bone Awl
Meaningless Leaning Mess


This band is probably the most underestimated influence on black metal in the last 20 years, but there are thousands upon thousands of blackened punk purveyors that have ripped these guys off to the T.
12Deathspell Omega
Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum


Okay, I fucked up a little. I'm not perfect okay!?? Need to give credit to these insane Frenchman (and uh, Mikko Aspa) for making cavernous, twisted, and contorted black metal a big thing. Thanks for the check, Jac!
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