Melodic death metal is a style that boomed in Sweden in the mid 90’s. Definining albums like In Flames – “The Jester Race”, Dark Tranquillity – “The Gallery” and At The Gates – “Slaughter of The Soul” changed the then current death metal trend from old school death metal to melodic death metal. Carcass from England also released an important album in “Heartwork”. The melodic death metal influences often sneaks into the style of other metal bands. It arguably also provided the blueprint for the U.S. metalcore trend years later.
One successful example of this is Dismember’s “Death Metal” album. It is highly influenced by At the Gates, yet it retains most of the ferocity from Dismember’s earlier old school death metal works.
Good melodic death metal bands
- Barren Earth (equal parts progressive metal)
- Callenish Circle
- Carcass (“Heartwork” album)
- Dark Tranquillity
- Death (mid era)
- Edge of Sanity
- Insomnium (equal parts death/doom metal, making them melodic death/doom metal)
- The Crown
Melodic death metal playlist
There is a lot of melodic death metal out there. It is also of very varying quality. If you want band tips, or just a solid mix of songs without an effort of your own, check out our melodic death metal playlist on YouTube.
Melodic death/doom metal
Many bands, especially in Finland, combine death/doom metal and melodic death metal. A great example is Rapture, a band that forges strong Katatonia influences with infectious melodic death metal ideas to great effect. Wolfheart, a rather new band by doom and melodic death metal virtuoso Thomas Saukkonen, is another successful musical project with this general combination. There’s an article on melodic death/doom metal here on the site where you can explore the style further.