Despite being long-running, there aren’t that many bands (at least compared to death metal overall) that truly could be considered essential death/doom metal. This list is a mix of classic bands, as well as some newcomers that haven’t released that much. If you have a death/doom metal and you want me to check it out and/or review it, I would gladly do it.
Death/doom metal band list with descriptions
Italian death/doom metal band with two full length releases. Not a top tier band, but certainly one worth checking out. Has been compared to Soliloquium on occasion.
Venezuelan band that released the full length “Inside Us All” in 2013. Bassist went on to play on “Hollowpath” by U.S. act Sleepwalkers.
Anathema’s early material is as essential as it is awesome. The debut is pretty good, but the important thing is to not miss out on “The Silent Enigma”.
Read more about Anathema:
Pretty good Swedish band that released albums under the name Apathy before changing it to Apathy Noir in 2016.
As Autumn Calls
Another new band that released pretty good material, this one from Canada.
Members of Daylight Dies formed this band that unsurprisingly sounds like a light version, and a light version Daylight Dies is still a damn good death/doom metal band. Click here to go to the Atten Ash Bandcamp.
Melodic death/doom from Jordan with Dan Swanö support. Solid, albeit not as good as their countrymen next featured on the list.
Chalice of Doom
Jordan has a booming metal scene, and Chalice of Doom plays quality melodic death/doom metal.
International project featuring members from Eye of Solitude, Hamferð and Officium Triste. Expect sorrowful and majestic atmospheric metal. One of those superstar projects that really deliver the quality that is promised.
Read more about Clouds:
Atmospheric death/doom with shoegaze influences in the vein of Slumber and Enshine.
Dawn of Solace
One of the now defunct pre-Wolfheart Tomas Saukkonen projects. A more traditional take on death/doom metal compared to Black Sun Aeon and Before the Dawn.
One of the best bands in the style. Released three amazing discs as well as a decent one before silently going into a hiatus. “Dismantling Devotion” is an essential album. One of the members continued making quality death/doom metal with Atten Ash.
German band that plays extreme, catchy death/doom metal similar to Inborn Suffering. Their 2016 album “Forsaken Earth” is recommended.
Swedish solo project by a member of Draconian that plays slow funeral death/doom metal. The song “Dead Words Speak” is a highlight.
Gothic death/doom metal band with a long discography. “Arcane Rain Fell” is their highlight but most of their material is worth checking out.
End of Aeon
Pretty good finnish gothic death/doom sharing members with Kaunis Kuolematon.
Excellent post-Slumber project that has produced two quality albums so far. It’s fairly high in tempo and has some shoegaze influences that makes it wonderfully spacy.
Spanish death/doom similar to early Swallow the Sun. “The Shortest Way” is an album packed with good material. It’s also excellently mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö. Click here to go to the Evadne Bandcamp.
Another post-Slumber project, this one international (Sweden and Colombia). A bit more aggressive and less spacy than Enshine. Quality none the less. Click here to go to the Exgenesis Bandcamp.
Eye of Solitude
Funeral death/doom from Romania. A bit too slow for my personal taste, but certainly a quality band worth checking out.
Russian band that sounds like an incoming winter storm. Heavy on the keyboard melodies which gives it a symphonic touch.
Progressive death/doom metal by Victor Parri from Isole and Desolator. Long, experimental songs with a strong Opeth influence.
Unique and fascinating band from the Faroe Islands mixing brutal growls and operatic clean vocals. Vocalist Jon Aldara is one of a kind and complement the classy music perfectly. Check out this live video and prepare to be shocked.
Spanish melodic death/doom metal. Released a stunning, professional music video for the song “Burden Me”. Check it out here.
Russian band with a traditional approach to the genre. Made a fantastic instrumental cover of Anathema’s “Dusk”.
French band with a raw take on the genre. Unfortunately disbanded after its strongest album yet.
Murky death/doom metal with long songs.
The first two Katatonia albums are simply genre-defining, and “Brave Murder Day” remains one of my favorite albums. Influenced a majority of the acts on this list. Check out my cover of “Without God” from their debut album here.
Read more about Katatonia:
Finnish band that is surprisingly unknown. Mikko Heikkilä from Black Sun Aeon provides amazing clean vocals next to the melodic death/doom backdrop.
Read more about Kaunis Kuolematon:
Finnish project featuring Mikko Kotamäki from Swallow the Sun on vocals. The drony Triptykon feeling and Finnish vocal stylings gives them a rather unique sound.
French band featuring previous members of Inborn Suffering.
Read more about Lying Figures:
Mar de Grises
The South American death/doom giant. Strong sense of melody.
Irish band with a lengthy discography. One of the most epic sounding and bombastic bands in the genre. “Narcissistic Funeral” is #2 on my top 10 death/doom songs ranking. You can watch the ranking here.
Portuguese band that successfully mixes death/doom with post-metal and post-rock.
My Dying Bride
A genre giant that is hit and miss for me personally. I do like the album “The Dreadful Hours” a lot though. The length and average quality of the My Dying Bride discography is highly impressive.
New U.S. death/doom metal band with some potential.
Italian band with an atmospheric approach. I don’t like all their released, but “The Blue” and “Materia” are certainly strong death/doom metal albums. A bit different since they really aren’t that depressing compared to other bands in this list.
Another genre giant that doesn’t always resonate with me. “The Pale Haunt Departure” is their peak, and the newer stuff is hit and miss. Paul Kuhr is an excellent growler though.
Read more about Novembers Doom:
Ocean of Grief
Greek death/doom band that released their first EP in 2016. Traditional approach and solid songwriting.
Finnish band with a different take on death/doom metal, mixing in atmospheric sludge and post-rock. Relased two pretty good albums so far.
Released two 90’s classics comparable to Katatonia in quality. “Rain Without End” is a classic that you can’t avoid if when into this style of music. A good band after the comeback as well, while not retaining the same level of emotional impact.
Read more about October Tide:
Long-running Dutch act with many albums in their discography.
Good Australian death/doom with one album from 2012.
Early Paradise Lost is extremely important for the genre and formed the framework for others bands like Katatonia to build upon. They returned to their death/doom ways with “Beneath Broken Earth”, one of the band’s best songs ever. Check it out here.
Read more about Paradise Lost:
Finnish band that released three great albums before disappearing into obscurity. One of the catchiest death/doom metal bands, as well as one of the best.
Danish My Dying Bride worshippers with a strong sense of melody. They are the best on “Veronika Decides to Die”, but overall a solid band.
U.S. death/doom with a traditional “Brave Murder Day” based sound. The first EP “Hollowpath” came out in 2013 and more material is on the way.
Released the album “Fallout” before disbanding, which is the only album that can compete with “Brave Murder Day” for the death/doom crown. Connected to various projects inside and outside death/doom metal aftter disbanding: Atoma, Enshine, Exgenesis, Seas of Years.
Swedish death/doom metal featuring members from Desolator, Ending Quest and Wolfcross. Full-length debut “An Empty Frame” came out in 2016.
Read more about Soliloquium:
Pretty good death/doom from Czech Republic.
I’ve only heard their first EP, but it was a nice example of a symphonic take on the genre.
Swallow the Sun
I mostly like a song here and there by this band, but “The Justice of Suffering” and “Out of This Gloomy Light” are certainly death/doom classics.
New band by Sleepwalkers mastermind Mike Watts that released a debut EP in 2016. Terminus has a pretty varied and fresh sound. Read my review of the debut EP here.
The Fall of Every Season
Norwegian band with long songs and clean vocals similar to Mikael Åkerfeldt.
When Nothing Remains
Pretty good Swedish band that plays classic death/doom.
Wine From Tears
Russian My Dying Bride worshippers with a large dose of sorrow. “Since I Fell” is their most epic song.
Within the Fall
Melodic death/doom metal from Karlstad, Sweden.
U.S. death/doom similar to Daylight Dies.