Death metal was spawned from the more extreme form of thrash metal in the mid 1980’s. Death and Possessed are often considered the first death metal bands. Swedish death metal exploded in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Dismember, Entombed and Grave being the frontrunners. Many of the swedish old school death metal bands changed their style when melodic death metal became popular in the mid 90’s.

American death metal

American death metal tends to generally be aggressive, straightforward and technically proficient. The early bands like Death and Possessed had a lot in common with thrash metal. Morbid Angel’s 1989 release “Altars of Madness” and Suffocation’s 1991 release “Effigy of the Forgotten” raised the levels of technicality and sheer aesthetic brutality. Immolation is perhaps the best example of american death metal, with their unique apocalyptic sound and a long consistent streak of albums.

Swedish death metal

Many early Swedish bands used the Boss HM-2 pedal to achieve the so called “buzzsaw guitar sound”. Dismember, Entombed, Grave and Unleashed pioneered this type of death metal. In the mid 90’s the swedish style of death metal went on to be based more on groove and melody. The old school style resurfaced and gained popularity in the 2000’s, with swedish bands like Bloodbath, Entrails and Puteraeon as frontrunners. The level of originality can definitely be questioned, as many of the bands fall into a “harmless fun” type of category rather than breaking any new musical ground.

Finnish death metal

Finnish death metal is often dark, gloomy and atmospheric. Some examples of classic finnish bands are Amorphis, Convulse and Demilich.

Good death metal bands

There are a lot of bands in the style out there, especially online. It can be hard to sort out the special bands from the average ones.

Here is our list of recommended death metal bands:

  • Autopsy
  • Benighted
  • Blood Red Throne
  • Bloodbath
  • Death
  • Dismember
  • Entombed
  • Immolation
  • Infinitum
  • Insision
  • Kaamos
  • Misery Index
  • Suffocation
  • The Crown
  • Vader

Old school death metal playlist

If you are looking for old school death metal tips you can check out our YouTube playlist right here. The list is a mix of classic bands and unknown bands to make it as big and shuffle friendly as possible. Make sure to subscribe if you find it useful!


Soliloquium is a death/doom metal band from Stockholm, Sweden formed in 2011. We’ve released three EP’s and working on new full length material, check out our discography to see what we have to offer. You can download all the music for free on our Bandcamp. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, so you won’t miss the latest updates!

Death metal band Desolator playing live

Death metal bands connected to Soliloquium

Stefan and Jonas from Soliloquium are playing in two death metal projects: Desolator and Ending Quest. Desolator is an old school death metal band started in 2009 that released a full length called “Unearthly Monument” in 2013. The band has a full lineup and plays live shows and rehearses. Ending Quest is a studio project that is mostly for fun. It’s a tribute to classic swedish bands like Dismember, Entombed and Grave. Ending Quest released a full length album called “The Summoning” in 2014. There is also old demos available for free download.

Listen to Desolator

Listen to Ending Quest

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