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Melodic Death Metal
Primary Stylistic Influences:
Secondary Stylistic Influences:

Melodic death metal, occasionally called "Melodeath", is a notable subgenre of Death Metal that is characterised by harmonized, Iron Maiden-styled guitar melodies and a generally higher-pitched growl, though low-pitched ones are occasionally used.

Depending on your perspective, melodeath was created by the British band Carcass; however, it's unclear whether they were truly the first. Whatever your stance, everyone can agree that the style was popularised by three bands from Gothenburg, Sweden: In Flames, At the Gates, and Dark Tranquillity. The success of these three bands resulted in a number of mainly Scandinavian bands that took on the style.

Melodeath is seen as a less underground style than standard Death Metal; its lyrics generally do not focus on gore, although there are exceptions (Dismember is one of them). Melodeath was also a huge influence on many Metalcore bands. When fused together, they become Melodic Metalcore
Bands classified as melodic death metal include:

  • The Absence
  • Abysmal Dawn (From Ashes only)
  • Aeternam (Fuses melodic death with Middle Eastern folk)
  • The Agonist (A female-fronted example like Arch Enemy, though they tend to mix it up with clean vocals. Crosses over with deathcore and Progressive Metal.)
    • Amusingly, the lead singer of The Agonist is now the lead singer for Arch Enemy - and they've replaced her with a singer who originally seemed to be focused mainly on clean singing, but has proven to be just as capable a growler.
  • Allegaeon (Mixed with Tech Death)
  • All That Remains (Originally; they later mixed this with metalcore)
  • Amon Amarth
  • Amorphis (They have gradually morphed into some form of "Progressive Folk Metal", although melodeath elements can still be heard from time to time. One of the early users of clean vocals that made it work, along with Dark Tranquillity.)
  • Arch-Enemy (Notable for - eventually - having a female singer doing growling vocals.)
  • Arsis (Also qualifies as Tech Death)
  • At The Gates (Trope Codifier)
  • Barren Earth (Formed from members of several other Melodeath bands. Fuses Melodeath with Progressive Metal.)
    • The first track off of their first full-length release includes a flute solo.
  • Before the Dawn (Melodeath with Goth Metal influences)
  • The Black Dahlia Murder (They are often considered a deathcore band due to their fanbase and a couple of their very early releases, but have little in common music-wise with the genre and are a lot closer to At the Gates than they are to Suicide Silence; as of Everblack, they've begun including elements of brutal death into their sound.)
  • Bloodshot Dawn (along with tech)
  • Blood Stain Child (Fused melodeath with Trance.)
  • Carcass (Later; possibly the Trope Maker.)
  • Children of Bodom (Fused melodeath with Power Metal.)
  • Dark Lunacy (Heavy Symphonic influences. Early releases feature violins prominently.)
  • Dark Tranquillity (Trope Codifier)
  • Darkest Hour
  • Daylight Dies (Fused melodeath with Doom Metal)
  • Dead By April (Possibly the only metal band that fuses melodeath (or any metal for that matter) with Boy Band-styled pop)
  • Deadlock
  • Dethklok
  • DevilDriver (as of The Fury of Our Maker's Hand, also Groove Metal; depending on the album, they might lean more heavily towards melodeath or groove, though The Last Kind Words is the closest they've come to a straight melodic death album)
  • Disarmonia Mundi
  • Dismember (often associated more closely with other bands from the Stockholm death metal scene such as Entombed, Unleashed, and Grave)
  • Dissection (On Reinkaos.)
  • Edge of Sanity (also Progressive Metal / Progressive Death Metal, especially on the Crimson albums)
  • Eluveitie (Fused melodeath with Celtic metal.)
  • Enfold Darkness (mixed with melodic black metal)
  • Ensiferum (Mixed with Power Metal, Folk Metal and Viking Metal.)
  • Eternal Tears of Sorrow (another melodeath/gothic fusion)
  • Eucharist
  • Ex Deo (Side project of Maurizio Iacono from Kataklysm, with themes based on Roman history. Later releases mixed with Symphonic Black Metal.)
  • Exhumed (On Necrocracy, though they've flirted with this before)
  • Exist Trace (mostly their earlier releases)
  • Exmortus (along with Death/Thrash and a bunch of other genres)
  • Eyeconoclast
  • Falchion
  • Fleshgod Apocalypse (Agony onward) Also Technical Death Metal
  • Garden of Shadows (notable in that they were Sean Beasley's band prior to his joining Dying Fetus)
  • God Dethroned (later albums; earlier material was Blackened Death Metal)
  • God Forbid (A melodeath/metalcore crossover, with a strong thrash influence to boot.)
  • Gorod (along with tech and prog)
  • The Haunted (With a strong influence from both Thrash Metal and Groove Metal.)
  • Heaven Shall Burn
  • Hypocrisy (Since 1994; arguably the weirdest of the lot, and also one of the heavier bands in the genre.)
  • In Flames (Trope Codifier) (they leaned toward Alternative Metal/Nu Metal in their later albums, but still kept many elements of this genre)
  • Inferi (mixed with tech)
  • Insomnium (Also contains strong influence from Progressive Death Metal and Doom Metal.)
  • Intestine Baalism
  • Into Eternity (Mixed with Progressive Death Metal)
  • Kalmah (Later works also fall under death/thrash)
  • Kataklysm (their latest stuff, and borderline at that)
  • Kokuyasou (also Symphonic Metal, Black Metal and Gothic Metal with brutal and slam death influences, and that's putting it lightly)
  • Mercenary (Mixed with Power Metal and, to a certain degree, Progressive Metal.)
  • Mayan (Mixed with Symphonic Metal; Mark Jansen's side project)
  • Moonspell (The Antidote onward, fused with Gothic Metal)
  • Mors Principium Est
  • myGRAIN (Later works involve elements of Power Metal and metalcore)
  • Neuraxis (along with Technical Death Metal)
  • Nightrage
  • Norther
  • Oathean (Mixed with Melodic Black Metal and Korean Folk music.)
  • Omnium Gatherum (Latest release experiments with Progressive influences. Very strong ties with Insomnium (including one of their current guitarists joining Insomnium after the departure of a longtime member), to the point both sharing a considerable portion of their fan bases and being known as Insomnium Gatherum.)
  • Paths Of Possession (notable for featuring George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher from Cannibal Corpse.)
  • Persefone (Earlier works were Progressive Metal done in melodeath form. Latest album (2013) expands to Progressive Death Metal.)
  • Quo Vadis (Mixed with Tech Death)
  • Raintime (Mixes Melodeath with Power Metal.)
  • Revocation (Along with Tech Death, Death/Thrash, and far too many other genres to list)
  • Scar Symmetry (Another melodeath/power metal fusion. There's a bit of Progressive Metal, too)
  • Skeletonwitch (Mixed with Thrash and Black)
  • Shadows Fall (only their first two albums (if you count their actual first album as an album); they have since shifted to a fusion of Thrash Metal and Metalcore.)
  • The Showdown (Mixes with Metalcore, Groove Metal, and Southern Rock)
  • Silent Descent (Another trance-fusion melodeath band alongside Blood Stain Child.)
  • Skyfire (A very experimental example)
  • Soilwork (mixed with Alternative Metal, though their first few albums were straight melodeath)
  • Sonic Syndicate (Though it's sometimes debated whether SS is melodic death metal or metalcore. Or both.)
  • Solution .45 (Another group formed by members of other bands, includes ex-Scar Symmetry vocalist Christian Älvestam. Some progressive elements.)
  • Soul Embraced
  • Soul Remnants (As of Black and Blood, also a particularly heavy example)
  • Starkill
  • Suidakra (Originally Black Metal; Mixed with Celtic Metal)
  • Swallow the Sun (Mixed with Doom Metal.)
  • System Divide
  • The Unguided
  • Vale of Pnath (Mixed with Tech Death)
  • Wings In Motion
  • Wintersun (also Progressive Metal / Progressive Death Metal)

This genre exhibits the following trope examples:


DeathcoreMusic/Heavy MetalTechnical Death Metal
DeathcoreHeavy MetalTechnical Death Metal
Ur ExampleChristian MetalThrash Metal
Death MetalMusic TropesTechnical Death Metal
Progressive Death MetalProgressive MetalAnimals as Leaders
Reel Big FishMusic Of The 1990sAt The Gates
Death MetalMetalcoreThe Agonist
MetalcoreNu MetalDir En Grey

alternative title(s): Melodeath
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