Melodic Black Metal

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Melodic Black Metal is a sub-genre of black metal music. It features a higher focus on melodic guitar playing and sometimes keyboards than the more traditionally styled black metal acts do. They also tend to have more polished production values and a more direct style of songwriting focusing on riffs over atmosphere. Melodic black metal acts are also more likely to include some clean vocals in addition to growls in their music compared to more traditionally styled black metal acts. There is some crossover with symphonic black metal and artists that have produced releases in both styles, such as Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth, are common.

Some of the most well known melodic black metal acts include Dissection, an early pioneer of the genre, along with Sacramentum. Windir, Kvist and Melechesh are also considered key melodic black metal acts.

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melodic black metal top albums

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WINTERHORDE Maestro Album Cover Maestro
WINTERHORDE
4.72 | 10 ratings
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UADA Devoid of Light Album Cover Devoid of Light
UADA
4.76 | 8 ratings
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DISSECTION Storm of the Light's Bane Album Cover Storm of the Light's Bane
DISSECTION
4.39 | 42 ratings
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WINTERHORDE Underwatermoon Album Cover Underwatermoon
WINTERHORDE
4.49 | 10 ratings
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MELECHESH Sphynx Album Cover Sphynx
MELECHESH
4.40 | 16 ratings
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ROTTING CHRIST The Heretics Album Cover The Heretics
ROTTING CHRIST
4.55 | 6 ratings
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WINDIR 1184 Album Cover 1184
WINDIR
4.44 | 9 ratings
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WINDIR Arntor Album Cover Arntor
WINDIR
4.38 | 15 ratings
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MELECHESH Enki Album Cover Enki
MELECHESH
4.35 | 17 ratings
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ASTARTE Quod Superius Sicut Inferius Album Cover Quod Superius Sicut Inferius
ASTARTE
4.54 | 5 ratings
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UADA Cult of a Dying Sun Album Cover Cult of a Dying Sun
UADA
4.45 | 7 ratings
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UADA Djinn Album Cover Djinn
UADA
4.56 | 4 ratings
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DISSECTION Storm of the Light's Bane

Album · 1995 · Melodic Black Metal
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UMUR
"Storm of the Light's Bane" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish black/death metal act Dissection. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in November 1995. There´s been one lineup change since the release of "The Somberlain (1993)" as guitarist John Zwetsloot has been replaced by Johan Norman. Dissection was formed in 1989 and in their original run existed until 1997, when they had to disband as a consequence of lead vocalist/guitarist Jon Nödtveidt having to serve his prison sentence for being convicted as an accessory to murder.

Stylistically the music on "Storm of the Light's Bane" continues the blackened death metal style of "The Somberlain (1993)", but it leans a bit more on the black metal side of the band´s sound than was the case on the predecessor. It´s still a very melodic type of black/death metal with heavy use of guitar harmonies (and the occasional acoustic section and use of folk melodies). There are a few thrashy riffs featured on the album too, but the dominant style is melodic black metal. The vocals are raspy black metal type vocals.

Dissection masterfully create a cold yet epic atmosphere and paired with their considerable playing skills, it´s not hard to understand why so many people hold "Storm of the Light's Bane" in such high regard. It´s one of those albums where they hit the right balance between rawness and melody, which means they don´t go overboard with any of them but instead the listener is treated to both very melodic and very harsh parts, which combined creates the high quality material featured on the album.

It doesn´t make things worse that the album also features a clear, professional, yet raw sounding production, which does the music a lot of justice and helps make it shine. So upon conclusion "Storm of the Light's Bane" is a high quality release and while "The Somberlain (1993)" was certainly a great debut album, I think this sophomore release is just a notch more focused and the songwriting a bit more memorable. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

UADA Djinn

Album · 2020 · Melodic Black Metal
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TheHeavyMetalCat
Uada's third and at the time of posting most recent album Djinn was released in 2020 and like the previous album Cult of a Dying Sun before it shows the band trying to grow as musicians, resulting in an album that, while still belonging to the melodic black metal genre (with atmospheric elements) fells less like a more of a same record than Cult of a Dying Sun did to their debut album Devoid of Light. The band still clearly likes to write long songs though and across Djinn's six tracks we have received the longest Uada numbers to date with two being closer to the fourteen minute barrier than not. One of these, No Place Here, especially stands out at once as being among Uada's best work and overall it's another excellent release from the US group that for me marks a very slight step up from Cult of a Dying Sun but not enough to top their debut.

UADA Cult of a Dying Sun

Album · 2018 · Melodic Black Metal
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TheHeavyMetalCat
Uada's sophomore album Cult of a Dying Sun was released in 2018, just over two years since their debut album Devoid of Light. Cult of a Dying Sun is the kind of release where it's certainly a case of being more of the same but a band clearly also trying to do more with it, which is most immediately evident in the difference in total running time, almost fifty-six minutes compared to under thirty-four, although there are only two extra songs compared to the first record. Uada certainly tends to write songs with long track times and fortunately they have the song-writing skill to back up what might be seen as overly indulgent in a lesser group. Cult of a Dying Sun is perhaps slightly less effective as a whole than the band's first album, but it's a worthy follow-up to a top tier debut.

UADA Devoid of Light

Album · 2016 · Melodic Black Metal
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TheHeavyMetalCat
Uada's debut album Devoid of Light was released in 2016 and contains five tracks totalling just under thirty-four minutes of music. While far off being able to be called a substantial release in those terms, Devoid of Light is at least a work of high quality material that will couple well with the running time to assure repeated listens. The style of music is melodic black metal that also draws on atmospheric black metal and traditional black metal ideas, with the sound production on the line between black metal's traditional rawness and professional polish. The best track is the title track, but that's just this one writer's opinion, all five are certainly valid choices. Devoid of Light is among the best black metal debuts of the 2010s and Uada certainly deserves to be recognised for having made their mark with it.

WORMWITCH Heaven That Dwells Within

Album · 2019 · Melodic Black Metal
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voila_la_scorie
When it comes to black metal, I find there's the type that makes me think, "Sweet! I can totally immerse myself in this," and then there's the type that makes me think, "A bit too much slicing on the ol' tympanic membrane. Ease up a bit on the over-driven lo-fi treble tone."

Wormwitch's second album, "Heaven That Dwells Within" is of the first type. Right from the bursting intro of the drums, the Celtic Frostian "ough!", and the wash of guitar distortion, the music is like a swiftly hurtling cozy blanket that whisks me away. The production is warm and comfortable, not squeaky clean or living room lo-fi. The drums blast away. The vocals do what black metal vocals do. The guitar sounds and the riffs sweep you away across the frosts and snows of... Vancouver? Alright. It's a bit unusual to hear black metal performed so well from a city that's known more for rust than frost. But Wormwitch sure have a handle on what they're doing.

In general, the album is a sweet listening experience, but there are enough moments that pop out that have me checking the track list and what song is playing at the moment. That folky bit in "Vernal Womb". The pause and sudden drop downs in "Two Wolves". The changing riffs of "Midnight Sun" and the acoustic and clean vocal intro to "Dancing in the Ashes". It doesn't take long to pick out what makes each song different from most of the others. That's a good point for me. I appreciate an album that sounds great from start to finish, but it's the little highlights here and there that make individual tracks memorable.

I'm a bit surprised to see "crust" mentioned in Wormwitch's description. I don't hear any on this album. But I like it enough that I am interested in hearing their first album. Black metal experts might have more critical words to say about this record but I think it's really a well-done piece of work that I'll come back to.

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