Melodic Death Metal

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

Melodic death metal, also referred to as melodeath, combines elements from death metal with elements from thrash metal, more traditional heavy metal and even hard rock. A typical feature of melodic death metal is the use of Iron Maiden-like twin guitar harmonies, melodic guitar leads and inherently melodic upbeat thrash riffage, and the guitars are often downtuned to B; sometimes synths and electronica elements occur in melodic death metal, too. The vocals are typically growled, shrieked or screamed, but some artists combine these harsh vocals with clean singing. Swedish artists in and around the city of Gothenburg have been especially influential in melodic death metal, leading to the establishment of the Gothenburg sound which has also made its way into metalcore and, more recently, power metal and progressive metal. Here on MMA, metalcore artists who make use of the Gothenburg sound, such as Nothing Divine, are included under metalcore, and power metal artists that make us of the Gothenburg sound, such as Raintime and Amaranthe, are included under power metal, while progressive metal artists that make use of the Gothenburg sound, such as James Labrie, are included under progressive metal. Sometimes a division is made between “melodeath” as a genre term referring specifically to melodic death metal based on the Gothenburg sound and “melodic death metal” as a term referring to more traditional death metal which emphasizes melody, as in the case of Terra Tenebrae, Arkan, and late Bolt Thrower. Carcass’ “Heartwork” is considered to be among the first melodic death metal releases, while artists like At the Gates, In Flames, Dark Tranquility, and Arch Enemy are among the most influential melodic death metal artists, and other examples are late Illdisposed, Deadlock, Amon Amarth, Omnium Gatherum, and Blood Stain Child.

melodic death metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

EDGE OF SANITY Crimson Album Cover Crimson
EDGE OF SANITY
4.37 | 101 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DARK TRANQUILLITY The Gallery Album Cover The Gallery
DARK TRANQUILLITY
4.47 | 25 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CARCASS Heartwork Album Cover Heartwork
CARCASS
4.35 | 60 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
AMORPHIS Tales From the Thousand Lakes Album Cover Tales From the Thousand Lakes
AMORPHIS
4.27 | 59 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
AT THE GATES Slaughter of the Soul Album Cover Slaughter of the Soul
AT THE GATES
4.26 | 29 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SOILWORK The Living Infinite Album Cover The Living Infinite
SOILWORK
4.34 | 12 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SCAR SYMMETRY The Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity) Album Cover The Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity)
SCAR SYMMETRY
4.38 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
INSOMNIUM Winter's Gate Album Cover Winter's Gate
INSOMNIUM
4.38 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DISILLUSION Back to Times of Splendor Album Cover Back to Times of Splendor
DISILLUSION
4.26 | 15 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
AMON AMARTH Surtur Rising Album Cover Surtur Rising
AMON AMARTH
4.17 | 29 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
IN FLAMES Colony Album Cover Colony
IN FLAMES
4.14 | 31 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DARK TRANQUILLITY Fiction Album Cover Fiction
DARK TRANQUILLITY
4.16 | 20 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

melodic death metal online videos

melodic death metal New Releases

.. Album Cover
Malady X
Album
NOTHGARD
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Only Pure Hate MMXVIII
Album
A CANOROUS QUINTET
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Alive From The World Beyond
Live album
A CANOROUS QUINTET
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Age Of Vultures
Album
MANTRUM
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Undying
Album
ASPIRED INFLICTION
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Apathetic Totality
Single
ASPIRED INFLICTION
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
A Fighting Spirit Never Dies
Single
ASPIRED INFLICTION
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Refining Fire
Single
OMNIUM GATHERUM
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Gods Go First
Single
OMNIUM GATHERUM
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
A Gift For the Obsessed
Album
THE ABSENCE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Burning Cold
Album
OMNIUM GATHERUM
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Maldita Inocência
Album
HONRA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Palo
Album
KALMAH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Eye Of The Storm
Album
BURDEN OF GRIEF
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Anguish
Album
DESDEMONIA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
A Complex Of Cages
Album
BARREN EARTH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Aerith
Album
AERITH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Mark Of The Necrogram
Album
NECROPHOBIC
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Inception Of A Dream
EP
ABNEGATION
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Currents
Album
IN VAIN
Buy this album from MMA partners

melodic death metal Music Reviews

SOILWORK A Predator's Portrait

Album · 2001 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"A Predator´s Portrait" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish melodic death metal act Soilwork. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in February 2001. It´s the successor to "The Chainheart Machine" from 2000 and features the exact same lineup who recorded the predecessor.

The material on "A Predator´s Portrait" are melodic and pretty polished melodic death metal with thrashy riffing. The polished sound is very much due to the omnipresent keyboards, which add a lot of depth and atmosphere to the sound but also take away a little of the savage power of the first two albums. Every possible space in the music is filled with background keyboards and the music is often not given much time to breathe (which is up to the ears that hear if that is a good or a bad feature). So the listener is treated to a wall of sound type of soundscape. The guitars play some relatively fast melodic thrashy riffing and even enters neo-classical territory at times. There are some pretty impressive sections here and there if you take a close listen. Lead vocalist Björn Strid handles both aggressive high pitched snarling vocals and clean vocals too. Strid is a skilled singer and his clean vocal delivery adds lots of melodic memorability to the tracks. "A Predator´s Portrait" is the first Soilwork album where he combine his raw vocals with singing clean vocals (having exclusively performed raw vocals on the first two albums), and although he would develop his clean vocal style on subsequent releases, his performance here is of high quality too.

Highligts to my ears are "Like the Average Stalker", "Neurotica Rampage", "Grand Failure Anthem", and the title track (the rerecording of "Shadowchild" from the Japanese/reissue version of "The Chainheart Machine (2000)" is also worth a mention), but all tracks are almost on an equally high quality level. Some tracks are a bit too formulaic and predictable and a bit more rawness and less polish could also have elevated the album to a higher level, but all in all "A Preditor´s Portrait" is a quality product. The sound production is professional and the performances are high class all around, so upon conclusion "A Predator´s Portrait" is another high quality release by Soilwork and because of the inclusion of clean vocals an important step in the development of the band´s sound. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

IN FLAMES Lunar Strain

Album · 1994 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Lunar Strain" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish melodic death metal act In Flames. The album was released through Wrong Again Records in April 1994. In Flames was formed by guitarist Jesper Strömblad (also drums and keyboards on this release) in 1990 as a side-project where he wanted to explore a more melodic version of death metal. Something he wasn´t able to do in his then main act Ceremonial Oath. After leaving the latter in 1993, he started assembling a lineup for In Flames, but initially wasn´t able to find a suitable vocalist and therefore Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity sung on the 1993 demo. An arrangement which was continued on "Lunar Strain".

The music on the 10 track, 36:43 minutes long album is indeed melodic oriented death metal. Loads of harmony guitar themes, leads, and an overall epic atmosphere. There are also quite a few folk elements featured in the music like the occasional use of violins and acoustic guitars. The vocal style is an aggressive and relatively high pitched growling type of vocals, and they provide the music with just a slight touch of black metal (there are a few female vocals featured on the album too). A track like "Upon an Oaken Throne" even touches thrash metal territory, so In Flames are relatively eclectic on "Lunar Strain". Artists like Necrophobic, Dissection, and Unanimated aren´t completely wrong as references, although In Flames doesn´t embrace blasphemous/anti-Christian lyrics, but instead opt for a fantasy universe.

The quality of the material is very high throughout and "Lunar Strain" overall features a relatively good flow too. The sound production could have been better, but the album is still relatively well sounding, and the sound suits the music pretty well. The band is well playing too, and upon conclusion "Lunar Strain" is not only a promising debut release by In Flames, it´s also a very high quality release in it´s own right. Especially considering that it´s a debut release. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

NECROPHOBIC Mark Of The Necrogram

Album · 2018 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Nightfly
Necrophobic have been releasing quality extreme metal albums since their 1993 debut The Nocturnal Silence, a highly regarded by many, old school death metal release. They shortly afterwards adopted a more blackened death metal sound which is pretty much where they have remained since. All of their albums have been at least good, if not essential listening, though I must admit to my recollection with some mid period releases vague.

It’s been five years since Womb Of Lilithu and Mark Of The Necrogram sees the band remaining faithful to their blackened death metal sound which means no surprises I guess but it’s still a quality release. The sound is nearer to 2009’s Death To All than WOL which is not surprising when you know that it marks the return of guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck who last played on that record. It also sees the return of original vocalist Anders Strokirk.

The first thing that hit me with the opening title track, apart from the crystal clear production, is they appear to have upped the melody quotient and as the album progresses it proves to be the case. There’s no shortage of catchy riffs, which I must admit to a large extent didn’t hit me straight away but once they did I was hooked. It doesn’t get any better than Odium Caecum which after a moody guitar arpeggio intro kicks in full throttle, more death than black until the chorus and is one of the heaviest songs too. There’s no shortage of great songs though played with strong musicianship. Ever present drummer Joakim Sterner throws in the expected array of blast beats and double kicks with expert precision and the guitar work is impressive with some melodic solo work too.

I’ll stick my neck out here and say that Mark Of The Necrogram may just be the bands best and most consistent album in their career. It’s also their best sounding too. I’ve never felt the need to own all Necrophobic’s albums, having cherry picked their back catalogue but this ones a keeper for sure.

FLESHKILLER Awaken

Album · 2017 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Nightfly
Awaken is the debut album from Norwegian extreme metal band Fleshkiller. New band yes, but not lacking experience as it features guitarist/vocalist Ole Børud of Extol fame and previously Schaliach. Also present is guitarist/vocalist Elisha Mullins who’s also a member of The Burial and ex- A Hill To Die Upon, bassist Ole Vistnes from Tristania, ex- Zerozonic and drummer Andreas Skorpe Sjøen.

Of the past bands these guys have played with above the only one I have any experience of is Extol and Fleshkiller don’t sound too dissimilar playing a blend of prog metal injected with more extreme elements, in this case melodic death metal with a touch of thrash thrown in. It sounds generally heavier and more complex than later day Extol to my ears though I know their earlier work less, at times reminding of technical death thrashers Revocation with added melody. The vocal harmonies are still in place and if anything have an even more melodic edge and integral to the sound alongside the harsher more extreme vocal work. Musically it’s pretty complex stuff with each song rarely sitting still for too long before throwing in another complex series of shapes, licks and intricate riffs. These songs are full of strong hooks with inventive progressions that often go off in unexpected directions. In fact it’s a strong emphasis on melody that really help mark these songs as something special and not just a vehicle for displaying exceptional musical chops. The guitar solos have an equally melodic edge too.

Not surprisingly, these guys play really well – a pre-requisite for this sort of complex material. I’ve already mentioned the vocal harmonies but it’s worth emphasising their importance to the overall sound and certainly makes them stand out in extreme metal circles. Like Extol the songs have a Christian leaning. I’ve always felt that Christianity and death metal make unlikely bedfellows but then again why not and it doesn’t come across as incongruous. The production is powerful and with everyone cutting through clearly in the mix displaying the intricacies of the songs effectively. Not a single moment is wasted with every song earning its place making it compelling listening from start to finish, but it doesn’t get any better than the first two tracks, Parallel Kingdom and Salt Of The Earth being perhaps my pick of the bunch for the interplay between vocal melodies and inventive guitar hooks.

2017 has been a great year for death metal and Awaken can now be added to the list of best albums for this year, it really is that good. It also comes recommended to Prog metal fans who don’t normally venture into extreme metal territory who may also find much to enjoy.

ARCH ENEMY Will to Power

Album · 2017 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Sweden's Arch Enemy are the kind of band who I have always enjoyed but not necessarily found to be the most remarkable act around. Very hit and miss in terms of how interesting I find their albums, I was actually blown away by how much I enjoyed their last offering War Eternal (2014). Though the last ten years have resulted in a real up and down listening experience in terms of quality, I had high hopes resting on their eleventh album Will to Power (2017), which sees Jeff Loomis of Nevermore fame joining their ranks.

This is not just because of War Eternal being a new career high point for them, but because everything leading up to Will to Power seems to have being putting all the pieces in place for Arch Enemy to break their mould and deliver something that, at long last, brings their music to the next level. They have a vocalist in Alissa White-Gluz whose dual style of growls/clean singing was only lightly scratched on War Eternal (in a real blink and you'll miss it kind of way). They were showing tendencies of experimentation with symphonic elements on the last album, which were integrated well. And now they also have Jeff Loomis, one of the main writers of major (and very different to Arch Enemy) metal band Nevermore, whose new blood is surely going to influence their sound right?

Wrong. Loomis didn't contribute a single thing to Will to Power. The album feels so typically Arch Enemy that Michael Amott may as well just have played all the guitars himself and hired a session player for the second guitarist role when playing live. Such a noted player like Loomis feels wasted here as is. As for the other things I spoke of in the previous paragraph, the symphonic elements do make an appearance on a single track, the closer A Fight I Must Win, but mostly outside of a metal context. Otherwise they've evaporated into thin air. Alissa White-Gluz does use her clean singing voice on one song, Reason to Believe, which feels very much like a testing the waters kind of track to see how well fans receive it, while playing it completely safe with the rest of the release. And that's exactly how Will to Power comes across by and large. Safe and phoned in. The songs aren't bad in themselves, but it's nothing we haven't heard before from this band and many others in their genre.

In all fairness this isn't anything new with Arch Enemy, but unlike their best albums such as War Eternal and Rise of the Tyrant (2007) most songs aren't memorable individually after the event. That makes all the difference with a band like this. But as has always been the case in the past, Will to Power is not a terrible record by any means. I don't think Arch Enemy have ever made one of those. But it is very average and only made at all noteworthy by that one song Reason to Believe that uses clean vocals. That works really well, as I expected it would given the bands polished production sound. If only they'd been brave enough to use more of the clean singing.

Will to Power is the kind of record that makes one think whether Arch Enemy knows how much potential they have right now (I can't be the only one to hear it) or are content to just keep doing the same thing over and over, occasionally producing a War Eternal or Rise of the Tyrant quality album. I'm sure there's someone out there reading this and thinking 'but that's what they play, why should they change it?' and it's a valid point. And it would be fine if every album was as good as War Eternal. But as I see it when you're turning out more albums like Will to Power and the earlier Khaos Legions (2011) and Doomsday Machine (2005), where the term 'uninspired' springs to mind surely it's time for a bit of bravery with your writing and to use every weapon at your disposal? A band doesn't have to leave their established genre behind to make a record that sounds different from their others. This one just sounds over 90% recycled.

melodic death metal movie reviews

AMON AMARTH Wrath of the Norsemen

Movie · 2006 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Talk about value for money, from a band like Amon Amarth you wouldn’t expect them to be able to afford such a crazily generous and in depth DVD package when some of the bigger bands can’t afford anything even half this good.

The Set comes in a glorious 3 DVD digipak with detailed artwork, a full booklet and an awesome little viking crown that keeps it closed. Then you get Five full concerts (with 22, 16,13, 11 and 9 tracks respectively) and a documentary.

The main feature; a 22 track concert from Cologne in 2005 is an incredible affair with crystal clear sound, Huge guitar tones, amazingly heavy drums and nice clunky bass. The camera work is of a higher quality than even some of the biggest metal bands’ DVDs and again the sound is immense.

Then theres the performance, the band are absolutely electric delivering furious renditions of material from all eras a their career from the massive ‘Amon Amarth,’ and ‘Fate of Norns,’ to catchy closer ‘Death In Fire,’ and the crowd just lap it up.

Vocalist Johan Hegg absolutely commands the stage, engaging the crowd at every opportunity and singing his heart out while the band hammer through their classics like ‘heavy,’ is going out of style.

On top of all that you have a great light show, huge Amon Amath banners, more pyro than a kiss concert and an interlude with about thirty Viking reenactors sword fighting on stage! That feature is worth the money alone, the show is probably one of the best metal concerts on the market and I can’t stress how good the sound and picture are; then on top of all that you get the rest of the set, featuring virtually ever Amon Amarth song ever written, and performances from ‘Waken Open Air festival,’ ‘Summer Breeze Festival,’ and two more indoor concerts in Europe.

If you like Amon Amarth Buy this right now. If you don’t, you will within thirty seconds of watching this.

Artists with Melodic Death Metal release(s)

melodic death metal Index

Member Zone

Username:
Password:
Stay signed in

Metal Subgenres

Artists Alpha-index

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II Power Metal
HELLOWEEN
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Up From The Ashes Heavy Metal
SOULHEALER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Bigod Doom Metal
ZATOKREV
Buy this album from MMA partners
Bigod Atmospheric Sludge Metal
MINSK
Buy this album from MMA partners
We Suffer In Silence Metalcore
WRITING THE FUTURE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Neon Crosses Sludge Metal
LEECHFEAST
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Cirith Ungol "I'm Alive" (Live)
CIRITH UNGOL
Tupan· 3 days ago
NAAM // STARCHILD
NAAM
Tupan· 7 days ago
PORTAL O CURTAIN
PORTAL
Tupan· 7 days ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online