Melodic Death Metal

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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.

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melodic death metal top albums

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EDGE OF SANITY Crimson Album Cover Crimson
EDGE OF SANITY
4.39 | 117 ratings
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CARCASS Heartwork Album Cover Heartwork
CARCASS
4.38 | 82 ratings
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DARK TRANQUILLITY The Gallery Album Cover The Gallery
DARK TRANQUILLITY
4.43 | 39 ratings
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AMORPHIS Tales From the Thousand Lakes Album Cover Tales From the Thousand Lakes
AMORPHIS
4.31 | 74 ratings
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INSOMNIUM Winter's Gate Album Cover Winter's Gate
INSOMNIUM
4.44 | 13 ratings
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INSOMNIUM Heart Like A Grave Album Cover Heart Like A Grave
INSOMNIUM
4.50 | 10 ratings
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CARCASS Torn Arteries Album Cover Torn Arteries
CARCASS
4.34 | 20 ratings
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CORMORANT Metazoa Album Cover Metazoa
CORMORANT
4.39 | 9 ratings
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AT THE GATES Slaughter of the Soul Album Cover Slaughter of the Soul
AT THE GATES
4.18 | 42 ratings
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INSOMNIUM Across the Dark Album Cover Across the Dark
INSOMNIUM
4.35 | 10 ratings
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INSOMNIUM One For Sorrow Album Cover One For Sorrow
INSOMNIUM
4.24 | 19 ratings
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DISILLUSION Back to Times of Splendor Album Cover Back to Times of Splendor
DISILLUSION
4.24 | 19 ratings
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melodic death metal Music Reviews

SOILWORK Övergivenheten

Album · 2022 · Melodic Death Metal
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Kev Rowland
I have long been a fan of Soilwork, and was very much looking forward to this album, but the untimely death of guitarist David Andersson (who was also in The Night Flight Orchestra) less than a month after its release has obviously cast a shadow. Mental illness is a terrible thing – if you are a sufferer (as am I) – then find the help you need and remember, the world is a better place with you in it. Björn “Speed” Strid must have problems working out what band he is in at times, and where certain material should go, as there are some songs contained on this which might well have fitted on the last NFO album, while there are others which are solid Soilwork.

Over the last 20 years they have moved a long way from the melodic death they started with, and are now in a much more commercial area, but the move has been organic and there are still elements of their old styles combined within which makes this an incredibly enjoyable album for both old fans and new. The album title can be translated to ‘The Abandonment’ which describes the overall album theme of being surrounded by the thought of being abandoned or even abandoning others. It deals with darker thoughts that have shaped the band itself and affected their development process, and I am sure the actions of David have since caused a great deal of soul searching and sorrow for everyone involved. However, in many ways this is a culmination of two years of Covid restrictions and all that meant, combined with the continued artistic development of both this band and NFO, with the result being yet again a stunning piece of work.

I was late to this band, but their last three albums are all excellent additions to any metal collection, and this their latest commercial offering combined with melodic death stylings is the same again. They understand the need for contrast and drop in a simple piano piece here, or acoustic guitar, all of which means that when they bring the storm it rains even heavier. Yet another essential release.

PARAXISM Promo '97

Demo · 1997 · Melodic Death Metal
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UMUR
"Promo '97" is a demo release by Finnish death metal act Paraxism. The demo was independently released in 1997. It succeeds Paraxism only label release the 1996 ".xism Excursion" EP. Apparently Paraxism still had issues finding a record label to release their music, and had to release another promo to send to labels.

Stylistically the material on the 4 track, 14:45 minutes long demo continues the melodic death´n´roll style Paraxism initiated on the 1995 "Selected Works - Promo 95" and further enchanced on the ".xism Excursion" (1996) EP. So the band had definitely settled on the style of music they wanted to play, and as such they also continue the high quality of the two previous releases. But it´s still like something has changed. The sound production is less interesting, and the drums sound like they are programmed. I´m not sure if this is true or not, but I know that Paraxism always had high quality drumming on the previous releases, and this time it sounds simplistic and lacks creativity.

So upon conclusion "Promo '97" is a solid demo/promo release by Paraxism, but it´s not the release which could bring them the recording contract they so much longed for. That should have happened after one of the two preceding releases. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

PARAXISM .Xism Excursion

EP · 1996 · Melodic Death Metal
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UMUR
".xism Excursion" is an EP release by Finnish death metal act Paraxism. The EP was released through Crawfish Recordings in 1996. It was recorded and mixed in December 1995. It succeeds the 1995 promo tape "Selected Works - Promo 95", which finally secured Paraxism a label deal to release this EP. Paraxism formed in 1990 and released an old school death metal styled demo in 1992, but repidly evolved and released the 1993 "Promo 93", which was a melting pot of old school death metal, melodic death metal, and death´n´roll, but on "Selected Works - Promo 95" it seemed that the band had settled on a melodic death´n´roll style.

And indeed the melodic death´n´roll style of "Selected Works - Promo 95" is continued on ".xism Excursion", but now packed in a professional studio production. The band have again enlisted guests to perform violin and mini moog on this release in addition to the more "normal" rock/metal instrumentation of guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. While the band´s core death´n´roll sound is interesting enough in itself, the additional instruments provide the band´s sound with something a little more exotic, and it works wonders for the soundscape.

".xism Excursion" is quite a brilliant release (a little short featuring only 3 tracks and a total playing time of 13:15 minututes, but quality of course always beats quantity), and fans of contemporary Amorphis and Sentenced should definitely give it a listen. It´s high quality melodic death´n´roll and it´s a real shame that ".xism Excursion" ended up being their sole label release, because it´s obvious that Paraxism had a lot more to offer, had they been given the chance. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

PARAXISM Selected Works - Promo 95

Demo · 1995 · Melodic Death Metal
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UMUR
"Selected Works - Promo 95" is the fourth demo by Finnish death metal act Paraxism. The demo was released as a promo tape in 1995 and was predominantly sent to labels to get a recording contract. The same tactic was used on the preceding demo/promo "Promo 93", but a recording contract never materialized. This time Paraxism was more successful though, as they managed to get signed by the Crawfish Recordings label for the release of the 1996 ".xism Excursion" EP on the merits of "Selected Works - Promo 95"...

...and listening to "Selected Works - Promo 95" it´s perfectly understandable why some labels would find Paraxism interesting. Stylistically they´ve finally settled on a melodic death´n´roll tinged death metal style (in contrast to the preceding demo release which featured multible stylistic elements), which isn´t far removed from contemporary Amorphis and especially Sentenced. In addition to drums, guitars, bass, and vocals, Paraxism have also included violin and mini moog (performed by guests), which are extra spices to their music. The way the two instruments are used on closing track "Imitating... ", makes that track an almost progressive rock/metal listening experience.

"Selected Works - Promo 95" is a creative and highly energetic release. Although it´s predominantly mid-paced there is a good energy and organic playing style featured on the demo which make it an entertaining and well performed release throughout. The sound quality is also close to professional studio quality, and upon conclusion this is a high quality demo/promo and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

PARAXISM Promo 93

Demo · 1993 · Melodic Death Metal
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UMUR
"Promo 93" is the third demo release by Finnish death metal act Paraxism. The demo was released as a promo tape in 1993 and was predominantly sent to labels to get a recording contract. Unfortunately for the band that didn´t happen, and they had to record yet another demo in 1995 titled "Selected Works - Promo 95", before being signed for the release of the 1996 EP ".xism Excursion" (their only label release).

"Promo 93" is quite the revelation in terms of development since the old school death metal style of the band´s 1992 demo tape. The band now incorporate death´n´roll parts, blasting deathgrind parts, melodic death metal parts, and continue their disregard for vers/chorus structures, making this promo a melting pot of the most popular death metal styles of the early 90s. The growling vocals have now taken on a slighly more melodic touch while still sounding brutal. Paraxism certainly do what they can to ensure that the poor reviewers have a hard time describing their music...

Featuring 7 tracks and a total playing time of 28:21 minutes, "Promo 93" is packed with material for the labels to listen to, and in that respect it does exactly what a successful demo/promo should do. "Polyphony" and "Futures..." stand out as some of the highlights of the release, but all tracks are worth a listen and the songwriting quality is overall high. The same can be said about the production values and the musicianship, so a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

melodic death metal movie reviews

AMON AMARTH Wrath of the Norsemen

Movie · 2006 · Melodic Death Metal
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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)

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