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Melodic death metal
Stylistic origins Death metal, thrash metal, NWOBHM
Cultural origins Early 1990s, Gothenburg, Sweden
Typical instruments Electric guitarBass guitarDrumsKeyboardVocals
Mainstream popularity Underground in early–mid 1990s
Increased popularity throughout 2000s
Derivative forms Melodic metalcore
Regional scenes
Scandinavia
Other topics
Death growlClean vocalsBands

Melodic death metal (also referred to as melodeath) is a subgenre of death metal which combines the melody of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) with the intensity of death metal.[citation needed] The genre is also known as Gothenburg metal, a reference to the city in Sweden where it originated.[citation needed] Originally the genre combined the harmony style and groove melodies of heavy metal with the harsh thrashing sound and vocals of death metal.[citation needed] Later the genre evolved due to many different influences, a notable evolution in the genre being the addition of keyboards. Melodic death metal contains more melodic guitar riffs, melodic solos, and acoustic guitar work than traditional death metal.[citation needed]

Contents

Background

The creation of melodic death metal has often been credited to the band Carcass[citation needed], specifically with the release of their album Heartwork in 1993. Finnish band Amorphis have also been credited with a similar title, with their release of Tales from the Thousand Lakes in 1994.[citation needed] The first bands to distinctly establish the genre however were three bands from Gothenburg, Sweden, who at the time, were all associated with one another: In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, and At the Gates.[citation needed]

Some melodic death metal bands from the Scandinavian region combine the genre with other metal genres such as progressive metal (e. g. Skyfire), power metal (e. g. Children of Bodom), gothic metal (e. g. Before the Dawn), symphonic metal (e. g. Eternal Tears of Sorrow), thrash metal (e. g. Arch Enemy), groove metal (e. g. The Haunted), doom metal (e. g. Swallow the Sun) and folk metal (e. g. Falchion).[citation needed]

In the late 1990s, many melodic death metal bands changed their style of playing by adding more melodic elements; more melodic choruses and riffs and making more prominent use of keyboards. [1]

Gothenburg sound

One notable contribution to melodic death metal is the Gothenburg style, named after the city from which it originated. It is not certain what band originally started the Gothenburg sound, however, it is widely accepted that Dark Tranquillity, At the Gates, and In Flames are three major pioneers of the style;[citation needed] however history yields that At the Gates began playing a much more contemplative and "Neoclassical" style of death metal in their early years,[citation needed] very comparable to the Finnish act Demilich. It wasn't until their later albums (Slaughter of the Soul being the most commercially known) when the Gothenburg sound was recaptured.[citation needed] Gothenburg or melodic death metal does however begin with Grotesque, being the precursor band of At the Gates.[citation needed] Grotesque existed for three short years, producing two demos, a rehearsal tape, an EP and one compilation album entitled In the Embrace of Evil. This appeared again in the form of a re-release split with the early At the Gates EP entitled Gardens of Grief.

The year 1993 produced a number of Gothenburg acts with debut full length albums: giving respective weight to Dark Tranquility, In Flames, Carcass and other similar bands. Dissection factually remains the direct descendent of Grotesque's style of "Gothenburg" metal (later known as melodic death metal), premiering with their 1990 demo The Grief Prophecy and the 1991 EP entitled Into Infinite Obscurity.[citation needed]

Regional scenes

Most melodic death metal bands are from the Scandinavian and Northern European regions, especially from Sweden and Finland.[citation needed][citation needed] Coming out of Finland in the past decade have been few uprising bands in the melodic death metal genre, including: Children of Bodom, Insomnium, Kalmah, Mors Principium Est and Norther . In recent years, the genre has gained somewhat of a popularity boost, acquiring an increasing following in North America, especially among North American fans of the Scandinavian bands which still pioneer the genre to this day; modern metalcore and later deathcore takes influence of melodic death metal with bands including: DevilDriver, The Black Dahlia Murder, Darkest Hour and Himsa. Melodic death metal has also spread to Australia with notable bands from the scene including Switchblade, Daysend, Be'lakor and Infernal Method.

Southern/Central Europe has a growing scene too, with bands such as Nightrage (Greece, Sweden, Finland, Belgium) Hollenthon(Austria), Inactive Messiah, Septic Flesh (Greece) and Disarmonia Mundi (Italy) all rising to prominence in the scene, though interestingly, most bands in central, continental Europe, seem to have incorperated the more symphonic elements that has become a popular aspect of European metal. Other minor scenes have began emerging, especially in the oriental regions, such as Japan, UAE, and Egypt. Bands such as Blood Stain Child (Japan) show this small scene developing.

See also

References

  1. ^ Metal Hammer February 2008: "Lyrically we were different too...People were surprised that we were a death metal band that wasn't singing about blood, gore and horror movies"

Bibliography

  • Ekeroth, Daniel (2008). Swedish Death Metal. Bazillion Points Books. ISBN 978-0-9796163-1-0

Simple English

Melodic death metal is a form of death metal music, which is itself a style of heavy metal. Melodic death metal is a lot like death metal but, as the name suggests, it is more melodic. Melodic death metal bands may use normal singing some times, where death metal bands nearly always use growling. Melodic death metal lyrics are also different to death metal lyrics. Death metal lyrics focus on death, war, murder and gore where melodic death metal focuses more on philosophy, religion and other less violent topics. Starting in the town of Gothenburg in Sweden it is sometimes referred to as the "Gothenburg Sound"

Melodic death metal started in Scandinavia, in countries such as Sweden and Norway. Many early melodic death metal bands wanted to mix the fast, brutal songs of death metal with the dual guitar harmonies and melodies of heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Saxon.

One of the most famous melodic death metal bands is In Flames. This Swedish band was formed by Jesper Strombald.








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