Best Melodic Death Metal Bands

The Top Ten

1 Children of Bodom Children Of Bodom was a melodic death metal band from Espoo, Finland. Formed in 1993, the final lineup consisted of Alexi Laiho, Janne Wirman, Henkka Seppälä, Jaska Raatikainen and Daniel Freyberg.

Whenever I feel the BOREDOM streaking and striking through me... Well BODOM comes to my rescue... As a 15 year old I seem to be the only one nowadays not listening to Justin beiber or lady gaga... I am listening to real, pure and true music and I am proud of it! Metallica and bodom forever m/

This was the first actual death metal band that I really got into and the reason why I have become such a big fan of them for three different reasons. One is basically at the time I was not into death metal but Children of Bodom was the first actual death metal band I really enjoyed. Two is the fact that they did a Brittany Spears cover of oops I did it again is insanely awesome and even sounds better than the original version itself. And three is because of Alexi Laiho. He is a master on the guitar and vocals. Why? Because he is obviously our generations death metal good and they have had billboard 200 success and have recently done a Kenny Loggins cover of Danger Zone on their 2015 album I worship chaos which is amazing.

Alexi is godfather of Melodic death metal. I love alexi and I love COB. In flames sucks. My list goes like this
1. Children of Bodom
2. Kalmah
3. Amon amarth... Listen to kalmah's alteration before blaming them

Well what to say? Their music is really awesome. Alexi's face melting solos, Janne's melodious keyboard and Jaska's butt bursting drums really make worth listening to. Being a 14 year old, I am the only one listening to it my class and I am really proud of it. Children of Bodom is the best. NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT!

2 Amon Amarth Amon Amarth is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Tumba, formed in 1992. The band takes its name from the Sindarin name of Mount Doom.

I hated bands in which they growled. But my friend told me to listen to Guardians of Asgaard. I heard it. Then Victorious March. Then Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags. Then As Loke Falls. Then Hel. And I never stopped listening. I cannot stop listening to them. When I lift, this band gives me like 25% more power. No kidding. For me, this is the best band ever. The drummer is bad ass. The vocals are like heavenly. The guitar is inspiring. Couldn't ask for anything more.

Children of Bodom has 2 good albums and yet they're on top of the list.

By fat the best melodeath band there is! The vocals aren't so over the top that they become unbearable and the guitar work is second to none. These guys put out one masterpiece after another...

The melodic of amon amarth songs is very pure.. Very beautiful.. And powerful. I can't stop listening to this band! Amon amarth has the best melodic comparing with other band. This band just beyond EPIC they should be in number 1!

3 Dark Tranquillity Dark Tranquillity is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg formed in 1989. They are one of the longest-standing bands from the original Gothenburg metal scene.

Amazing band. Every album has it's own unique sound and never sounds the same as the last, and yet that sound is always awesome. This is the band that introduced me to the genre and will always be my favourite of the genre. From the incredibly intense guitar riffs and death growls to the incredibly melodic keyboard pieces, this band produces absolutely killer music.

Many will say they are overrated but fail to realize that Dark Tranquillity always puts out an album that is completely different. Dark Tranquillity sticks to their word and do really create something different. I have seen them live a million of times and their live sound is one of the best or if not the best.

This is the greatest band of all time. The other bands in this genre are so inconceivably beneath this band. Indeed, a feeling of tranquility comes over me, my hands come together at the front of my face, my brain sends out the vibrations which then come back to me in waveform. The undertone vocalizations reverberate in my soul, of the great void that it is, I'm reminded by the lyrics. This is God's favorite band.

Without a doubt the best and as others said their discography is by far the most complete in terms of quality. Plus they stayed true to the mdm sound which their only competition, in flames, couldn't seem to do past the year 2000 or clayman. Damage done is their true masterpiece to me and character almost equaled it. Construct blew me away also when I heard it the first time. I was thinking how can a band that's been around for almost 20 years keep up the creativity needed to make this quality of music without having to reinvent themselves. Pure genius.

4 In Flames In Flames is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden, formed in 1990. ...read more.

Well damn, I like them all! However, as far as a full catalogue, complete with exploration to various edges of their sound, and never compromising quality, I have to go with In Flames. Sure there's been a few misses, such as most of A Sense of Purpose, but then they come back with Sounds of a Playground with kicks in the nuts such as Where Dead Ships Dwell and Fear is the Weakness, so you can't hold it against them. That and I can slap on Jester, Whoracle, or Colony pretty much any time and be elevated into musical nirvana. A special mention to Reroute to Remain.

Although it's a fact that COB has better musicians with respect to speed and melodies. But what they lack is creativity, maturity and soul, which in flames have got. COB has always remained in their comfort zone and pretty much all albums have similar material.

Having a hard time at the moment, it looks like they found out where the want to go on I, the Mask

The thing that makes In Flames stand out, is the fact that they try to innovate and discover new sounds and styles therefore avoiding getting caught in the same trap as a lot of other bands, meaning getting stuck into playing the same style and endlessly producing what sounds like the same album over and over again. Every album they produce is great in it's own way, and when you listen to them you can feel the thought and effort that's been put into making them, each one is unique and which ever ones you choose to listen to, no two of them will sound the same.

5 Insomnium Insomnium is a Finnish melodic death metal band from Joensuu, Finland. The sound and lyrical themes of their music portray darkness, sorrow, loss, pain, and nature.

Insomnium! Where do I begin? There is so much to speak about yet I'm finding it excruciatingly difficult to assimilate the vocabularies in my mind to describe this band and their impeccably crafted arts. Insomnium in my opinion, are among the very few bands in existence that has maintained the quality of consistency throughout their career, and I haven't felt a single botch in any of their albums, each and every one of them has been produced and delivered with utter care and immense devotion towards making music sound as soulful as possible, which definitely is the major reason why their material sounds very fresh by lingering in your head from time to time and only gets better after every occasion of listening. What really stands out as impressive about this band, is although the fact that their music may probably sound harsh to some folks with untrained ears, believe me that's only on the surface, if you really listen to them with all the attention and heart in the world, you would ...more

To me personally, Insomnium is no doubt the greatest melodeath band overall. Truly poetic lyrics, beautifull melodies and ever-changing atmosphere from album to album. Perfection.

Insomnium should be number one even though I love all the other bands. There is something special about Insomnium

Insomnium is a melodic death metal ohh band weluv this band... It's awesome! In my country bangladesh have to many fans of insomnium... Uff insonium sucks our pains :D wow such a awesome band... We respect melodic death metal bands and insomnium...

6 At the Gates At the Gates is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, and a major progenitor of the Gothenburg sound.

At The Gates made the history of Melodic Death Metal. They did only 4 albums but they're all great. Slaughter Of The Soul is a masterpiece. The band is more aggressive and "Death Metal" than others and that's also why I think they should be the best Melodic Death Metal band. Why they're under Arch Enemy, Kalmah or Insomnium? At The Gates is ten times better and important than all of them.

At the Gates was one of the pioneers of this genre. Slaughter of the Soul is not only a milestone of the melodic death subgenre, but it will always be a metal classic. It's a shame they broke up and never recorded anything after that album.

Melodic death metal at it's FINEST! In my opinion, none can touch them. In Flames USED to be good. Kalmah is really good, a few other bands as well. But At The Gates, with how far reaching their influence was, perfected the genre.

This band should be at the number 1 spot they pioneered the genres sound with albums like terminal spirit disease and slaughter of the soul a lot of later bands copied their sound and carcass should be number 2 or 3 cause necrotism and heartwork also helped shape the melo death sound thanks to Michael Amott bands like Alexi or whatever his name is no godfather of this genre.

7 Kalmah Kalmah is a melodic death metal band from Oulu, Finland that formed in 1998. In less than a year after its formation, Kalmah was signed by Spinefarm Records.

Kalmah is real metal. Insomnium as well are one of my favorites.

Children of bodom is just a bunch of happy/cute riffs and solos that sounds like they're target audience are 13 year olds. I did like the stuff on their hatrecrew album, but still, I would prefer Kalmah anyday.

I was having a terribly difficult time deciding between them and Insomnium, as both of them are terrific bands with soulful musicianship symbolizing the purest essence of Melodic Death Metal. In the end, I had to go with Kalmah because I have a soft spot for them as their catalog is chock-full of memorable songs and melodies that simply blows my senses. Insomnium have them too, but Kalmah is the band that I tend to visit more often.
Why a band like Children of Bodom is at the top of list is beyond my comprehension; it's probably the domino effect of mainstream pop fans breaking in huge numbers and spam-voting on a regular basis. I don't even consider them to be a melodic death metal band because their songs don't possess a grain of soul, or emotions, and neither any of their solos and riffs are melodic, but instead technically laden pretentious, over-bloated, and directionless venture to impress the elitists.

Truly the best band out there. Every single song is unique and perfect. COB is pretty good, but they lack creativity, Insomnium, amarth are very good, but nothing like Kalmah.

Kalmah is the band that really know about melodic death metal. Against their melody no other melodic band can't even stand. Kalamh can really rule 'em all.

8 Arch Enemy Arch Enemy is a Swedish melodic death metal band, originally a supergroup, from Halmstad, formed in 1996. Its members were in bands such as Carcass, Armageddon, Carnage, Mercyful Fate, Spiritual Beggars, and Eucharist.

This is the band that started me on death metal, because unlike many other bands they have something. Talent. Meaning to their songs: check. Great growls: also there. Master drums: have it. If you are looking for a death metal band they should be your go to option

What? How they're not first? Best band of death metal. Every single album of arch enemy is a MASTERPIECE!

No death metal bands are better than Arch Enemy... Agree or not... They're the best

Arch Enemy was awesome before Alissa White-Gluz took over at vocals. Now with Alissa they are even better! War Eternal is one of my favorite albums. Alissa growls but it is melodic in a way and the guitars truly sing. I would love to hear Alissa do clean vocals over the awesome Arch Enemy music. (Alissa does guest clean (and growl) vocals with Kamelot but Kamelot are pretty lame compared to Arch Enemy.

9 Carcass Carcass are a British extreme metal band from Liverpool, who formed in 1985 and disbanded in 1995. A reformation was enacted in 2007 without one of its original members, drummer Ken Owen, due to health reasons.

What the hell is wrong with this list? Carcass is one of the original melodic death metal pioneers! Not only did they pioneer a genre with great albums in the 90's, they also returned after a decade and released an album with more brutality, technicality and melody than most new bands today.

My favourite death metal band, in all possible genres they've played, I like their grindcore, deathgrind, melodic death, everything they've worked on sounds complete and amazing. Swansong's a masterpiece along with Heartwork.

I thank Carcass for Melodic Death Metal. Without Heartwork melodic death metal might not have come to be. Of course when I vote Carcass I'm not talking about their grincore days in a melodic death metal list so don't throw a fit

I'm sure Carcass would appreciate being NUMBER 13 on a list of melodic death metal bands for, you know, BEING PIONEERS OF THE GENRE!

10 Be'lakor Be'lakor is an Australian melodic death metal band from Melbourne, Victoria. The band's name originates from the character Be'lakor the Dark Master, in the Warhammer Fantasy game setting.

By far the best Melodic death metal band, nothing really comes near to their melancholic sound and chilling atmosphere. Weave in there some of the most memorable riffs in the genre and some epic outros and you have the future of Melodeath right there.

Quality band from down under -- I'd say they're a notch above Ne Obliviscaris. With just 4 albums in, they've made quite a remarkable reputation for themselves in the melo-death scene. Listen to Stone's Reach if you'd like to check out their better tracks.

No matter how long I listen to their songs, It only makes me want more. Melody and Vocals are woven together so harmonically, its just perfect. The metal is strong in this one. All Albums are absolute gems in my collection.

Only discovered these guys 2 years ago. Better late than never. Every song on every album just gets better and better with every listen. Love Eluveitie and Amorphis, and many others on this list, but Be'lakor is my no. 1!

The Contenders

11 The Black Dahlia Murder The Black Dahlia Murder is an American melodic death metal band from Waterford, Michigan, formed in 2001. Their name is derived from the 1947 unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short, often referred to as Black Dahlia.

These guys are the most brutal band that I have ever listened to besides cannibal corpse, their lyrics are grotesque (see The Window or Closed Casket Requiem), their solos are epic, everything is VERY fast... This band is the very definition of death metal. If you like darker metal, then this band is the best death metal band currently, but I do not think that they should be branded as melo-death, because they have developed their own sound that doesn't fit into any 1 deathmetal subcategory. I can't believe that these guys are only #8... Give 'em a listen!

The Black Dahlia Murder is for me the best band ever.
They got me back into metal after 3/4 years listening to all kinds of techno and I have to say anything they did is great

Best vocals, Trevor's highs and lows are amazing, and his lyrics sound like they were written by an insane Shakespeare! Ryan Knight is a very complete lead guitarist, technically and creatively. Brian's and Ryan's melodic harmonies weave a dark atmosphere. Bass is solid and drums are super fast, but still played with feeling. And they do not take themselves as seriously as the other death metal bands, with furrowed eyebrows and bared teeth. These guys have fun!

I know that they're usually categorized at melodeath, but honestly they destroy the barriers between any genre. And they're certainly heavier than any melodeath I've ever heard

Want some melodeath? Try Kings of the Nightworld, The Window, Moonlight Equilibrium, or Elder Misanthropy

Want some tech death? Try Everything Went Black, Matriarch, Receipt, I Will Return, or Necropolis

Want some straight up death metal? Try Warborn, On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood, What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse, Into the Everblack, Miama, or Malenchantments of the Necrosphere

Want some groove metal? Try Nightbringers, Warborn, That Cannot Die Which Eternally is Dead, or Map of Scars

Want some blackened death metal? Try Carbonized in Cruciform or Abysmal, or Every Rope a Noose

Want some "fun" songs? Try Necropolis, Goat of Departure, Re-Faced, A Shrine to Madness, Verminous, Statutory Ape, or Widowmaker

There's something for everyone to like. Unless ...more

12 Edge of Sanity Edge of Sanity was a Swedish progressive death metal band that, alongside Opeth, is commonly regarded as being the first to fuse extreme metal styles like death and black metal with progressive rock. Their sound is often described as "Progressive Melodic Death Metal".

Just the Greatest. There's never been such a masterpiece as Crimson

Purgatory Afterglow is a masterpiece - more people should know this!

They must be number one!

Should be in the top 10

13 Wintersun Wintersun is a metal band from Helsinki, Finland and was originally created by guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, songwriter and vocalist Jari Mäenpää as a side project to folk metal band Ensiferum for whom he was lead singer and guitarist.

The DragonForce of (melodic) death metal. This explains everything about their music

Thanks for mentioning Mortician, it was a good recommendation for a person like me just getting into death metal - Alkadikce

Too many people here with their pop death bands. Wintersun is one unique band with some of the most innovative songwriting I've heard in a while. They should at least be in the top 20.

It's criminal how Wintersun are not higher in this list! Epic melodic songs, absolutely amazing guitar work, I don't think they have made a song that I haven't enjoyed! I just wish they would put more material out! Awesome band and they deserve to be higher than 11th place!

The first album... sucks, but Time is a master piece since the Number of the beast or Octavarium I've never feel creeps in my spine until... Time, this band deserve the right place in the metal history, for the complex and flawless songwriting in Time!

14 Ensiferum Ensiferum is a Finnish folk metal band from Helsinki. The members of the band label themselves as "melodic folk metal."

Ensiferum is actualy more meloic then half of these in top ten. I listened full opus only of norther, ensiferum and amon amarth and wintersun. Rest of these a good part of their. Only reason why didn't I listened everything from rest of bands is that they were not so good to me. But being objective, I can say that Ensiferum is one good piece of art, especialy when Lindroos came in. Not much growling, they have gently and hard songs, and a lot of them got that catchy melody that you can enjoy countless times. They have a good balance between growling and hard rifs and classic plus electric sound songs. That is making them one death metal, and melodic above all, band which makes music for everyone. If you really searching for something easy to listen and more easy to enjoy, but in same time you want something hard, you should pick ensiferum. (sorry for my bad English)

Melodic Death/Folk Metal, they can easily fit into this category, and they should be higher up the list!

Just love em is all. Not as much as CoB, but still a great band!

Ensiferum combines really well folk and melodeath

15 Dethklok Dethklok is both a virtual band featured in the Adult Swim animated program Metalocalypse and a real band created to perform the band's melodic death metal music in live shows. Both bands were created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha. ...read more.

There are only a couple of Dethklok songs I don't like. That's saying a lot since most bands pump out maybe 5 good ones ever. Dethklok is the stuff of legend. Comedy or not, they play like kick ass gods of metal. If anything, the comedy adds to the depth of the lyrics, in my opinion. Easily top 3. Don't agree? Dethklok has their own show. Pick one and suck it.

What really makes Dethklok is that you're not expected to take them seriously, and then they kinda force you to do it anyway. Brendon Small did a fantastic job of merging serious music with comedy, and it gives Dethklok an added layer of depth that you can't really get from most music.

This band is something new, so much talented musicians and seeing them live is something I will never forget, they defiantly deserve top 5, only 3 albums in and they headline a tour over machine head, give them a listen!

Death metal comedy, great stuff! Laugh out loud. Seriously thought they are fun to listen to but they just sound like a parody of other bands

16 Soilwork Soilwork is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Helsingborg. They are signed to Nuclear Blast. Formed in late 1995 by Björn Strid and Peter Wichers, originally under the name Inferior Breed, the band changed their name in late 1996 to Soilwork.

Not only were they great before 2013 but then out of nowhere 20 years into their career they blew the doors off the competition with a whole new sound in "The Living Infinite" and have kept it going since in "The Ride Majestic". They are the perfect blend of clean and dirty vocals, groove verses technicality, have unique use of blast beats, and have consistently come out with a new album every couple years since they first got on the scene. You'll be hard pressed to find a riff that is outdated even back in 2002 with "Natural Born Chaos", which again broke new ground in its day along with In Flames' "Reroute to Remain". It's insane that they are not at least top five.

Bjorn's choruses are my favourite parts of songs. They do amazing stuff.
Soilwork was my first metal band and it's my only the best for me.
Thanks to Soilwork.

I can't get enough of Soilwork and sucks that there not higher... Predators portrait is a masterpiece

Constant evolving sound that gets better and better. "The Living Infinite" is a masterpiece! Soilwork needs to be in the top ten at least!

17 Amorphis Amorphis is a Finnish metal band formed in 1990. Initially, the band was a death metal act, but on later albums they have evolved into playing other genres, such as folk metal and progressive metal.

I like many other this list, that said.. Amorphis is better than just about any of them to me.

Not sure if this should be called melo-death anymore, but as Amorphis simply is the best Metal-band out there, they should be at #1 in every list that they are mentioned in.

The fact that this is on page 2 depresses me.

Amorphis is by far the most complex band in metal history, they are not melodeath, they're unique, they're perfect for real music lovers

18 Norther

Are you kidding me? Only CoB produce better sound especially when Petri Lindroos was in the band. Should be top 4 in my opinion

Should be 1# Petri is epic!

Why norther is in #10? , IT SHOULD BE IN #1

Awesome melody and pure Death Metal. This band should be in top 3. Just listen to Last Breath. You'll know why

19 Quo Vadis Quo Vadis was a technical melodic death metal band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, formed in 1992 by Bart Frydrychowicz, Yanic Bercier, and Arie Itman, named after the novel by Polish writer Henryk Sienkiewicz.

Great guitars as well, nice riffs mixed with amazing solos

Epic Drumming

The true Chuck Schuldiner's sons.

20 Hypocrisy Hypocrisy is a death metal band from Sweden. It was formed in 1990 in Ludvika, Sweden by Peter Tägtgren.

They will be better if they keep making death metal. Everything became boring after Abducted; as a death metal band, great, but as a melodeath band, they suck.

Heck, this should be after Children of Bodom! Much much underrated! Listen to Apocalypse, you'll know the true value of this band!

Come on folks. doesn't belong down here. Rise it up!

They should be in top ten. that is clear to anyone who wants to listen

21 Eternal Tears of Sorrow

This band is really underrated. Must be in top 5 if not better. I was in love with this band as soon as I heard it.

A Virgin & A Whore is a hell of an album, also Chaotic Beauty.

Good fall/winter music. At least in Canada!

The River Flows Frozen is a piece of art

22 Omnium Gatherum

I've been devouring their music for weeks now. I'm in love with all of it. Their albums are melodic masterpieces! These guys need to be higher on the list, and every fan of melometal needs to binge these guys' discography from start to finish - metal fans owe it to themselves to indulge at least once in the sounds OG has put together!

They share a feeling of happiness, wherever on stage. Made me feel good, anytime growling in my ears!

Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum are the best melodic death metal bands by far in my opinion

Their latest album is a masterpiece, and none of their older ones are bad either. The goosebump inducing rolling melodies, double bass blasts and deep growl vocals are all very well balanced and produce an unforgettable listening experience.

23 Persefone Persefone is an Andorran progressive melodic death metal band formed in October 2001. The band's name is derived from Persephone, a figure in Greek Mythology.

Very cool stuff from Andorra.

This band is awesome.

Probably my favorite new "melodic death metal + progressive" bands out there. Ne Obliviscaris and Be'lakor up there too.

24 Mors Principium Est

The sounding all holding the requires what melodic death metal is. And the rthymes has variety of selection!

Such an underrated band. They have so much talent all around that is matched by a few melodic death metal bands.

Awesome band way better than there position on this list!

Mors Principium Est has nothing to do elsewhere than in the top 5. The top 10 is full of crappy nearly dead bands.

25 Intestine Baalism Intestine Baalism is a death metal band hailing from Tokyo/Kanto, Japan. The band was formed in 1991 as "Euthanasia" and changed 1992 their name to "Intestine Baalism", which is a term for the Sumerian god of the harvest. ...read more.

This is "Brutal Melodic Death Metal". You think that style is not possible? Listen to Intestine Baalism!
It merges the pure death metal sound (raw and brutal) with euphonious melodies perfectly. I didn't hear of any other band playing like them. Definitely unique!

They Need to be way higher, seriously! They are one of the best and most outstanding bands here!

Very brutal and yet harmonious melodeath from Japan! I really dig this unique band.

If you don't know them, listen to the song "Banquet In The Darkness"!

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