Top 10 Death Metal Songs for Beginners

This list isn't for metal haters. It's for metal fans who already like some metal subgenres and would like to try death metal, too.

Some of the best death metal songs are not on this list because they would be too heavy for beginners.
I have chosen mostly melodic death metal songs.

Usually death growls are the thing that stops beginners and I included several songs by Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy, The Agonist). Presumption - maybe her female growls are softer and she also includes clean vocals.

Advice from me:
1) Focus on the instrumental components of the songs and try to ignore the growls. Riffs, drums and solos are awesome - focus on them;
2) If you are already into thrash or even power metal, start with thrashier death metal bands;
3) If clean high pitched vocals are not your cup of tea (Rob Halford), you probably should start with Amon Amart - Johan Hegg growls are low and he doesn't scream, unlike Alexi of Children of Bodom;
4) If nothing works for you now, don't worry and don't push yourself. Try death metal at a later stage but you should know that you may never get into death metal. Again, don't worry - death metal is an extreme subgenre after all.

If you are already into death metal, share what song(s) got you into death metal and what was your level. I got into death metal after thrash but before thrash it was heavy/classic metal - mostly Iron Maiden and Dio.

The Top Ten

1 Needled 24/7 - Children of Bodom

This song isn't exactly death metal but it's close to it - at least it has some growls. It's a combination of thrash metal and heavier power metal with some growls from time to time. This was the reason to think it's good to start with this song because you already know thrash and power metal. - Metal_Treasure

2 The Pursuit of Vikings - Amon Amarth

This was the song that worked for me. Several bands before Amon Amarth didn't work (now I love these bands! ). I am talking about the phase of my development as a metal fan when I didn't like growls. But I just liked the riffs to this song and wanted to listen to it again and again despite the growls. At a point I suddenly realised growls didn't bother me at all. After a while, I already liked them and even understood the words he growls. - Metal_Treasure

3 Thank You, Pain - The Agonist

A very soft song for this genre standards - there are long sections with clean vocals and not growls. Vocals: Alissa White-Gluz. - Metal_Treasure

4 War Eternal - Arch Enemy

Vocals: Alissa White-Gluz. Listen to the melodic guitars. - Metal_Treasure

5 Epitaph - Necrophagist

I used to just listen the solo of this song. Especially for the sweep picking part. Then one day I thought "why don't try the full song". And then I started to love Muhammed Suiçmez growling along with his guitar skills. I still don't like growling of George Fisher or David Vincent's growling. But Muhammed Suiçmez tricked me into his growling. - zxm

Wow, great story, zxm!
Your case is similar to mine - I liked Amon Amarth riffs and then I also liked J. Hegg's growls. Muhammed Suiçmez growling is very deep and guttural but very good. - Metal_Treasure

6 Septuagint - Obscura

This song of 2011 would be a good introduction to the current sound of progressive and technical death metal. The song has soft melodic parts and long instrumental sections so death growls are not gonna bother you all the time. Moreover, there are also clean vocals and thrashy sections. - Metal_Treasure

7 Everytime I Die - Children of Bodom

This is already classic Children of Bodom.
Now, when I am already a death metal fan, I like very much Alexi intro growl. You can hear it on the song sample below. Haha, death growls are made to scare you. But not me anymore. - Metal_Treasure

8 Time Immemorial - Into Eternity

This is Stu Block of Iced Earth (vocals). Yep, he was a death metal growler before Iced Earth. The song is progressive melodic death metal and has melodic parts with clean vocals. OK, if you don't like the growls you can still enjoy his powerful and beautiful clean vocals.
Stu Block is one of the most versatile metal singers - only in this song you can hear 3 vocal styles from him. - Metal_Treasure

9 Mortal Share - Insomnium
10 Panophobia - The Agonist

Vocals: Alissa White-Gluz. If her growls scare you, focus on her looks - she's very very beautiful (there's a video to this song). - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 Crystal Mountain - Death

This is standard /old school death metal and not melodic death metal but it's not very very brutal. Try it and if it's too heavy to your ears, leave it for later. - Metal_Treasure

12 White Walls - Between the Buried and Me

Maybe considered more to be Progressive Metal, Between the Buried and Me were the first band to introduce me to death growls. White Walls is perfect for Progressive Metal fans who want to lean closer to Death Metal. - cjWriter1997

@cjWriter1997 - I agree with you. This song is acceptable on this list because we are talking about a big transition beginners have to make and any song that can make this transition smoother is OK. White Walls can help the prog guys. I added Needled 24/7 for this reason - it can help thrash and power metal guys. - Metal_Treasure

13 Leprosy - Death

This song in particular opened the door to the genre for me. While Between the Buried and Me made me interested, Death made it all fall into place. - cjWriter1997

14 Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags - Amon Amarth

THE RIFFS! Listen to those riffs! - Metal_Treasure

15 Timeless Winter - Into Eternity
16 Beautiful Death - Wintersun
17 Silence Calls the Storm - Quo Vadis
18 Voice of the Soul - Death

It's completely instrumental so maybe it could be good for beginners.

I didn't add this because it's really a great instrumental but it can't help death metal beginners. It has no growls. And it's just a soft rock/metal instrumental, most of it is acoustic.
There are instrumentals made death metal style with death metal drumming, etc., but Voice Of the Soul isn't of this type.
Some Blotted Science instrumentals are with technical death metal instrumentation and they may help beginners. - Metal_Treasure

19 Sword of the Witcher - Vader

It could be easy for Witcher fans to get into.

Vader sound is very thrashy and this could help thrash fans. - Metal_Treasure

20 Spirit Crusher - Death

If I correctly remember, this was the song that worked for christangrant. - Metal_Treasure

21 Raining Blood - Slayer

Somebody added this song but it's thrash and not death metal. - Metal_Treasure

I bet The Vigilant Christian added this

22 Perpetual Infinity - Obscura
23 What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse - The Black Dahlia Murder

This song got me into death metal. Years later this band remains my favorite.

24 Activation Synthesis Theory - Blotted Science

It's an instrumental that sounds close to technical and progressive death metal so it can help to get used to the brutal sound (play the sample by the end).
Musicians who have played for this band are actually death metal guys: bassist Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse), drummer Hannes Grossmann (Obscura, Necrophagist) and the Godfather of technical metal - guitarist Ron Jarzombek. - Metal_Treasure

25 Bleeding in the Brain - Blotted Science

Instrumental with many features you can hear in a technical or progressive death metal song. - Metal_Treasure

26 Misery's Crown - Dark Tranquillity

One of the best songs of modern melodeath in my opinion

27 Lack of Comprehension - Death
28 Twilight of the Thunder God - Amon Amarth

I found this to be my breakthrough Death Metal track. Its just too gripping and catchy for my taste and its got the right amount of melody and aggression to keep up with my attention. - CrimsonShark

29 Heartwork - Carcass

The growls aren't too brutal and the riffs are really good. Perhaps pay attention to the riffs and eventually you'll get used to the vocals. - cjWriter1997

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