Top 10 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.

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 is for three different reasons. One is that 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 Britney Spears cover of Oops!... I Did It Again, which 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 generation's death metal god, and they have had Billboard 200 success. They have recently done a Kenny Loggins cover of Danger Zone on their 2015 album I Worship Chaos, which is amazing.

2 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.

Without a doubt, the best, and as others have 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.

3 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.

Third favorite band ever. The only death metal band I can stand to listen to. They are truly gods among men. And, unlike most bands, they have not released a single bad album. My only complaint is the vocals on Once Sent From The Golden Hall (but riffs like those from Victorious March more than make up for it). They have an amazing blend of heaviness, speed, melody, and death growls you can actually understand without looking up the lyrics. How they are not #1 here, I have no idea.

I used to hate bands where 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 badass. The vocals are like heavenly. The guitar is inspiring. Couldn't ask for anything more.

4 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.

I used to say At The Gates in their heyday, I used to think DT fiction era, I was going to say Amon Amarth just for sheer magnitude and range. Yet, with the release of Winter's Gate, it is shown that Insomnium should hold the number one spot. The guitars sweep from downrange to an upper ballad of heaven. The lyrics flow through the music, like a boat on a river. This is with every release you listen to by Insomnium. If any band defines the genre Melo Death, I would say it's these Finnish musicians. Sure, the Gothenburg sound started it, and you could say Slaughter of the Soul and Heartwork pushed it to the forefront and stretched the genre. However, upon listening to this band you hear poetry in motion and you hear brutality with every key, string, drum hit, and bass bellow. It changes and yet stays Melo Death. Definitive.

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

Currently active members include Anders Fridén (vocalist), Björn Gelotte (guitarist, formerly drummer), Niclas Engelin (guitarist), and Peter Iwers (bassist). Currently, they are without a drummer; their... read more

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. This means not 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 its 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 whichever ones you choose to listen to, no two of them will sound the same.

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

Out of all these bands, At the Gates is the most consistent. Unlike In Flames, these guys stayed true to their melodic death metal roots and never sold out. Slaughter of the Soul is a classic, but Terminal Spirit Disease and The Red in the Sky is Ours are also really good. They need to be in the top 5.

7 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.

I'm not usually one for death metal (I'm very picky when it comes to growls), but Arch Enemy is awesome. I loved Angela, but when Alissa picked up the mic, they sounded otherworldly. Great vocals, clear and powerful, smashing drums, and ripping guitars.

Arch Enemy was awesome before Alissa White-Gluz took over on vocals. Now with Alissa, they are even better! War Eternal is one of my favorite albums. Alissa's growls are 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 is pretty lame compared to Arch Enemy.)

8 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.

I was having a terribly difficult time deciding between them and Insomnium, as both 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 blow 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 the 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 are technically laden, pretentious, over-bloated, and directionless ventures to impress the elitists.

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 '90s, but they also returned after a decade and released an album with more brutality, technicality, and melody than most new bands today.

Some people might not enjoy their first 2 albums as much, but Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious, Heartwork, Swansong, and, more recently, Surgical Steel (2013) are absolute masterpieces. Great musicianship, complex and deep lyrics with even some dark humour thrown in for good measure.

10 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, and 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. However, 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 one death metal subcategory. I can't believe that these guys are only #8... Give them a listen!

The Contenders
11 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.

Quality band from Down Under - I'd say they're a notch above Ne Obliviscaris. With just four 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.

Best on the planet, in my opinion. Massive and epic, flawless riffs, and subtle changes, always make me headbang or hum along to the guitar. Many find them too slow, too progressive, not enough variation, etc...their loss, at least metal has something for everyone. Also, how is CoB so high and Wintersun so low?

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

Ensiferum is actually more melodic than half of the bands in the top ten. I've listened to the full opus only of Norther, Ensiferum, Amon Amarth, and Wintersun. For the rest, a good part of their work. The only reason why I didn't listen to everything from the rest of the bands is that they were not so appealing to me. But being objective, I can say that Ensiferum is one good piece of art, especially when Lindroos came in. Not much growling, they have gentle and hard songs, and a lot of them have that catchy melody that you can enjoy countless times. They have a good balance between growling and hard riffs, and classic plus electric sound songs. This makes them one death metal, and melodic above all, band which makes music for everyone. If you're really searching for something easy to listen to and more enjoyable, but at the same time you want something hard, you should pick Ensiferum. (Sorry for my bad English)

13 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 versus technicality, have a unique use of blast beats, and have consistently come out with a new album every couple of 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.

14 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".

How are they not in the Top 10? This band is amazing! They are incredibly creative in songwriting and are also pretty skilled. This is excellent progressive melodic death metal.

The first time I heard Crimson, I thought, "It's okay...," but when I listened to it the second time, I realized what a masterpiece it is! Crimson 2 is similarly incredible. Maybe start with "Purgatory Afterglow". It's easier to get into and also rules!

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

Progressive melodeath. Great riffs, great mixture of clean vox and death growls. Extremely underrated band!

15 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.

One of the best bands ever. Instead of reading this post, just go and listen to their work. It's pointless to describe Wintersun's epicness further than they've already done themselves through their lyrics, vocals, and music. I also wish they had more material because once you've listened to their existing work, you just crave for more and more.

It's criminal how Wintersun are not higher on 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 out more material. Awesome band and they deserve to be higher than 11th place!

16 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.

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.

Should be in the top 15 at least, as these guys play many genres of metal. Still, their songs are awesome.

I like many others on this list, but to me, Amorphis is better than just about any of them.

17 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.

•Brendon Small
•Gene Hoglan... 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 five 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 kind of 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.

18 Norther

There's really nothing to say about Norther. They're just the most amazing Melodic Death Metal band there ever was, and Mirror Of Madness is, in my opinion, the best MDM album of all time!

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

This is the only band that comes to my mind after COB. Norther should be at #2. This band is highly underrated.

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.

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.

I love Peter's voice! And of course, all the guitars, etc. They are my most favorite band.

Their older albums need a bit of remastering since they don't sound that clear with new technology and such. Anyway, their new album is godlike. The return of The Gods truly overpowers previous creations. Even sometimes, I still love listening to their old songs like "The Quest" with a strong lyric that has stored into my mind: "Kill a million people and kill another million."

Extremely underrated. This band is seriously one of the pioneers of this genre, yet it usually does not even get noticed among the discussions of Melo-Death Bands. Beautiful melodic guitar, with one of the best guttural vocalists, Peter Tägtgren, and extreme blast beats make this band one of the most perfectly structured Melodic Death Metal bands of all time.

21 Mors Principium Est

Incredible band with very powerful melodics and quite a varied style. I can't get enough of them. The good thing is most of their songs are awesome. When I make a playlist of their music, I often end up putting everything inside.

This band is incredibly talented. Their material is consistently great, and they never disappoint with the beautiful melodies that they create.

Mors Principium Est is among the best active melodic death metal bands. "And Death Said Live" and "Dawn of the 5th Era" are the best melodeath albums in years. "The Unborn" is actually the best melodeath album ever, and "Liberation = Terminaison" is a killing spree containing many of their best songs. They are just the best so far and totally underrated because most people actually just don't know them. (In Flames 4th best melo? I LOL).

22 Omnium Gatherum

By far the best of the best, OG does it all. I'm in shock they are not at number 1. Even a lot of the higher-voted bands on this list are just rip-off artists of Omnium Gatherum. Truly the best band on this list and totally overlooked. It's like a strange joke or something. If you are listening to any of the bands on this list and not OG, then you are missing out for sure.

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!

23 Eternal Tears of Sorrow

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

Good fall/winter music, at least in Canada!

24 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.

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

25 Eluveitie

These guys work the perfect combination of Celtic melodies and death metal. Vocals and style of death metal, and melodies from Celtic songs. These guys make some very good stuff to listen to, especially when you need to be pumped up!

Best melodic death metal band for me. Awesome combination of vocals and instruments. They certainly deserve to be in the top 5 of the list.

This is a very steady Melodic Death Metal band. The "Folk" is just the tip of the iceberg, but a very interesting signature. Awesome band!

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