Most Influential Death Metal Bands

The Death Metal bands who had the greatest roles to define the genre.
The Top Ten
1 Death Death was an American death metal band formed in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner. Death is considered to be one of the most influential bands in heavy metal and a pioneering force in death metal. Its debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, has been widely regarded as the first death metal record, while the band's driving force, Chuck Schuldiner, is acknowledged as the "Godfather of Death Metal." Death released 7 studio albums, and are the band that started the Florida Death Metal scene. They were known for their death metal classics Lack of Comprehension and Crystal Mountain. Death ended in 2001 when Schuldiner died of Brain Cancer.

They didn't only defined Death Metal itself, they also defined some sub-genre too. They pretty much single-handedly created Technical Death Metal(or Tech-Death, for short), and planted the seed for Progressive Death Metal and Melodeath(Crystal Mountain, I'm looking at you)

Chuck Schuldiner is a legend, and an awesome metal writter. Death metal is not called like that for anywthing. They defined pretty much anything we see in any kind of death metal that came after them, along with being one of the first band of the genre.

I can not say for certain if Death truly invented the genre, but Chuck Schuldiner definitely took it, raised it, and molded it into a sound that can be heard in the music of almost every death metal band today, as well as many progressive metal bands, drawing influence from Death's later albums.

Well, Evil Chuck was the mastermind behind the genre. That's why he is called the Father of Death Metal.
Listen to albums like Scream Bloody Gore, The Sound of Perseverance, Symbolic etc. Technically he defined the genre.

Released the first pure death metal record and constantly evolved their sound. Huge influence in most sub-genres of metal in general.

2 Possessed Possessed is an American thrash/death metal band, originally formed in 1983 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Noted for their fast style of playing and Jeff Becerra's guttural vocals, they are routinely called the first band in the death metal genre. Possessed is the sometimes credited with being the first death metal band, and some credit them for coining the term "death metal".

The term Death Metal came out from the Possessed demo 'Death Metal'. Even Chuck Schuldiner was influenced by Possessed and Jeff Becerra.

But later it was the Possessed that were influenced by Death's scream Bloody Gore.

The original death metal band
They invented the term death metal with their song death metal the band death did not create the term
The fact that jeff was shot and still preforms in a wheelchair is inspirational in itself

The term "Death Metal" actually came from a thrash metal band known as Onslaught

3 Morbid Angel Morbid Angel is an American death metal band based in Tampa, Florida. UK music magazine Terrorizer ranked Morbid Angel's 1989 debut Altars of Madness first in its list "Top 40 greatest death metal albums".
4 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.

Carcass is definitely one of the most influential bands, left a huge impact on my playing style and compositions.
Bill Steer is a gentleman, very humble and very down to earth.
This band is what every death metal artist should look upto, not just brutality it's philosophy in their music.

Carcass, I'd say, are the second most influential death metal band because they basically created melodeath AND goregrind. Number one to Death, obviously!

Huge influence in grind, death metal, and melodic death metal.

The inventers of Goregrind and Melodic Death Metal.

5 Deicide Deicide is an American death metal band formed in 1987 by bassist and vocalist Glen Benton and drummer Steve Asheim. They are known for their blasphemous and satanic lyrics which have resulted in bans, lawsuits and criticisms from religious groups and the public. Frontman Glen Benton is also known for being a theistic satanist, even going as far as to repeatedly branding an inverted cross into his forehead on at least 12 different occasions.

Deicide is the powerhouse of death metal. Every death metal fan knows Scars Of The Crucifix or When Satan Rules His World, right? They're one of the few bands that refuse to conform to society (That alone should make them number one), they have very vulgar music and lyrical themes (Which I very much enjoy) and they've sold more albums worldwide than EVERT death metal band out there (Except Cannibal Corpse). Glen is a monster vocalist and Steve is one of the most technical drummers I know of

6 Cannibal Corpse Cannibal Corpse is a American death metal band from Buffalo, New York, formed in 1988. The band is known for their graphic album covers, explicitly violent lyrics and song titles like "I C** Blood" The group got into mainstream after performing the song "Hammer Smashed Face" in the 1994 film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. In 1995, vocalist Chris Barnes left the band to focus on his new death metal project Six Feet Under. He was replaced by George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher of the band Monstrosity, who has remained as the frontman since. more.

Back when they started, they took the whole genre to a whole new level by being more brutal than every single other death metal band there was. Don't believe me? Listen to Tomb of the Mutilated and compare it to Human by Death for example.

7 Obituary Obituary is an American death metal band formed in October 1984 in Tampa, Florida, United States, under the name Executioner, then changed the name's spelling to Xecutioner before eventually changing their name to Obituary in 1988. The band comprises vocalist John Tardy, drummer Donald Tardy, guitarist Trevor Peres and bassist Terry Butler.

"Slowly We Rot" is one of the fist Death Metal albums that discussed politics and social issues.

8 Opeth Opeth is a Swedish progressive death metal band from Stockholm, formed in 1990 by David Isberg, who invited Mikael Akerfeldt into the band as a bassist. Isberg ended up leaving the band, which lead to Mikael becoming the band's vocalist, guitarist, principal songwriter, and driving force. Along with Edge of Sanity, Opeth is credited with being the first progressive death metal band, although they now play progressive rock. Akerfeldt is good friends with Jonas Renkse of Katatonia, and Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree.

Influential act for Progressive Death Metal. Mikael Åkerfeldt's unique vocal style combining acoustic, rhythmic singing and deep death growls defined the progdeth genre.

I would place them at #1 on the list of Influential Prog Death Metal bands.

What in hell is opeth doing above sepultura and cannibal corpse?

9 Napalm Death Napalm Death are a British grindcore/death metal band formed in Meriden, West Midlands, England, in 1981. While none of its original members remain in the group, the lineup of vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Danny Herrera has remained consistent for most of the band's career.
10 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.

Pioneers of Melodic Death Metal. The use of keyboards in Death Metal was first invented by them.

Potentially the cleanest and most consistent use of vocal growls in the genre

The Contenders
11 Autopsy Autopsy is a death metal band, founded in 1987 in the United States by Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler. They disbanded in 1995, but reunited in 2009.

Their debut album "Severed Survival" Influenced the style of many swedish death metal bands such as Entombed and Grave.

With they're fist album not only they released a Death Metal album in 1989 along Morbid Angel and Obituary but also they helped to craft the Death/Doom genre with they're sound (though "Severed Survival" was more Death Metal than Death/Doom. )

12 At The Gates At the Gates is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, and a major progenitor of the Gothenburg sound.
13 Entombed Entombed is a Swedish heavy metal band formed in 1987 under the name of Nihilist. Entombed began their career as an early pioneer of Scandinavian death metal which initially differed from its American counterpart by its distinct "buzzsaw" guitar tone.
14 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 most recent one was Daniel Svensson.

In Flames is one of the bands who pioneered the melodic death metal scene in Gothenburg, alongside Dark Tranquility and At the Gates. In Flames has inspired many other melodic death metal bands such as As I Lay Dying and Omnium Gatherum.

The musical style of In Flames has death growls, harmonized guitar melodies, complementary clean vocals to go along with screaming vocals. This later changed to more alternative metal style, which has upset some fans. The Jester Head is their mascot, featured on song titles, album artwork, and merchandise. more.
15 Dying Fetus Dying Fetus is an American death metal band originally from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Formed in 1991, the group is known for their consistently hook-laden song structures, characterized by blast beats, complex riffing, slam riffs and heavy breakdowns.
16 Suffocation Suffocation is an American technical death metal band that was formed in 1988 in Centereach, Long Island, New York, United States.

All modern deathcore tunes and most of the technical death metal bands are obviously influenced by suffocation. They must be in the top of this list

17 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.

The heaviest vikings around.

18 Sepultura Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte. Their first album, Morbid Visions presented a proto-black metal sound with Wagner Lamounier of Sarcófago. Sepultura's sound varies by the album, from thrash metal, groove metal, and even death metal.
19 Atheist Atheist is a progressive/technical death metal band from Florida, founded in 1984 by drummer Steve Flynn and singer/guitarist Kelly Shaefer.

These guys paved the way for tech death, and have the most creative song structures and technical musicianship in any band.

20 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.
21 Pestilence Pestilence is a death metal band from the Netherlands founded in 1986. They are known for incorporating jazz and fusion elements into their music.
22 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".
23 Necrophagia

Should be top 10

24 Sarcófago Sarcófago was an influential Brazilian extreme metal band. They were fronted by Sepultura's original singer, Wagner Lamounier, and Geraldo Minelli.
25 Bolt Thrower Bolt Thrower are a British death metal band from Coventry, England. They formed in 1986 and released their first album with Vinyl Solution in 1988. The band then shifted to a new record label, Earache Records, soon becoming one of the best selling bands on that label.
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