A musical sub genre of death metal, which in turn is also a sub genre of metal as a whole. It started during the early 90's, and began to really take off by the mid 90's, when many pioneering bands of the style would release some of their best work. Many credit Carcass as the band that invented this style, and various bands from Sweden (In Flames, Dark Tranquility, At the Gates) would be credited as pioneers of the "Gothenberg sound", which came to be dominant in the genre later on.
Melodic death metal can best be described as a mixture of the melody/progression from NWOBHM and thrash metal bands, and the sheer brutality of traditional death metal. Vocals are usually growled/shrieked, but clean vocals are used as well. Lots of guitar harmonies are used, along with aggressive riffs and drumming. There is even use of acoustic guitar as well. Sheer ass-kickery at it's finest!
In the early 2000's and more recent years, this style would greatly influence many American metalcore bands. The style has continued to develop in Europe as well.
In Flames, Dark Tranquility, At the Gates, Arch Enemy, Kalmah - all great melodic death metal bands!
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