Since its emergence in the 80s, the beautifully weird death metal genre has developed to gain acceptance and has grown to attract more followers. The genre evolved from thrash metal and is quite discernible with clichéd boundaries and unique music culture. Today the genre is big and impressive. Here is a compilation of top influential death metal bands.
Death was an American death metal band with roots in Florida. Guitarist cum vocalist Chuck Schuldiner founded death in 1984, and the band is among the top influential bands in the heavy metal genre. The band is famous for pioneering the extreme metal sub-genre of death metal. Their debut album, Scream Bloody Gore and their first records from Necrophagia and Possessed are widely considered the first metal records. The band dissolved after the death of its founder but remains a lasting inspiration on heavy metal.
Cannibal corpse is another influential death metal band founded in 1988 in Buffalo, New York but currently based in Tampa, Florida. The band emerged into fame in 1990, featuring furious musical assaults characterized by throaty vocals, blast beats, and extremely violent lyrics video porno. The group’s horror imagery coupled with graphic album artwork and despicable song titles has attracted controversies. However, they have managed to accrue a rabid cult following and album sales that make them the most commercially successful death metal band of all time.
Morbid Angel is another successful death metal band based in Tampa, Florida, and among the most influential and emulated bands in this genre. The band played a crucial role in the evolution of death metal from its thrash metal origins by integrating up-tempo beats, a dark atmosphere, and guttural vocals. Morbid Angel was the first death metal band to achieve mainstream success, and their initial three albums are regarded as classics in this music genre. Nielsen SoundScan data ranked the group as the third best-selling death metal band in the US.
The Swedish progressive metal band Opeth hailed from Stockholm and was formed by lead vocalist David Isberg in 1989. The band incorporates progressive, blues, folk, and jazz into its lengthy death metal compositions. They are also famous for integrating Mellostrons in their work. The band began conducting world tours in 2001 after the release of Black Water (their fifth album). Their first eight albums were quite popular across the US, but the band achieved commercial success in 2008 after releasing Watershed, their ninth studio album. In its initial week of release, the album topped the Finnish album chart and peaked at number 23 on the Billboard 200.
Carcass, formed in 1986, is an English extreme metal band hailing from Liverpool. The band broke up in 1986 and regrouped in 2007, with its original member and drummer Ken Owen missing. The group pioneered the goregrind genre. Thanks to their morbid lyrics and horrific album covers, their early composition was labelled as splatter death metal and hardgore. Heartwork, their fourth album, is regarded as revolutionary in the melodic death metal genre. The group is among the few death metal bands to sign to a major label – Columbia Records and Earache.
6-Children of Bodom
Children of Bodom was a Finnish melodic death metal band formed in 1993 but split in 2019. Their third studio album, Follow the Reaper, was their first to receive gold certification. Their subsequent studio albums attained the same status. The band’s next four albums topped the Finnish album charts and ranked chart position on the US Billboard 200. Children of Bodom are among Finland’s best-selling bands, with over 250000 records sold in Finland alone.
Amon Amarth is a melodic death metal band with roots in Tumba, Sweden. The band was formed in 1992, and their lyrics tend to focus mainly on Viking history and mythology. The band released its first studio album, Once Sent from the Golden Hall, in 1998. They released another five studio albums before the group saw a breakthrough with the album Twilight of the Thunder God. The album debuted at number ten on the Swedish album charts and position 50 on the Billboard 200 in the US.