Melodic Death Metal

  • Arcturon – Expect Us (2014)


    Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Arcturon and their latest EP titled “Expect Us”. With a first impression of this band looking like a Goth/Industrial outfit based on the picture of their cover art, we were pleasantly surprised that the band plays some solid Melodic Death Metal with some Industrial/Djent touches here and there.

    Opening with the crushing riffs of “My Treasure”, the band makes a powerful statement on this first song. The guitars are heavy and the atmospheric elements nicely elevate this song to a good Melo Death piece that is greatly complemented by some clean vocals and solid guitar solos. The EP title track brings us some Djent infused grooviness that makes the band sound a bit mainstream/Modern Metal-like but with a clearly defined line when it comes to not being cheesy.

  • Sylosis – Dormant Heart (2015)


    Helping us ring the New Year, Josh Middleton and Sylosis return with their very interesting blend of Melodic Death Metal with Thrash elements on “Dormant Heart”. Featuring 12 songs that have a darker edge than the band’s previous works, this UK outfit delivers one of their finest releases to date.

    Opening with the melodic “Where the wolves Come to Die”, the band really steps its game with the crushing “Victims and Pawn”. Both initial tracks are filled with the traditional Sylosis-styled barrage of riffs and harsh vocals. The band’s signature sound is further developed with a mellower tempo and a certain darker vibe in tracks like the imposing “Dormant Heart” and the breakout single “Leech”.

  • May the Silence Fail – Of Hope and Aspiration (2014)


    Arriving from Germany, today we have Melodic Death/Gothic Metal outfit My the Silence Fail and their debut full-length release “Of Hope and Aspiration”. Featuring a solid mixture of traditional Melodic DM elements with some more modern Groove/Core influences, the band delivers a very solid 11 track release that will keep you entertained for a while.

    The release quickly sets a very lively tempo with tracks like “Gods are Long Since Dead” and “Return to Mind”, both showcasing the dual harsh/clean female vocals approach that works very well with the band’s highly dynamic sound. One of the band’s biggest selling point for people that are not 100% sold on music and need gimmicks, is that both singers are females, so yes, they have a female growler for your amusement. The guitar leads are quite well crafted and make up for very cool passages like on “If It Wasn’t For You”.

  • The Approach and the Execution – Kings among Runaways (2014)


    After blowing us away with their debut album “The Blood March” back in 2011, The Approach and the Execution returns with another master class in Melodic Metal with “Kings among Runaways”. Now relocated to California and with a few line-up changes, The Approach makes a very strong comeback with nine tracks filled with awesome melodic passages and some serious guitar wizardry.

    Opening with the brilliant “The Warrior’s Psalm”, the band delivers their signature vocal harmonies surrounded with catchy riffing. The band’s ability to switch between singing styles is quite impressive and they are not afraid to use it. Also, their guitarists Andy Fisher and Mike Notte showcase their talents with excellent solos and acrobatic passages. The second track is a familiar one since it is a re-recording of their epic song “The March of The Guillotine”. If you have a song this awesome, I am sure more than a few bands would try to get it on every album they produce. The main noticeable difference here is that the female vocals are gone and seems like some of the guitar work is improved.

  • Oblyvion – Oblyvion (2013)


    Arriving from Italy, today we have one of the most diverse and exciting self-released albums we have received in the last few months. Oblyvion delivers 13 tracks of very diverse and well executed Melodic/Gothic Death Metal with a great deal of headbanging passages. With a knack for dramatic guitar leads and atmospheric keyboards, this self-titled release is a great one to enjoy.

    After the typical intro, the band digs deep into their musical range with the captivating “Oblivion”. In this song we have a very Dark Tranquility-esque chorus section that is complemented by some brilliant shredding acrobatics. This unique blend of skill and melody works wonders for the band’s sound. Perfectly pacing their music, “Buried Angel” keeps the same level of creativity but with a more mellow and melancholic vibe.

  • Torchia – oNe (2013)


    In a very crowded market for Melodic Death Metal in Finland today we have Torchia, a relatively new band trying to get their piece of the action. Hailing from Tampere, this band delivers their three-track demo with clear influences of the genre’s greats. Mixing elements of Children of Bodom and Kalmah, the band shows some promise but ultimately is missing a certain uniqueness to their music to really standout from the very crowded arena.

    The demo opens with the high intensity “Nameless Story” that has a very typical Kalmah vibe. The riffing is quite solid and so are the vocals, but being a demo the production is not quite what it could be. The band’s ability to execute their songs is quite solid and shows that with a few more years of practice, they could stand out from the rest if they found their own sound.

  • The Unguided – Fragile Immortality (2014)


    Formed by three ex-members of Sonic Syndicate, The Unguided takes some elements from said band and delivers a high-octane release filled with melodic riffs and excellent vocal melodies. The Sjunnesson brothers (Rich and Roger) lead this band with their superb songwriting skills and eye for catchiness. Delivering 11 explosive tracks, “Fragile Immortality” is one of the first standout releases of 2014.

    Opening with the bombastic synths of “Inception”, the band sets a very dynamic and futuristic tone with the first song. The approach of growls/clean lead vocals is very similar to bands like Solution .45 and Scar Symmetry, allowing the music to be quite expansive and engaging. Richard Sjunnesson handles the harsh vocals and sounds like a ‘heavier’ version of Alexi from Children of Bodom. The clean leads are quite intoxicating, provided by Roland Johansson, and they leave other vocalists way behind on the awesomeness curve.

  • Hanging Garden – I Was a Soldier (2013)


    Originally started as a Death/Doom outfit, Hanging Garden has been slowly drifting apart from this category into more Melodic Death/Doom territories like their fellow countrymen Swallow the Sun and Insomnium. After the release of “At Every Door” earlier this year, the band gives us a little taste of what is to come in the future with their EP “I Was a Soldier”. Featuring three tracks (with the digital bonus song), this release continues were their previous full-length left off with a good dose of crushing melancholic music.

    Starting on a high note, “Winter to Summer Adverse” delivers punishing riffs, demoralizing vocals and a very cool atmospheric keyboard highlights. While this track sounds a lot like Swallow the Sun, the band does a great job in keeping their style evolving and creating a bleak atmosphere. The clean vocals certainly add an extra layer of awesomeness to this track. The EP’s title track continues the flow with more atmospheric passages and engaging vocals.

  • Dawn of Tears – Act III: The Dying Eve (2013)


    With an eerie resemblance to Dark Lunacy and Eluveitie (sans the folk stuff), today we have Dawn of Tears and their excellent release “Act III: The Dying Eve”. Being huge fans of Melodic Death/Gothic Metal, this Spanish band blew us away since the first time we listened to this release. Mixing heavy guitars with tons of melodic/headbanging interludes and some female vocals and keyboards, they manage to deliver super catchy tracks that will have all fans of Dark Lunacy, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, etc. craving for more.

    The album immediately starts on a high note with the high-octane “A Curse Herritage”. This track immediately shows great energy from this promising band. The incursion of female vocals is quite enjoyable, giving the music a completely different dimension. The album’s first single, “Present of Guilt”, is another mega-catchy melody that features an excellent chorus section and brilliant guitar work. With some cool atmospheric components, this song’s vocals reminded us of Eluveitie. Stepping up their game, “Lament of Madeleine” delivers a powerful opening that nicely turns mysterious in a very Eternal Tears of Sorrow way.

  • Carcass – Surgical Steel (2013)


    Having waited since 1996 for this, we are quite impressed on how Carcass manages to bring back their best sound from the “Heartwork” and “Necroticism” and give it a certain modern kick. While fans of the band’s early material (“Reek of Putrefaction” and “Symphonies of Sickness”) will keep on hating for the band’s more ‘mellow’ music, anybody that got over this on the course of the last 20 years should definitely enjoy “Surgical Steel”. Jeff Walker and Billy Steer manage to keep the Carcass legacy intact with this excellent album.

    The opener “1985” gives us a 70 second window into the riffing onslaught that this release will unleash upon the listeners. As “Thrasher’s Abattoir” blasts away, we are immediately immersed into the Carcass sound that we all love: Melodic/Thrash-y Death Metal at its finest. With the band being a huge catalyst for bands back in the 90’s to try new things and re-define the genre, they manage to capture that timeless sound and packaged with an up-to-date production and mixing.


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