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Best Melodic Death Bands You've Never Heard of

Melodic death metal...would have to be, when done just the right way, my all time favorite genre of metal. However, that "done properly" part is no easy feat. The best melodic death bands are those that blend brutality and melody to perfection with more-than-sufficient technicality. If you're looking for Gothenburg bands, look elsewhere. This list is for honest to god melodic death. Keep in mind that the order of this list was determined by a combination of my love for the band and their level of obscurity.

Insomnium is the best melodic death band that none of you have probably heard of. No, they are not the greatest ever, but they do melodic death metal like no other band in existence. And overlooking them just as they have been overlooked throughout their career should be a crime among metalheads. They're damn heavy, but they manage to hold a defined, captivating melody on top of that. With a progressive side bearing an uncanny resemblance to the almighty Opeth, Insomnium is brutality with a dreamlike tranquility.
2Autumn Leaves

Ah, yes...the Dutch melodic death metallers that never got an ounce of recognition. Autumn Leaves' sound truly defines death metal. The music is fast and brutal, just like real death metal. But unlike "brutal death" bands, their riffs ficus on a serious melody and emotion instead of senseless carnage. Although they only made two albums that have long since been out of print (I have to take this opportunity to whore the fact that I own an original copy of their super-rare debut album) both are worthy of every second of a melodic death fan's time.

Everyone around here knows Arsis by now, but it's the least we could do to support a band who is virtually unknown completely in a starving American metal scene. I take pride in knowing that I was one of the original two Arsis whores on mx (now known as sputnik). Together with my Arsis-Brother Arucard, we whored them relentlessly. Now thanks partly to us and mainly to the distribution of the A Diamond for Disease EP, this entire site knows and loves Arsis. I won't go into detail on their sound, because anyone who doesn't know them owes it to themselves to discover their magic. All I can say is...they deserve all the credit they get.

Hm...this band ranks so low on the list because they aren't necessarily a "melodic" death metal band. Like an Ever Flowing Stream is by all means a classic death metal album, but they've since taken their raw, old-school Swedish death metal sound and added the melody. The God That Never Was is an excellent example of the raw, true death metal side of melodic death.
5Fragments of Unbecoming

This band is steadily gaining more and more popularity, and it's about time. The guitars duel each other with lead melodies phenominally. The vocals are layered and compliment each other perfectly. They don't put the "death metal" in melodic death metal, but they sure as hell take it to a level that Gothenburg bands are afraid to touch.
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