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Melodeath with BALLS

melodeath you would trust to have your back in a fight
The Conductor's Departure

Nice balance of technicality and melody on offer here; compared to later bands like Son of Aurelius who tried a similar format, the riffs feels a bit more grounded in conventional death metal and the melody is structure into the songs a lot more sensibly. Also quite subtly hooky. Imagine Spawn of Possession but a bit toned down and catchier.
A Celebration of Guilt

I've always mentally associated this band with Anata and whilst both are a fair bit chunkier and more intense than most melodeath, Arsis definitely takes more from the Slaughter of the Soul template. Essentially a heavier and denser version of the At the Gates derivatives common around the early 2000s, Arsis still managed to make a great album here with some catchy riffs and driving technicality.

Despite being probably the first really big melodeath album, Heartwork's formula is definitely a lot more intense and wild than a lot of the other albums that formed the first wave of major melodeath releases like those of In Flames and Dark Tranquility. There's some real meat in the rhythm guitar playing on this one and songs like Carnal Forge aren't afraid to bring some savagery back into the equation.
4The Chasm
Procession to the Infraworld

Most of The Chasm's discog is great. I personally heard this one first, and the core positive was the mix of progressive melodies with some old school death metal feel and intensity. The production aids this a lot, with a very crispy, tight drum performance being given plenty of space in the mix and helping drive the rhythms more than most melodeath.
5God Dethroned

A pretty rapid, dense and heavy effort that basically sounds like if Krisiun were interesting and had melodic tinges thrown in. The production has a lot of grit in the rhythm guitars, which are nice and overpowering in spite of the fairly significant degree of melody thrown in.
6Intestine Baalism
An Anatomy of the Beast

This is probably the album most people think of when imagining a balance between traditional death metal heaviness and melody, and for good reason. A mixture of pretty standard death metal riffing with melodic leads works wonders on this one, and in spite of the relative simplicity of its formula it's still one of the most accomplished melodeath albums of this type.
7The Black Dahlia Murder

This band has slowly evolved from being a highly skilled At the Gates derivative to something a lot more unique and menacing over time. The combination of more common melodeath riffing with some much punchier and aggressive rhythm work help power this along, whilst the amazing lead guitar work present catapults it to greater heights still.
Death Meditations

In spite of an at times overwhelming melodic density, this album is importantly heavy and fast as hell at times. The symphonic elements are a little trite, but the rest of this affair is pretty relentlessly fun and heavy. The leads are great, and the slower tracks like At Takao River are fantastic.
The Final Chapter

The Final Chapter feels like the exact balance of the early Gothemburg sound with the kind of death/thrash that prevailed around the early 90s. The HM-2 crunch definitely adds a visceral edge that most melodeath fails to capture, and the clearer split between melodic lead sections and thrashier riffs works really well here.
10Vital Remains

This album might not be considered melodeath by some but most of the tracks end up having really long stretches with a focus on extremely melodic lead guitar parts. Somewhat overlong as albums go, but satisfyingly intense and pretty amazing on a technical level.
Splenium For Nyktophobia

Similar to God Dethroned, in that the album is essentially the swedish death metal sound with more melody injected, not dissimilar to the more melodic Dismember tracks. Very good album.
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