Fill in the Blank: More people should listen to…


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See why Opinion Columnist Max Honermeier thinks more people should listen to melodic death metal.

By Max Honermeier, Opinion Columnist

… Melodic death metal

Death metal has a reputation for being scary and harsh, but that’s only one aspect of an extremely broad genre. It’s understandable that a lot of people don’t like the raspy, grating vocal style that death metal is known for, but melodeath brings so much more to the table. 

When I looked at my Spotify Wrapped, it was no surprise to see that my top genre was melodic death metal. Ever since I discovered the Swedish band Dark Tranquility three years ago, I’ve been hooked on the diverse and powerful sound they helped forge. Melodeath brings together an incredible range of vocals and instrumentals that can go from clean, classical melodies to guttural screams and back in an instant.

Classically trained vocalists like Powerwolf’s Attila Dorn and Simone Simons of EPICA blend their opera-hall quality voices with traditional heavy metal riffs to create a beautiful contrast that’s impossible to ignore.

The opposite is also true of some melodeath groups. Those who’ve acquired a taste for heavy vocals will love the guttural screams Septicflesh is known for layering with symphonic instrumentals. Their 2017 track, “Portrait of a Headless Man,” is an outstanding example of dark, melodic strings and woodwinds over a driving bassline topped by wonderfully grating lyrics.

Another song that shows off incredible contrast is “Heart Like a Grave” by Insomnium. The serenading guitar gives way to a mournful tune that constantly switches between harsh and clean vocal styles.

Melodeath has so many amazing tracks to offer, but the best release of this year has to go to “The Final Lullaby” by EPICA and Shining. A song about the end of the world, this track inspires hope despite an apocalypse. Nothing better demonstrates the spirit of melodeath than the refrain, “everything dies” followed by pure drum and bass instrumentals that lead into soaring vocals and a delightful saxophone solo. 

No matter what your tastes are, melodeath has something for everyone to love.