Everyone knows how death metal started, more or less, even if the details can be a bit hazy to those who haven’t done their due diligence. But what about melodic death metal? What about the innovators, bands that played an in between of the commercial sounds of later days and the classics, or the rare bands that eschewed all trends to just do their own thing?
In an epoch where fans are very familiar with all the different subgenres and regional scenes within Death Metal, it is sometimes forgotten all those distinctions were not present during the genre’s early era (1985-1993). Sure, there were bands described in zines/magazines as Brutal/Technical/Melodic, but those sound distinctions weren’t engraved into specific sub-subgenres…yet. In that same manner, Melodic Death Metal began as a valid offshoot of Death Metal. Reading zines from the genesis of the genre (91-95 roughly), many were praising this new direction and re-invention of the genre by bands like Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Eucharist, etc. Early Melodic Death Metal got attention primarily through the releases of Wrong Again Records who put out some of the seminal early releases in the genre and issued the now famous W.A.R compilation Volume 1 in 1995 which gave the world a taste of this new emerging sound that was here to stay.