Melodic black metal

Melodic black metal

Infobox Music genre
name = Melodic black metal
color = white
bgcolor = #BB0022
stylistic_origins = Black metal
cultural_origins = Early 1990s, Norway
instruments = Electric guitarBass guitarDrumsKeyboard
popularity = Underground in early–mid 1990s, increased popularity since then
derivatives =
subgenrelist =
subgenres =
fusiongenres =
regional_scenes = Scandinavia
North America
other_topics =

Melodic black metal is a style of black metal. Much of the characteristics of "traditional" black metal are retained (shrieked vocals, fast tempos, high pitched electric guitars often played with tremolo picking) but it differs in several key elements. Generally it is less abrasive, more melodic and thus more accessible for mainstream audiences. Electric guitars are often played with much less distortion and guitar solos are more common. Songs are often written in conventional structures and there is more usage of keyboards and other instruments.

Melodic black metal is sometimes confused with gothic metal, doom metal, and symphonic black metal due to similarities in the styles.



Unlike traditional black metal, melodic black metal usually revolves around deep structure and accessibility. A song typically consists of harmonic minor scales, often modulating violently between minor chords by thirds (e.g., F♯m-Am-Cm, etc.) Many of the songs incorporate heavy guitar power chords, but unlike traditional black metal, the songs have at least some control on the volume, allowing the music to blend instead of sounding too "noisy". The songs usually begin with a melodic introduction, be it clean guitar or keyboards and usually move on to a more aggressive and distorted sound as the piece advances. Unlike typical black metal songs, melodic black metal compositions have, on the most part, very clearly defined bridges. Songs generally go from introduction to verse to a prechorus to chorus to verse to prechorus to chorus and then to a bridge. In a bridge the music can turn quite mellow, unlike black metal. The bridge, however, turns back into the verse or the black metal sound with a very swift and unexpected turn (usually a loud death grunt).

Heavy drumming and highly structured guitar riffs (usually played with what some call reverse, or inverted, power chords and tremolo picking) are the most prominent feature of the genre, entailing melodic structure deep within the composition and sound.

Lyrics and vocals

The lyrical themes and main attributes, however, still come from black metal, with melodic black metal's lyrical subjects usually remaining the same. Like most black metal bands, the lyrics are usually quite aggressive, whether added intentionally or bearing the aggression of the lyricist.


The physical appearance of melodic black metal musicians has remained very close to that of traditional black metal bands. Band members use corpse paint for live performances, spikes, and black clothing. They generally use pseudonyms or stage names and choose to remain unknown in mainstream circles, notable exceptions being Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir.

List of notable melodic black metal bands

*...And Oceans
*Ceremonial Castings
*Children of Bodom(First two albums)
*Cradle of Filth
*Dark Fortress
*Darkwoods My Betrothed
*Dimmu Borgir
*Hecate Enthroned
*In the Woods...
*The Kovenant
*Limbonic Art
*Lord Belial
*Mystic Circle
*Nokturnal Mortum
*Old Man's Child
*Rotting Christ
*newer Satyricon
*Shade Empire

ee also

* Symphonic black metal

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Melodic Black metal — Black metal symphonique Black metal symphonique Origines stylistiques Black metal, Metal symphonique Origines culturelles …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Melodic black metal — Black metal symphonique Black metal symphonique Origines stylistiques Black metal, Metal symphonique Origines culturelles …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Melodic death metal — Stylistic origins Death metal, NWOBHM Cultural origins Early to mid 1990s, Scandinavia (particularly Gothenburg, Sweden) and Liverpool, England Typical instruments Electric guitar, bass gu …   Wikipedia

  • Melodic Death Metal — Entstehungsphase: Anfang der 1990er Jahre Herkunftsort: Göteborg Stilistische Vorläufer Death Metal, NWoBHM, teilweise Elemente des Black Metal …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Melodic death metal — Death mélodique Death mélodique Origines stylistiques Death metal, Heavy metal Origines culturelles Suède, fin des années 1980 Instrument(s) typi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Black metal — This article is about the musical genre. For the Venom album, see Black Metal (album). For black minerals, see Black metal (mineralogy). Black metal Stylistic origins Thrash metal, speed metal, hardcore punk Cultural origins First Wave: Early mid …   Wikipedia

  • Symphonic black metal — Infobox Music genre name=Symphonic black metal bgcolor=#BB0022 color=white stylistic origins =Black metal, symphonic metal, classical music cultural origins =Early 1990s, Norway instruments =Electric guitar Bass guitar Drums Keyboard Violin other …   Wikipedia

  • List of melodic death metal bands — Carcass, shown here performing at Gods of Metal festival in Bologna, Italy (2008), helped define the melodic death metal genre with their 1994 album Heartwork.[1] This is a list of melodic death metal bands. Melodic death metal is a …   Wikipedia

  • Early Norwegian black metal scene — Helvete redirects here. For the Nasum album, see Helvete (album). The early Norwegian black metal scene was a music scene and subculture in Norway during the early 1990s, based around black metal. Identified by some as a cult – The Black Circle… …   Wikipedia

  • Metal Mean Festival — Le Metal Mean Festival est un festival de musique metal extrême, qui se déroule chaque année depuis 2005 dans le village belge de Méan (en province de Namur). L’affluence moyenne y est de 1 000 spectateurs chaque année depuis la cinquième… …   Wikipédia en Français