by: Juuso Viljanen
Melodic death metal is a very large genre. It includes a huge variety of bands with all sorts of vocals and lyrics. If you want to have a simple and fast preview of the whole genre, you should listen to Swedish band Stygian Ascent and their debut album ‘Memories’. It combines the main elements of the genre and use it to create their own sound and way to write songs.
Although melodies make this kind of music sound beautiful and passionate, they don’t take away the aggressiveness and the heavy sound of metal. Sweden even has their own melodic death metal sound (at least here in Finland it’s known as Göteborg sound), but Stygian Ascent don’t sound like they should be categorized as typical Swedish death metal band.
Most famous names of Göteborg style of metal are propably In Flames, Soilwork and Dark Tranquillity. In my head Stygian Ascent is much more closer to bands like Children Of Bodom and Eternal Tears Of Sorrow. Their sound is a diverse mix of “the beauty and the beast”; melodies and hard sounding death metal.
Songs are results of careful composing and hard training. They make me bang my head in my living room, playing my air guitar and singing along, even though I can’t sing. ‘Memories’ contains 5 songs, all together making it to 30 minutes of pure and talented melodic death metal. This is exactly the main reason why I love Swedish music: they just know how to do it!