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- The three types of music known as melodic death metal
- There are three kinds of music which are known by the name "Melodic death metal".
- To begin, here are definitions for some relevant concepts that will be touched upon:
- - Melody: A sequence of tones.
- - Rhythm: A pattern of binary recursion.
- - Harmony: The meeting of simultaneous, continuously emitted sound waves.
- A correct observation is that the above three are intertwined. A melody has its own rhythm, and it produces harmony. Changing
- the pitch of a melody's notes changes its harmony. Changing the timing and amount of a melody's notes changes
- the melody's rhythm.
- Roughly speaking, there are three different styles of music called melodic death metal.
- The oldest of the three is a variant of death metal which places more emphasis on melody, over rhythm and percussion.
- Listen first to this piece by Deicide. Notice how the rhythms not only of the drums, but
- of the guitar riffs themselves change many times. Notice how a riff is defined not only by
- which tones are in it, but by its internal rhythm.
- Ringing a tone for two seconds is not the same as striking the same tone eight times during two seconds.
- The same principle applies to sequences of tones, to melodies.
- When a tone is struck is often as important as which tone is struck.
- Deicide knows this, and makes good use of it. This is common in percussive and in standard death metal.
- Now listen to this piece by Amorphis. Notice that melodies are longer. Rhythms are simpler and change less often.
- A riff is defined more by which tones are in it and by which tonal steps are taken, than by any intricate rhythmical pattern.
- Living up to its title of melodic death metal, it is undeniably as much death metal as Deicide is, but with more
- focus on melody.
- It is like a more melodic version of the Florida death metal style. For a more melodic version
- of the Swedish style, hear The Red In The Sky Is Ours by At The Gates.
- In the music of Amorphis there is also more consonant harmony between the two guitars, which leads to the
- next style: Heavy metal with death metal technique.
- This heavy metal/death metal hybrid combines surface traits and techniques of death metal with the structures of classical heavy metal.
- Beneath the exterior, it has more in common with Judas Priest and Iron Maiden than with Obituary or Death;
- The two guitars often take up different positions of a consonant chord, and dual melodies in which the guitars
- form parallel fourths, or fifths, are common.
- The music is melodic, but it's also very harmonic, indulging in consonant harmonies more than strict melodic death metal,
- such as At The Gates. Song structures tend to be more straight forward than the mazes of death metal.
- Romantically, it is closer to the brighter; more overtly glorious side of metal, since it's
- so heavily based on classical heavy metal. Here is a piece by Kalmah which illustrates some of the common
- characteristics of this style.
- The third category is newer metalcore, often called melodeath (the original founders of the genre are rarely called melodeath).
- This genre owes a lot to metal, is usually melodic, and tends to have surface elements of death metal.
- For this reason, many call it melodic death metal. However, underneath the timbre of the instruments, and some of the common
- smaller scale patterns, a different spirit is revealed.
- The way that the songs progress narratively is not the same. The way that past riffs affect present riffs is related to death metal,
- but not the same.
- The romantic themes described, and emotional tones expressed, are related but not the same.
- The following piece by a later At The Gates has some some of these elements, providing a sample of what was to come.
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