Death metal is one of the most under-appreciated music scenes in the world.
You’ll find technical excellence and precise playing galore, however, if you dare to put your toes into the murky waters of death.
And to help you out, we’ve rounded up the best death metal bands ever for you.
Perhaps not the first death metal band, but certainly the band after which the whole scene was named, Death remains a legendary act.
Get bonus points for playing these albums on your motorcycle speakers!
You can’t have a best of death metal list without the scene’s biggest selling act and that’s Cannibal Corpse.
You’ll either love their juvenile pornogore approach to music or hate it. We like Eaten Back To Life and The Bleeding best, where the music is at the fore and the lyrics are slightly less in your face.
They’re still going strong too, though there are a few misses in their more recent catalogue.
The UK’s Carcass are still touring and while Heartwork was written off at the time of its release, it’s now considered by many to be their best work.
However, if you like a bit of wordy metal then you should also check out Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious because it shreds.
But it’s 1993’s Wolverine Blues that we keep coming back to, it’s a groovy, relentless record that leaves us hoarse as we scream along to “Out of Hand.”
If you want your music to educate you, then look no further than Nile. These guys are all professional Egyptologists and their music is all about ancient Egypt!
Immolation was considered an also-ran when their debut Dawn of Possession came out (though for those of us who caught them on tour that year, we knew this was not the case).
But the band has completely come into its own over the last 3 decades and they’re now one of the biggest names on the scene, don’t miss out on 2017’s Atonement.
Poland’s Vader has become a huge presence in the death metal scene and who wouldn’t love a band named after a Star Wars villian?
I hesitate to include Opeth on this list as their current sound is closer to Pink Floyd than Obituary but there’s no doubting that this mega-group (and its spin-off Arch Enemy) had a huge influence on death metal.
You can’t go wrong with the blistering insanity of My Arms, Your Hearse.
And if you don’t like anything you’ve heard from above, you might want to give Gothenburg’s Dark Tranquility a go, as this is melodic death metal and, perhaps, the best gateway to death metal that there is.
Final Thoughts On The Best Death Metal Bands
We like to kick back and listen to these bands on awesome bone conduction headphones (because what could be more metal than that?) and while you might need to give these artists repeated listens before you “get” them, once you do, you’ll be blasting the tunes out too!
The first time Nicholas went to a live gig, 31 years ago, it turned out to be an Iron Maiden secret gig and he became hooked on the music scene. He was one of the founding writers for Astro Zombie a heavy metal and new world techno-inspired zine and his interview with Rob Caggiano of Anthrax brought in over 300,000 readers. He’s based out of Southeast Asia now, but his love of music is as strong and diverse as ever.