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Top 10 Death Metal Bands

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Cannibal Corpse Top 10 Death Metal Bands

In the same way that punk mutated into hardcore around the turn of the 80s, heavy metal metamorphosed into death metal, one of rock’s most extreme but equally popular subgenres. uDiscover strikes some doom-laden, down-tuned chords and lets out a blood-curdling, Lovecraftian growl in tribute to the Top 10 death metal bands known to rock.

Though technically one of thrash metal’s “Big Four” alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, Slayer’s mighty third album Reign In Blood (1986) has been cited as an influence by all self-respecting death metal outfits.

Tragically, Florida death metallers Death’s leader Chuck Shuldiner died in 2001, but his band’s 1987 debut Scream Bloody Gore is regularly cited as the first true death metal album.

Morbid Angel
Big on guttural vocals and squalling, atonal guitar solos, occult-inclined Florida quartet Morbid Angel’s titanic 1989 debut, Altars Of Madness, has frequently been imitated but never bettered.

Originally furious thrash metallers, Californian quartet Autopsy adopted a slower doom-metal style with their second album, 1991’s Metal Funeral, which has remained ominously influential.

Released by Roadrunner in 1989, Florida quintet Obituary’s debut album, Slowly We Rot, was one of the death metal highlights of the year and it’s still one of the genre’s most colossal titles.

Napalm Death
Proving that death metal wasn’t solely a North American preserve, UK outfit Napalm Death’s legendary ’87 debut, Scum, proved influential throughout the global metal community.

Liverpool death metallers Carcass were dissatisfied with the primitive production values of their oppressive 1988 debut, Reek Of Putrefaction, but BBC Radio One DJ John Peel publicly professed his love of the record.

Cannibal Corpse
Buffalo, New York quintet Cannibal Corpse are reputedly the world’s biggest-selling death metal outfit with sales of over two million units. Their 1991 debut, Butchered At Birth, certainly proved they were (and still are) one of the genre’s most monolithic bands.

Though surely a death metal act par excellence, this Swedish outfit’s fine debut, Orchid, included acoustic guitars, piano and clean vocals, and tested the genre’s parameters.

Satanic Florida death metal outfit Deicide are no strangers to bans and lawsuits, but their second album, 1992’s Legion, remains a death metal classic.

Which death metal bands have we left out? Let us know below and start the debate!



  1. Fractal Stranger

    January 19, 2018 at 10:12 am

    So what we have here? One thrash metal, two grind core bands and one progressive metal band. Super silly list.

    • Muhammad Pangestu

      June 5, 2018 at 12:06 am


    • LeeTorry

      July 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Now to be fair, Carcass is influencial to melodeath and im kinda mixed with ND in here but their DM albums were really good.

      They should replace Deicide, Napalm Death, Slayer, Opeth, Autopsy with Atheist, Gorguts, At The Gates, Suffocation, and idk…Nile?

    • Bob macabre

      October 30, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      Bud if you think any of these bands are grincore
      you need to learn your genres.
      Slayer is definitely thrash. I don’t know very much about Napalm death or Morbid Angel but I can tell you that they are definitely not grindcore. Death, obituary and autopsy are some of the oldest and most respected death metal bands.
      Death metal is literally named after the band death. The lead singer of death, Chuck Schuldiner RIP is considered the founding father of death metal.
      I also suggest gorguts, impetigo and carcass.

      • Nicholas Bennett

        January 8, 2019 at 10:11 am

        Holy fuck are you stupid napalm death is grindcore and death metal is not named after Death theyre my favorite band but possessed made a demo called death metal while death was forming then known as Mantas

  2. James Peterson

    January 1, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Decapitated. Making a list like this without Decapitated is silly.
    5 words can sum up why:
    Winds of Creation
    The Negation

    • Nicholas Bennett

      January 8, 2019 at 10:13 am

      What about Nihility

    • David

      June 7, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      The negation is just the best album.

  3. Nicholas Bennett

    January 8, 2019 at 10:14 am

    What about nihility

  4. Sam Bryson

    February 27, 2019 at 10:38 am

    This list should be taken down it is false. Slayer may have influenced a lot of death metal but they have always been a thrash band. Napalm Death have always fundamentally been a grindcore band even if some of their more recent albums sound sort of death metal. Opeth you could make the argurment that they started out as a melodic death metal band, but death metal fundamentally does not have clean vocals, thus disqualifying them. Suitable influential replacements could be Suffocation, possessed, Nile, or probably a shitstorm of other killer death metal bands like pestilence, goreguts, abysmal dawn, decapitated, necrophagiest, beyond creation, obscurea etc…

    Fuck this schmuck list.

    • SatanicChicken

      May 8, 2019 at 9:57 pm

      Specially Possessed, which created this subgenre.

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