Of course we could perhaps look back to Bathory
as the start of the Swedish Death Metal scene, but to be quite honest it didn't really start until the late 80's and early 90's. While the Norwegians were all about Black Metal
, the Swedes seemed more interested in riffing and Morbid Angel
. Some bands like Dissection
seemed to blacken up Iron Maiden
like metal, while speeding it up to a furious scream and inserting a great deal of melody. Others like In Flames
seemed more interested in traditional Death Metal, while bringing alot more melody than say Morbid Angel or Slayer
, essentially creating the so called "Gothenburg
" sound. However Finnish band Sentenced
also created the same sound at the same time, so this style can't be only isolated to Sweden
The real amazing thing is how much this style has taken over not only the European Death Metal scene, but also parts of the American scene, although the Florida death metal bands tend to be more inspirational sound wise here.
Asides from those aforementioned bands, others slowed down the pace and inserted some interesting effects. Tiamat is one of those, having created doomy and progressive Death Metal. Katatonia on the other hand was a very slow and very heavy death band when they started. Now they're more poppy and similar to the current Finnish bands. Therion meanwhile are so totally over the top as a Death Metal band without a singer, because instead they use a choir for most of their records (except their first few) and a full symphony as well. One of the best is Hypocrisy, who started out as a basic death metal band and then added melody and clean vocals into the mix. (Thanks to filoraene for reminding me of this great band).
I think the ultimate progression of the Swedish Death scene would be Opeth. By combining acoustic quiet moments in with very heavy death metal moments, and writing long very intense songs (which are almost always longer and more complex than even Tool, although no where as near as intellectual) they have become the masters of the Swedish Death Metal scene, and to many, the masters of the current metal scene (although I would have to dispute that). Opeth's sound is different from the Gothenburg sound, but they are still more of a continuation of the sound that started with In Flame's early records. Opeth have simply added more influences, and to be truthful made the sound more interesting.
Anyone who listens to metal will know that the Gothenburg sound has created more bands than you shake a stick at, and most of them don't do anything very interesting with the sound. So unless you find a particularly good one, I suggest sticking with the originals.
Dissection - The Storm of the Lights Bane
In Flames - Colony and Whoracle
Opeth - My Arms Your Hearse, Still Life, and Blackwater Park
Katatonia - Brave Murder Day
Therion - Theli and Secret of the Runes
Hypocrisy - The Fourth Dimension and Abducted
Tiamat - Wildhoney