I had previously made a post a while back about what I thought was the needlessness people often exhibited in distinguishing the difference between melodic metalcore and melodic death metal. I thought about this again recently and came up with completely different conclusions that I previously had.
I have of late become annoyed with what exactly is being referred to as "melodic death metal". There are really three types of melodic death metal, one is the melodic metalcore variant that as the name obviously suggests borrows heavily from metalcore/hardcore. The second type is basically power metal or folk metal that uses harsh vocals. And the third is proper melodic Death Metal. Now this is Death Metal with an emphasis on melody, but is still Death Metal unlike the other forms of melodeath that are thrown in the genre.
Its not news to anyone that the genre has strayed heavily from what it originally was. In fact it only took a couple of years before old school melodic death metal had transformed into the pure Iron Maiden worship that the Gothenburg scene became famous for.
But for those who are confused here is a little help for you.
Got it? Power/Folk/Heavy metal + harsh vocals does not = melodic death metal. I really enjoy Evocation, they sound like someone mixed SotS era At the Gates with old school Swedish death metal. Bolt Thrower's 2005 album Those Once Loyal could probably count as melodic death metal in the purest sense, along with:
Carcass - Heartwork
The Black Dahlia Murder - Anything
Advent of Bedlam - Behold the Chaos
Desultory - Counting Our Scars
Chronicle of Tyrants - Nemesis MMIV
Arghoslent - Any
Edge of Sanity - Purgatory Afterglow/Crimson/Crimson II/The Spectral Sorrows
Evocation - Apocalyptic
God Dethroned - Passiondale/Under the Sign of the Iron Cross
Impaled - Death After Life
Some of these bands are considered just regular death metal others are actually put in the proper MDM genre but they are all closer to what most people think of when you say melodic death metal than most of what is lumped into that category these days.