Melodic Hard Rock

Hello all -

Been eager to try a lot of new music lately. Could be the new cans, amp and Quboz membership :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, for some reference, a couple bands I’m super into lately are Bring me the Horizon and Leprous. So definitely not the most aggressive but I’d still consider hard rock. Also, super melodic imo.

Let’s hear it!

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Dream Theater, although they’re more metal than hard rock. Iron Maiden might be the original melodic hard rock. Calligula’s Horse is really good, but they too can get heavy. Joe Satriani - he does it all…

Honestly, if you truly want “melodic,” you’ll need to get into melodeath. Nothing else comes close to being that melodic. Old In Flames, Insomnium, Be’lakor, Old Children of Bodom, Dark Tranquillity, Amon Amarth, Omnium Gatherum, Mors Principium Est, etc.

I could go on for a while…


Floor Jansen is something special! Nightwish is Symphonic Metal, though.


Thank you! Weekend listening to come!

“Hard Rock” is a huge category. I put most 1970s mainstream rock in the melodic category, as it often sounds mild compared to 1980s and later stuff. Beyond Iron Maiden this includes Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nazareth, etc.

I also put Groove Metal such as Pantera into the melodic category, plus whatever amorphous genre Tool belongs to. Even alt rock such as Sonic Youth, or the early Pixies when Kim Deal was one of two singers, can be melodic and hard at the same time.

Yeah, @Nuance and @ProfFalkin, Nightwish is great symphonic and melodic metal. If you go down that direction Yngwie Malmsteen has metal, Classical, and orchestral connections.

I’m glad you went there to sonic youth and the pixies. College rock in the 80s was mostly pop hooks with a rock veneer. I’m not sure “melodic” means something “dreamy” or complex or just has a clear melody and pop influence. If you’re looking at the latter, yeah might as well bring up indie stuff as you mentioned. Or built to spill or something.

Hard rock is hard to categorize – agree it’s a huge category. Is it “classic” rock, pre-metal, grunge, 80s big hair metal…???

I second @ProfFalkin 's recommendation. I love Nightwish and they are very melodic. Also recommend Agalloch. Fen’s another one.

The latter two fall under also broad category of metal… I call them black metal, but there are many sub-genres of metal.

These days I’m much more into metal than what I might call “hard rock.” Metal can often be melodic but also intense in a beautiful way. Love the guitar riffs too. And I love the nature themes. So many metal bands out there. It’s also great when the pandemic gets to you and you just need to trash and scream.

Indeed - there are so many sub genres of rock and metal. To me, melodic means that there are guitar harmonies and melodies constantly being played along with the main riff, almost like a slow solo being played for the majority of the song; keyboards can be used to do this as well, and also to provide atmosphere. It’s quite hard to put into words - much easier to give examples. So, for those willing to listen, pay attention to the guitars, and not the vocals (mostly death vocals, and quite the acquired taste of which I still dislike 20 years later). This is melodic metal:

In Flames - The Jester’s Dance: In Flames - The Jester's Dance (The Jester Race) - YouTube
Be’lakor - Venator: Be'lakor - Venator - YouTube
Children of Bodom - Bodom After Midnight: Bodom After Midnight - YouTube
Insomnium - While We Sleep: INSOMNIUM - While We Sleep (OFFICIAL VIDEO) - YouTube
Amon Amarth - Valhall Awaits Me: Valhall Awaits Me - YouTube

I am probably in the majority, as I favor instrumentation over vocals, but some of these leads and harmonies can actually get me teary eyed. I know I know, it’s just metal…but it affects me.

@elliot You’ve put together a heck of a system in a short time and should be proud. Happy listening!


Thank you!
Just settling in for some exploration now!

I think a reason I didn’t say metal was to not have growling vocals. While I do listen to that stuff and appreciate it greatly, when I hear the singer from Leprous, as an example, I find it transporting.

Gotcha. Check out Avantasia, Manticora, Edguy and maybe some power metal bands; the latter are often melodic sounding.

@Nuance thanks for sharing these. I favorited Be’Lakor and Amon Amarth in Qobuz. I too favor instruments more, but sometimes voices on such albums can be just another instrument.


One person mentioned power metal, I’d like to toss some Sonata Arctica in the mix.

Another group I’d like to toss out there is ONE OK ROCK. It’s a Japanese group, but the group has recently found international fame and has been making English releases for western markets. That said, a good portion of their music was written in English even when they were centralized in Japan, and for that reason, it it’s worth it to check out both their Japanese music and their more recent releases. Below is a sample of both, the tracks are about six or seven years apart: