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The Gothenburg sound is a very undefined style as a term and people tend to missuse it on every melodic death metal band they find and more, when in fact, few bands in the genre actually adhere to this sound. The sound was originally created by the three kings from Gothenburg, At the Gates, In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. The sound is often associated as a direct influence from bands such as Iron Maiden, which inspires certain leads, specific ways to write melody and adding a certain rhythm.

A prime example of the Gothenburg sound is probably At the Gates as well as early In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. The term has widened and any band who has a similar sound to At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity and In Flames are playing so-called Gothenburg metal. Bands not coming from Gothenburg having such a sound are Insomnium, Arch Enemy and Eternal Tears of Sorrow. .

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