Unlike American groups, the Swedish death metal scene's earliest originators were influenced by punk rock, especially the D-beat and hardcore punk scene. Bathory, who would subsequently become a primary influence for the black metal scene, were a pivotal group in Swedish extreme metal.
In the early 1990s, two death metal scenes emerged in Gothenburg and Stockholm. The first wave of "Swedish death metal" consisted of the bands Carnage, Morbid
and Nihilist, who fragmented later into Entombed, Dismember and Unleashed. Many of these bands used the trademark Tomas Skogsberg/Sunlight Studios "buzzsaw" guitar tone. It was created by using heavily detuned electric guitars (usually C# standard or lower), a maxed out Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal, sometimes in combination with a single guitar through a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal. The originator of this guitar sound was Nihilist guitarist Leffe Cuzner, though it was evolved and altered over the years. Newer bands playing in the "old school" Swedish style include Bloodbath, Paganizer and Repugnant. According to Stewart Mason of AllMusic, the "increasingly melodic" style of Swedish death metal combines the post-hardcore aggression and guttural vocals of black metal with melodic and technically proficient guitar lines.
Later, Swedish and Finnish bands used grindcore-based riffs and began adding progressive rock influences, and the scene moved from Stockholm to Gothenburg. The Gothenburg sound, (also known as melodic death metal, Gothenburg melodic death metal or melodeath), propelled by both the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal distortion effect pedal with cleaner recordings and melded with new wave of British heavy metal guitar lines, was pioneered by bands such as At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity, and In Flames for their respective albums: Slaughter of the Soul, The Gallery and The Jester Race.
Other groups to have emerged from the Swedish death metal scene include Scar Symmetry, Hypocrisy, Tiamat, Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Meshuggah, Amon Amarth, Edge of Sanity, Opeth, Desultory, Cemetary, Avatar and The Haunted.