After breaking out of the underground in the late 1980s, it had become clear that death metal was more than a passing fad that young people participated in to scare their parents. Bands like Cannibal Corpse, Death and Morbid Angel proved that you could play death metal and sell enough to make a living while not sacrificing musical integrity. In this next set of essential death metal albums, you’ll see how the genre further diversified, pushing its way into mainstream territory in some scenes while remaining extreme and experimental and others. Of particular note during this era are the rise of the Gothenburg melodic death metal sound and the Montreal tech-death style. There are some down years in here, but some of the best the genre has to offer will make appearances as well.