Candlemass and Entombed were both highly influential (I actually even liked Clandestine for its goofy humour), but SRM’s list inevitably provokes a (short) DMU list.
In no specific order, I consider the following as a Top 6:
At the Gates — Mix the depressing avenues of Gothenburg with these fellows’ beautiful minds and you get the ultra-melodic, twisted art showcased on Gardens of Grief and The Red in the Sky is Ours.
Dismember — Their first album (and their demos) may have been their only worthy contribution (all right, Pieces is definitely not bad), but it takes them a long way. Like an axe-wielding ballet dancer, its impact is relentless yet sensual.
Therion — At first listen, Beyond Sanctorum may sounds like a random rock album, but pretty soon you’ll realize you’ve stumbled upon one of Metal music’s most magical releases, with riff upon riff flowing like an endless stream of imagination.
Unleashed — Described as “an exercise in the rhythms and textures of the battlefield in musical form” this anti-psychological, windswept creation might very well be the soundtrack of any ancient Norse saga (and, yes, we’re talking about the first two albums).
Carbonized — An almost forgotten side project. Their first two albums and their early demos are excellent. While For the Security paints a nightmarish world of the Swedish welfare state (or so I assume), Disharmonization flies into space forging its own interesting world. Like some Hamlet, it may seem insane on the surface.