Power Metal

Lampwick 43

Barstool Warrior
Hi everybody.

Right now, I'm really starting to get into the genre of power metal. I really love metal in general (obviously, since I'm here  :bigsmile: ), but I've always only listened to a few bands. Mostly it's because I don't like a lot of the sub-genres of metal. I don't like hair metal at all, and I can't stand listening to any music with growling vocals.

I've just recently started to listen to some power metal, and I LOVE it!  :edmetal: I am very new to the genre, so I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on some music that I might enjoy. So far, I have really taken a liking to Hammerfall, Stratovarius, and Blind Guardian. Again, I'm not very familiar to this genre, so any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
Helloween. I'm not too familiar with Power Metal but everyone seems to like that band so I would assume you would too.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Helloween, Gamma Ray, Sabaton, Rhapsody Of Fire, Firewind, Kamelot, Savage Circus, Persuader, Powerwolf, Symphony X, Vision Divine...
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Perhaps we could copy the stuff here (which was more about trying to define the genre), but writing new stuff about the bands is cool too of course.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Here are those posts:
Forostar said:
I disagree with most here, speaking about the genre power metal. Yes it can contain fantasy lyrics but there's more:

I'd say power metal is a style with lots of very fast parts in the songs (or whole songs) with double bass drums in this particular rhythm:
E.g. Helloween's Eagle Fly Free, or March of Time (e.g. the chorus), I'm Alive (chorus), or Save Us (chorus).

AND

The style is one of the "warm metal" styles. I remember a 1990 interview where Bruce was talking about warm and cold metal. He didn't explain it but I understood him. Iron Maiden in his opinion is warm, and Metallica cold. Without him explaining I can hear and feel the difference. I'll give it a try: Warm metal features melodic singers where cold metal features less melodic singers, even shouters. In warm metal, with the music there's more emphasis on melody as well (and melodic guitar solos, and harmonies!), and in cold metal less. In cold metal (e.g. trash) it's more about riffs, and aggression.

So is warm metal power metal? No because Iron Maiden isn't power metal, and Dio isn't power metal either.
Why not? Because Maiden and Dio do not have these typical fast double bass patterns in their music.
Maiden is very unique, often the songs are carried by the rhythm section (bass and drums), which do different (trademark) rhythms (such as galloping bass). Dio has lots of mid tempo songs and there's no double bass.

Do power metal bands only use such typical rhythms? No, but often they do, some bands more than others. Maiden and Dio never used them.

Are no other metal bands using such typical rhythms? Well, other metal bands do use them, but they are not power metal if the music is not as melodic and harmonic and when the singer doesn't sing melodic.

Can Judas Priest be called power metal? Well, as a whole band no, but some songs yes.
In fact, I'll give you one of the earliest examples of power metal:

Perhaps not the whole song, but the instrumental midsection features such a typical guitar harmony with such drum patterns underneath (from 3:09 - 3:39) that this must have been a big influence on the genre:
Judas Priest - Let Us Prey / Call For the Priest        (with a 17 year old Simon Phillips on drums!)

Also their song Exciter can be seen as an early form of power metal.

So my 2 cents: it's the combination of all these aspects which makes a band power metal.
NightProwler666 said:
Okay, here's my opinion:

Forostar said:
Warm metal features melodic singers where cold metal features less melodic singers, even shouters. In warm metal, with the music there's more emphasis on melody as well (and melodic guitar solos, and harmonies!), and in cold metal less. In cold metal (e.g. trash) it's more about riffs, and aggression.
I think that this is a good definition, but I can't say "THRASH METAL IS COLD" because every band is different. Both Metallica and Megadeth play thrash metal, but IMO Metallica is cold, and Megadeth is warm. Both Stratovarius and Blind Guardian play power metal, but Stratovarius is cold and Blind Guardian is warm.

About your power metal definition: it's good, but I think that you're only referring to European power metal.
IMO there are 3 sub-genres of power metal:
-US Power Metal (bands do not have to be from USA to play US Power Metal, but they mostly are)
Bands that played fast and melodic dark thrash/heavy metal with clean high-pitched vocals in Dickinson/Halford style. First bands that come to my mind are Jag Panzer, Helstar, Angel Dust (although they are from Germany; 2nd album), Iced Earth (first 2-3 albums), Manowar, Megadeth (some songs), Anthrax (albums with Neil Turbin), Agent Steel, Crimson Glory (first 2 albums) etc. Judas Priest's Painkiller could also be counted as a US Power Metal album, although Judas Priest are from England.

-European Power Metal is mostly happy, melodic, more anthemic than US Power Metal, features fantasy cheesy lyrics and more prominent keyboards. Bands: Helloween, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Masterplan, Edguy, Avantasia, Sabaton, DragonForce, Nightwish etc.

The third group features bands that combine power metal with other genres, like Children Of The Bodom (with melodic death metal), Ensiferum (with melodic death/folk metal), Kiuas (lots of other genres), Symphony X (with progressive metal) and lots of other bands.

I also consider that some Iron Maiden songs are power metal, especially the ones from Somewhere In Time and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - songs like Caught Somewhere In Time, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, Moonchild, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son...
Forostar said:
Thanks! 

NightProwler666 said:
Okay, here's my opinion:I think that this is a good definition, but I can't say "THRASH METAL IS COLD" because every band is different. Both Metallica and Megadeth play thrash metal, but IMO Metallica is cold, and Megadeth is warm. Both Stratovarius and Blind Guardian play power metal, but Stratovarius is cold and Blind Guardian is warm.
Interesting. Would you explain why you'd call Megadeth warm and why Stratovarius cold? Strato is from Finland, but I reckon that isn't your main argument.

NightProwler666 said:
About your power metal definition: it's good, but I think that you're only referring to European power metal.
I see my criteria as the basic criteria counting for all power metal bands (in my eyes of course).

NightProwler666 said:
IMO there are 3 sub-genres of power metal:
-US Power Metal (bands do not have to be from USA to play US Power Metal, but they mostly are)
Bands that played fast and melodic dark thrash/heavy metal with clean high-pitched vocals in Dickinson/Halford style. First bands that come to my mind are Jag Panzer, Helstar, Angel Dust (although they are from Germany; 2nd album), Iced Earth (first 2-3 albums), Manowar, Megadeth (some songs), Anthrax (albums with Neil Turbin), Agent Steel, Crimson Glory (first 2 albums) etc. Judas Priest's Painkiller could also be counted as a US Power Metal album, although Judas Priest are from England.
I agree that there are power metal tracks on Painkiller.
And I guess you're right, some of these bands should also have songs which fit to my criteria, esp. Jag Panzer.

Iced Earth is a special case because I find they are a warm metal band with cold metal riffs. 
They are an interesting mix of Iron Maiden (melodically and rhythmically inspired) and Metallica and Slayer (riffs), but have enough of their own as well. They have a few tracks, which could be called power metal, take e.g. Vengeance is Mine. The rhythm comparison is obvious. Still I find the singing and soloing not melodic enough to call it a typical power metal track. Also there are not many guitar harmonies in Iced Earth's music, and most of their riffs are too aggressive to call it a power metal band.

NightProwler666 said:
-European Power Metal is mostly happy, melodic, more anthemic than US Power Metal, features fantasy cheesy lyrics and more prominent keyboards. Bands: Helloween, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Masterplan, Edguy, Avantasia, Sabaton, DragonForce, Nightwish etc.
Lots of stuff from some of those bands I don't find that happy or cheesy (it also depends on our definitions and taste), but I sure can imagine what you're talking about. The most happy track by Helloween is Future World, and I am glad that the bulk of their stuff doesn't sound like this. Also, one of my favourite bands in this category is Iron Savior, especially their first two albums.

NightProwler666 said:
The third group features bands that combine power metal with other genres, like Children Of The Bodom (with melodic death metal), Ensiferum (with melodic death/folk metal), Kiuas (lots of other genres), Symphony X (with progressive metal) and lots of other bands.
These bands do blend their music with other ingredients, and because they do that they are not just power metal, but are described with more than one label.

NightProwler666 said:
I also consider that some Iron Maiden songs are power metal, especially the ones from Somewhere In Time and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - songs like Caught Somewhere In Time, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, Moonchild, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son...
I don't, because I find the rhythm aspect (see links earlier post) dominant in this discussion.

Maybe you and me would agree about one thing. Even though the term wasn't used back in that time, the first power metal album, when we look at the music and singer =

Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys - part 1 (1987)

That was the year when they turned to warm, became more melodic, and started influencing countless of other bands.
NightProwler666 said:
Forostar said:
Interesting. Would you explain why you'd call Megadeth warm and why Stratovarius cold? Strato is from Finland, but I reckon that isn't your main argument.
I really don't know. I think that Stratovarius is meant to sound cold, production sounds somewhat mechanical (in a good way), most of their songs are really fast, rifftastic and they also have a lot of songs about space, winter, snow and "cold" things  It's not because they are from Finland. For example, Amorphis is from Finland, but I think their last 3 albums are warm. I don't know why, but Megadeth sounds warm to me. The only exceptions are Rust In Peace (their best album, but not so melodic), Risk (HORRIBLE ALBUM) and The World Needs A Hero (not so melodic, but a good album). Youthanasia is full of great melodies, catchy songs and vocal lines. I think that it's just a matter of opinion.

Forostar said:
And I guess you're right, some of these bands should also have songs which fit to my criteria, esp. Jag Panzer.
I think that US Power Metal was invented as a term, because you really can't say that Jag Panzer and Slayer are both thrash metal. You also can't say that Jag Panzer and Sonata Arctica are both power metal. You see my point?

Forostar said:
Iced Earth is a special case because I find they are a warm metal band with cold metal riffs. 
They are an interesting mix of Iron Maiden (melodically and rhythmically inspired) and Metallica and Slayer (riffs), but have enough of their own as well. They have a few more typical power metal tracks, take e.g. Vengeance is Mine. The rhythm comparison is obvious. Still I find the singing and soloing not melodic enough to call it a power metal track. Also there are not many guitar harmonies in Iced Earth's music, and their music is at times too aggressive to call it a power metal band.
I agree.

Forostar said:
Lots of their stuff I don't find that happy or cheesy (it also depends on our definitions and taste), but I sure can imagine what you're talking about. The most happy track by Helloween is Future World, and I am glad that the bulk of their stuff doesn't sound like this.
You're right, I made a mistake. I should've noted that only their albums with Kiske fit the category.

Forostar said:
Also, one of my favourite bands in this category is Iron Savior, especially their first two albums.
Haven't heard this band yet. Check out Savage Circus, Piet and Yenz are members of that band.

Forostar said:
Maybe you and me would agree about one thing. Even though the term wasn't used back in that time, the first power metal album, when we look at the music and singer =

Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys - part 1 (1987)

That was the year when they turned to warm, became more melodic, and started influencing countless of other bands.
I do agree
Forostar said:
NightProwler666 said:
I think that US Power Metal was invented as a term, because you really can't say that Jag Panzer and Slayer are
both thrash metal. You also can't say that Jag Panzer and Sonata Arctica are both power metal. You see my point?
Yes.

NightProwler666 said:
You're right, I made a mistake.
Well, not really. I can imagine that many people call Helloween happy metal. I just think some old songs like Save Us and March of Time are less happy. And there are more.

NightProwler666 said:
I should've noted that only their albums with Kiske fit the category.
Well, I think their later work is power metal as well, it's still a mix of some happier (or sillier/cheesier) songs and less happy work (though The Dark Ride hardly has any happy moments hehe!).

NightProwler666 said:
Haven't heard this band yet. Check out Savage Circus, Piet and Yenz are members of that band.
Funny you mention Savage Circus. I haven't heard their music yet but Thomen "The Omen" Stauch played on the first Iron Savior (same titled) album.
NightProwler666 said:
First Savage Circus album is like a long lost Blind Guardian album. The singer sounds almost exactly the same as Hansi.
I wanted to make an experiment - find someone who loves Blind Guardian, but has never heard of Savage Circus, then give him/her that Savage Circus album disguised as "unreleased Blind Guardian album" and see if he/she sees the difference. I still can't find the right person :)
Forostar said:
I think that band was surrected because Stauch didn't like the direction BG were taking. So that's why it sounds so much like old(er) school BG.
NightProwler666 said:
Yes. But Thomen was later fired because he didn't show up on any live show for 2 years. They recorded a new album without him, with Mike Terrana replacing him. Haven't heard it yet.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Power Metal Starter kit:

Helloween: Halloween EP/Walls of Jericho. Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt 1 and KOTSK Pt 2

Stratovarius: Fourth Dimension, Visions, Episode, Interlude

Sonata Arctica: Ecliptica

Kamelot: Epica, Karma

Gamma Ray: Land of the Free

You're on your own from there :D
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I'm frankly too lazy to re-read all the old posts that have been copied here, but if you're interested in power metal, I have two words for you:  "Blind. Guardian." 
 

Jupz

Ancient Mariner
Thanks for all the recommendations! I've been getting into Power Metal more recently, listening to some Blind Guardian and Stratovarius and I want to get some more. Only problem is Helloween albums cost like $30 over here so I always end up getting cheaper stuff :p
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Jupz said:
Only problem is Helloween albums cost like $30 over here so I always end up getting cheaper stuff :p
Not a bad move considering Helloween's inconsistency. Outside of their first three albums and the later album, "Better Than Raw," the rest of their discography gets mixed reviews and usually not too kind.

Almost forgot, Hammerfall's "Renegade" and "V: Unbent, Unbound, Unbroken" are good starters as well.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Any fans of Vision Divine here? I'm currently (re)listening their album The Perfect Machine and it's fantastic. It's a shame that they kicked Michelle Luppi out of the band. Fabio Lione is a great singer, but he already has Rhapsody Of Fire, so it's kinda stupid to have him back in the band.
 
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