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Power Metal - a guilty pleasure??


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Initial post: 4 Jun 2012 12:36:36 BDT
Adam Jackson says:
Always liked the symphonic metal thing but after seeing the episode on Metal Evolution a few weeks ago, I downloaded some of the acts showcased on there; Rhapsody Of Fire, Blind Guardian, Kamelot etc. Thought it was a refeshing antidote to some of the mainstream dross that passes as Rock/Metal today! So unfashionable that it becomes cool in a cultish kind of way!

I have to be in the mood for it (and I still can't take to Dragonforce bar the Fire & Flame song) but i'm sure there a few PM devotees lurking out there...

Posted on 10 Jun 2012 09:51:02 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
Hi Adam, I think I've got my head round what symphonic metal is. Sounds like ELO on speed to me and I never did like ELO. From what I've heard it's not to my taste. I don't understand the difference between metal and power metal though. I like some metal and would like to decide whether or not I like power metal. Can you define it (ie how does it differ from metal) and point me in the right direction?

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jun 2012 11:52:34 BDT
Post Soviet says:
As I understand, PM band Nr 1 is Iron Maiden, fast, operatic vocals, melodic, plenty guitar soloing, escapist fantasy lyrics.
Dio, Blind Guardian, Helloween....

Posted on 11 Jun 2012 13:31:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Jun 2012 13:57:31 BDT
Simply put trad metal (traditional straight up heavy metal) is bands like iron maiden, judas priest and Saxon etc. the trad metal sound is your typical twin guitar attack, loads of solos, memorable riffs and reasonably heavy with a traditional verse chorus verse structure.

Power metal is very similar except it's likely to be played a little faster, sometimes thrash metal speeds, and usually power Metal bands have big operatic singers and the songs are more bouncy with more catchy riffs and sing along choruses compared to trad metal. Plus power metal bands tend to have songs based around fantasy/dungeons and dragons though this is not a requirement. Biggest hands that are categorised as power metal would be helloween, blind guardian, hammerfall, firewind, gamma ray and stratovarius.

Posted on 11 Jun 2012 19:03:31 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
Thanks PS and Wayne. Very helpful

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2012 19:20:04 BDT
Spacepig says:
Helpful???

Post Soviet says that Iron Maiden are el numero uno Power Metal band. Wayne says they are Trad Metal!!!

What I wonder is, why try and put these labels on them, if it's good, just enjoy it, who cares what they are called by the media, let's just call it rock.

Posted on 11 Jun 2012 20:35:58 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
Sorry for not consulting you Spacepig. I thought the info was helpful but I'll ask you to think on my behalf next time. If I want to know what power metal is I've given myself permission to ask and I think that's ok

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2012 20:46:03 BDT
Spacepig says:
Ha! no need RM, I am just as baffled about it all as anyone is.

So, as you have found it helpful, maybe you can explain what it is all about? I can't really tell the difference between them and I listen to loads of metal. Maybe we should get Tommo's opinion on it, no doubt he will have one.

Posted on 11 Jun 2012 21:09:50 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
Well you clearly don't listen hard enough Spacepig. If Tommo wants to share his opinion with you that's a matter for him. Why would I be interested? I've asked my question and got my answer

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2012 21:22:06 BDT
Spacepig says:
Fair enough - I am not going to get drawn into any argument with you about something as trivial as this, life's too short. If conflicting explanations satisfy you, well, who am I to disagree?

I would go and try and work it all out, but as I said previously, I don't see any point in applying labels to any kind of music, I'll just go on enjoying the music I like and not really care about which sub-genre it's supposed to fit into.

Posted on 11 Jun 2012 21:33:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jun 2012 21:34:51 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
But you've just written 'I listen to loads of metal', a label surely. I think you're tying yourself in a little knot.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2012 21:42:57 BDT
Spacepig says:
Hmmm, good point I suppose. I could argue that I meant metal as an overall genre rather than trying to sub-divide it, but I won't. To tell the truth, at times I am not even really sure what constitutes metal as opposed to the likes of hard rock or whatever else they call it these days. So, let's just say that I tend to listen to quite a lot of music with crunching guitars, manic drummers, and even more manic singers. As to what genre it should be in, don't have a clue, but Amazon (and a few other sites) tend to classify my preferences as metal for some reason or other. They don't have the tendency to call it power metal, trad metal, symphonic metal, thrash or any of the plethora of other names that have been dreamed up in an attempt to divide all lovers of rock music.

Does that make any sense? I think not but I also think I know what I am trying to say.... maybe

Posted on 11 Jun 2012 21:57:03 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
Yes it does make sense and thanks for your reply Spacepig, much appretiated. The whole genre discussion sometimes gets complicated however, specific bands excluded, I think PS and Wayne had pointed me in the general direction of the difference between one and the other. Of course, it was only opinion and that's the best anyone can ever offer.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2012 22:34:18 BDT
Post Soviet says:
Plus it's very uplifting subgenre of metal with one main purpose - to have fun!
Just checked wiki power metal bands list, where I found Accept, with wich I disagree, I think Accept are in the same boat as Judas Priest, with emphasis on riffing, belongs to traditional or classic metal or.... whaterver you like to call. It's all just for convenience, if some metalhead asks me what kind of band are Brasilians 'Angra' and my reply is they are power metal band, he gets an idea.

Posted on 12 Jun 2012 01:43:39 BDT
R. Pievaitis says:
hi guys nice posts here,but can i just add that i too disagree totally with Rm and his inclusion of iron maiden as a power metal band.no way Jose no way mate.
why ?
well i was a member of one of the founding cult groups(that means we didn,t sell much at the time but today are cool enough to dare mention that you were once a member of said group !?!?!)confused i f.....g am !anyway i digress,our band was called "Brik Marine" and we started in 1979 and our heroes were kiss,ac/dc and motorhead with some rush,sabbath,lizzy,free,bad company,led zep,purple ,hawkwind and bowie thrown in there too just to add further confusion !
now if i may give you a slice of actual history as i was there at the time.we were still coming out of the so called year zero punk stuff.obviously there were many casualties in the likes of some prog bands(not as many as are portrayed in the media though !)glam and bad pop bands eg rubettes,showwaddywaddy,mud,etc you get the drift-if not i suggest you should have been watching the whole years repeat last year of TOTP 1976 to see actually what the record buying GBP were at !-punk was not really a chart force as portrayed at all.yes and going for the one was the top selling album for 76/77 for gods sake along with the saturday night and grease fever sh!te.
so in the late 70,s the main surviving "rock" bands were priest -who were still a relatively "new" band really,UFO,lizzy and ac/dc,with motor head being a semi punk,early thrash and metal band(no-one was quite sure what they were tbh !).
sabbath were about or had exploded,led zep were in thru the out door(mmm exactly !)and purple had splintered into a 100 other minor bands-although whitesnake and rainbow did pull thru.rainbow esp were one of the pioneers of what you guys are talking about - think on you have got all the ingredients there-dios, fantasy lyrics the heavy drums of c powell (rip mate ),the awesome power and speed of r blackmore and a total package all light up underneath a 40 ft rainbow !
so my friends there you have the originating power metal band rainbow-if you have never heard "rainbow rising",then as soon as you have read this go and buy the deluxe model asap-i still have my 1st day 1st pressing and boy i can tell you what a massive influence that album was-i recall alan freeman playing tarot woman-on his saturday afternoon rock show upon its release and all he said afterwards was "my god how clean,powerful and fresh that sounds !"it did and still does.
of course across the pond we had "angel" whose debut album was around at that time and was a dam fine example of hard rock with a purple riffing element,the obligatory fantasy lyrics about towers and misty mornings etc etc and the soon to become obligatory synths of mr greg guiffria.
over here in the uk-we were all pining for some antidote to all the bad punk but still retaining the power and the intensity-so with us ,of course i can only tell you how we felt as i was there !,but we wanted to merge the speed of punk with the riffs of priest and sabbath.
so we did,along with our other friends at the time like maiden,saxon and others like preying mantis ,angel witch,tygers of pan tang and the often over looked lone star(whose 2nd album containing the awesome bells of Berlin is not to be missed at any cost folks )well suddenly we were all called the "new wave of british heavy metal" - nwobhm,we didn,t know it at the time as we were based in Wakefield and thats where we stayed !!!!
but for anyone who wishes to check out my credentials,please go to myspace and type in brik marine- watch the spelling and you will find our page.if you click on the video of a song called war machine-live version full band.you will see me to the left of the singer.playing the main riff.
but as i can recall maiden were not and never were/will be power metal-sure they have all the components as did we-but its the speed and the "intent" of the band that counts- they like us were not bothered about labels-its the shops, the stores ,the press,who need labels-we didn,t ! we were playing heavy rock-even the term"metal " was still about to be born on priests british steel album on the song called "metal gods".we were heavy rock.
but as you rightly say with shows like metal evolution,which was interesting if somewhat boring and american (of course the guys who made it were !)but imagine another complementary show being made from a uk perspective-now that would be alot better-as often the uk influence was played down or ignored all together-ie the flag bearing lonely days of 76-79-try being a rock fan in those days and it was like being a leper(sorry lepers !).
in Leeds we only ha/d st georges hall in Bradford that bands we liked played- the Leeds scene was dead-full of bad indie /punk bands we once played to a pub full of us !no one came in at all, no one !
so we only really had UFO,lizzy,ac/dc motorhead,sabbath in 77,priest of course until british steel and that was the end of them playing smaller halls for ever !
the days after sad wings and sin after sin-even john peel had them in for a session when they released killing machine-imagine that now hey !well of course not but you know what i mean ?i hope.
so there,s my tuppenenth worth,i was there right in it so to speak.so if anyone questions my right to my opinion-i have the bleeding fingers the bottled head, the blown up double linked vox ac 30,s ,the being sick due to carbon monoxide poisoning by sitting in the back of our 30 year old van with its leaking exhaust pipe to keep all the gear from crashing thru the wind screen when we braked -ive been there and seen the movie -well i was in the dam movie !
i quit the music scene due to girl friend commitments in 84 after then creating a more new wave sounding band called DNA,bit like the jam v big country.we got some success but time came and i had to choose-i chose wrongly i,m afraid,if i could rewind the clock i would have stuck 2 fingers up to the girlfriend_who i then married and subsequently divorced and ended up as a high flying suit in the insurance game.
but now at 49 and retired due to a spinal injury-a smashed cervical spine bit !i am restating my musical career at a much different level-as home studio gear is now so cheap and such good quality,i have saved up enough dosh to start my own studio based project called "bleedthefield"-a totally new sound-more proggy ,ambient,electronic pagan stuff-think sunn0>>>> meets mike oldfield ?
so i hope my story is of some use in putting the names into context of the actual times.as programmes like ME are fine but it was usa biased and they were always way behind us in rock terms=they still are -look at grunge-wtf,was it metal-no way ,ut it was rock,not metal rock though.sabbath riffs played badly with some emo guy screaming nursery lines over the top-shock rock=arthur brown did it in 1966 for gods sake.nu metal,well trapeze did that in 72/73,see what i mean,ok it was proto stuff that we were doing but the seed were there and thats the difference.
do not get me going about hair metal- the worst crime that usa ever did to music.van halen were excellent-i saw them blow sabbath off in 77-we had never heard such power and it was so fresh,but the stuff like poison and warrant -oh dear i feel sick now............
hope it helps folks and if anyone wants to chat some more i,m usually around here somewhere-mainly on the prog pages or the more esoteric music that i,m into these days.
enjoy your rock whatever flavour it comes in-i do !

Posted on 12 Jun 2012 07:42:22 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
I think you need to read the posts again RP I've never commented on Iron Maiden and their respective genre. That is of course if your reference to Rm isn't me. If that's the case I apologies.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 10:43:42 BDT
Spacepig says:
Very interesting post Richard, I will have a good read through it again this evening when I get home and try and make some kind of sense of the whole thing, not that there is much sense to be found in this whole genre thing.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 11:26:08 BDT
R. Pievaitis says:
hi my new friend yes do have a good read from the horses mouth so to speak !
genres are so idiots-its all good music or it isn,t simple hey !
personally,i own over 10,000 albums ranging from abba carpenters to zappa and way beyond that in terms of avant garde-i love the recent scott walker albums-if you think he was the singer in a 60,s boy band well he was -but think again-try the drift-a more scry album you will neverr hear in your entire life-yet not one power chord or heavy metal beat-yet it is the heaviset album i will ever probably hear-i must send you all in that direction if you are open minded and have a thirst for challenging music-away from the intro verse ,verse chorus etc etc a la def leppard and all that pop rock stuff.
do like a bit of rhapsody now and again tho !
happy listening guys !

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 11:44:44 BDT
Puffany says:
G'day Adam. I wouldn't call myself a PM 'devotee' or even a metalogist, but will say Helloween is one of my all-time fave bands. The Andi Deris Helloween is my scene. Songs with great choruses throughout their career - 'Open Your Life'.....awesome!!!
Gamma Ray have some good moments.
I suggest you take a listen to the Finnish band 'Sonata Arctica' if you're not yet familiar with them. They've got some great tracks and have a best-of type of album called 'The Collection' which is worth checking out.
I'm not sure which sub-genre Primal Fear fit in, but they've got some excellent material as well.

Rock on!

Posted on 12 Jun 2012 13:18:18 BDT
Power metal is Iron Man, anything else is just metal, simples!!!

Posted on 12 Jun 2012 13:53:39 BDT
A. D. Mutton says:
Hi All;

I own a couple of "Power Metal" albums so thought I would share my own take. To my mind "Power Metal" & "Symphonic Metal" would on the face of it appear the same (and i'm not going to argue either way).
The sound appears to originate almost solely from America but there are of course some isolated European (& no doubt Asian) acts out there.
Certainly the seemingly essential ingredients to Power metal would appear to be melodic metal (usually played at a faster speed than your conventional day to day), typically featuring highly fantasy based lyrics (usually Castles, Dragons, Sinbad the Sailor type themes etc), usually plenty of Keyboard & Guitar/Trade-off solos. Generally its all quite pompous & pretentious in a way that even Dream Theater or Iron Maiden would be proud.

Typical examples of Power Metal bands would include the aforementioned Kamelot (Karma & The Black Halo are my own personal favourites). Symphony X (Paradise Lost personally), MadSword (seemingly nobody has heard of them they are from Italy, despite sometimes dodgy English - I do appreciate they ARE Italian), Sonata as listed above. There are of course many more. Clearly the aforementioned DragonForce would probably suit the "Power Metal" tag - but clearly seem to be selling their trade on a much more acknowledged and commercial scale than some of the bands listed here (accepting maybe for Kamelot & Symphony X of course)

Whilst I also do not go out looking to pigeon-hole genres I just thought I would try to clarify the original query of "What is Power Metal". Hope this helps!

Posted on 12 Jun 2012 14:07:10 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Jun 2012 17:20:46 BDT
Symphony x power metal, no way!!! They are most definitely prog metal a la dream theater. Power metal is more the province of Europe than America. The biggest power metal hands all hail from either Germany (helloween, gamma ray, primal fear and blind guardian), Sweden (dream evil, hammerfall, nocturnal rites) and Finland with the likes of sonarta arctica.

Iron maiden are pure heavy metal and whilst they do have the big operatic singer and some fantasy based lyrics their riffs and solos are definitely traditional heavy metal. They were one of the pioneers of the NWOBHM (new wave of British heavy metal) that exploded in the Kate 70's early 80's and power metal kinda grew from that.

Very nice post Richard Pievaitis, very interesting and informative. Most if my favourite bands come from the time you describe :)

Posted on 12 Jun 2012 18:07:58 BDT
BOF © says:
"Wayne's World! Wayne's World! Party time! Excellent!"

Wayne-Party on, Garth!
Garth-Party on, Wayne!

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Stacey -Happy Anniversary, Wayne.
Wayne - Stacey, we broke up two months ago.
Stacey - Well, that doesn't mean we can't still go out.
Wayne - Well, actually it does. That's what breaking up is.

Wayne - She's a babe! Sch-wing!Olly-olly-olly-olly!

Wayne - I once thought that I had mono for a whole year. Turns out I was just really bored.

Garth - That bass player's a babe! She makes me feel kinda funny. Like when we used to climb the ropes in gym class.

Noah - Kids know dick.

Wayne - Garth, marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries.

Garth - If she were a president, she'd be Babe-raham Lincoln.

Garth - Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?

Wayne - Or imagine being magically swept away to...Delaware. Hi. I'm in Delaware.

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Wayne - That's all the time we have for our movie. We hope you found it entertaining, whimsical and yet relevant, with an underlying revisionist conceit that belied the film's emotional attachments to the subject matter.
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best bones
B.O.F.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2012 13:31:02 BDT
So it's true, the mentally challenged truely have found a voice on the internet. Well done BOF that was an extremely funny post, no really I think I've cracked a Rib.

Posted on 13 Jun 2012 14:31:41 BDT
BOF © says:
Take it you listen to Po-faced metal then, lighten up! It's only rock and roll (but I like it).
:-)
Best bones
B. O. F.
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Discussion in:  rock discussion forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  4 Jun 2012
Latest post:  18 Apr 2013

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