Power Metal

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Introduction

Power Metal is one of the sub-genres of heavy metal music that first appeared during the 1980's, drawing influence from traditional heavy metal, especially the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and speed metal. The term power metal actually refers to two different but closely related metal styles, nowadays known as US/American Power Metal (USPM) and European Power Metal (or Melodic Power Metal), named after the geographic regions in which the styles originated. Artists from either place are not tied down to playing that particular kind of power metal of course, such as the US band Kamelot who play the European style, while there are also artists from other countries who play power metal such as Brazil's Angra and Japan's Galneryus. These days power metal bands come from many places and have many different styles, documented further on. This page primarily deals with the European brand of power metal, with USPM placed under its own child sub-genre.

European Power Metal

Though it developed a little later than USPM, in the late 1980's, specifically Germany, the European, melodic power metal sound is no doubt what most first think of when the term power metal is mentioned. Indeed it is more distinct in sound than USPM, but features the same basic influences, with the key difference to USPM being that European power metal draws more heavily on the speed metal influences rather than traditional heavy metal ones. Indeed in the late 1980's power metal was instead referred to as melodic speed metal.

European power metal is widely credited to have been started by Germany's Helloween in 1987 with the release of their Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I album. Prior to that, Helloween had been a speed metal band. Blind Guardian, another popular German power metal act, had similar roots while other bands such as Grave Digger started more in the traditional heavy metal vein. Others like Running Wild blended both before becoming power metal bands later in their careers. Compared to USPM European power metal acts often feature keyboards, catchy lyrics and are generally less hard hitting, though the German scene is quite notable for its additional heaviness. Popular power metal acts from other countries include Italy's Rhapsody of Fire, Finland's Stratovarius and Sweden's Sabaton.

Sub-genres of Power Metal

Aside from the standard USPM and European power metal styles, there are a number of different sub-genres, or hybrid genres in some cases, of power metal that have since developed.

Symphonic Power Metal: A style of power metal typically only applicable to the European sound, symphonic power metal increases the use of keyboards to create a symphonic backing, drawing on classical music. The use of symphonic elements in such bands can vary greatly with some artists using them as a main element of their sound, such as Rhapsody of Fire, while some merely use symphonic elements to flavour their music, such as Avantasia. Symphonic power metal releases are always placed under power metal on MMA.

Heavy Power Metal: Not to be confused with USPM, which is closer to traditional heavy metal to begin with, this refers to a hybrid of European power metal with traditional heavy metal. Bands are typically less speed orientated than pure melodic power metal acts. HammerFall is a heavy power metal act from Sweden while Nightmare are from France. Some artists which fall into this category featured a harder hitting, more aggressive sound, such as Grave Digger of Germany, but are still considered to belong to the European power metal genre rather than USPM. They are included under power metal on MMA, although some such artists have also made albums more directly rooted in traditional heavy metal and have those tagged accordingly. Some of the older heavy power metal acts, including Grave Digger and Nightmare, started as heavy metal acts before adding power metal into their sounds later in their careers.

Folk Power Metal: The folk metal as a genre can take its metal elements from almost any other metal genre going, including power metal. Elvenking and Falconer are folk power metal bands. They are typically included under folk metal on MMA, but with cases such as Falconer where folk influences are normally minimal per album, they are included under power metal instead. Additionally some power metal artists, especially Blind Guardian but also Grave Digger, have utilised folk influences in their music.

Power-Thrash: A hybrid of power metal and thrash metal, which can be considered sister genres due to both evolving from speed metal. The so called blue collar USPM can also be considered to be power-thrash but the term typically refers to European power metal mixed with thrash metal, although the early work of Iced Earth is considered to be power-thrash. The mix of elements can vary even within the same artist with some being primarily power metal and others primarily thrash metal. As well as Iced Earth, Dark Empire and Paradox have also released power-thrash albums, while some power metal bands have included thrash metal elements in their sound in smaller amounts, such as Seven Kingdoms and Persuader. Power-thrash artists are treated on a case by case basis on MMA, for example Tales of the Weird (2012) by Paradox is placed under thrash metal, but The Fateful dark (2014) by Savage Messiah is placed under power metal.

Progressive Power Metal: Drawing influences from progressive rock and metal music as well as power metal of either the European or US variety, these acts are typically included under power metal on MMA, such as Pyramaze and Kamelot. The exception is when an artist’s progressive influences become the most recognisable thing about their sound. Illusion Suite is an example of such a progressive power metal act. Vandroya and Wuthering Heights are progressive power metal bands, the latter of which also being classifiable under folk power metal.

Neo-classical Power Metal: Melodic power metal that uses neo-classical guitar playing for its lead guitar parts. Magic Kingdom and Concerto Moon are neo-classical power metal acts, while other power metal acts such as Amberian Dawn and At Vance have incorporated aspects of neo-classical metal into their sounds. As there is no neo-classical metal sub on MMA all such acts are placed under power metal by default, while non-power metal based neo-classical acts are typically placed under traditional heavy metal, or sometimes progressive metal, with which there can also be crossover, as with Symphony X.

Extreme Power Metal: This particular sub-genre combines power metal with melodic death metal and covers artists such as Children of Bodom, the first album of Wintersun and to a lesser extent the first album from Seven Kingdoms. Extreme power metal typically features power metal music but with primarily growling vocals rather than power metal’s traditional clean singing. Such artists are treated with a case by case basis as to their placement on MMA. The genre is sometimes also called Power-Death.

Power Metal Inclusive Genres

Melodic Metal is sometimes included under Power Metal but usually under Traditional Heavy Metal. Melodic metal features a presence of melody akin to European power metal but lacks the focus on speed. Many melodic metal releases tend to use some actual power metal elements as well as hard rock and sometimes other genres. An example of a melodic metal release that is placed under power metal instead of traditional heavy metal is Arven's Black is the Colour (2013).

- Written by adg211288 (April 2013)

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • DippoMagoo (leader)
  • adg211288

power metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

SABATON The Art Of War Album Cover The Art Of War
SABATON
4.89 | 9 ratings
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SCANNER Hypertrace Album Cover Hypertrace
SCANNER
4.76 | 12 ratings
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PRIMAL FEAR Nuclear Fire Album Cover Nuclear Fire
PRIMAL FEAR
4.90 | 7 ratings
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FALCONER Among Beggars and Thieves Album Cover Among Beggars and Thieves
FALCONER
4.78 | 9 ratings
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RAGE Black in Mind Album Cover Black in Mind
RAGE
4.61 | 23 ratings
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RUNNING WILD Black Hand Inn Album Cover Black Hand Inn
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4.59 | 27 ratings
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HELLOWEEN Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 Album Cover Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2
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4.50 | 108 ratings
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REBELLION Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II Album Cover Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II
REBELLION
4.66 | 12 ratings
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GRAVE DIGGER Excalibur Album Cover Excalibur
GRAVE DIGGER
4.61 | 15 ratings
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4.58 | 19 ratings
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4.77 | 7 ratings
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PRIMAL FEAR Jaws of Death Album Cover Jaws of Death
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4.67 | 10 ratings
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power metal Music Reviews

BATTLE BEAST Unholy Savior

Album · 2015 · Power Metal
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RuneWalsh2112
With "Unholy Savior" Battle Beast continued in the same direction set by their sophomore album. The major difference this time is that the quality of the compositions have gone up a notch or maybe even two. I honestly can't find a bad track here, even the unexpected flirt with dance music on "Touch In The Night" feels somewhat charming after a few spins. This is why I feel that it was a pity that the band parted ways with guitarist Anton Kabanen right after the release of the album. Kabanen also happened to be the main songwriter in the band up to this point and his loss meant that the rest of the members had to show their songwriting chops once the have to release their next album.

This album marked the final step in the transition on the band's first three albums where they moved from Traditional Heavy Metal to pure Power Metal sound. "Unholy Savior" offers pure Power Metal bliss and I'm sure that most fans of the genre will enjoy this release.

I also enjoyed the flirt with the movie Scarface (1983) on the track "I Want The World... And Everything In It" which even features intro dialog taken directly from the movie. The band also made a cover of the song "Push It To The Limit" from the Scarface soundtrack and put it as a bonus track on "Unholy Savior".

Highly recommended album to fans of great Power Metal! It will be interesting to see how Battle Beast will manage to top this release now that Anton Kabanen is out of the band.

***** star songs: Lionheart (4:53) I Want The World... And Everything In It (4:37) Sea Of Dreams (5:01) Far Far Away (3:46)

**** star songs: Unholy Savior (5:36) Madness (4:01) Speed And Danger (4:38) The Black Swordsman (1:15) Hero's Quest (2:30) Angel Cry (3:33) Push It To The Limit (3:20)

*** star songs: Touch In The Night (4:27)

BLOODBOUND War of Dragons

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
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DippoMagoo
I’ve made it no secret over the past few years that Swedish power metal band Sabaton are one of my absolute favorites in the genre, but I’ve found myself surprised recently as offshoot band Civil War has managed to seemingly beat them at their own game, while other bands have been effectively incorporating elements of their music into their own sound to make for something a bit more unique. Which brings us to their fellow Swedes Bloodbound, a band who I’ve enjoyed a lot over the years and who especially impressed me with their 2014 release Stormborn. That release felt like a full return to the band’s classic power metal roots and on some tracks they seem to be influenced a bit by Sabaton, while still retaining their own sound. Now, not quite two and a half years later the band is back with their seventh full-length release War of Dragons, and if anything those influences are stronger this time around, with almost the entire album feeling like something I can best describe as “Sabaton on steroids.” But does this sound actually work out for the band, or are they better off going back to the drawing board and trying something different? Short answer: It works brilliantly and is easily my favorite Bloodbound release to date. For the long answer, I’ll go into more detail below.

I’ll try and avoid name dropping too much as I go along, but suffice to say on this release Bloodbound has taken the core power metal sound of Stormborn, and dialed it up to 11 on all fronts, resulting in an album full of extremely fast paced tracks, with huge anthem-like choruses, huge choral vocal sections, an increased use of symphonic elements, and of course the sound wouldn’t be complete without keyboards and that’s one area where the band has really gone all out on this release, as on past releases they played more of a minor role, where on this track they lead the way quite often and are extremely prominent throughout. But of course, one element the aforementioned band has been lacking in recent years is those heavy guitar riffs, something Bloodbound has always had. I’m sure the previous couple sentences will have some longtime fans worried that the guitars have been toned down to allow for the other elements I mentioned, but thankfully that is not the case as there are still a ton of great riffs and excellent guitar solos here, and on some tracks the guitars definitely add more of a classic metal edge, which is the one area where the band really refreshes the formula and brings something new to the table, compared to other bands who use a similar sound.

At this point, not much needs to be said about vocalist Patrik Johansson, who by now has earned his place as the voice of the band. His vocals are as powerful as ever and he can certainly deliver strongly on the heavier sections, but I find he has always excelled at the more melodic sections as he happens to be one of the best in all of metal right now when it comes to choruses, and on War of Dragons he once again delivers, singing some of the best vocal lines I’ve heard on any album in recent years. The supporting choir vocals are also extremely epic in some sections and help add to the overall symphonic feel of the album.

Songwriting is an area where the band usually does well, but up to this point, they had never released a batch of songs I’d consider perfect. That has changed with “War of Dragons”, though, as not only are there no songs I’d ever consider skipping, there aren’t any songs here I don’t absolutely love and get excited to hear every time I play the album. After a brief voice over intro, opening track “Battle in the Sky” does an excellent job of showing the listener what to expect from the album, as Patrik briefly introduces the epic chorus, before the track speeds up and the keyboards and symphonic elements quickly take over, then the guitars appear and get pretty heavy during the fast-paced verses. It’s a typically up-tempo and very fun track with a huge, instantly memorable chorus and it’s certainly a song that blew me away immediately and has stayed stuck in my head since the very first listen. Next is “Tears of a Dragonheart”, another speedy, slightly more straight-forward track where the keyboards are once again quite prominent, and it’s another really fun track overall, though its highlight comes in the middle where the choirs take over and a singer with a really deep voice briefly takes lead and the way his voice sounds makes the main inspiration for this album even more obvious.

The title track is another fast paced track, that once again delivers a great chorus and plenty of fun moments throughout, but it’s actually the slow paced, very epic lead into the chorus that stands out as the highlight, as Patrik does an especially fantastic job during this section, and the marching drums are pretty awesome. Next is “Silver Wings”, the first track that stands out as sounding a bit different, and it’s another instant winner, with its nice folk melodies leading the way, especially during the very upbeat and epic chorus, and while it’s a bit more mid-tempo compared to the first four tracks, it still moves along at a nice pace and is another very fun track. The first real mid-tempo track of the album is “Stand and Fight”, another track which wears its influences on its sleeves, as the keyboards are very prominent again and the chorus feels familiar, while still being incredibly addictive. It has another epic section with marching drums, but once again it’s the middle section that really steals the show, as first, we get a really epic vocal section, then a nice melodic solo where the pace really picks up and then we get a super speedy final run through the chorus which is just absolutely glorious and one of my favorite moments on the album.

Staying on the speedy front, “King of Swords” is probably the heaviest and most guitar driven track on the album, and its main riff has more of a raw, classic metal edge to it, though the chorus is still super melodic and catchy as always, and the keyboards are still in full force. The folk elements from “Silver Wings” are back for this track, and add a bit of extra flavor, though overall the track is definitely one of the more pure power metal tracks on the album. Likewise, “Guardians At Heaven’s Gate” is easily the most traditional power metal track on the album and probably the fastest, as well as being more guitar driven than much of the album, while once again still having a fantastic chorus, which is obviously a theme on this album. After that comes “Symphony Satana” and as that name would imply, it’s the most symphonic track on the album and the choirs are also in full force, with some very epic choral sections especially in the second half, though it’s still a very speedy track and is certainly one of the more addictive tracks on the album. Next is “Starfall”, another more mid-paced track, that again has some heavy riffs during its very enjoyable verses, while the folk elements are prominent during the chorus, which is fantastic as always. The album closes with “Dragons Are Forever”, yet another very speedy track with strong symphonic influences, though anything some of the guitar melodies here reminds me more of Dragonforce, especially during the solo section, though obviously, the song is much catchier and more straight-forward than anything by that band.

I only left out one track during that rundown, that being “Fallen Heroes”. The reason for that isn’t because I think it’s a weak link. Instead, it’s because I think it stands out, both as being the only really slow track on the album, but also as possibly my favorite. Right from the opening keyboard notes and brief tease at the chorus it becomes obvious it’s the kind of track a certain band wishes they could have written first, as the keyboards are even more prominent than on any other track on the album and while it does very much fall into the formula of the aforementioned band, everything here just feels better and more epic, with those keyboards being more epic than usual, the choirs being fantastic, the verses being fun and that chorus being just absolutely spectacular, especially during the final run through.

Overall, War of Dragons is a fantastic power metal album and while Bloodbound has clearly been influenced heavily by other bands this time around, they have managed to take those influences and fit them in perfectly with their own sound, making for easily their best and most addictive release to date. In fact, I’d say this is one of my favorite power metal albums of this decade so far, and I’d highly recommended it for any fan of the genre, especially anyone who doesn’t mind a heavy use of keyboards and symphonic elements, as all songs here are amazing and some of the vocal melodies just have to be heard.

originally written for myglobalmind.com: http://myglobalmind.com/2017/02/11/bloodbound-war-dragons-review/

PRIMAL FEAR Jaws of Death

Album · 1999 · Power Metal
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Warthur
Swooping out of the night like their mascot, Primal Fear offer up a tough, hard-edged, heavy style of power metal which should shut down any suggestion that good German power metal necessarily comes with a generous helping of cheese. With, tougher, thrashier riffs than is typical for the European power metal scene (reminiscent of perhaps the faster, darker moments of early Iron Maiden) and Ralf Scheepers' knack for investing his vocals with a suitable sense of urgency, this album is likely to win over even those who are otherwise lukewarm to power metal. Like any crow or raven, Primal Fear ignore the cheeseboard in favour of tearing off tasty chunks of meat.

SEVEN KINGDOMS Decennium

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
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DippoMagoo
Using crowdfunding platforms to help fund albums has become increasingly more popular among metal bands in the past few years. One recent example of this is Decennium, the fourth full-length release from American Power Metal band Seven Kingdoms. The band had released three albums previously, but for both the new album and the preceding EP In the Walls (which featured two songs from the album as well as two re-recording tracks from their debut) the band used Kickstarter to allow their fans to help support the making of the music. The result, is an album that diehard fans of the band are sure to enjoy, especially those who loved their previous album, The Fire is Mine, as this one very much feels like a more polished continuation of that sound.

I first discovered Seven Kingdoms with their self-titled second album, which was quite the interesting release because their debut Brothers of the Night felt like some kind of hybrid with a mix of power metal, thrash and melodic death metal elements, where the self-titled release still featured some death growls and thrash elements, but it also saw the band pushing towards more of a classic European power metal sound, and so that made for quite the varied and interesting release. Personally, it ranks as my favorite by the band, with Brothers of the Night following closely behind. With The Fire is Mine, the band removed the most controversial element of their music, that being the death growls, and on the whole it was a much more focused album, leaning much closer to a traditional power metal sound. This trend has continued with Decennium, and if anything I’d say it has even less of the thrash elements found on their older albums and is very much a classic twin guitar power metal release through and through.

Musically, fans can expect some excellent guitar work, as both guitarists do a great job and there’s a ton of great riffs, fun solos and some excellent melodic leads throughout the album, with each track striking the right balance between heavy and melodic. Most tracks are very speedy, with occasional changes in tempo, though this is mostly just alternating between moderately fast and extremely fast. Vocally, Sabrina sounds as good as ever, with her crystal clear voice suiting the more melodic sound very well, and her soaring vocals drive the choruses, though she does get to show a bit more power at times as well, most notably on “Undying” and the verses of “Stargazer”. I think I’m in the minority for liking the growls on their first two albums, but at this point, I don’t miss them too much because Sabrina does a great job of carrying the songs on her own. On a technical level, everything sounds crisp, powerful and very tight, and I’d say the production quality is better than on any of their previous albums, so at least in that regard, it’s easily their best work to date.

Moving on to songwriting, things get a bit more problematic. Don’t get me wrong: There aren’t any bad songs here. In fact, I’d say the songs all range from good to excellent. As I mentioned before, all tracks are up tempo throughout, with some tracks alternating between moderately fast and super fast, and there are great choruses here as well as some excellent instrumental work, but compared to the first two albums, I find the songwriting more limited and lacking surprises. There are no ballads, no epic length tracks like the two previous albums had, and really nothing unique or surprising to change things up even a little bit, which I find disappointing just because of how good the band’s songwriting has been in the past. Obviously, I know the band has changed their sound over the years so I wouldn’t expect them to bring back the growls of thrash elements on their first two albums, but I would like to see them try and be a bit more inventive and more varied even while staying within the more classic power metal sound they’ve gone for here, in the future. Basically, if this album had been a debut I’m sure I would have been blown away and likely raised my score up a notch, but because I know what this band is capable of, I’m left wanting just a bit more.

With that one negative paragraph out of the way, let’s move on to some highlights. Opening track “Stargazer” come out blazing right away, with its super speedy verses delivering some great riffs and Sabrina singing with a bit more power than usual, while the gang vocals that lead into the chorus are cool and the chorus itself is great. Overall, it’s an excellent track that gives a pretty good idea of what to expect from the rest of the album. After that, the two tracks from the EP are up, with “Undying” being another fairly solid track, while “In the Walls” is my favorite, as it feels like the band has dialed it up to 11 in all areas: The riffs are super powerful, the vocals are very melodic and soaring, as usual, the pace is frantic and the chorus is fantastic and super catchy. Likewise, “The Faceless Hero” is fairly straightforward but has a lot of energy to it, while “Neverending” is an excellent single and has probably the best chorus on the album.

Aside from those tracks, everything else is solid, though not as memorable as I’d like. There are some attempts to change things up a bit, but they’re all very brief and don’t lead to much. For example, “Castles in the Snow” has more mid-paced verses and the vocal melodies are fairly unique and different, but once the song gets going it becomes a less remarkable, more straight-forward track. Likewise, “Kingslayer” has a nice soft opening section, but then it speeds up quickly and the rest of the track is solid but doesn’t really stand out. Lastly, where the two previous record had epic length closing tracks that sounded pretty unique and different, “Awakened from Nothing” is a solid track, with a slight thrash edge to its riffs, but it doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the album on the whole.

I’ve been perhaps a bit harder on Seven Kingdoms in this review than I’d like, but that’s partially because I love their music and I think they’re capable of giving a bit more than what they’ve delivered here. At the same time, I would say this is their most polished album to date, and musically it’s still a very well made album, so here’s the bottom line: If you’re looking for an album full of speedy, melodic power metal, with excellent female vocals and a slight edge to the riffs, then Decennium is sure to please you, as that’s exactly what it delivers for about 52 minutes. I think fans of The Fire is Mine should also be pleased, as the album feels like a more polished, though even more narrowly focused version of that album. Fans who prefer either or both of their first two albums may have mixed feelings like I do, but I’d still say it’s worth checking out as it’s still a great release overall, and I’m definitely still looking forward to hearing more from the band in the future.

originally written for myglobalmind.com: http://myglobalmind.com/2017/01/13/seven-kingdoms-decennium-review/

VICTORIUS Heart of the Phoenix

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
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DippoMagoo
It’s always fun to see an up and coming metal band that starts off showing promise and then manages to improve with each and every new album until they one day become a force to be reckoned with. One such young power metal band that I’ve been a fan of for a few years now is Germany’s Victorius, a band that supposedly got off to a rocky start with their debut Unleash the Titans (their one album I have yet to hear,) but with their sophomore effort The Awakening they were already showing signs of being a great melodic power metal band with just a slightly dark edge to their riffs at times, and then their third album Dreamchaser came and seamlessly blended the happy power metal songs and occasional darker tones of the previous album, and this led to the band fully establishing their sound and becoming a band for fans of the genre to watch out for. Now with their latest effort, Heart of the Phoenix, the band has only improved further and released easily their best album to date.

Stylistically, I’d describe Victorius as falling somewhere in between the unrelenting speedy assault of a band like Dragonforce, and the cheery, infectiously catchy melodies and choruses of Freedom Call, though they add in just a bit of an extra edge to their riffs to give the songs a bit more power, as well as occasionally getting a bit darker than either of those bands, though obviously they’re a rather happy sounding band for the most part. The music on Heart of the Phoenix is mainly guitar driven and alternates between being fairly heavy times and being very nice and melodic at other times, though the band also includes some keyboards on a few tracks as well as occasional symphonic elements, though these are only really prominent on the closing track.

The songs here are almost all very fast paced and straightforward, relying on the excellent melodies and extremely catchy choruses, of which there are plenty on the album. While the album does tend to follow a formula for most of the tracks, the band includes a ton of memorable sections to help distinguish each track as well as including a couple surprises, so I find the songs don’t blend together like on some albums I’ve reviewed recently. Vocalist David Baßin has a pretty unique voice that sounds fairly typical for a power metal singer, and yet he fits the music very well and does a great job of delivering the choruses, and well as bringing a ton of energy and some power to the heavier sections. His voice actually reminds me a bit of Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria more than it does any other power metal singer I’ve heard, except his voice is a bit deeper and has a bit more grit.

Songwriting is one area where the band has improved greatly over the years, as The Awakening varied a bit in quality with some excellent tracks, some solid tracks and a couple tracks that didn’t quite work for me, while Dreamchaser was consistently great throughout but without too many standouts, where Heart of the Phoenix manages to nail the perfect balance between being consistently excellent and still having a few songs that stand out from the pack as being extra special. First up, opening track “Shadowwariors” comes firing out of the gate and is a very speedy track with energetic verses and great riffs to go along with the instantly catchy and fun chorus. This track is very much indicative of the album on the whole and serves as a great introduction to the band for newcomers. Next up, “Hero” opens with a nice orchestral intro before speeding up and turning into one of the best songs on the album. The verses make use of some gang vocals and are fairly heavy, where the chorus uses some synth effects and very much reminds me of Freedom Call in its energy and in how cheesy it sounds.

Another early highlight is “Sons of Orion”. The band doesn’t have any keyboardist listed in their lineup, but this track makes nice use of keyboards for added atmosphere, especially early on and this helps separate from the rest of the album, while the chorus is fast paced and super fun as usual. Following this is the title track, one of the fastest and hardest hitting tracks on the album, and then after that comes possibly my favorite track, the lead single “Empire of the Dragonking”. This track has some of that extra edge I mentioned earlier, as right from the start it feels a bit heavier and more epic than the rest of the album, and towards the end there’s a really intense section where the guitars get extra heavy and David’s vocals get more aggressive, while even the verses hit a bit harder than usual, and of course the chorus is extremely catchy and fantastic as always, probably even the best on the album. One other heavier track is “Virus”, which has a slight thrash edge during the verses” and is yet another very fast paced track with a fun chorus.

The album doesn’t feature any ballads or any epic length tracks, but there are a couple songs that stand out from the pack as being slightly different. First up is “Die by My Sword”, more of a mid-tempo track with some heavy guitars and gritty vocals during the verses, which give way to a pretty epic chorus, though it doesn’t quite get as cheery or fun as most tracks on the album. It’s a great track, though, and serves as a nice change of pace. Lastly, the closing track “A Million Lightyears” is the slowest on the album and it feels like they decided to push as far as they could with the symphonic elements, which already results in a much different sounding track, and then you add in guest female vocals from Viktorie Surmøvá, and the track really stands out. The female vocals are very nice and turn the track into a nice duet with yet another outstanding chorus, and it is perhaps the most melodic track on the entire album, as well as another favorite.

Overall, Heart of the Phoenix is the best album yet from the very promising German power metal band Victorius, and it provides fans of the genre with more of the kind of fast-paced, epic and super happy songs they’ve come to expect. Highly recommended for all power metal fans who like fun choruses and just a slight edge to their riffs, as this is certainly one of the better albums I’ve heard recently and an early favorite for 2017.

originally written for myglobalmind.com: http://myglobalmind.com/2017/01/31/victorius-heart-phoenix-review/

power metal movie reviews

BETO VÁZQUEZ INFINITY 15 Years Alive LTD Edition

Movie · 2016 · Power Metal
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m3g52
A year ago Beto Vazquez Infinity met its 15 years ... And gave us a feast with joy, good music and diversity. And now we have the fruit in a DVD accompanied with 2 CDs with all the live sound of this recital. The show presented in this DVD contains a section of his classics, then a middle section where all played more Prog Metal and left many open mouths and an end to all motor either energizing. The DVD and limited edition cd show impeccable quality. Everything is divided as follows: The first part of the show was the memories, issues conodcidos discography BVI, renewed and with new energy, with the voices of Caro Guedes, Vero Libre, Casti and Pereyra on a solid band. The band shows with ease, stressed this fact with good camera movements. The sound and picture quality gives a good sense of what was experienced in that reecital of celebration of 15 years. Then began the most difficult part in stage movement, instrumentation and personnel. Metal Prog most part, higher flight, which leaves more than one amazed. Flutes game, rhythm guitars, harp, saxophone and a chorus that vibrated in states of metal, prog and Ethnic ... The third part returns to the strength of metal with Devil Vision by Caro flawless interpretation of Guedes and choirs Nadia Mancini, a soprano who gives the exact support. A material that is worth having, especially if you want to discover Beto Vazquez Infinity, risky in a scene (the Argentina) where it is very difficult for independent bands to achieve, first that recital that is documented, much less achieve DVD + CD unsupported's the big distributors.

ANGRA Angels Cry: 20th Anniversary Tour

Movie · 2013 · Power Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Angels Cry 20th Anniversary Live is a 2013 concert Blu-ray by the Brazilian Progressive/Power Metal band Angra. It features the line-up with Italian singer Fabio Lione (ex-Labyrinth, Rhapsody of Fire) on vocals performing material from all eras of the discography passionately – with some interesting guest appearances including Tarja Turunen (ex- Nightwish), Uli Jon Roth (ex-Scorpions), Amilcar Christófaro (Torture Squad) and the Familia Lima string section.

This set has quite high production values. Visually; the thing is an absolute gem. Top notch image quality, great camera work with tasteful editing, and the actual stage show contains interesting video screens with eye catching imagery. Its all just great for the eyeballs, which is why you’re getting a video recording and not an audio recording anyway, right? Well this is totally worth every penny in the visual department.

Sonically, the recording is crystal clear. You can hear every single note, every different drum and cymbal. Its like a Rush concert or something – brilliant clarity and definition. The only thing that’s not absolutely perfect is that in the stereo mix, the rhythm guitar is not as heavy as some of the studio versions, but it is still a brilliant mix nonetheless. Best of all; The performance is beyond stellar; Fabio nails it recreating the band’s different singers’ work well and injects some of his own flair into the proceedings. The guitar solos are out of this world and the tireless drumming of Ricardo Confessori sounds great. Listening to and watching the interesting music is an absolute joy.

Highlights include the fantastic renditions of ‘Evil Warning,’ ‘Nothing To Say’ and the fantastic set closer ‘Nova Era.’ The enthusiastic São Paulo audience seem really into it.

Overall; Its an absolutely great concert DVD on a technical level, and better still it’s a great concert in and of itself. The line-up is strong, the setlist is great and the guest musicians add an extra layer of interest. I highly recommend this to fans of the band, fans of this end of the musical spectrum, and fans of good quality concert recordings. It would be an unquestionable treat for existing fans but would also work really well as a first purchase for newcomers

STRATOVARIUS Under Flaming Winter Skies - Live in Tampere

Movie · 2012 · Power Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Under Flaming Winter Skies, Live In Tampere is the first official concert Blu-Ray by the legendary Finnish Power Metal band Stratovarius. It was filmed in Tampere, Finland on the Jörg Michael farewell tour and as such the crowd interaction is in Finnish (with English subtitles) and Jörg gives the crowd a farewell speech. In part, the setlist is built around him, such as the inclusion of `Speed Of Light’ because it was the first song he ever played with the band… although to be fair they’d have probably played that anyway. The main feature lasts around 1hr 52mins and contains 22 tracks, which works out as 17 songs when you discount the intro, guitar solo, bass solo, keyboard solo and speech. There’s a Deep Purple (`Burn’) and The Who (`Behind Blue Eyes’) cover in there, as well as all the fan favourites you’d expect like `Eagleheart’ `Kiss Of Judas’ `Hunting High And Low’ `Paradise’ `Father Time’ `Black Diamond’ etc

The picture is absolutely fantastic, clear and sharp. Its helped a lot by a great but subtle stage show with intelligent use of lighting, and not too much dry ice as well as a tasteful and sensible editing job that is fast and contains enough movement to keep your interest but is slow and still enough so that you can appreciate the actual musicianship (of each member, as none are overlooked.)

The sound is even better with an absolutely crystal clear mix in which you can hear every stoke of every drum, each key get pressed (without the keys being too loud and overpowering the Metal) and every note the bass plays. The vocals are impressive and the crowd noise doesn’t overpower them, even though they sing almost every word and best of all, it all actually seems to be live and not obviously mimed or overdubbed (or indeed out-of-sync). In general, its just one of the best concert audio mixes that I’ve heard so far and very solid visually as well.

The biggest thing in this concert’s favour however is the sheer enthusiasm of the performance; the band are so into it and absolutely deliver on all levels. They are very interactive with the crowd, they interact with each other, Jörg twists and throws his sticks around, the guitars and mic stands are enthusiastically moved around and generally the band just look like they love being there.

In terms of extras; the booklet has a lot of high-quality photos and a little written interview with Jörg. The disc has a bonus 5.1 mix of the track `Elysium’ and there is a 29 minute documentary called `Rewinding From The Past To 2012.’ In terms of Blu-Ray Statistics; the screen format is 1080i/29,97/16:9(1,78:1) and the audio format is DTS HD MA 2.0/5.1 (although the documentary is only available in stereo), the disc format is BD-50 and the region code is: A/B/C.

Overall; this is an excellent, well made and masterfully performed concert Blu-Ray and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who’s into this sort of thing.

HELLOWEEN Helloween - High Live

Movie · 1997 · Power Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
High Live is a concert DVD by the legendary German Power Metal band Helloween, recorded in Milan, Italy (and Gerona, Spain) in 1996 on the Time Of The Oath tour.

The main feature is a scorching 84-minute concert, in which an energetic and totally on-form band blast through a lot of material from Master Of The Rings and Time Of The Oath to an enthusiastic crowd. Just going off the performance, this is an absolute 5-star live album.

Songs like “Sole Survivor,” “Before The War” and “Power” sound absolutely blistering here, and I’d highly recommend checking it out on that basis. Andi’s vocals on his own material are absolutely excellent on this release, and Uli’s powerful, understated drumming absolutely kills.

There are a few downsides to the overall product however, such as the picture being a little soft and not the sharpest. The sound is pretty great in one way, and you really get that “live feel,” but you have to turn it up fairly loud for it to become clear, as things can sound a bit muddy on low volumes. Nothing show-destroying though.

The other potential downside is that at the end of some songs, it stops, when they cut to the other concert (eg. from Italy to Spain) and the transition isn’t perfectly smooth, which may interrupt the flow a little. Luckily this never happens in the middle of songs or anything outrageous like that, and for the most part isn’t actually too disruptive.

Apart from that, this is a pretty great main feature all round, and shows the band proving why they are still one of the biggest names in Power Metal. In terms of bonus features: There is a text “History” feature, a discography feature and a photo gallery. All your standard ‘90s DVD extras that don’t add too much really, but look good written on the back of the box.

There is also a five minute “review” feature by Malcome Dome, which is a brief Metal Evolution style history lesson with a mixture of archive footage of the band and talking-head footage of Dome. The dialogue is a bit stiff and the audio is a bit muffled, but as a free extra its still worth a watch.

The track-listing for the main concert is:

1. We Burn 2. Wake Up The Mountain 3. Sole Survivor 4. The Change 5. Why 6. Eagle Fly Free 7. Time Of The Oath 8. Future World 9. Dr. Stein 10. Before The War 11. Mr Ego 12. Power 13. Where The Rain Grows 14. In The Middle Of A Heartbeat 15. Perfect Gentleman 16. Steel Tormentor

Overall; If you like the band, especially if you like the Deris era, then it’s a pretty worthwhile purchase. It shows the band at their Europe-conquering best, dripping with enthusiasm and playing like they mean it. The sound and editing are a tiny bit imperfect, but the band themselves more than make up for it. Comment

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