Power Metal

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Power Metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music created during the 1980’s. The term refers to two related but distinctly different styles of metal, commonly known as US power metal (USPM) and European power metal (Melodic Power Metal), after the geographic regions in which they originated. The stylistic origins of the genre can be traced back to the 1970’s, where artists such as Ronnie James Dio and Judas Priest laid down the groundwork for what would become staples of the power metal sound, including the lyrical themes, vocal style and use of twin lead guitars. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM) is considered to be an important influence on the European power metal sound in particular. The musical forerunners of power metal are considered to be traditional heavy metal and speed metal. As both USPM and European power metal refer to the regional origin of the styles it is perfectly possible for artists to come from one region and play the style of the other, such as Kamelot, a US band who plays European power metal, while artists from other regions such as Angra (Brazil) and Galneryus (Japan) also play power metal.

US power metal developed first, during the early 1980’s. It is much closer in sound to traditional heavy metal than the later European power metal, but typically played faster. High register vocals are common and artists put emphasis on melodic guitar leads, making it distinct from thrash metal, of which there can be some crossover with, such as Iced Earth. The music features a relative lack of keyboards compared to European power metal. USPM bands can be categorised into two groups, known as blue collar USPM and white collar USPM. Blue collar features a harder hitting thrashy sound while white collar is more melodic and progressive. Popular USPM bands include Jag Panzer, Vicious Rumors, Helstar and Virgin Steele.

European power metal (also known as melodic power metal) developed a bit later and was pioneered by the German band Helloween, who started as a speed metal band. The turning point for Helloween from speed metal to power metal is considered to be between their first two full-lengths, Walls of Jericho (1985) and Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I (1987) and so 1987 is considered to be the starting point of the European power metal genre. The style is much more distinct from its roots than USPM, drawing much more on speed metal, and is perhaps the sound most people think of when presented with the term power metal. European power metal is characterised by fast percussive like guitar riffs, and strong focus on melody, with artist line-ups often including a full time keyboardist. The sound is regarded as more uplifting compared to the many other sub-genres of metal music. Popular European power metal bands also include Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian (both German), Stratovarius (from Finland). Rhapsody of Fire (from Italy) and Sabaton (from Sweden).

Power metal has developed several different variations in addition to the USPM and European standards, mostly in the form of hybrid genres:

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).

Neoclassical Metal is sometimes included under power metal dependent on the direction of the riffs in the music (see Neoclassical Power Metal description above). Neoclassical metal artists can also be commonly found under the Traditional Heavy Metal and Progressive Metal sections of the MMA.

- Written by adg211288 (April 2013)

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • adg211288
  • DippoMagoo
  • Unitron

power metal top albums

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FALCONER Among Beggars and Thieves Album Cover Among Beggars and Thieves
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PHARAOH The Longest Night Album Cover The Longest Night
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ANCIENT BARDS Soulless Child Album Cover Soulless Child
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power metal Music Reviews

CIVIL WAR Gods and Generals

Album · 2015 · Power Metal
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DippoMagoo
When it comes to epic heavy/power metal anthems based around historical battles, one band that immediately comes to mind is Swedish group Sabaton, who by this point have mastered their own style. In 2012, four members of the band (Rikard Sundén, Oskar Montelius, Daniel Mÿhr and Daniel Mullback) left and decided to start their own band Civil War, along with bassist Stefan Eriksson and vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson. The next year their debut The Killer Angels was released, and while Nils Patrik helped add a unique flavor to the sound, and musically it was a really solid release, I found too many songs bordered on straight up imitation (“I Will Rule the Universe” in particular felt nearly indistinguishable from many mid tempo Sabaton tracks, aside from the vocals.) It was a quality debut, no doubt, but I was left hoping the band would do better next time. Now in 2015, after going through some lineup changes (including the departure of original members Oskar and Stefan, as well as the addition of guitarist Petrus Granar) they’ve returned with a revamped sound, ready to unleash their second full length release Gods and Generals. This time around I think they’ve struck the right balance between sticking close to their roots and being more creative with their songwriting, which has resulted in an early 2015 favorite of mine, and certainly a big upgrade from their debut.

As expected, Gods and Generals has a few very bombastic speedier tunes which deliver the kind of epic power metal this lineup excels at. However, many tracks are surprisingly more laid back, starting off slowly with keys, orchestras and percussion, before building up to the huge choruses and melodies fans would expect. There are still times where the guitars come through, in fact on a couple tracks the riffs get surprisingly heavy, but on the whole this album is much more dominated by vocals, keys, orchestras and even the drums at times. I find the production much cleaner on the faster songs this time around, which gives added power to those tracks, but somewhat surprisingly, it’s the slower and more melodic tracks that sound the most impressive. As with any album of this type, listeners can expect a nice balance between speedier tracks and mid tempo tracks, though this album also has a few surprisingly calm and slower songs, so there’s a pretty good variety to the songs.

As on The Killer Angels, vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson is the member who most helps to set the band apart from the rest. I always loved his dynamic vocals he displayed with Wuthering Heights over the course of three albums, but I found his work with Astral Doors to be solid but more limited. On The Killer Angels he added an extra edge to the music, which helped give the band an identity of their own even on the more familiar sounding tracks, and this time around it feels like the band has shifted their sound just a bit to help emphasize his vocals even more. The perfect example of this is “Braveheart”, a very theatrical sounding mid paced track which starts out with keys and orchestra before Nils Patrik takes over, and it’s his epic high pitched wails that help turn an already great song into an instant classic. At the same time, the softer tracks allow him to use his vastly underrated lower register, which sounds as impressive as ever on tracks like “Tears From the North” and “Admiral Over the Oceans”.

Instead of starting off with an intro track, album opener “War of the World” kicks off slowly, with keyboards and orchestras, lasting for around a minute or so, before the rest of the band kicks in and the tempo instantly picks up, turning into the fastest song on the album, as well as one of the catchiest. I like how the guitars have a more distinct sound to them, right off the bat, with more of that classic galloping guitar sound, which goes a long way towards avoiding the feel of sameyness that plagued the faster tracks on the debut. The chorus is certainly a highlight, but the epic guitar solo certainly isn’t far behind, and overall it’s one of my favorite album openers I’ve heard so far in the first half of 2015. Lead single “Bay of Pigs” keeps the momentum going. It’s a much slower, heavier track where Nils Patrik gets to really shine, especially during the chorus. Once again, though, it’s those amazing guitar melodies in the middle that help bring the song to that next level, making it another instant favorite. I already mentioned the next track, so moving on we have yet another favorite (and yeah, I guess this is the part where I should just admit most of these songs are “favorites”, I can’t help myself,) “The Mad Piper”. This is one of those the tracks where the band really surprised me by doing something just a bit different, as the bagpipes and marching drums at the start immediately give the song more of a war anthem feel, and this carries on the whole way through, with the chorus once again being spectacular, and Nils Patrik steals the show again, especially during the last minute.

Around halfway through we finally get another speedier song in “USS Monitor”, and there’s not much to say about it, except that it’s another great example of how to do epic power metal the right way. After this, the only other really fast paced song is the closing title track, which has possibly the best chorus on the album. Out of the two remaining mid tempo tracks, “Admiral Over the Oceans” is a more melodic track which again shows off the greatly improved guitar work, along with featuring a rather tongue in cheek line during the chorus (|”If you don’t understand, read the history book”), while “Back to Iwo Jima” is probably the heaviest track on the album, especially during the instrumental sections. Lastly, we have the two ballads. “Schindlers’s Ark” is a nice power ballad with great vocal melodies, an effective use of orchestras and choirs as well as obviously a great chorus, but it actually stands out as my least favorite on the album, mostly because of how superior the other ballad “Tears From the North” is. Again, the drums add more of a war anthem feel, and this combined with Nils Patrik, the orchestras, and especially the backing choirs vocals, adds up together to make for an incredibly epic metal ballad.

After hearing The Killer Angels several times, I initially considered Civil War to be a much lesser version of Sabaton. This feeling only increased further after hearing the latter band’s 2014 effort Heroes, which immediately grabbed my attention and never let go. With Gods and Generals, Civil War have proven themselves to be on an equal level, by creating an insanely addictive collection of war anthems which at times feel familiar but overall manage to add enough new elements in to make them stand out. One of my top 3 favorite early 2015 albums, and highly recommended for fans of epic heavy/power metal.

(originally written for myglobalmind: http://myglobalmind.com/2015/05/20/civil-war-gods-and-generals-review/)

RUNNING WILD Black Hand Inn

Album · 1994 · Power Metal
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adg211288
Black Hand Inn (1994) is the eighth full-length studio album by German power/heavy metal act Running Wild. The album brought more changes to the ever unstable line-up of the band with Thilo Hermann (guitars) and Jörg Michael (drums) joining Rock 'n' Rolf's (vocals, guitars) pirate crew, replacing Axel Morgan and Stefan Schwarzmann respectively, while Thomas "Bodo" Smuszynski (bass) has stuck around from the Pile of Skulls (1992) line-up. This line-up would go on to also record Masquerade (1995) and The Rivalry (1998) so Black Hand Inn can actually be considered the beginning of one of Running Wild's more stable periods. Some versions of the album include the bonus tracks Poisoned Blood and Dancing on a Minefield, which are the b-sides to the album's single, The Privateer.

The album itself is a loose concept piece surrounding the character of John Xenir, who is burned at the stake for his use of forbidden powers. All that is left of John after his execution is a charred black hand, which results in the hill upon which he died being renamed Black Hand Hill. Later an inn is opened, the titular Black Hand Inn, owned by the resurrected John Xenir. Set against a backdrop of piracy, as you'd expect of a Running Wild release from this period, John continues to use his powers to predict the future, including a oncoming Armageddon. This part of the album is based on the book The 12th Planet by Zecharia Sitchin.

While the music on the album is quite typical for the band during their power metal years, featuring their quite distinctive guitar driven sound with a strong traditional metal edge, it's less typical of the genre as a whole. The band leave out the use of keyboards and the music is not over-polished on the production front, while they keep the speedy riffs and the melodies of power metal intact. This gives the band quite the old school sound, which is fair to expect for one of the earliest bands to turn to power metal after starting out in more of a speed metal direction. Rock 'n' Rolf's vocals aren't the soaring and powerful kind of most power metal bands either but rawer and more direct. This doesn't stop the band from producing a number of catchy tracks on the album. It's probably the Running Wild album with the most hooks. The choruses here are really infectious; songs that make you want to play them over and over and they'll always be as good each time and stuck in your head for a while afterwards. This is especially true of tracks like Soulless and The Privateer.

The most different track on the album is Genesis (The Making and the Fall of Man) mostly because unlike everything else which sticks between the three and seven minute marks it's an epic length track at over fifteen minutes. It's probably the album's only true weak link as I think that's just a bit long for a single track in Running Wild's style, though it certainly still has its moments that are on the level with the rest of the album. It's just that a bit of trimming wouldn't have hurt. It's long even if you discount the use of narration at the beginning and end of the track and not the best way to end what is already quite a substantial album even before it starts, the previous tracks bringing things up to around the 50 minute mark. It's only a small issue though and it doesn't affect my overall regard for the album.

Running Wild had a pretty consistent career for their first ten albums, never really dropping below a 'good' level but it's Black Hand Inn that has really stuck me as the group's best work, despite some close competition. They seem to have since lost their way some with more recent efforts, but for those looking for some rawer, old school sounding power metal of the kind that most other acts just don't offer, there's probably none finer than Running Wild during their heyday, with Black Hand Inn being the ideal starting point. 5 Stars. A power metal classic, for my money.

GOTHIC KNIGHTS Gothic Knights

Album · 1996 · Power Metal
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UMUR
"Gothic Knights" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by US, Brooklyn, New York based heavy/power metal act Gothic Knights (formed in 1990). The album was released through Sentinel Steel Records in 1996. The original release was limited to 1700 copies.

The music on the album is traditional sounding heavy metal with occasional harder edged US power metal moments. Lead vocalist Rick "Warlock" Sanchez is a versatile singer and his delivery is convincing if not too original. The instrumental part of the music is pretty basic with a pounding rhythm section and guitarist John Tzantis as the most dominant player. The guitar production needs a mention in the same breath, as it´s really powerful and commanding. The rest of the instruments and the vocals feature a decent production but not a sound on the same level as the guitars. John Tzantis playing might be the highlight here, and he certainly is a decent guitarist, but it should be mentioned that I don´t think he´s on fire or anything on that level. Just really well playing.

The 8 tracks on the 37:58 minutes long album are all well written and catchy. Most of them are powerful mid- to fast paced heavy metal bashers with memorable choruses but there´s a power ballad in there too, which is good for the variation of the album. Some tracks stand out more than others (I´d like to mention the raw and powerful "Bridgekeeper"), but as mentioned above all tracks are well written.

Overall "Gothic Knights" is a great heavy metal album, that might lack in the originality department and that could have prospered from a slightly more powerful sound production, but those are actually minor issues, when taking into consideration all the good things featured on the album. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

BLIND GUARDIAN Beyond the Red Mirror

Album · 2015 · Power Metal
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666sharon666
Blind Guardian are undeniably one of the biggest power metal bands to have ever existed. But despite the high regard that I and many others have for them if they have one fault it's that they're pretty slow at making their albums, just ten in the twenty-seven years since their debut Battalions of Fear, the latest of which is 2015's Beyond the Red Mirror. They get away with this because when they do release an album it's of a higher quality than pretty much any other artist in the power metal genre. This one is no exception, in fact for me it's their best in twenty years.

Most people seem to be describing this album as Blind Guardian's foray into symphonic power metal territory but I really don't get that. They're been using symphonic metal elements for a while now and there aren't any more here than on any of their other albums, a few very symphonic tracks like The Ninth Wave but overall it's too varied between different takes on power metal to pigeonhole it like that. Maybe someone stole them from my copy, because I'm not hearing what other people seem to be hearing. A good chunk of the album is more in line with Imaginations from the Other Side, especially The Holy Grail which could easily be a lost track from that album. That's probably why it's my favourite, along with Twilight of the Gods, Ashes of Eternity and Sacred Mind. There aren't any bad tracks, though the album did take quite a few spins to grow on me whereas others they've done were more immediate.

DISTANT SUN Dark Matter

Album · 2015 · Power Metal
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adg211288
Dark Matter (2015) is the debut full-length album by Russian power/thrash metal act Distant Sun. Distant Sun have existed for a few years now and previously released the EP Sunless Citadel (2011) but seem to have been completely silent in the intervening years, possibly due to the membership's involvement in other bands, which includes Shadow Host and Starsoup.

The connection to Shadow Host is pretty apparent in the music found on Dark Matter. The album presents a quite similar style to that found on the other band's Apocalyptic Symphony (2013) album, which Distant Sun's Alexey Markov also sang on. This is primarily a guitar driven kind of power metal but with a very strong thrash metal side which not only gives some great power-thrash tracks but also results in ones like the opening Prophet of the Mean, which barely have anything to do with power metal. The vocals are quite harsh and raw sounding (not growling but not that far off from that more extreme territory either), though true to the form of power metal there is still plenty of room for catchy choruses. There's lots of aggression in both the music and the vocals, but the album does also offer up a softer, more melodic side with a laid back pace, as heard in parts of the title track before the band launches into some bursts of the power metal speed. There's also an acoustic track to be had in Gifts of Journey, which unlike with other power metal albums, especially aggressive power metal albums like Dark Matter, doesn't hurt the album's flow.

Dark Matter is a pretty solid record, combing the energy of power metal with the rawness of thrash metal to great effect. Track highlights for me have to be Kill the Fremen, Dark Matter, Matrix Hacked and Zero to Hero. As the production job on the album isn't over-polished even though the actual style of the power metal riffs is quite typically European the album as a whole may find more listeners in USPM and thrash camps, though fans of the German brand as played by an act like Grave Digger will probably want to give Distant Sun a try as well. This debut album from the Russian group isn't exactly revolutionary within the genre, but these guys know their stuff and throw in an impressive variety to make it stand out. 4 Stars.

power metal movie reviews

ICED EARTH Live in Ancient Kourion

Movie · 2013 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Live In Ancient Kourion is a live concert Blu-Ray from the American Power Metal band Iced Earth. It was filmed at the ancient Kourion Theater in Limasol, Cyprus (a site with a 6,000-year history according to the liner notes) in 2012, in support of the Dystopia album. The line up features Jon Schaffer, Brent Smedley, Troy Steele, Luke Appleton and then-new singer Stu Block.

The career-spanning set contains 27 songs from all eras of the band’s history, in a concert that lasts around 2 hours and 35 minutes. Its pretty great value for money in that regard.

The performance is very strong indeed, with all band members putting down solid performances with no weak links. Stu capably handles the material of previous singers Matt Barlow and Tim Ripper Owens in a suitable but distinctive way. He fits the band perfectly and is immensely talented. Elsewhere; the dual guitar lines and solos are sublime and the drumming is powerful and rock-solid. If you like Iced Earth then this is a really strong and representative example of what they are all about.

Highlights include strong performances of ‘Burning Times,’ ‘Wolf,’ ‘Declaration Day,’ ‘Days Of Rage’ and ‘Dantes Inferno.’ ‘Boiling Point’ and ‘Damien’ are also especially energetic and exciting here – if you were wondering if you’d enjoy this release, then I suggest trying those two tracks out.

The stage design and the simple, tasteful lightshow in conjunction with the well-integrated use of smoke and pyro perfectly complements the band’s meaty, honest approach to Metal music. The crowd get into it and both clap and sing along on many occasions. Sometimes not only singing the words but also the guitar melodies. The concert really shows a confident band delivering their best to an appreciative crowd.

The camerawork and editing are absolutely solid, the audio recording quality and live mix are spot-on and overall this is a very strong release on both the audio and visual fronts. Sometimes you’ll get a DVD with way too many flashy transitions and cheesy editing choices, or the bass guitar missing from the mix, but a lot of care has obviously gone into making this a tasteful and musician-friendly affair. Admittedly I have seen concert Blu-Rays with better picture quality (Sabaton, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius and Hammerfall spring to mind) and here it can be a tiny bit grainy, soft-focus or washed out at times depending on the lighting conditions in the venue at the time however just because better examples exist, it doesn’t mean the picture here is anything to complain about.

In terms of bonus features there are photo galleries (4 minutes of very high resolution photos of the band and the beautiful Cypriot landscape), a 9-minute world tour story (breaking down the logistics involved such as how many guitar picks and flights the band went through) which mixes photos and graphics with interview footage, as well as the 31-minute Documentary feature “The Making Of Live At Ancient Kourion.”

The version I got comes with a slipcase in a digibook-style box which contains booklet featuring photos, credits and liner notes from bandleader Jon Shaffer. It houses the Blu-Ray version, DVD version and CD version of the concert for maximum flexibility.

The Blu-Ray specs are as follows: Region 0, Format 16:9, Audio comes in a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0 or DTS HD Surround 5.1.

Overall; Live In Ancient Kourion, especially this edition, is a very worthwhile release and I whole-heartedly recommend it to fans of the band, or fans of Traditional Heavy Metal and Power Metal in general.

HELLOWEEN Helloween - High Live

Movie · 1997 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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

ICED EARTH Festivals of the Wicked

Movie · 2011 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
666sharon666
There's a lot of value for your money in this DVD package. Three full festival appearances are included, two with singer Matt Barlow and one with singer Tim "Ripper" Owens. There's also the seemingly customary documentary and all the band's music videos with the exception of the older Desert Rain back from the Night of the Stormrider era, as well as the advert for the Ten Thousand Strong video and photo slideshows. For the price this seems to retail at (I bought it for just £9.99), this is a very worthwhile package for any Iced Earth fan. The one catch is that it in reality looks more than it is, as both the Barlow fronted shows feature a completely identical setlist. It's still a very good value package to get despite this, but 4 stars is all I feel inclined to award it because of the amount of repetition. Still for the very reasonable price, if you like this band, buy it anyway.

(I originally posted this hastily written review here: http://bit.ly/pafvQh )

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