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).

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
  • 666Sharon666

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power metal Music Reviews

FALCONER Falconer

Album · 2001 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Falconer's debut album offers a mashup of comparatively traditional power metal with the occasional influence from folk and medieval music. The band clearly have a well-developed interest in history, with lyrics about kings and past times rooted mostly in realistic historical adventures rather than going full-on fantasy, and Andy LaRocque's production job is decent enough.

That said, part of me wonders whether a tweaked recording process which brought out more of the medieval and folk elements in the music would have worked better. As it stands, the power metal foundation of the band's sound dominates, and whilst the sound of the album would be fine for, say, a recent Gamma Ray or even Mercyful Fate release, it feels like it doesn't bring out the best in the more unusual elements of the group's sound.

TIMELESS MIRACLE Into The Enchanted Chamber

Album · 2005 · Power Metal
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DippoMagoo
MMA Reviewers Challenge: July 2016

I have heard many power metal albums since I started fully exploring the genre around six years ago, and I've certainly been impressed by many of them, including classics from the obvious suspects such as Helloween, Stratovarius, all forms of Rhapsody, Blind Guardian, Kamelot, etc. But would you believe it? Out of all the power metal albums I've heard in my life, my all time favorite is not by any of those bands or any other big name band. Nope, it's Into the Enchanted Chamber by the unfortunately obscure Swedish band Timeless Miracle. Not only is this album their debut, but as of 2016 it remains their only release to date, though I'm happy to report the band is currently working on a follow up, tentatively titled Under the Moonlight, and that is obviously my most anticipated album at the moment. But sticking to the here and now, Into the Enchanted Chamber is an example of everything I love about power metal, with its unique sound and focus on speed and melody above all else, while still being quite varied and having several surprising elements as well as some twists and turns throughout. I'll admit it's tough to give this thing a detailed review without absolutely gushing over it, but I'll do my best.

Out of all variations of the genre, I tend to prefer Swedish power metal the most, as it's much more melodic, more flavorful and more epic feeling than most German or American power metal usually is, while also having more of an edge to it than some of the more keyboard driven Finnish power metal bands. Timeless Miracle not only represents everything I love about the style, but they go above and beyond with several elements I wouldn't expect to hear in the genre, but I certainly welcome them. Listeners can expect mostly speedy tracks, with a focus on huge and memorable vocal melodies, as well as some great keyboard work, excellent guitar leads and of course some absolutely killer choruses, some of the best I've ever heard, in fact.

One area where they differ from most metal bands is they actually have a surprising lack of guitar solos. In fact, before hearing the album I was told it featured not a single guitar solo, and while that isn't entirely true, it's not too far from the truth. Usually I'd consider that a warning sign, as songs without guitar solos often tend to feel empty, but with Timeless Miracle that isn't the case at all. Nope, instead they fill tracks in more creative ways, sometimes with the expected synth solos, but sometimes they'll throw in some violin, sometimes other unexpected sounds and on almost every song when you get to a point where most bands will just throw in a solo and move back to the chorus to end the song, they will throw in a mix of instrumental sections and extra vocal sections, managing to fit in a ton of content into songs that, with two exceptions, never go past 7 minutes. So needless to say, while they may not provide many guitar solos, they always come up with great and memorable ways to transition from the expected verse/chorus structure to the end of a song, without the music ever becoming anything less than absolutely amazing.

Another thing about the album is that the lyrics are often fairly dark, which is atypical for the genre. Several tracks deal with themes of death or turning into something evil, and of course there's “Return of the Werewolf”, which feels like a twisted take on a classic fairytale. These lyrics mixed with a slightly darker tone than usual to the music is part of what helps give the album such a unique feel. Epic Lycanthropic Metal, as the band likes to call their style, and that description fits quite well. Adding to this unique feel is vocalist/bassist Mikael Holst. He has a voice unlike any I've ever heard before, and it is quite something. It's really hard to describe and to do it justice, but basically he sounds like a power metal singer but with a very animated, much darker than usual tone to his voice, giving him a somewhat creepy, menacing sound at times, and yet he's capable of sounding very warm at times, and he's extremely emotive. He fits the music perfectly and really is one of my favorite aspects of the album, which is saying a lot.

Of course, it doesn't matter how unique a band sounds, how many unexpected elements they have in their music or how great their singer is if they can't write good songs to go with it. Thankfully, songwriting happens to be one of their biggest strengths of all, and every song here is nothing short of an absolute masterpiece. Starting off, we have one of the 10 best songs on the album in opening track “Curse of the Werewolf”. Beginning with an epic orchestral intro, followed by a calm but rather ominous sounding piano section, Mikael makes his first appearance early on and steals the show right away, before the guitars kick in, the tempo picks up and the song speeds away during its epic first verse, giving way to one hell of an epic and insanely catchy singalong chorus. After this we get an example of their brilliant songwriting, with an awesome quick vocal section to smoothly transition into the next verse, and then later on in the track we get an epic synth solo, leading towards the final run of the chorus, and an ultra epic closing vocal section, where layered backing vocals show up near the end and it just sounds stunning.

Next we have another instant winner in “Witches of Black Magic”, another very speedy track which introduces us to the violin, another highlight of the album. I love how the band mixes the violin so seamlessly into their music, and how they allow it to dominate many sections of the album, such as during the verses of this track, as it works really well along with the leading guitars. Later in the track we even get a really nice violin solo, which is a nice treat. Things only get better after that, with the title track. It begins with some super epic horns in the beginning, and it is certainly one of the more upbeat and happy tracks on the album. Again, the violin works really well when paired up with the guitar during the verses, and the chorus is definitely one of the cheerier and more exciting choruses on the album. Later in the track we get an absolutely stunning sequence where the violin plays a note, followed by the guitar, and it keeps going back and forth for a while, until eventually the track moves on, and not too long after that we get another great violin solo. Next is one of the more unique tracks on the album, “The Devil”. The violin is once again quite dominant in the main melody and the track has more of a folk feel to it than much of the album. It's mostly a more laid back, mid paced track, driven by melodies and vocals. The chorus is outstanding, and while the lyrics, which deal with Lucifer's fall from his perspective, are evil and not something I'd normally enjoy, Mikael is so emotive in his delivery I just can't help but be impressed and become fully invested in the song. A surprisingly speedy vocal section appears towards the end and is one of the highlights of the track.

While it may have a very tough act to follow, “The Red Rose” certainly does not disappoint. It's another fast paced, instantly engaging track with incredible vocal lines and great lead guitar work. Aside from the chorus, its highlights are a rather unique instrumental section about 2/3 of the way through, which starts out very dark and becomes much calmer at the end, the epic vocal section that comes shortly after, and the amazing synth solo towards the end. I've heard some say it's their favorite on the album, and I can see why. It's certainly one of my ten favorites. Next we have the only instrumental track of the album, the orchestral “A Minor Intermezzo”, which is a very nice and relaxing track, with a great use of marching drums towards the end. Speaking of which, those drums return towards the end of “Return of the Werewolf”, one of the fastest and most intense tracks of the album. It also makes great use of symphonic elements right from the get go, before quickly speeding up with some of the best guitar riffs of the album, epic vocals and of course an epic singalong chorus as always, with a great use of horns in the background. The second verse is absolutely killer and has some very twisted yet awesome lyrics. I'll admit, the lyrics here are certainly over the top and will probably give kids nightmares, but they're just so damn fun and addictive, in a really twisted and evil way. In the middle of the track is an epic speedy instrumental section, where the music gets very flashy and super epic, before slowing down and giving way to a much calmer, somewhat folksy vocal section, which then brings us back to the chorus in all its glory.

Yes, the band does know how to tone it down and be slightly less epic when they have to, and they showcase this on the ballad “Memories”. It starts off with a nice keyboard intro, before piano and vocals take over for a while, leading to, you guessed it, a fantastic and instantly memorable chorus. Guitars do kick in after a while, and the track is noticeable for having the one clear guitar solo of the album, and it's a really beautiful one. What follows after that song is yet another of my ten favorites, and for sure the happiest track on the album, “Gates of Hell”. Here we have another mostly mid paced track, dominated by keyboards and orchestra, and there's certainly more of a folk feel to it, especially during one particular instrumental section in the second half. I've talked a lot about great choruses in this review, but oh man, this track has got to have possibly the best chorus I've heard in my entire life! It's extremely upbeat and cheery, with an incredible melody and awesome lyrics, driven by a fantastic performance from Mikael. The track takes a bit of an unexpected turn into darker territory later on, before giving way to the folksy section I mentioned earlier, which then leads to a super speedy vocal section that is awe inspiring, and of course at the end of the track we get an even more epic run through of the chorus, which has to be one of the most epic things I've ever heard. Man, do I ever love this song!

Getting near the end of the album, we have “Down to the Gallows”, another very fast paced and heavy track, which has the distinction of being probably the most upbeat sounding song I've ever heard on the subject matter of a man being sentenced to death and repenting his sins at the last minute. As always, the verses and chorus are just perfect, and near the end we get an epic section where they add in clapping to it, and it's just awesome. After that we have the very brief track “The Dark Side of the Forest”, which continues with the theme of death, and it is unsurprisingly a very ominous sounding mostly orchestral track, with just a bit of singing near the end. It makes for an awesome transition into the final track, which leads us to.....

Grand finale time! Indeed, the band decided the rest of the album just wasn't awesome or epic enough already, and so they had to save the best, most progressive and most ambitious track for last. Here we have the 14 minute epic “The Voyage”, a track which begins with keyboards and a very classic prog feeling instrumental section to being, before the expected change of tempo around 2 minutes in, giving way to the incredible first vocal section. This basically works as a mini song in and of itself, with fast paced verses filled with great guitar work, and an epic chorus. After this we get a calmer section, driven by keyboards and vocals, before the guitars come back and Mikael sings “I feel something going on inside of me it's changing me”, leading to a part that while very brief, is perhaps my favorite vocal section of any power metal song ever, it's that epic. Following this, we get an amazing speedy instrumental section, which leads to several more awesome sections, continuously mixing between speedy sections and calmer sections, before eventually bringing us to the end. The final section is rather calm, and features a great use of symphonic elements, to go along with one outstanding mini chorus to end the album. As the album closes, we can hear Mikael as well as some marching drums in the background, and man is it ever an epic ending to an epic album. I know I probably broke the record for how many times I said “epic” in this review, but I really did mean it each and every time I said it. What I love so much about this song is how it manages to throw in so many parts in 14 minutes, constantly changing tempos and switching from section to section more than enough times to keep the music fresh over such a long time, while also including several memorable, super catchy vocal sections. It truly is my favorite power metal song of all time, my favorite epic length song of all time, and quite possibly my favorite song ever. I have a bad habit where every time I hear an epic length track on a power metal album I judge it against this one, and every time whatever track comes against it is found lacking by comparison, because this song can't be touched.

I've said a lot about Into the Enchanted Chamber already, so I'll keep this conclusion short: It's an incredible, super epic power metal album full of catchy choruses, memorable songwriting, great vocals, great musicianship, unexpected elements, and darker lyrics than one would expect in the genre. It's a Timeless classic and its existence should be considered nothing short of a Miracle, because albums of this quality are far too rare to take for granted. I'm both extremely excited and nervous to hear their second album when it finally comes, but one thing's for sure: I'll be along for the ride, hoping for nothing but the absolute best.

TIMELESS MIRACLE Into The Enchanted Chamber

Album · 2005 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Nightfly
Formed in 2001, Timeless Miracle is a Swedish power metal band. Although I believe the band still exist and seem to be in the throes of putting together a second album, to date their only release excluding a few demos is Into The Enchanted Chamber which was released way back in 2005.

It’s difficult for me to be objective about Timeless Miracle because European power metal is not a genre I’m a big fan of with a few exceptions. The band can certainly play and the guitars of Sten Moller and Fredrik Nilsson can riff with the best of them, though surprisingly few leads. However, they could do with setting them to stun now and again but I guess that’s more the fault of the production which is a bit sterile. Drummer Kim Widfors is also a great player having the necessary chops and throwing plenty of fast double bass drum work when required. Mikael Holst has a very clean nasally voice and is a singer very much suited to power metal though lacks the raw edge for my own personal taste. Perhaps the weakest link is the keyboards which whilst they’re played well enough sound a bit cheap and naff at times.

Into The Enchanted Chamber is an album very much typical of the European style of power metal with a strong emphasis on melody of which there is no shortage here. The riffs, lacking the heaviness of the USA style of the genre will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the continental distinctions and are sugar coated with classical leanings and folk elements thrown in. Curse Of The Werewolf gets things off to a fine start but is very generic as it gallops along at a frantic pace for the most part with rolling double bass drums and sounds like something I’ve heard many times before. Still, there’s no doubt about it having a strong hook and likewise following track Witches Of Black Magic. The Devil is one of the heavier songs and I found myself really warming to it with its irresistible hook. A couple of classical infused instrumentals act as interludes though add little. The band saves the best for last with The Voyage, a 14 minute epic. This is the song that got me most engaged as being a big prog fan I’m a sucker for music with plenty of changes and this never sits still long enough to get bored with and they’ve saved some of their best riffs for this one too.

Despite as I said earlier I’m not a big fan of this type of metal and I can certainly think of better examples with more clout. However, there’s no denying that Timeless Miracle are a class band and anyone who loves European power metal should check this out. Nothing original here but then I guess that’s not the point.

TIMELESS MIRACLE Into The Enchanted Chamber

Album · 2005 · Power Metal
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666sharon666
MMA Reviewer's Challenge: July 2016

Swedish power metal act Timeless Miracle are one of those bands who have seemingly been on my list of artists to check out for forever. Released in 2005, Into the Enchanted Chamber is the band's first and so far only full-length album. Perhaps if they had been more active so as to get mentioned in the metal circles I frequent more often I would have given these guys the time of day before now, but better late than never I suppose. Apparently after more than a decade there actually is a follow-up album in production, though I don't know when it's due to be released, but now does seem a pretty good time for those who, like me, haven't given Timeless Miracle a try yet to do something about it.

For my part though, I'm surprised to be left a little underwhelmed by what Timeless Miracle offers up on Into the Enchanted Chamber. I wouldn't call it a weak album by any means, in fact if I'm being completely fair its a very well done power metal with strong symphonic elements and a penchant for folk melodies. Being one of my favourite genres of metal, on paper I should be all over this album. After all it ticks all the boxes. The music is energetic. Their sound is reasonably varied. The songs are catchy to listen to. The singer has a clear voice to carry the music. The ballad isn't atrocious. So what exactly is the problem?

Well for me its that I don't find too much of the album to be all that memorable after I finish listening to it. Give it an hour or two and I look at most of the track names and even after at least half a dozen listens to Into the Enchanter Chamber I can't remember anything about some of the tracks. I enjoy it a lot while I'm listening to it and I've got good lasting impressions of the early songs which includes the opening Curse of the Werewolf, which neatly sets up what Timeless Miracle's music is all about, as well as Witches of Black Magic and the title track that immediately follow. But after that the album starts to suffer from a problem that I find a lot of power metal albums to have; it falls into monotony. Not in a way that the songs are no good, as that isn't the case, but every time I listen to it I do start to feel my interest waning after a time, and as such I don't remember much about the later songs after a point, nor does the album have me rushing to give it another spin. The album is quite long, which I normally don't have an issue with, but it doesn't help my experience here. I will mention Return of the Werewolf as a highlight though, as it feels a bit more aggressive than the album typical serves up, with some harsher, more edgy, vocals used as well (not growls), which make it stand out more. Into the Enchanted Chamber could do with a few more of moments like that, as by the time of the final song The Voyage I've just about had my fill of the album.

A difficult album for me to rate fairly, as there's technically nothing wrong with it, but as it didn't completely click with me, I'm going to go with 3.5 stars.

TIMELESS MIRACLE Into The Enchanted Chamber

Album · 2005 · Power Metal
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Unitron
MMA Reviewer's Challenge: July 2016

Into the Enchanted Chamber is the debut, and so far only album, from power metal band Timeless Miracle.

The band's name, album title, and album cover all paint a good picture of the type of power metal that awaits on this release. This is folk metal-infused Euro power metal, blending the speed of bands like Dragonforce, the catchy melodies of Blind Guardian, symphonic instrumentation, and varying folk elements. The band blends all these traits quite well, especially with the tracks "Witches of Black Magic", "The Devil", "The Gates of Hell", and the title cut. The latter's symphonic features are reminiscent of the serene strings of classic progressive rock band Curved Air. "The Devil", "The Gates of Hell", and "Down to the Gallows" are easily my favorites, which all have fantastic sea-shanty/folksy melodies that are pretty addicting.

This is the kind of power metal that many would probably describe as "cheesy". While I usually dislike it when bands like Dragonforce are just passed off as being cheesy, I do have to admit that this album certainly does have it's moments of cheese. This is heard mostly in the vocals and lyrics, and the keyboards can also get a bit overbearing. Sometimes the melodies can also be a bit too lighthearted, such as the main chorus found on "The Red Rose", which just gets grating after awhile. Multiple choruses follow this pattern of being too happy and going on for too long. On the other hand, "The Dark Side Forest" is too short as it has the makings of a pretty stellar folk metal piece.

Lyrically, it's pretty hit or miss, sometimes they're decent and then generic at times such as the aforementioned "The Red Rose". However, with "Return of the Werewolf", the lyrics reach their lowest point. The song's lyrics relating to Red Riding Hood just end up being laughable. It's hard to take lyrics related to fairy tales seriously, especially in metal. It just ruins the song, which is a shame because the music is pretty good. Mikael Holst does a good job with vocals for the most part, having a very melodic voice that is well-suited for folksy power metal such as this; however, his vocals can be a bit annoying at times. It's hard to explain, but the way he ends some of the words in the beginning of the opening track isn't very pleasant to hear. Fortunately, the album ends with the killer epic "The Voyage" which easily makes up for the off-putting opening. Especially the end of the epic is fantastic, mixing grandiose melody with killer riffs and percussion.

While it can get a bit too cheesy at times, Into the Enchanted Chamber is still a pretty great power metal album, and blends all of it's attributes quite well. If you're a power metal fan looking for some symphonic and folk metal as well, this would certainly not be a bad choice.

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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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