Symphonic Metal

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

Symphonic metal, sometimes known as operatic metal when referring to artists fronted by an (usually female) operatic singer, is a sub-genre of heavy metal music. Symphonic metal is heavily influenced by classical music, with bands creating symphonies to back a more traditional metal setup of vocals, guitars, bass and drums. The sound is most typically created with a synthesiser; however actual orchestration is often used as well, and choirs are also a commodity within the genre. Unlike other metal music styles, the keyboards generally have more of a leading role in an artist’s sound than the guitars.

Symphonic metal finds its roots in the Swedish band Therion, who originally played death metal. The 1996 album Yeah! Yeah! Die! Die! Death Metal Symphony in Deep C by Finnish band Waltari is also considered to have been an important influence on the genre. Therion had dabbled in experimental ideas and classical influences, but with the release of their fifth album Theli in 1996 the band was producing what is now considered to be symphonic metal. Such releases provided the template for bands such as Nightwish and Within Temptation, who both released their first albums in 1997, although each had elements of other genres in their sounds, those being power and folk metal on Nightwish’s Angel’s Fall First and gothic metal on Within Temptation’s Enter, which is actually best considered a gothic metal release, although the band would later become more symphonic based with the release of their second album, Mother Earth in 2000. Although the birth of symphonic metal as a genre is associated with the late 90s, metal artists had made use of symphonic elements long before that - for instance, Celtic Frost's To Mega Therion (1985) and Into the Pandemonium (1987) both contain tracks that feature symphonic elements, and in 1969, proto-metallers Deep Purple released Concerto for Group and Orchestra which features The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The term symphonic metal is sometimes used to describe any band that uses symphonic elements, particularly if those symphonic elements are greater than what is normal for the genre in question. There are a few notable and common hybrid symphonic metal styles; symphonic black metal, symphonic power metal and symphonic gothic metal, although there are some less common hybrids such as symphonic death metal, and with the emergence of artists like Across the Sun and Winds of Plague, symphonic metalcore. Each of these styles retains the elements of said style without the symphonic prefix however, which means that when considering symphonic metal as a standalone genre there are not as many artists that can be considered as such as there may initially appear. Even many of the most known artists of the style containing many elements of other metal styles, such as power metal in Nightwish and progressive metal in Epica. Therefore symphonic metal bands are best defined as such if they have a dominant classical influence to them. This is especially important where symphonic gothic metal acts are concerned, as there can be much overlap between the two styles.

While many symphonic metal bands feature a female lead singer, it is not a staple of the genre, although such bands tend to have been more commercial successful both within and without of the metal circles due to having more mainstream accessibility to their music. Many female vocalists in the genre sing in an operatic classical style, which works to effect with the classical inspired symphonic backing. It is this particular brand of symphonic metal that has been alternately labelled as operatic metal. Some artists such as Epica, After Forever, and the early work of Within Temptation combines the female vocals with death growls, in a style that is commonly referred to as ‘Beauty and the Beast’ vocals. This approach has also been utilised in some female fronted gothic metal artists.

Although symphonic metal is widely seen as one of the more commercial metal genres, there exists an extreme variant of the style. Taking more cues from extreme metal sub-genres than normal but retaining the dominant classical influence, the term is best used to describe bands that are influenced by black and death metal, but keeping their main focus on the classical influences. Such artists are less common however, and the term extreme symphonic metal has been used interchangeably with symphonic black metal.

- Written by adg211288 with the input of the Metal Music Archives Admin Team

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • adg211288
  • DippoMagoo

symphonic metal top albums

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

EPICA The Holographic Principle Album Cover The Holographic Principle
EPICA
4.68 | 11 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
APOCALYPTICA Apocalyptica Album Cover Apocalyptica
APOCALYPTICA
4.52 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
TURISAS Stand Up and Fight Album Cover Stand Up and Fight
TURISAS
4.35 | 15 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
HAGGARD Eppur Si Muove Album Cover Eppur Si Muove
HAGGARD
4.44 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
TARJA What Lies Beneath Album Cover What Lies Beneath
TARJA
4.32 | 16 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
EPICA Design Your Universe Album Cover Design Your Universe
EPICA
4.21 | 36 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Christmas Eve and Other Stories Album Cover Christmas Eve and Other Stories
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA
4.40 | 8 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
EPICA Requiem for the Indifferent Album Cover Requiem for the Indifferent
EPICA
4.20 | 29 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
WITHIN TEMPTATION Mother Earth Album Cover Mother Earth
WITHIN TEMPTATION
4.18 | 22 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
THERION Theli Album Cover Theli
THERION
4.15 | 34 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DAMNATION ANGELS Bringer of Light Album Cover Bringer of Light
DAMNATION ANGELS
4.29 | 8 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
APOCALYPTICA Worlds Collide Album Cover Worlds Collide
APOCALYPTICA
4.22 | 11 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

New symphonic metal free MP3/Stream

symphonic metal online videos

symphonic metal New Releases

.. Album Cover
Phoenix Aflame
Album
INSATIA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Forest Package
Boxset / Compilation
WINTERSUN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live at Tuska Festival 2013
Live album
WINTERSUN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Forest Seasons
Album
WINTERSUN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Tears of the Sun
EP
JUPITER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Valkyries of Modern Times
Album
BENEATH MY SINS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Суть
Album
SEPTEM VOICES
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Experiencing Lives
Album
GOLDEN JUBILEE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Butterfly Raiser
Album
BARE INFINITY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Great Momentum
Album
EDENBRIDGE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Echoes of the Aftermath
Album
THE MURDER OF MY SWEET
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Old World
Album
OKNOS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Evereal
Album
EVEREAL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Reunion
Album
SOLARUS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
As Embers Turn to Dust
Album
MECHINA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Theater of Dimensions
Album
XANDRIA
Buy this album from MMA partners

symphonic metal Music Reviews

DARK MOOR Project X

Album · 2015 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
DippoMagoo
Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than that moment where an album finally finally connects with you for the first time after multiple attempts, when previous reservations are put aside and you’re just swept away by the music. I had one of those experiences with Project X, the tenth full length album from Dark Moor, one of my absolute favorite symphonic metal bands at this point. Most previous Dark Moor albums managed to impressive me right away, with their two most recent efforts Ancestral Romance and Ars Musica especially leaving strong first impressions, so I was a bit concerned when by the end of my first listen, Project X had left me scratching my head, wondering what in the hell I had just listened to. A couple listens later and I was already starting to get into it, and then by the end of my sixth listen I finally understood what the band was going for, and from that point onwards it has become one of my favorites by the band.

For longtime Dark Moor fans, their previous album Ars Musica may have seemed like a big departure from their normal sound, toning down the power metal elements which had been dominant on their earlier albums and taking the band in a much lighter, more dramatic direction with an even bigger focus on symphonic elements and choirs. I was curious to see whether the band would continue with this style or go back to their older sound, so I was somewhat caught off guard when the brief intro track of Project X started off with modern sounding keyboards, and the rest of the album only proved to be even more surprising, on first listen. I will say it right now, to get it out of the way: Power metal fans hoping for the neoclassical symphonic power metal style of their early days will probably want to avoid Project X, as at this point that style seems to be a thing of the past and the band is clearly moving on to new things. For anyone else, though, and especially for fans who prefer their epic symphonic arrangements and choral sections, the album is a must hear.

After that rather surprising intro, the first full song “Abduction” is a fun little opener that mostly sticks to the band’s formula of upbeat power metal with symphonic backing and choir vocals, and in comparison to the rest of the album, it feels like a more modernized take on the usual Dark Moor sound, complete with cheesy but fun sci-fi lyrical themes, which carry on throughout the album. After this point, though, the album takes a turn for the weird with the super theatrical track “Beyond the Stars”, where the choirs are in full force, and along with the piano and symphonic elements, they overpower the guitars, making for a much lighter track than one would expect so early on the album, though the melodies are fantastic and Alfred Romero’s dramatic vocals work incredibly well with the choirs, which have more of a gospel choir feel to them than usual. Yeah, you read that right: At times the choirs sound like they’re coming straight from a church and this feel is only heightened as the album goes on, and is one of the things that initially left me feeling confused. This song also serves as a great example of where the band is now, as the music is constantly driving along at a reasonable pace, so much so that calling it slow or mid tempo would be wrong, but it certainly doesn’t match the speed or energy of classic power metal, either. It’s more of a light symphonic infused brand of melodic metal, which works very well for the band.

The next track “Conspiracy Revealed” is a bit faster and the guitar riffs at the beginning give it a slight edge, which carries on throughout the track. Which brings me to one element of the band I’ve always appreciated, that is very much a factor on Project X: The guitar work of Enrik Garcia. As always, his guitars can be very understated, allowing room for the keyboards, vocals and symphonic elements to be the main elements, but on every track he allows himself to shine for brief periods, and he does an amazing job of it. Songs like “Abduction”, “Beyond the Stars” and “Bon Voyage” have some fantastic melodies and melodic solos, while on “Conspiracy Revealed” and“Gabriel” he injects a bit energy to the songs with some great riffs. The latter in particular starts off with the heaviest guitar work on the album, and it turns into one of the faster, more power metal oriented tracks, as well as one of my favorites.

Most tracks have at least occasional heavy sections and bursts of speed, but it’s the vocals and symphonic elements that win out most of the time. Another personal favorite is “I Want to Believe”, a ballad where the early sections allow Alfred to showcase his ever improving vocals, and then as the song goes on the choirs become more and more central to the song, until it turns into something incredibly epic and larger than life. Some of the songs have a bit of a broadway musical vibe to them at times, as well as some Queen influences, where everything just gets insanely over the top and cheesy, but in delightful ways.

I especially notice this on “Bon Voyage”, which starts off as more of a laid back mid tempo track, until about halfway through when the choirs kick in and it turns into something very theatrical and super cheesy. I was initially put off by this, but over time I’ve found myself blown away by just how impressive the arrangements are and just how epic the whole thing sounds, in a delightfully cheesy sort of way. Likewise, the closing track “There’s Something in the Skies” initially turned me off, as after its soft piano driven first half, it suddenly takes a turn into musical like territory, with an end sequence that may bother some people with its rather odd and unexpected lyrics, though after several listens the song has grown into one of my favorites, even though I’d consider it about as far away from usual Dark Moor as they could possibly get, without outright trolling their fans. If anything, it just shows the band fully willing to evolve and take risks, as this track in particular, as well as much of the album in general, is certainly not something I would have imagined the band doing around six years ago when I first heard their music, but in some warped kind of way it just works.

Even the weird extended intro and outro of “Imperial Earth” work, and the itself is another excellent mid tempo symphonic track with occasional heavy bursts and an extremely awesome chorus. The one other song I haven’t mentioned yet is “The Existence”, a super melodic mid tempo track that would have fit in great on “Ars Musica”. It’s less theatrical than some of the other tracks, but it’s an excellent track and it fits in well with the overall modern style Dark Moor is going for nowadays.

While I was initially disappointed by Project X and its experiments with gospel choirs as well as its increased emphasis on a more theatrical sound, several listens have left me blown away by what the band has pulled off, and if anything I now consider it one of my favorite Dark Moor albums. Fans of their earlier albums may be in for a rude awakening, but fans of symphonic metal and melodic metal in general are highly recommended to give it at least a few listens, as it’s proven to be by far my biggest grower of the year.

originally written for myglobalmind.com: (http://myglobalmind.com/2015/10/30/dark-moor-project-x-review/)

Note: This is actually an old review I wrote a couple years ago, yet somehow never got around to publishing here until now, which is odd for me.

APOCALYPTICA Cult

Album · 2000 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
The Apocalyptica cello quartet felt like a bit of a gimmick for their first couple of albums - an impression not helped by the fact that both mostly consisted of covers - but on this first album of mostly-original material their sound matures appreciably. Having spent two albums adapting metal to cello instrumentation, here they masterfully adapt cellos to metal, using distortion effects more extensively in order to transform the sound of their cellos much as in more conventional metal bands guitar distortion is used. The end result is a unique sound which is explored very capably by the group, who have learned the lessons of the various thrash tracks covered on their first two albums well.

JUPITER Tears of the Sun

EP · 2017 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sisslith
After the departure of bassist Masashi and drummer Yuki, Jupiter released the single "The Spirit Within Me", which featured Rucy and Daisuke playing bass and drums, respectively, as guest musicians. However, it wasn't long before they joined Jupiter as band members. A few months later, the new line-up released their latest work: "Tears of the Sun".

There are several things that quite surprised me whilst listening to this EP. First of all, their sound is progressively becoming darker. Unlike many bands who soften throughout the years, Jupiter seem to have much interest in adding death metal traits -we could already see this in previous songs such as "Allegory Cave" or "Darkness"- and atmospheric elements into their musical pieces -just listen to the track "The Crucifixion"-. It is precisely in this song where Zin delivers an impressive performance by blending his tenor voice with death metal growls. Nevertheless, Jupiter's unique sound is still very recognizable, and a great example of it is the title track, in which the initial chorus followed by a blast of symphonic metal and the melodic, neoclassical and highly proficient guitar solos by Hizaki and Teru are the band’s trademark.

Secondly, the production –both mixing and mastering- is simply flawless. It is so polished that it reminded me of albums like “Into the Legend” by Rhapsody of Fire, where it is a noticeable feature. Moreover, the lyrics fit in extremely well with the aforementioned dark sound. Although I don’t understand Japanese, the English verses depict feelings of struggle in our current society, going against the established order and so forth: “Live the pain and keep the struggle alive” or "I don't know why I was given breath, yet I still must go find the answer, no matter what". Finally, the musicianship is undeniable. Regarding the new members, their contribution is significant and they have their moments –for instance, the bass in “We Against” and in “Guilty as Sin” or the drumming in the third track-, but the symphonic elements and the guitars are the evident focus, and they take the stage.

Overall, Tears of the Sun is a really good release which represents the new phase Jupiter is entering. Not only have they maintained their characteristic sound, but they are also taking a new direction into heavier territories, in my opinion. Highly recommended for symphonic/power metal fans.

MECHINA Progenitor

Album · 2016 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: Album selected by DippoMagoo.

A new release from the US metal act Mechina is like something akin to a ritual. Starting with their second release Conqueror (2011), every subsequent new album has been released on New Year's Day. With the exception of 2012, they've also released a new album every single year on this date and we can probably put 2012 down to them gaining momentum. Progenitor (2016) is their sixth album. For my part it is my introduction to the group's music. There is also an instrumental version of the album available but my review will stick to the main, original release with vocals.

Mechina's style of music is usually called a kind of industrial metal, specifically cyber metal. This actually puts me at a bit of a disadvantage (or maybe an advantage, depending on my point of view I suppose) in reviewing one of their albums, because my experience with industrial metal begins and ends with Rammstein and I really don't find anything relatable between the two band's styles based on Progenitor. The other side of the band is of course their symphonic metal elements, which is a style I am familiar with so I will pretty much have to look at this album as a symphonic metal album.

Featuring a mix of growled and cleanly sung vocals, some being by guest female vocalist Mel Rose, Progenitor comes across as something that takes a little bit of everything from the wide range that is the spectrum of symphonic metal, meaning there are epic moments, extreme moments and more commercial moments to be found within it. The extreme moments can even lean a bit towards death metal while the band also have an inherent catchiness to their songs that makes me think more of power metal, though their metal elements themselves never go along with these vibes.

The symphonic elements are ever-present in the band's music but they are not too over-dominating either. That's probably because they have to share the stage with some more electronic based work that I guess is where Mechina's relation to industrial/cyber metal comes into play. I do think the band overall fit the mould of symphonic metal a bit better though, as there are times in the music on Progenitor that it seems the electronic side is just a bit too buried within everything else that's going on. It feels much more dominant on a track such as Cryoshock, but overall doesn't seem to really be a main element in the music unless of course you're also supposed to count some rather mechanical sounding guitar riffs (which I'd simply attribute as sounding excessively modern if I was listening to this album with zero prior knowledge) and some vocal work that sounds like it may have been recorded for a dance record.

Whatever genre you want to call Progenitor, it's undeniable that it's a pleasant enough release to listen to. But for something that supposedly belongs to a genre (cyber metal) I've never listened to before I find myself disappointed by how familiar most of it feels. It's a very modern sounding release that seems to tick all the cliché boxes for a modern metal album. Even though it's the first Mechina album I've heard it gives me an impression that this must surely be Mechina by numbers. There's nothing to dislike about it (unless you're really adverse to electronic influences in metal in which case you'll probably hate this) but that really, is the problem. It doesn't invigorate me enough to even say I dislike it. It's just an album I heard and expect to forget about by this time next week.

EPICA The Holographic Principle

Album · 2016 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland
I can’t put my finger on it, but there is definitely something that lifts this 2016 album to a higher plane than the one that came out just two years earlier. The intensity is still at the very high level, but Simone seems to be more in control on this one, as opposed to sometimes being swept away. It is bombastic, it is massively over the top, and the guitars have reined in just ever so slightly, although at times they still race off like bolting horses that have been given their heads. It is an overpowering aural assault on the senses, and I love it. The closest way I can think of describing it is like being at a version of Handel’s “Messiah” with full choir and orchestra, but with Slipknot also being involved!

I was playing these two albums back to back the other day, and even without looking I knew when this one had started as there is a definite lift, a step up in just about everything. Symphonic over the top progressive metal just doesn’t get any better than this. This is not something that can be played as background music, but rather demands full attention of the listener at all times, as this is all-consuming, and not for the fainthearted. I really do hope that the guys decided to come down to this part of the world for a show one day, as they must be incredible in concert. This is essential, nothing more, nothing less.

symphonic metal movie reviews

NIGHTWISH Showtime, Storytime

Movie · 2013 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Pekka
You probably know the story. Anette Olzon, Tarja Turunen's replacement at the Nightwish mic was let go in the middle of the band's tour for Imaginaerum, and Floor Jansen was summoned to be her stand in at an extremely short notice, finally ending up as the permanent vocalist. At least for the time being, that is, knowing the band's tumultous history with their front women. While all this was happening they had the cameras rolling for a tour documentary they would probably have released anyway, but this turn of events naturally kicked the interest level up a notch or two.

The documentary starts at the turning point of the tour - the gig with the Kamelot singers while Anette was hospitalized and the heroic entry of Floor Jansen, and so naturally the viewer expects a dramatic back story of how they got to the low point. But no, the tour starts out great and everything goes smoothly and the touring machine is examined in great detail from many angles right down to Tuomas Holopainen's wine bottle stand under the keyboards. The tour continues to be a success and everyone is having fun, and suddenly they have insurmountable personnel strife that just can't be salvaged. Especially after reading the mercilessly honest and brutally detailed official band biography, it's very disappointing that the problems with Anette are in no way explained. They just couldn't continue being in the same band and that's that.

So the big potential is wasted, possibly due to Anette's refusal to be included in any form, and that may after all be a blessing in disguise, since the documentary was originally supposed to be a stand alone release. I'm only guessing here, but perhaps this bastardisation was the reason they chose to include the Wacken gig as well, and push the documentary to the second disc.

And holy hell are they on fire in the main feature! I get immense pleasure from the sense that this group that I started listening back in 1997 when I first heard The Carpenter on a metal compilation cassette (fuck yeah) made by a friend, and lost for some years after Once, has finally found the perfect line-up without a single hiccup. Tarja's voice was what made the band stand out in the beginning, but as a metal frontwoman she was always awkward, as was the pop-oriented Anette Olzon after her. Third time's the charm, and in Floor Jansen they have a true stunning metal goddess with lungs to handle any and every song from the band's catalogue while making them her own. And let's not underestimate the official addition of Troy Donockley, who brings important colour to their sound. I'll be excited to hear how the band utilises his rather metalless but extremely pleasant voice on the next album.

The band is captured touring my favourite Nightwish album, so the setlist leaves little to be desired, but it would've been nice to hear more than one track from their first three albums. And Scaretale from Imaginaerum, though that was such a perfect performance by Anette that I doubt Floor can top that. Nightwish as a musical unit is so much tied to the taped orchestrations these days that it leaves very little space for improvisation, which is why it's nice to hear a little additional keyboard solo in I Wish I Had An Angel, and which is also why it's easy to let the newly improved vocal department steal the show.

Put cameras on this show, and it's bound to be brilliant. The band were on top of their game on this tour after the personnel change, so it will be interesting to see how they make the new line-up work on record. For the first time since 2005 I'm eagerly awaiting the next Nightwish album.

Concert ***** Documentary **½

METALLICA S&M

Movie · 1999 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
AtomicCrimsonRush
"Let's hear it for Michael Kamen yeah!" He was the only one who had the guts to do this. This is the ultimate exercise in excess, to marry Metallica with a Symphony orchestra. The DVD is a crystal clear well edited package onthe ultimate event of the year. It is great to watch the orchestra getting into the music and then to see Metallica banging along. The crowd are as raucous as any Metallicrowd and of course it is as heavy as it always is. There are some fantastic surprises such as Call Of Cthulu sounding very Gothic and powerful with the violins and brass. The concert shows in equal measure the band and orchestra trading off seamlessly. It has been done before of course with Deep Purple and other metal acts. It is almost becoming a cliche of late with many bands taking up the idea including Kiss, Within Temptation, Dream Theater and Therion, all of which are captured on DVD. Non metal acts have done it such as Camel, Yes and ELP. The weird thing about it is these orchestral and rock marriages always work for me. I love to hear that massive orchestral sound with the crunching distortion of guitars. To hear a violin sweep across when you expect a guitar solo is bliss to my ears.

There are so many highlights on this DVD including Master of Puppets, more dramatic than ever, the darkness of super heavy The Thing That Should Not Be, The Memory Remains, iconic with audience participation, Nothing Else Matters, a definitive highlight and the crowd are in raptures when this is played. For Whom the Bell Tolls sounds very Gothic with the sweeping violins, and the song One is a masterpiece with the orchestral accompaniment.

The footage is professionally shot and edited as you would expect and it is nice to see the orhestra mamebrs having fun with this. None of the songs are less heavy, they are augmented to majestic heights. Watching this concert live is the best experience which is perhaps a pinnacle of the group's existence. Soon after it all turned sour as we know, captured on the astonishing Some Kind of Monster doco, but it is so great to see Metallica at the height of their powers as we do in S & M. Check out this DVD to see metal at its grandest.

WITHIN TEMPTATION The Silent Force Tour

Movie · 2005 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
I find that music DVD’s can be a hit or miss thing’s with fans but this one is a definite hit. If you haven’t had the chance to see Within Temptation live then this DVD captures them at their flawless best; perfect renditions of many of their best songs, spanning all four studio releases that they had at the time, great stage sets and special guests. I’ve actually seen the band while they promoted the album that they released in 2007, The Heart of Everything and in that show they mainly only played songs from said album and The Silent Force, throwing in a couple of fan favourites from Mother Earth, so The Silent Force Tour DVD makes for a great chance to see early classics such as Candles and The Other Half (of me) performed.

Clearly the band have spared no expense to make their show one to rival that of band’s said to be the some of the greatest live performers of modern times. We see a torch light procession for Candles, huge blow up creeper things to represent the power of nature during Mother Earth and lead singer Sharon den Adel suspended above the stage in a cage for Caged. Some band’s will go out of stage and just play but not Within Temptation. This is not just music, this is a show.

But first and foremost in importance is the music. Within Temptation play without fault and Sharon den Adel never misses a single note. We even get to hear the vocals of guitarist Robert Westerholt on a couple of songs, giving fans who may have only heard The Silent Force or The Heart of Everything a chance to hear Within Temptation’s earlier ‘beauty and the beast’ style of vocal delivery. Song highlights are Deceiver of Fools, Angels, Caged, Mother Earth, Candles, The Other Half (of me), Jane Doe and It’s the Fear.

Extras wise there is three music videos for the singles that came from The Silent Force (Stand My Ground, Angels, Memories) and two shorter live appearances on the first of the two discs. The extra live shows only have songs that appear in the main show and one is the same songs as the three music videos but it’s the main concert that you should be buying this for. If you’re like me you won’t be bother by that fact after you’ve watched the main show.

On the second disc you’ll find backstage footage from various places; making of documentaries for The Silent Force album and the three music videos; some interviews; a photo gallery and a bloopers/credits section. It’s not stuff that you’d probably watch more than once but I’m giving this DVD it’s rating based on the main feature. All this extra stuff is just a bonus next to that. That in itself I feel is justification for the 100% score I’m giving this DVD. If you like this band, what are you waiting for? Go buy it.

(Review originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)

METALLICA S&M

Movie · 1999 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Stooge
I had owned the CD version of S&M years ago, so it is good to revisit this with the visuals thrown in. Contrary to what I remembered from the CD, there really isn’t too much toestepping between what Metallica plays and what the orchestra plays. Most of the songs sound about as smooth as the originals. In fact, the only songs that I’m still not convinced worked effectively were “Until It Sleeps”, “Wherever I May Roam”, “Sad But True”, and much of “Battery” (though I love the intro). Even “Enter Sandman” worked surprisingly well.

Most of the material in this concert comes from songs from the Black Album and later. I would have liked to see a bit more variety in their song selection as there are plenty of songs from their past that almost naturally lend themselves to orchestration. Even a tune off of Kill ‘Em All would have been an interesting attempt.

Just for fun, here are some songs I would have liked to see them attempt with the orchestra: “Fade To Black”, “Orion”, “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”, “…And Justice For All”, and “The Unforgiven”.

Although not the first rock/metal band to perform with an orchestra, Metallica often gets credit for starting a trend for rock bands to collaborate with an orchestra. However, much of the credit for the success of S&M should be given to conductor Michael Kamen. He was the one who spearheaded the project by taking an interest in Metallica’s music and proposing that they further collaborate (he did some arranging in 1991 on “Nothing Else Matters”). His arrangements on the two previously unreleased songs, “No Leaf Clover” and “- Human”, give both songs a strong identity. It would have been interesting to hear an entire album or an EP with all new material, because the collaboration certainly had potential.

As a whole, I’d say this is a good Metallica release. The performance by all involved is good and it’s shot well. However, it would be a stretch to call this essential Metal(lica).

Artists with Symphonic Metal release(s)

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Traditional heavy metal
RAINBOW
Buy this album from our partners
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 Power Metal
HELLOWEEN
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
SLAYER
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Bork Sludge Metal
MASTIFF
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Wretched Tyrant Deathcore
MARA
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown Alternative Metal
JESTERS OF DESTINY
Buy this album from MMA partners
Mother Cetacean Funeral Doom Metal
SLOW
Buy this album from MMA partners
Two Paths Folk Metal
ENSIFERUM
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Free Metal MP3 download/stream

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Share this site
Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online