Power Metal

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Introduction

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

European Power Metal

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

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

Sub-genres of Power Metal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Power Metal Inclusive Genres

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

- Written by adg211288 (April 2013)

Sub-genre collaborators (shared with US Power Metal & Neoclassical Metal):
  • DippoMagoo (leader)
  • adg211288
  • Sisslith

power metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

HELLOWEEN Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II Album Cover Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II
HELLOWEEN
4.47 | 126 ratings
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JUDAS PRIEST Painkiller Album Cover Painkiller
JUDAS PRIEST
4.46 | 138 ratings
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MINDMAZE Back from the Edge Album Cover Back from the Edge
MINDMAZE
4.62 | 11 ratings
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ORION'S REIGN Scores of War Album Cover Scores of War
ORION'S REIGN
4.79 | 6 ratings
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SEVEN KINGDOMS Brothers of the Night Album Cover Brothers of the Night
SEVEN KINGDOMS
4.72 | 7 ratings
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TRIOSPHERE The Heart of the Matter Album Cover The Heart of the Matter
TRIOSPHERE
4.71 | 7 ratings
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HELLOWEEN Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I Album Cover Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I
HELLOWEEN
4.40 | 103 ratings
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ARMORY Empyrean Realms Album Cover Empyrean Realms
ARMORY
4.64 | 8 ratings
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ETERNITY'S END The Fire Within Album Cover The Fire Within
ETERNITY'S END
4.68 | 7 ratings
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SABATON Heroes Album Cover Heroes
SABATON
4.55 | 11 ratings
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NIGHTMARE The Dominion Gate Album Cover The Dominion Gate
NIGHTMARE
4.67 | 6 ratings
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HELLOWEEN Helloween Album Cover Helloween
HELLOWEEN
4.54 | 10 ratings
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power metal Music Reviews

MANTICORA Roots of Eternity

Album · 1999 · Power Metal
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UMUR
"Roots of Eternity" is the debut full-length studio album by Danish power metal act Manticora. The album was released through Black Lotus Records in August 1999. It follows up the release of the "Dead End Solution" EP from 1997, which was originally released under the Manticore monicker, but is still considered Manticora´s first release. Forming in 1996 under the Manticore monicker the band changed their name to the current one in 1997.

Stylistically the material on "Roots of Eternity" continue the dark and heavy take on Euro power metal that Manticora initiated on "Dead End Solution (1997)". The songwriting and the performances are a notch up in quality from the EP, which is also what I expected and the same can be said about the sound production, which is more professional and powerful than the sound production on the EP. When that is said Manticora haven´t taken a quantum leap on "Roots of Eternity". The addition of keyboard player Jeppe Eg Jensen brings more focus on that instrument, but the music is still predominantly centered around the heavy guiar riffs and melodic themes of guitarists Kristian Larsen and Flemming Shultz (also new in the lineup since the EP).

Lead vocalist Lars Larsen predominantly sings in mid-range, and that´s a good choice because he still sounds a little strained when he hits the high notes, and although he is a skilled enough singer, his voice and vocal style don´t bring that icing on the cake element that the best singers bring to music. The instrumental performances are strong, but there´s little here anyone would think of as unique or original. This is just good solid quality Euro power metal in the heavy end of the scale, with the occasional progressive element thrown in for variation. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

GLORYHAMMER Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex

Album · 2019 · Power Metal
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Warthur
GloryHammer's third album offers us Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex, but they certainly sound a lot like the stories from this side of the vortex we heard back on Space 1992. (They even repeat the trick of including a bonus disc of orchestral arrangements of the songs on some editions.)

This is ultimately not a bad thing: Space 1992 was enjoyably cheesy symphonic power metal which had a sense of humour about itself, another 50-odd minutes of much of the same is welcome. That said, the saga of Angus McFife is supposed to span 21 albums. If this isn't just another joke, the band had better start finding ways to progress and develop and experiment with their sound, because here they risk falling into a formulaic approach which, whilst it hasn't gotten old yet, would surely get old if we have a bunch more albums along basically identical lines.

Still, fast guitars and drumming, stirring choral backing vocals, yelled dialogue, orchestral stings, and keyboard flourishes are all present and correct: all the pieces of the GloryHammer puzzle are here and they're implemented perfectly well. Time will tell whether they push forwards into new territory or descend into a rut.

GLORYHAMMER Tales from the Kingdom of Fife

Album · 2013 · Power Metal
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Warthur
Symphonic power metal heroes GloryHammer debuted with this album proving the value of learning to walk before you try to run. Whilst they cranked up the symphonic aspect of their sound, went for an even more bizarre and silly storyline, and generally turned everything up to 11 for their followup, Space 1992, on Tales From the Kingdom of Fife they prove themselves to be perfectly competent purveyors of comparatively straight-ahead symphonic-tinged power metal (if with somewhat tongue-in-cheek lyrics) in the vein of Rhapsody/Rhapsody of Fire, with perhaps a few pinches of influence from elsewhere. (Some of the spookier bits of narration put me in mind of Bal-Sagoth.)

It's all good fun - but it doesn't stand out from the power metal pack quite as much as their later albums do, so whilst it's worth getting if you're sold on GloryHammer and want to dig into the roots of their sound (and the Angus McFife mythology), I'd say Space 1992 is the better introduction to what they're all about these days.

BLACK SYMPHONY Tears of Blood

Album · 2001 · Power Metal
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lukretion
Black Symphony are a US-based prog/power metal band that has so far released four full-length albums between 1998 and 2007. Tears of Blood is their second release and is often considered one of the high points of their discography.

The music can be described as a mix between power/thrash metal and alternative metal, with a handful of progressive elements surfacing here and there in some compositions. Bands like Savatage, Iced Earth, Queensryche, Nevermore, Faith No More and Alice in Chains come to mind as one listens to Tears of Blood, showing the breadth of influences Black Symphony channelled through the 12 songs of the record. All influences are interpreted with personality and the music is played with rawness and immediacy, making this a rather direct release with a distinctive “live” feel to it.

This has both pros and cons. The songs have a good first impact on the listener. The guitar riffs, which constitute the backbone of each song, are muscular and punchy. The rest of the band tags along, putting in tight performances, especially the rhythm section. The keyboards are used sparingly, more as an embellishment to beef up the sound than as lead instrument. Ric Plamondon’s vocal histrionics are very engaging and in a few places invite natural singalongs. The arrangements are tight and straightforward and the songwriting is never too complex, favouring verse-chorus repetition over intricacy, even in the lengthier pieces. While all this contributes to making Tears of Blood a most direct and accessible release, it also reduces its repeat-listening value and makes the whole album, at 55 minutes of length, a bit of a dredge to get through. In fact, despite a few moments of brilliance and some interesting acoustic arrangements, the music is all a bit too samey and unimaginative to retain this listener’s active attention through the album’s duration and, in all honesty, the end came as a small mercy to me as I almost completely lost interest after the first two-thirds of the record.

Qualitatively, the album reaches its peak in the middle. Songs like “Death”, “Burned” and “Tears of Blood pt 2” feature excellent vocal melodies and slightly more sophisticated arrangements (with the use of acoustic guitars and choral parts) that elevate them over the rest. “Death” also features a nice, short melodic guitar solo and a nice instrumental breakout. Occasionally, these are present in other songs as well, but they are usually not particularly impressive from a melodic standpoint.

Overall, the album was a bit of a disappointment for me. While I appreciated the band’s attempt to merge diverse influences from different metal genres, I missed nuance and sophistication in the arrangements and songwriting and thought the record contains too many dull parts to elevate it beyond a “fan/collectors only” rating. The version I own also contains a second disc with four bonus tracks that are cover versions of songs by The Who (“Behind Blue Eyes”), Deep Purple (“Smoke on the Water”), Black Sabbath (“Zero the Hero”) and Queensryche (“Deliverance”). These are generally not very impressive, and the Queensryche’s cover is the only one I actually enjoyed.

SONIC HAVEN Vagabond

Album · 2021 · Power Metal
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Time Signature
Keep the metal alive...

Genre: traditional heavy metal with power metal elements

Take the best of two eras of traditional heavy metal (i.e. the 80s and the 2010s) and throw in some power metal epicness, and the result is very likely to be Sonic Haven's "Vagabond". The album is a masterclass i strong songwriting and how to use melody in a metal context.

The albums opens with a bang in the form of the uptempo title track which combines power metal sensibilities with a 'Kill the King'-vibe. The following track 'Back to Mad' is a midtempo melodic metal track with modern metal elements and some neat Priest-esque riffage. 'Nightmares' similarly draws on solid riffage and brings in a slight atmospheric orientation in the verses neatly juxtaposed with a super catchy chorus. 'Keep the Flame Alive' is a midtempo ballad which takes on a symphonico-epic nature; rich in guitar harmonies, the song also exploits the dynamics of rising and falling intensity. 'End of the World' is another epic song with power metal undercurrents and a catchy chorus. The next track, 'The Darker Side' is a more brooding and heavy affair which contrasts nicely with the more uplifting nature of the overall feel of the album. 'I Believe', a super melodic power metal track, is pretty much the polar opposite of 'The Darker Side'. 'Save the Best for Last' is another epic ballad. Unlike 'Keep the Flame Alive', this one is a bit too cheesy for my taste, and I much prefer the following track, 'Blind the Enemy' which is an uptempo power metal track which even contains elements that are slightly reminiscent of the very early days of Metallica. Along with 'The Darker Side', this is probably my favorite track on the album. The two last tracks are enjoyable, cathcy and slightly epic too.

The songwriting on the album is characterized by a melodic sensibility and a deep understanding of the magic of hooks. Overall, there is a slight sense of epicness to the album, but it rarely goes overboard into cheeseland. The musiciansip is also top notch, as listeners are treated to tasty guitar solos, captivating twin guitar melodies, and rock solid drumming. Herbie Langhans' vocals are slightly raspy and more oriented towards rock 'n' roll than epic power metal, but it actually works quite well as it is in line with the more old scholl heavy metal components of the album.

Sonic Haven's "Vagabond" seamlessly balances the melodic and epic feel of power metal with the magic of 80s metal riffage. Overall, we are dealing with a very catchy album which should appeal to fans of old school heavy metal along with contemporary melodic power metal enthusiasts.

power metal movie reviews

HELLOWEEN United Alive

Movie · 2019 · Power Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Imagine a Judas Priest show with both Tim Ripper Owens and Rob Halford singing together. No wait… Imagine a Sepultura show with both Max Cavelera and Derick Green singing. No wait, that’s not even it. I’ve got it… Imagine an Iron Maiden show with Paul Dianno, Bruce Dickinson and Blaze Bailey all singing. Well, maybe, if Dickinson had left after four albums and Blaze had been there ever since. Ok, Now swap out the zombie mascot for some comedy pumpkins and you’re approaching the situation here. Helloween, one of Germany’s biggest and most important bands, one of the most iconic Power Metal bands in history, with one of the most impressive family trees (Gamma Ray, Masterplan, Freedom Call, Unisonic, Iron Savior etc) make one of the most anticipated decisions in the history of the genre.

Who is your favourite Helloween singer? Is it Kai Hansen, the heaviest singer and the original? Is it Michael Kiske, the most technically accomplished and the one from their most iconic record? Or is it Andi Deris, their best frontman and the singer on the most albums? – Turns out, now you don’t have to choose. United Alive, the live video from the Pumpkins United tour sees all three join the stage together, cracking out a career spanning mixture of material from the earliest thrashiest material to the modern gems, with all the iconic genre defining masterpieces from the peerless Keepers’ era sprinkled in too.

There are over 20 tracks here (some are intros and solos, and some are medleys/combinations, but still…) that’s a lot of Helloween. All three singers take it turns to sing. Sometimes not even a song each, but rather dividing it up section by section inside each song, or all at once. It is very welcome to hear them back on some of their own tracks like ‘Heavy Metal Is The Law’ after not hearing it on the other live videos, or ‘Dr. Stein’ after having heard only Deri’s take on it previously. Conversely it is very interesting to see Kai or Kiske sing on some of the big commercial ‘90s/’00s hits like ‘Perfect Gentleman’ or ‘If I Could Fly.’

There are often 7 members on stage at the one time (or 8 if you count the keyboardist, Eddy Wrapiprou). There’s Weikath and Grosskopft on guitar and bass as always. Sascha Gerstner and Daniel Löble on guitar and drums like the last several albums. And the three aforementioned singers (with Kai also playing guitar).

There’s a mix of footage, ranging from headline shows in Madrid, Spain to festival appearances at Wacken and in Brazil. Sort of like they did already on their previous ‘Legacy World Tour 2005/2006 DVD.

Normally I really prefer a concert DVD to come from one single show, rather than complied from a series of different dates in different places with different lighting, sound and camera work, but given that the band itself is now a compilation of past and present members and some of the songs included are medleys, I don’t know why but it just works here.

The band put on a great show. There’s a lot going on. There’s video screens, a big pumpkin stage set piece around the drum kit (which has 4 kickdrums for some reason, just to add to the over-the-top feel of it all), a light show, and a few cheesy moments like members coming out dressed in a top hat and cane, or raining pumpkin balloons.

Deris, ever the consummate front man is great at revving up the crowd, and then the different members get spotlights for certain tunes and join up on others, there’s prolonged solo segments, a tribute to late drummer Ingo Schichtenberg, its all very diverse and entertaining. They even do a stripped-down bare bones version of the ballad ‘Forever And One’ straight after a super heavy Walls Of Jericho/EP medley, which pretty much shows both polar opposites of the band’s varied discography.

There’s multiple different ways you can buy it. DVD, Blu Ray, combinations thereof. Versions with CDs. The version I got it two Blu Rays. One with the concert and one with a load of extra footage. There’s a few extra songs (Including the underrated ‘Kids Of The Century’ from the oft maligned Pink Bubbles Go Ape album). There’s a bunch of behind the scenes footage looking at various aspects of the tour and production. It comes in a nice shiny digi-book with some brief liner notes and a glossy photo booklet. You know, just as if it wasn’t value for money enough already with an almost three-hour concert of a Helloween fan’s wildest fantasy line-up.

As a concept you really have to hand it to them; its quite a clever move to reuinite with past members without losing current members as some fans never got over Kiske leaving the band or only ever even tried the Keepers albums. Some fans really love the Kai era and you never get to see Helloween play much material from it anymore (you only really get the chance if he chucks one in to a Gamma Ray show some time). Its a great idea to reel them back in and show them how great the Deris era can be too. Come for ‘Halloween’ and ‘Future World’ but stay for ‘Sole Survivor’ and ‘Power’ then learn to love the Deris era if you don’t already.

Thankfully though, its not just the concept that’s good. The whole package is good. The sound, footage, editing and bonus material. Most importantly though, the performance. It doesn’t come across as a novelty cash grab, it really feels like a jubilant celebration. As they say in the opening track ‘Halloween’ ”There’s magic in the air.” This may be cheesy to say (but hey, if you like Helloween, you better be used to cheesy) but it really is a heavy metal dream come true. Buy it!

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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