Welcome to Rapid Fire, with your host, Wolfenmaus. Rapid Fire is a series where, in 10 sentences or less, I review 10 of anything that fits into a category. Today, I am reviewing 10 power metal bands.
For the uninitiated, power metal is a musical sub-genre of metal that grew in the late 70s alongside thrash, speed, and death metal. Power Metal differentiates from these other sub-genres by using a more linear musical structure, preferring to keep the music melodic, as opposed to random. Surprisingly few power metal groups have "growlers", instead preferring to to utilize more operatic, rock voice.
Now that that is out of the way, let the review begin.
Samhain was a little-known group from Czechoslovakia active between 2006 and 2012. Their only full album is The Ark of Eternity, which is a generally enjoyable listen, although the engrish may be a tad humorous to some. Aside from this, the vocals are not scratchy, the guitar-work is solid, and few complaints can be made. It's honestly kind of a shame that the band split up after only one album.
7days is a Christian power metal band formed in 2004 that has released two albums. The latter of these, Into Forever, is rather reliant of power chords and simplistic riffs, as opposed to many other bands of the genre. However, it can, at times, sound a tad too dramatic, at least for my tastes. I'd say listen to a few songs, and see if you like them for yourself. I likely won't be listening to them very often.
An Israeli band beginning in 2001 as Area 51, Acropolis is about as basic as you can come when it comes to power metal. The band isn't as hard as, say, HKSC (which is another story), but they aren't full of softness, either. They're a rather nice balance of loud guitar and rapid drumming, but if you're looking for a band that's out there, this is not your music.
Say want you want about "flower metal", I genuinely enjoy the vocal performance done by Tony Kakko, lead singer of Sonata Arctica. This Finnish band has been around since I was born, and still sound as crisp and powerful as they did then. While their early work usually suffers from the same language issue that plagues Samhain, SA makes up for it with amazing, strong solos and melodies that rattle around in your head for a long time. A great band, all around.
THOR. ODIN. Ye gods, a more epic power metal group cannae be found on this or any other world. Manowar is, put simply, not a power group, as they fall into the folk metal category. However, I'm willing to overlook that on the grounds that Manowar is probably the hardest folk I've heard, next to Tyr. Always an enjoyable listen.
The album Exodus of Drama starts out soft enough, with soothing vocals and fine acoustic guitar-work, before hitting you heavily with sharp, shrill guitar and strong drumming. The lead singer seems to be obsessed with drawing out his words as much as possible, though, which is a tad humorous to me.
I couldn't tell you much about Emerada, as none of their songs are available online, as far as I know, but fans of them seem to go on about the blinding speed of their solos. So, hey, get hunting.
MAN THIS BAND IS GRIM. I was listening to Morte, and WOAH. This band really knows how to get your blood pumping with dramatic leadins, and ferocious chords struck with such precise timing that my heart got pounding...
And then it turns to generic background power metal with an edgy flair. Not sure what I was expecting.
I don't know why they're called power metal, either. They don't sound BAD, by any extension of the word. Emphasis just seems a bit overzealous and eager to get in your face with opera vocals that are NOT operatic. Just not my thing.
Despite looking like a bunch of preteens with hairgel issues, SKYWINGS (a Japanese power metal group) Is actually pretty pleasant to listen to, with the vocals blending into the music, making the song In Bloom feel like a bit more than a song. It's pretty alright, and I'm looking forward to future works.
Thank you, and I hope you will be looking forward to the next Rapid Fire. Wolfen out.
Reviewed by Wolfenmaus