History Lesson on Power Metal Music

Power metal is a style of heavy metal music that combines symphonic elements with traditional and speed metals to create a unique sound. The term "power metal" is often used to describe two different but similar styles: the first being a North American variant with a similar sound to speed metal and the second a more popular style describing a lighter, more melodic music mainly based in Europe. The European variant is what we'll be examining today.

History Lesson on Power Metal Music

Originating from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, also referred to as melodic power, melodic, and in some cases even "flower" metal, was in large part pioneered by the likes of Helloween, Blind Guardian and Stratovarius. The music itself is often very fast with emphases on tremolo picking and speedy solos and is almost always very melodic. Keyboards playing orchestrated melody over guitars became a mainstay in power metal as it swept through Europe and picked up influences from classical and folk music along the way.

The vocals of power metal are influenced hevily by the likes of Dio, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Bruce Dickinson on Iron Maiden, and Eric Adams of Manowar. They tend to almost always be cleanly sung, as opposed to screamed or growled as is prevalent in much of modern metal, operatic, and often in a higher register. It is not uncommon for vocalists to heavily layer their vocals to achieve a choral effect on their records as was pioneered by Blind Guardian's vocalist and front man Hansi K├╝rsch.

The lyrical themes of power metal can be as varied as the lyrical themes throughout all of heavy metal as a genre. There does, however, tend to be a greater tendency for these bands to write lyrics, and even portray an image reminiscent of fantasy novels or medieval times. Concept albums are not uncommon for power metal bands and like Rhapsody of Fire's Legendary Tales saga they are often fantasy based on stories the bands make up. Lyrics in power metal tend to be positive and hopeful as opposed to those in related genres like black or death metal. Although rare, power metal may have lyrics that delve into serious matters like war, religion, hate, politics, and death.

While being influenced by NWOBHM, speed metal, traditional metal and thrash metal, power metal has gone on to spur and influence a genre of its own known as progressive metal, a modern brand of heavy metal that bares resemblance to prog-rock, classical music, and, of course, power and speed metals.

If you're looking for more information about Heavy Metal Bands or Heavy Metal News, visit Metal CallOut.

by C Sparks; Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 11:16 AM [3026]

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