Thumbs up: +3
In progress, subject to change.

Title says it all really, I made an attempt to pick my favorite album from each of my favorite bands. I did not take into account the number of albums released by each band, and I did not take into account how many albums I've got by each band. Difficult to pick just one album by most of these giants! (Bands are listed alphabetically)

So here we go. :-)

Created by: Iamawalker | 15.05.2013



1. Angra - Temple Of Shadows
This one is both for Power and Prog fans. The music is exotic, fresh, powerful and very mysterious as well. I love their cross-breeding of genres and how they incorporate some of their Brazillian blood into the sounds on this album. With a dual guitar-attack that makes others look pale and a singer that knows his way around the vocal-chords, this is a must have for any fan of the genre!
2. Avantasia - The Mystery Of Time
This was a tricky one. Every album released by this super-group have been so great. But when it comes right down to the stand-alone aspect of each album without thinking the different sagas, this one might just be their best thus far. The arrangements are more detailed and the underlying orchestra takes it all to new heights... Oh, and there's two 10-minute epic length tracks!
3. Axel Rudi Pell - Mystica
These guys had to be on here somewhere, and this album might just be their Magnum Opus. It has everything you'd ever want in a melodic Heavy Metal album. Add a few sparks of both the double-pedals and the "journey to far-away lands" taken from Power Metal, then throw in some of that accessible glossy 80's influence and we've got ourselves one amazingly well-rounded album!
4. Axxis - Utopia
The Hard-Rockers who turned to Power Metal. These guys have been big favorites of mine for a long time now, and this album sees them venturing subtly into a bit of new territory. There's more of everything, in a nutshell. The sound here is fuller and more well-developed, arrangements are really interesting, plus how can you go wrong with such a god-given voice? Absolutely smashing!
5. Ayreon - 01011001
This is one fantastic Progressive Metal Space-Opera. The atmosphere is so captivating, so special, and all the different singers inject the whole thing with numerous colors and personalities. I love the usage of these different technological sounds clinging and clashing occasionally in the background. It really feels as though we've left planet earth and are finding ourselves out in melancholy of space!
6. Blind Guardian - A Night At The Opera
This is a difficult pick. After all, their last four albums are masterpieces. I went with this one as it might just be their most accomplished yet. It sees the band probably at their most Progressive and certainly most bombastic. It's the kind of album you can spin hundreds of times and still discover new things. Oh, and let's not forget "the epic to end all epics" at the very end of it!
7. Circus Maximus - Isolate
This band I didn't "get" until I heard their latest album. Then It finally clicked and I went back to their earlier stuff with opened ears. This is one monster of a Progressive Metal album. So dark yet so melodic. So intricate yet with a certain sheen of accesibility to it. I believe this to be their deepest and most focused release to date. I love the journey of this one. A mysterious concept!
8. Demons And Wizards - Touched By The Crimson King
Their second album and a masterpiece at that. One thing I love is how balanced it is. There's always an acoustic melancholic passage around the corner to break up the heaviness. The effect produced by this is awesome, as not only does it make the heavy seem heavier, it enchances the atmosphere so wonderfully too. Sharp guitars and unearthly vocals hand in hand!
9. Dio - The Last In Line
The grandfather of Heavy Metal vocals (RIP) had to make the list. Tough pick as well, he really did leave us with numerous impressive albums. This one has always been a personal favorite. The atmosphere is that of a barren egyptian desert with doom, gloom, magic, rainbows and wizards thrown in. What a master storyteller he was. This is one of his very best for sure!
10. Edguy - Mandrake
This is another difficult choice. There are other albums released by the band that I cherish every bit as much, however this one might just take the crown. Melodic Power Metal doesn't get any better, folks. It's one of their most coherent, atmospheric and majestic albums to date. The 10+ minute epic sandwitched right in the middle should leave any fan salivating for more!
11. Epica - Requiem For The Indifferent
This is, holy cow, batman, what an album. A classy blend of both the melodic aspect and the brutal aspect of Metal. The melodies are sophisticated, they don't quite jump at you the way you'd expect. Give it time to sink in, and the sheer brilliance of this album won't ever leave your ears. The arrangements are so detailed and rich. This is thought-provoking Symphonic Metal!
12. Evergrey - Glorious Collision
The feeling this album left me was that of a psychiatrist taking on all the pains of patients, having it touch him so vividly he just wants to reach out a helping hand and embrace them, but ends up being engulfed by the anxiety, depression and guilt of his patients instead. Okay, little dramatic, but this is seriously a masterpiece. One of the most desperate-sounding albums I've yet heard!
13. Gamma Ray - Majestic
This sees the band being their usually bombastic self, only the aggression gets turned up a few notches, the lyrics transform from their usual brand of ancient-alien-conspiracy into something more sinister, a secret-society-unholy-ritual kinda deal going on here... and I love it. Full on throttle Power Metal, the German way. Throw in some obvious homages to other bands and we have a winner!
14. Heavenly - Dust To Dust
This one is jam-packed full of goodness. A concept-album about the turning into vampire, a tale about sudden end of innocence to the quest for salvation and becoming human again. Of course, that's a bad-ass story to use in Power Metal. Although they hail from France, their sound has undeniable hints of German caliber. Compositionally this is not standard fare. Complex creation, this one!
15. Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy
The album that first exposed me to this band and probably their most epic and adventurous one to date. The songwriting favours longer and more elaborate structures. It always strikes me just how varied this album is. Everything you'd ever want in a Power Metal album is present. It's big, yet with a certain sense of down-to-earth mannerism that I just love!
16. Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death
This might be blasphemy, but I've always enjoyed their post-reunion stuff as much, if not more, than the classics. This is their crowning achievement. Extremely reflective, creative, with this semi-Progressive tinge going on. The bread and butter are the long and dark epics. I love the red thread running through it, connecting each song into a unified whole. Masterpiece!
17. Judas Priest - Nostradamus
The band aims high and delivers. Gone are party-rockers, mutants from hell and full-on Metallic onslaughts. Instead what we have here is a sweepingly epic Heavy Metal album. Hands down, incredible. Breathing and organic, it connects with the mystery and imagination surrounding the subject-matter. Vocals are heart-wrenching, guitars are majestic and lyrics are beautiful!
18. Kamelot - The Black Halo
This was difficult. How do you choose between masterpieces? Anyway, in this one they take on a darker and more gothic flare, adding more Progressive elements in the process. It's very representative of the bands' sound all-around, as it contains both the playful melodic aspect of the "old" with the dark melancholic details of the "new". An absoluetely riveting concept-album, it pulls you in!
19. Labyrinth - Return To Heaven Denied Pt.2
This one is special. Do you want your Power Metal to emphasize speed and heaviness but in such a way that keeps it interesting all the way through? Do you want it to contain more substance, a richly detailed arrangement and progressive elements thrown in for good measure? Then look no further than these guys. This is a romantic album. Very enchanting and atmospheric!
20. Lost Horizon - A Flame To The Ground Beneath
They really got off to a cracking start, these guys, huh? A downright shame we haven't heard from them in ten years. Still, their legacy is one of pure gold for the ears. This is an album that manages to succsessfully combine bad-assery with majesty. It breathes through with cosmic awareness and profound messages. This is pretty much the embodiment of Power Metal!
21. Luca Turilli - Prophet Of The Last Eclipse
This was a tough nut to crack actually. For a long time I found myself bewildered through the intense bombastic "splendour" of Italy, whenever I spun anything of these guys. Took some time to realize what a masterpiece this was. Symphonic Power Metal, conceptually driven with electronic backdrops and big other-worldly choirs. Can't ask for more than that!
22. Luca Turilli's Rhapsody - Ascending To Infinity
This "new" incarnation of the band only has one album up its sleeve, but what an album. Some seriously epic stuff, with a lot of weight on the epic. I love how every song tells a separate tale, yet they're woven together in such a unified way. The guitars are so flexible here. With a classical sound and style of playing it really brings home that big cinematic feeling!
23. Masterplan - Aeronautics
These guys are long time favorites of mine. One thing they do so brilliantly is to combine Power Metal, Heavy Metal and Hard Rock in a perfectly synchronised manner. Very unique. Always classy. I love the feel and flow of this album. Completely devoid of cliches and sappy moments. It's a wall of sound coming at you but very polished and sophisticated. Fantastic!
24. Pyramaze - Legend Of The Bone Carver
This is a dark fantasy themed Power Metal album that prides itself in being heavy, hard-hitting and majestic. Not in the bombastic sense, but more subtly so. They greatly utilize an abillity to compose intense instrumental parts, like a freight train running full speed. Yet they bring it down and lace it with such dreamy floating vocal-melodies. A beautifully told concept-story!
25. Sabaton - The Art Of War
What happens when you put tactical warfare and bombastic melodic Metal in the same proximity? You get something explosive and deadly, which is what this little sweetie is made of. Don't let that fool you though. There's more to it. A militant charm coupled with a cleanly polished soundscape creates an awesome product. 'Integrity' and 'consistency' are the key-words!
26. Secret Sphere - Portrait Of A Dying Heart
This is an amazing album, and this band a new discovery on my part. If you love technical guitar-acrobatics, wall-of-sound drumming, beautiful lyrical poetry and a sense of urgency in atmosphere and melody, then these guys are your cup of tea. I love the arrangements here. So balanced and intruiging. Oh, and the vocals are some of the best the genre has to offer. Epic win!
27. Seventh Wonder - The Great Escape
This was the album that made me fall in love with these Proggy dudes. I could easily have switched it with a couple of their other albums though. Yes, they're that good. With some of the most interesting instrumentalism I've ever heard, and some extremely well-developed vocal melodies, these guys are dead set on quality. Oh, and watch out for the 30-minute long epic track!
28. Sonata Arctica - Unia
They went experimental for this album. Big time. A progressive sense is shining through. The whole album functions like a dream, where everything is possible and nothing impossible. Twists and turns, dreams and nightmares, emotion and psyche. I love the lyrics to this album. The keyboards add a whole new dimension and I feel both guitars and keys play off of each other extremely well!
29. Stratovarius - Elysium
This is so far the only album I'm familiar with by these guys. The frozen sound-landscape is irresistible. It's as if the protagonist in the lyrics doesn't know what the hell's going on most of the time. I love that feeling. As if the artist and the listener are both on the same page, while the scenery is "too big" to comprehend for both, somehow. The epic-length track is placed perfectly at the end!
30. Symphony X - The Odyssey
This is a band I never dreamt would become one of my absolute favorites. Everything they do, they do oh so exceedingly well. This is Progressive Metal with themes of epic heroism and dark mysteries. Beautifully layered with an obsession for brutal riffing, sweeping symphonics and greatly developed songwriting. It's an understatement to call this a masterpiece. The title-track says it all!
31. Theocracy - As The World Bleeds
They play Power Metal while at the same time proudly proclaiming their fate in Christ. How's that for a nice change of pace? It's very fresh, loose and sometimes almost laid-back in its unapologetic majesty. At its core their sound seems fairly basic but they always have a new trick or two up their sleeve to maintain the momentum and interest. Fantastic choirs in this one!
32. Xandria - Neverworld's End
This is it, folks. If you ever found yourself wondering what their Finnish genre-brothers would sound like had they kept the original vocalist and basically intensified their sound, you should find yourself right at home with this one. It stands as a magnificent work of art. A yearning for inner wisdom, lost knowledge and everlasting love. There's a beautiful message in the music. 'Passionate' is a word that comes to mind!



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Iamawalker ]



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Erik M. - 15.05.2013 at 21:41  
Nice idea for a list. The only bands/musicians I know very well are Ayreon, Epica and Kamelot, although I'd say 01011001 ranks at #3 (ItEC is #1 and THE #2), Requiem for the Indifferent is the weakest for me (The Phantom Agony is at #1 for me by a long shot) and I agree with The Black Halo, although I haven't listened to their latest two albums. Not strange I don't know (the music of) most of these bands since our tastes differ immensely.
Iamawalker - 15.05.2013 at 22:32  
Written by Erik M. on 15.05.2013 at 21:41

Nice idea for a list. The only bands/musicians I know very well are Ayreon, Epica and Kamelot, although I'd say 01011001 ranks at #3 (ItEC is #1 and THE #2), Requiem for the Indifferent is the weakest for me (The Phantom Agony is at #1 for me by a long shot) and I agree with The Black Halo, although I haven't listened to their latest two albums. Not strange I don't know (the music of) most of these bands since our tastes differ immensely.


Thanks man.

Yeah, we agree on some quality television and some biblical-views, but musically we're not extremely synchronised, hehe.

I'm eager to get my hands on Electric Castle. Been reading nothing but good things about it, and you have strongly recommended it to me a couple of times as well.

With Kamelot I could have gone for any album they've released the last ten years, so I'd say their last two are fantastic as well. Different though. Poetry goes further into the doomy-gloomy, while Silverthorn is a bit more related to albums like Black Halo and Karma (minus Khan obviously).

Epica is pretty much a new discovery to me and I guess part of the reason why I cherish Requiem so much is because I'm not familiar at all with their earlier works. I've been thinking since I first heard the album; "if this is supposed to be their weakest one and a let-down, then I can't imagine how good the other ones are". Looking forward getting to know this band better.
Erik M. - 17.05.2013 at 00:11  
Written by Iamawalker on 15.05.2013 at 22:32

Thanks man.

Yeah, we agree on some quality television and some biblical-views, but musically we're not extremely synchronised, hehe.

I'm eager to get my hands on Electric Castle. Been reading nothing but good things about it, and you have strongly recommended it to me a couple of times as well.

With Kamelot I could have gone for any album they've released the last ten years, so I'd say their last two are fantastic as well. Different though. Poetry goes further into the doomy-gloomy, while Silverthorn is a bit more related to albums like Black Halo and Karma (minus Khan obviously).

Epica is pretty much a new discovery to me and I guess part of the reason why I cherish Requiem so much is because I'm not familiar at all with their earlier works. I've been thinking since I first heard the album; "if this is supposed to be their weakest one and a let-down, then I can't imagine how good the other ones are". Looking forward getting to know this band better.


Exactly, always good to "know" people that can actually think logically.

That being said, shame on you for still not having checked out Into the Electric Castle. It's all a matter of opinions, since most people think The Human Equation is by far the best, but I think it comes just in at #2 behind ItEC. Have a look at my (very unpopular, due to not having THE at #1 ) Ayreon list if you're interested. Your taste is different than mine, so you might not agree at all when you heard all of the albums.

Anyway, I used to like Kamelot a lot, but somehow I didn't think Ghost Opera was that great so I kind of lost interest in the band. And then when Khan left I lost my interest totally. I did see them live years back and since Khan was still the vocalist back then it was a great show.

Not sure how you feel about growls (since you like a lot of power metal, which never has growls?), but if you don't mind them or like them, then Epica is definitely a band for you. I think The Phantom Agony is fantastic and the only brilliant album by the band. The others are still great, but as with so many bands in the last few years, they also let me down with their latest album and again I lost my interest a bit. I'll still check out their new album though, when it gets released. The Phantom Agony is also lyrically by far the best, just read/listen to the lyrics. After that one, check out Design Your Universe which features one of the best songs they have ever written: Kingdom of Heaven. That song is insane, I'm sure you'll agree with this.
Iamawalker - 18.05.2013 at 03:14  
Written by Erik M. on 17.05.2013 at 00:11

Exactly, always good to "know" people that can actually think logically.




That being said, shame on you for still not having checked out Into the Electric Castle. It's all a matter of opinions, since most people think The Human Equation is by far the best, but I think it comes just in at #2 behind ItEC. Have a look at my (very unpopular, due to not having THE at #1 ) Ayreon list if you're interested. Your taste is different than mine, so you might not agree at all when you heard all of the albums.


Yeah, I almost can't believe I haven't gotten around to getting it, since I love the stuff I've heard from Arjen so far. Guess I deserve a major spank for that one.
I checked out a few songs from it though, one of which I recall being a recommendation from you; "Isis And Osiris". If that's a good representation "quality-wise" for the album as a whole, then I won't be disappointed. Really fantastic song that one.

By the way, nice list. Now I'm really curious about The Final Experiment too. Stylistically, how does it compare to the others and/or which one does it bear the most resemblance to?


Anyway, I used to like Kamelot a lot, but somehow I didn't think Ghost Opera was that great so I kind of lost interest in the band. And then when Khan left I lost my interest totally. I did see them live years back and since Khan was still the vocalist back then it was a great show.


Although I view Ghost Opera as a masterpiece, I also agree with some fans saying it felt like a step back somehow. Especially after the monolithic double-smash of a concept story with Epica and The Black Halo. In that aspect, Poetry For The Poisoned saw them playing less "safe" (I think ), and made them expand further on the darkness and melancholy that was so prevalent especially in Black Halo (again, to most fans' disappointment as they received flak for taking it too far in that direction).
I think you'll enjoy Silverthorn. It's basically a sum-up of everything they done and dabbled with from the Khan-era, with some added Progressive parts and a bit more "bouncy" melody-lines (this could be due to new singer Karevik's contribution, as these elements are much, much more heavily featured in his band Seventh Wonder).

Ah, that's awesome. Wish I had been as fortunate, as I totally missed-out on the experience of seeing them live with Khan.


Not sure how you feel about growls (since you like a lot of power metal, which never has growls?), but if you don't mind them or like them, then Epica is definitely a band for you. I think The Phantom Agony is fantastic and the only brilliant album by the band. The others are still great, but as with so many bands in the last few years, they also let me down with their latest album and again I lost my interest a bit. I'll still check out their new album though, when it gets released. The Phantom Agony is also lyrically by far the best, just read/listen to the lyrics. After that one, check out Design Your Universe which features one of the best songs they have ever written: Kingdom of Heaven. That song is insane, I'm sure you'll agree with this.


I was never big on the more brutal aspect of Metal. Hence Death, Black and even Trash Metal is too heavy on my ears, especially vocally. I do welcome the inclusion of growls whenever they're done more as sort of an effect. Like you mentioned in your "beauty and the beast"-list; the contrast between clean and harsh. I really enjoy that. Lately I've found myself tolerating and even liking some stuff where they're very much emphasised. Maybe sometime later down the road, these elements will fully grow on me.

Thanks. I'll check it out (and take notice of that song). The lyrical aspect of the band definetely hit right at home. So if that's the case, especially regarding The Phantom Agony, and perhaps the rest of their discography, then it seems I'm in for a treat.

When speaking of Epica, what other bands would you recommend with similar style/themes/quality?
Erik M. - 19.05.2013 at 22:23  
Written by Iamawalker on 18.05.2013 at 03:14

Yeah, I almost can't believe I haven't gotten around to getting it, since I love the stuff I've heard from Arjen so far. Guess I deserve a major spank for that one.
I checked out a few songs from it though, one of which I recall being a recommendation from you; "Isis And Osiris". If that's a good representation "quality-wise" for the album as a whole, then I won't be disappointed. Really fantastic song that one.

By the way, nice list. Now I'm really curious about The Final Experiment too. Stylistically, how does it compare to the others and/or which one does it bear the most resemblance to?


Yes, I indeed recommended Isis & Osiris, which is probably my favourite song on the album, although most songs are great so it's hard to just choose one. Let me know what you think of the album, but I have a feeling you won't be disappointed at all, as it's very epic, has a ton of variety going on and a very good concept story. And be sure to listen to the whole album in one sitting, because it's meant to be listened to that way. And thanks for the +1 on my list. Wish I could return the favor, but since I know only 3 albums out of 30+ albums I cannot do it.

Anyway, The Final Experiment is, like every other Ayreon album (except for Actual Fantasy) a great album with a nice story. Very hard to tell you which album it resembles the most, but I'd be either Into The Electric Castle or 01011001. In any case it doesn't resemble The Universal Migrator (both parts) a whole lot, nor does it resemble The Human Equation a lot, which is the only Ayreon album without a sci-fi theme, so that alone makes it different than the others. I really need to listen to the albums again to tell you.

Quote:
Although I view Ghost Opera as a masterpiece, I also agree with some fans saying it felt like a step back somehow. Especially after the monolithic double-smash of a concept story with Epica and The Black Halo. In that aspect, Poetry For The Poisoned saw them playing less "safe" (I think ), and made them expand further on the darkness and melancholy that was so prevalent especially in Black Halo (again, to most fans' disappointment as they received flak for taking it too far in that direction).
I think you'll enjoy Silverthorn. It's basically a sum-up of everything they done and dabbled with from the Khan-era, with some added Progressive parts and a bit more "bouncy" melody-lines (this could be due to new singer Karevik's contribution, as these elements are much, much more heavily featured in his band Seventh Wonder).

Ah, that's awesome. Wish I had been as fortunate, as I totally missed-out on the experience of seeing them live with Khan.


I see. I've heard more people saying the same thing about Poetry of the Poisoned (that's it's less "safe"). I might check out the latest two albums if I'm in the mood for it, so thanks for the explanation.

Quote:
I was never big on the more brutal aspect of Metal. Hence Death, Black and even Trash Metal is too heavy on my ears, especially vocally. I do welcome the inclusion of growls whenever they're done more as sort of an effect. Like you mentioned in your "beauty and the beast"-list; the contrast between clean and harsh. I really enjoy that. Lately I've found myself tolerating and even liking some stuff where they're very much emphasised. Maybe sometime later down the road, these elements will fully grow on me.

Thanks. I'll check it out (and take notice of that song). The lyrical aspect of the band definetely hit right at home. So if that's the case, especially regarding The Phantom Agony, and perhaps the rest of their discography, then it seems I'm in for a treat.

When speaking of Epica, what other bands would you recommend with similar style/themes/quality?


Hehe, I expected that. Honestly, almost no metal is too heard on my ears, except for stuff that's extremely chaotic, like Portal for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt1OsomqlAg Cannot listen to that kind of thing because it really gets on my nerves and cannot relax when I listen to it. Also, stuff like drone metal with ridiculous distorting and noise like The Angelic Process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNu9JuURXL8 isn't my cup of tea at all. By the way, that album is being hailed as a masterpiece but I cannot hear that at all, since the real music isn't really noticeable. And then aside from Nu, Alternative and Grind-/Metalcore I can pretty much enjoy anything, although Power metal is also far from my favourite genre, but I don't hate it like the others.

But thrash metal too, really? Vocal-wise it's pretty tame I'd say. And check out my Beauty and the Beast list again in the future, because right now I'm rating all of them so it's easy for people who don't know a lot of music in that subgenre to check out the best albums (although it obiously remains my opinion only). I only rate albums after at least 3 spins so it'll be months from now until I rated everything on the list.

After Forever resembles Epica a lot. Check out their first two albums. Also, check out Diabolus In Musica's albums and the debut of Tears of Magdalena. All those albums resemble Epica a lot, especially the last one, which makes you feel like you're listening to Epica, no joke.
Iamawalker - 21.05.2013 at 10:24  
Written by Erik M. on 19.05.2013 at 22:23

Written by Iamawalker on 18.05.2013 at 03:14


Quote:
Yes, I indeed recommended Isis & Osiris, which is probably my favourite song on the album, although most songs are great so it's hard to just choose one. Let me know what you think of the album, but I have a feeling you won't be disappointed at all, as it's very epic, has a ton of variety going on and a very good concept story. And be sure to listen to the whole album in one sitting, because it's meant to be listened to that way. And thanks for the +1 on my list. Wish I could return the favor, but since I know only 3 albums out of 30+ albums I cannot do it.


Sounds absolutely great. I'll eventually get the ones I'm missing, definetely starting with "Electric Castle".
Yeah totally, no worries. Would be "lame" to thumb-up something just for the heck of it.

Quote:
Hehe, I expected that. Honestly, almost no metal is too heard on my ears, except for stuff that's extremely chaotic, like Portal for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt1OsomqlAg Cannot listen to that kind of thing because it really gets on my nerves and cannot relax when I listen to it. Also, stuff like drone metal with ridiculous distorting and noise like The Angelic Process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNu9JuURXL8 isn't my cup of tea at all. By the way, that album is being hailed as a masterpiece but I cannot hear that at all, since the real music isn't really noticeable. And then aside from Nu, Alternative and Grind-/Metalcore I can pretty much enjoy anything, although Power metal is also far from my favourite genre, but I don't hate it like the others.


Oh my, that Portal stuff was... Well, I'm baffled about what the hell was going on there. Same with Angelic Process. The sound was a bit reminiscent of experimenting with the equalizer, and completely messing it up. Yupp, totally with you there.

Quote:
But thrash metal too, really? Vocal-wise it's pretty tame I'd say. And check out my Beauty and the Beast list again in the future, because right now I'm rating all of them so it's easy for people who don't know a lot of music in that subgenre to check out the best albums (although it obiously remains my opinion only). I only rate albums after at least 3 spins so it'll be months from now until I rated everything on the list.


Yeah, my intolerance for Thrash is a bit "unclear", even to me. I guess when I say too agressive, I mean mostly in a melodic sense and not really in terms of vocals or instruments (I'm not sure if that makes sense..? ) I do enjoy bands, albums or songs that are sort of hybrids between Power/Thrash and I guess Heavy/Thrash also, so it's a fine line there.

Thanks, I'll check out your lists and recommendations regarding the "beauty and the beast"-stuff. Haven't dabbled enough with that (though I want to) and you seem to know your way around there (I still have much to learn, my master... ) Seriously though, I'm always in the mood for discovering new stuff, so feel free to keep the recommendations coming.
Erik M. - 22.05.2013 at 23:56  
You kind of screwed up the quote windows, haha. So I'm just writing a new message.

Have fun with The Electric Castle. It's basically everything you'd want in an Ayreon release if you ask me. As you know by now, I think it's his best work, even better than The Human Equation, because of reasons I mentioned in my "Ayreon: Best To Worst" list.

Thanks for the thumbs up (again ) on my other list. I hope you can get into the gothic "beauty and the beast" genre. Just start with the highest rated stuff that's on my list and if you don't like those, then the style isn't your cup of tea, but I listened to Widow's Weeds again today and let's just say I'm totally content with it being #1, it's simply a damn masterpiece that one. And I don't call an album a "damn masterpiece" so easily.

But yeah, Portal and The Angelic Process are definitely not my style, so we at least agree on that. I'd understand if thrash is too aggressive... along with death metal probably the most aggressive metal subgenre I think. On a side note, I actually listened to power metal today, which I haven't done in years (I used to listen to Kamelot very often) and I actually quite liked it. I'm talking about Pyramaze - Melancholy Beast. Can't stand the vocals on the track "Until We Fade Away" though (so I didn't finish listening to that one), but besides that I think it was good. I noticed you have a different Pyramaze album in your list, but I did expect you to know the band since you basically know all power metal stuff (right?).
Iamawalker - 24.05.2013 at 22:48  
Written by Erik M. on 22.05.2013 at 23:56

You kind of screwed up the quote windows, haha. So I'm just writing a new message.

Have fun with The Electric Castle. It's basically everything you'd want in an Ayreon release if you ask me. As you know by now, I think it's his best work, even better than The Human Equation, because of reasons I mentioned in my "Ayreon: Best To Worst" list.

Thanks for the thumbs up (again ) on my other list. I hope you can get into the gothic "beauty and the beast" genre. Just start with the highest rated stuff that's on my list and if you don't like those, then the style isn't your cup of tea, but I listened to Widow's Weeds again today and let's just say I'm totally content with it being #1, it's simply a damn masterpiece that one. And I don't call an album a "damn masterpiece" so easily.

But yeah, Portal and The Angelic Process are definitely not my style, so we at least agree on that. I'd understand if thrash is too aggressive... along with death metal probably the most aggressive metal subgenre I think. On a side note, I actually listened to power metal today, which I haven't done in years (I used to listen to Kamelot very often) and I actually quite liked it. I'm talking about Pyramaze - Melancholy Beast. Can't stand the vocals on the track "Until We Fade Away" though (so I didn't finish listening to that one), but besides that I think it was good. I noticed you have a different Pyramaze album in your list, but I did expect you to know the band since you basically know all power metal stuff (right?).



Yeah, I tried to fix it a couple of times too. Prolly' made it worse, haha.

Eventually I'll get around to that (so much stuff... so little money. Will check it out on YT ).

Yeah, you seem to be more fair on ratings than I am. As I'm going through my own, it looks like I've been handing out 10's all over the place (I'll figure out a proper way of doing that. Hmm, a list of criterias maybe. That could work. ).

Agreed, that Pyramaze album is gold (I'm missing that one. ).
Nope, I definetely do not know all Power Metal stuff, haha. Though I've been a fan of the genre for years (Melodic Metal in general), I only began about a couple of years ago to sort of stay tuned on new stuff coming out. Still a crapload I wanna get my hands on (again, so much music and so little money ).
Erik M. - 25.05.2013 at 17:43  
Written by Iamawalker on 24.05.2013 at 22:48

Yeah, I tried to fix it a couple of times too. Prolly' made it worse, haha.

Eventually I'll get around to that (so much stuff... so little money. Will check it out on YT ).

Yeah, you seem to be more fair on ratings than I am. As I'm going through my own, it looks like I've been handing out 10's all over the place (I'll figure out a proper way of doing that. Hmm, a list of criterias maybe. That could work. ).

Agreed, that Pyramaze album is gold (I'm missing that one. ).
Nope, I definetely do not know all Power Metal stuff, haha. Though I've been a fan of the genre for years (Melodic Metal in general), I only began about a couple of years ago to sort of stay tuned on new stuff coming out. Still a crapload I wanna get my hands on (again, so much music and so little money ).


Well, I easily give something a 7 or an 8. Even 9's are pretty common lately for me (but that's because I only listen to music I know I really like), but a 10 needs to be something REALLY special, so I don't hand out a lot of those. Most 10's that I've handed out are of Opeth and My Dying Bride albums (ten 10's in total). And yeah, I noticed you indeed rated a lot of stuff a 10, which could be either one of two things: 1. You're not very critical when you rate stuff or 2. You simply listen to brilliant music a lot... if you look at the ratings of MS users who are Elite of Staff then most of the time their average rating isn't above the 8 (mine isn't either, but it's very close, haha), but that's because they listen to so much different stuff there's bound to be average music among it. I listen, like you, to only music I know I will like or else I don't listen to it and thus won't rate it on MS. Anyway, your list of criteria is fine if you ask me, but so is MS's rating system (1-10 scale works the best for me).

And yes, I definitely liked the Pyramaze album, but I absolutely hate vocals in power metal like you hear in the song "Until We Fade Away". It's a bit like "Don't You Cry" (Kamelot). I might like power metal when the vocals aren't so emotional and when the music sounds a bit like Pyramaze's debut. If you have any similar bands/albums let me know, so I can expand my taste even more.
Iamawalker - 25.05.2013 at 23:10  
Written by Erik M. on 25.05.2013 at 17:43

Well, I easily give something a 7 or an 8. Even 9's are pretty common lately for me (but that's because I only listen to music I know I really like), but a 10 needs to be something REALLY special, so I don't hand out a lot of those. Most 10's that I've handed out are of Opeth and My Dying Bride albums (ten 10's in total). And yeah, I noticed you indeed rated a lot of stuff a 10, which could be either one of two things: 1. You're not very critical when you rate stuff or 2. You simply listen to brilliant music a lot... if you look at the ratings of MS users who are Elite of Staff then most of the time their average rating isn't above the 8 (mine isn't either, but it's very close, haha), but that's because they listen to so much different stuff there's bound to be average music among it. I listen, like you, to only music I know I will like or else I don't listen to it and thus won't rate it on MS. Anyway, your list of criteria is fine if you ask me, but so is MS's rating system (1-10 scale works the best for me).

And yes, I definitely liked the Pyramaze album, but I absolutely hate vocals in power metal like you hear in the song "Until We Fade Away". It's a bit like "Don't You Cry" (Kamelot). I might like power metal when the vocals aren't so emotional and when the music sounds a bit like Pyramaze's debut. If you have any similar bands/albums let me know, so I can expand my taste even more.


"Well, I easily give something a 7 or an 8. Even 9's are pretty common lately for me (but that's because I only listen to music I know I really like)"

Yeah, it's like that for me too. I usually only rate stuff that I've bought. Some are blind-purchases, but pretty much every time I want to make sure I've spent my money on something I know - or have a pretty good idea - I'm going to enjoy.

"1. You're not very critical when you rate stuff or 2. You simply listen to brilliant music a lot"

I guess it's a combination. If by critical, you mean filtering the listening through some sort of "how-awesome-is-this?"-checklist or as previosuly mentioned a list of criterias, then I'm definetely not critical. I'm guessing It's purely based on the emotional response I'm having to it. It's maybe more about how the music actually "feels" to me and less about how it actually "sounds" (though this might not be accurate at all and I'm just describing it poorly. ).

"but a 10 needs to be something REALLY special, so I don't hand out a lot of those."

Then it seems you're doing it precisely the right way, and I'm just being waay too generous.
Sort of had a personal definition on 10's. For me it felt more like a reservation for "masterpiece"-status rather than "perfection" (but those are probably pretty closely tied together(?). It might just be me having an issue with the actual term "perfection" and its definition probably, haha. Will do a make-over on my ratings and try to be a bit more, for lack of a better term, objective (and totally stick to MS' rating system).


If you enjoy both Kamelot and Pyramaze, then you might enjoy a lot of the Progressive Power stuff. Secret Sphere springs to mind. I've only heard one album by them, their latest one ("Portrait Of A Dying Heart", also in the list). None of the songs on that album are brought down to the silence and melancholy of say those über-smooth ballads of Kamelot, though they do share the same fondness for symphonic elements, progressive influences, conceptual storylines, etc. They are actually a bit similar to Pyramaze too. Heavy thick guitars, atmospheric keys, tempo-changes, but never done in an overly bombastic manner. It's more of a dreaming/floating vibe instead. Their vocalist (in Secret Sphere, on that particular album) is also a totally different beast compared to Khan for example (also, you might wanna try the latest Pyramaze-album "Immortal". It's basically the same winning formula, a bit more hard-hitting maybe, with a grittier and more "manly" sounding singer). Serenity and their "Fallen Sanctuary" album is another one that quickly comes to mind in that same vein or style, as Kamelot and Pyramaze. Masterplan too. They've got nothing but excellent albums so far in my opinion, and they also sit somewhere within that same mold or feeling as the others.
Erik M. - 26.05.2013 at 16:57  
Written by Iamawalker on 25.05.2013 at 23:10

Yeah, it's like that for me too. I usually only rate stuff that I've bought. Some are blind-purchases, but pretty much every time I want to make sure I've spent my money on something I know - or have a pretty good idea - I'm going to enjoy.


Since a few lists that I've made I also rate some stuff I don't actually own, but if I like it a lot then usually I end up buying it anyway. But like my collection, my wishlist also keeps getting bigger and bigger. And I'm like you in this regard: I only buy stuff I know I'll probably like, but I also buy some albums blindly.

Quote:
I guess it's a combination. If by critical, you mean filtering the listening through some sort of "how-awesome-is-this?"-checklist or as previosuly mentioned a list of criterias, then I'm definetely not critical. I'm guessing It's purely based on the emotional response I'm having to it. It's maybe more about how the music actually "feels" to me and less about how it actually "sounds" (though this might not be accurate at all and I'm just describing it poorly. ).


I know what you mean. I do the same, but I also think it's very important to see how long an albums remains interesting. I've had numerous albums blowing me away after a first listen, but then after some more spins it's actually less great than before. That's why I only rate stuff after after 3-5 or even more listens. Most 10's are albums I've at least heard 10 times, but there are exceptions (for example, I gave Limbonic Art - In Abhorrence Dementia a 10 after a first listen because I was totally blown away by it. Now after 10+ spins I still think it's worth a 10 rating, without a question).

Quote:
Sort of had a personal definition on 10's. For me it felt more like a reservation for "masterpiece"-status rather than "perfection" (but those are probably pretty closely tied together(?). It might just be me having an issue with the actual term "perfection" and its definition probably, haha. Will do a make-over on my ratings and try to be a bit more, for lack of a better term, objective (and totally stick to MS' rating system).


Actually I think I'm still not critical enough, haha. Once every few months I review my ratings and downgrade a lot of stuff I rated (then mainly 9's will become 8's though). That being said, I agree about the masterpiece-status, because no album is perfect. Also, since you cannot rate something a 9.6-9.9 (except for reviews), then a 10 is the only viable option left if you think it's worth a little less. I can't stand it when people say "if you rated it a 10, then it means you think it's perfect". Not true at all, since as I said perfection is impossible, and a 10 simply means you view it as a masterpiece.

Quote:
If you enjoy both Kamelot and Pyramaze, then you might enjoy a lot of the Progressive Power stuff. Secret Sphere springs to mind. I've only heard one album by them, their latest one ("Portrait Of A Dying Heart", also in the list). None of the songs on that album are brought down to the silence and melancholy of say those über-smooth ballads of Kamelot, though they do share the same fondness for symphonic elements, progressive influences, conceptual storylines, etc. They are actually a bit similar to Pyramaze too. Heavy thick guitars, atmospheric keys, tempo-changes, but never done in an overly bombastic manner. It's more of a dreaming/floating vibe instead. Their vocalist (in Secret Sphere, on that particular album) is also a totally different beast compared to Khan for example (also, you might wanna try the latest Pyramaze-album "Immortal". It's basically the same winning formula, a bit more hard-hitting maybe, with a grittier and more "manly" sounding singer). Serenity and their "Fallen Sanctuary" album is another one that quickly comes to mind in that same vein or style, as Kamelot and Pyramaze. Masterplan too. They've got nothing but excellent albums so far in my opinion, and they also sit somewhere within that same mold or feeling as the others.


Yeah, I think pure power metal isn't my cup of tea at all, so if it's combined with progressive it might work for me. Thanks for the suggestions.
Iamawalker - 27.05.2013 at 03:01  
Written by Erik M. on 26.05.2013 at 16:57

Since a few lists that I've made I also rate some stuff I don't actually own, but if I like it a lot then usually I end up buying it anyway. But like my collection, my wishlist also keeps getting bigger and bigger. And I'm like you in this regard: I only buy stuff I know I'll probably like, but I also buy some albums blindly.

I know what you mean. I do the same, but I also think it's very important to see how long an albums remains interesting. I've had numerous albums blowing me away after a first listen, but then after some more spins it's actually less great than before. That's why I only rate stuff after after 3-5 or even more listens. Most 10's are albums I've at least heard 10 times, but there are exceptions (for example, I gave Limbonic Art - In Abhorrence Dementia a 10 after a first listen because I was totally blown away by it. Now after 10+ spins I still think it's worth a 10 rating, without a question).

Actually I think I'm still not critical enough, haha. Once every few months I review my ratings and downgrade a lot of stuff I rated (then mainly 9's will become 8's though). That being said, I agree about the masterpiece-status, because no album is perfect. Also, since you cannot rate something a 9.6-9.9 (except for reviews), then a 10 is the only viable option left if you think it's worth a little less. I can't stand it when people say "if you rated it a 10, then it means you think it's perfect". Not true at all, since as I said perfection is impossible, and a 10 simply means you view it as a masterpiece.

Yeah, I think pure power metal isn't my cup of tea at all, so if it's combined with progressive it might work for me. Thanks for the suggestions.


Agreed. And some albums kick in during the first couple of listens while others can take ages to finally click... (:wall:)

I'm guilty of rating albums that I'm not as familiar with as I'd like to be (sometimes only 1 listen). I should strict'en up.

Hehe, thanks for clearing that up. Now I really don't see myself handing out any 10's at all if I were to go by MS' definition. Cool that someone else thought the same way about that. I've found myself thinking "how can someone give a 10 if it's supposed to be 100% perfect in every possible concievable way (which, I guess, it had to be to warrant such a rating)? Wouldn't it mean that no album could be better, not even a tiny bit, because nothing is better than perfect? And it would also mean that every album with a 10 would be 100% equal and 100% perfect (as anything less wouldn't be perfect). 99% wouldn't be enough, since only a 100 is perfection... )"

On the other hand, it's understandable in this context, if it's meant simply to separate the albums that one thought were "even better" than masterpieces but, yeah, it's just like you said...

Yeah sure, you're welcome!

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