Metal Storm logo
Getting Into: Power Metal: Part IV


Written by: ScreamingSteelUS
Published: 19.12.2021


Introduction


Having only just ended, the 2010s are still recent enough in memory that it can be difficult for us to parse out at this stage which albums and artists will be remembered most fondly and widely for their contributions to the genre of power metal. Fans looking back a decade or two or five from now will undoubtedly have their own opinions about which releases were most worth covering, and it remains to be seen which trends will hold, fall, or arise under the influence of this scene's most recent additions. To some extent, this entry more than the preceding three is beholden to my personal bias, as I was less certain of which albums could be considered "mandatory" and I filled space with some favorites; that’s not to say that it's all arbitrary, but I said from the very beginning that these articles are ultimately just albums that I like and nothing more, so this doesn't really deviate that much from the blueprint. Consider this just another list of ten power metal or power metal-adjacent albums that I think are worth listening to.

In this decade, you will see power metal getting closer and closer to the mainstream, with grander and grander scale yet: Avantasia scored some hit singles and even came close to a Eurovision entry, Nightwish produced a feature-length film, and Sabaton evolved from sensations to superstars. If I really wanted to, I could draw a line between power metal and Babymetal, but I decided not to do that, so you're welcome. I've also included some recombinations with folk, the growing interest in pop music as an inspiration/aspiration, and the revival of traditional heavy metal as a point of origin. Time II did not arrive, so we won't be talking about that. You'll just have to make do with tanks, time travel, and unicorn armies.

In case you are just now arriving fashionably late to the party and want to know how we got into this mess that we call the 2010s, I will direct your attention to the previous three installments of this series: Part I, Part II, and Part III.

We're Actually Still Trapped In December 2019, So You Should Remember What The 2010s Were Like




Galneryus is not talked about nearly often enough (by people who don’t listen to Galneryus exclusively, that is). Not only is Syu one of the most capable shredders in metal, playing with intuition as well as speed in a Buckethead-meets-Turilli sort of way, but the band has churned out a new album every 1-2 years since 2003 and they've all been consistently great. It could be that this reliability has resulted in a lack of crossover appeal or a flooded market; where do you even begin? Even acknowledging Advance To The Fall as perhaps the best of the lot, it can be difficult to label any one work as "definitive" given how superb they all are, and my choice of Phoenix Rising basically comes down to the fact that it features my current favorite Galneryus song, "T.F.F.B." (and I already had enough albums for the 2000s article). The band’s production has nudged up steadily over time and I happen to particularly love the guitar tones on this album, but this is only splitting so many hairs. Power metal fans who are in the know recognize the value of a golden goose routinely laying eggs that sound like DragonForce mixed with X Japan, and what Galneryus may lack in overseas commercial appeal relative to their European counterparts they make up for in street cred. Galneryus delivers shred-heavy songs filled with orchestration, often with light synth backing, and always with passionately strained vocals that add emotional flavor to the lightning leads. Instrumental pieces also factor heavily into Galneryus's discography, and their albums regularly push the hour mark with frequently lengthy individual compositions, so sitting down for such a constant barrage of illustrious, high-energy, and densely layered power metal demands much stamina. It'll be worth your investment, though: Galneryus is the pinnacle of the Japanese power metal sound and one of the most consistently rewarding artists in the scene today. You don't really have to honor my selection of Phoenix Rising; you can start with just about any album you want. Seriously, they're all great. Listen to all of them. As long as you start now.

Also recommended: ManticoraDarkness With Tales To Tell, DomineStormbringer Ruler (The Legend Of The Power Supreme), Mary's BloodBloody Palace, LovebitesAwakening From Abyss, Light BringerScenes Of Infinity



SabatonCarolus Rex (2012)


Welcome to Metal Storm. This is Sabaton, your new favorite band. All of their songs are about war and their vocalist is a sentient pair of aviators who dresses and sounds like a hand grenade. My blind devotion to Sabaton is the subject of much tomfoolery around these parts, and yet I think it would not be too subjective a statement to say that Sabaton is one of the bands currently dictating the status of power metal around the world today (if not metal as a whole); their chart numbers, festival draw, and global recognition are not to be dismissed. They have a song for everybody (or will by the next album), and the combination of musical bravado and patriotism-stoking historical deeds forces an unrivaled gut reaction; the directness, simplicity, and extreme crossover appeal of Sabaton's music result in an arsenal of earworms as deadly as any of the artillery they sing about. Joakim Brodén's rumbling, gravelly baritone is an anomaly in the genre, but the harshness of his rolling Rs and the guttural sounds of his rallying cries are perfectly suited to the bloody events he sings about. Accompanying him are chanting choirs, ringing keys, and guitar leads that are all dialed up to maximum cheese, and they're always transformed into any of four or even five basic song templates per album – you can always tell a Sabaton song from the first few seconds, as well as how it is going to end and what the next song will sound like. That simplicity accounts for much of Sabaton's ludicrous accessibility, however; Sabaton started to meet success in the previous decade, and already in this installment we're seeing artists who either were influenced by them directly or rode the wave that they generated. In fact, 2008's The Art Of War was the band's real breakthrough album and is still the one often considered their masterpiece, but I wanted to wait until 2012 for the sake of drawing the spotlight to Carolus Rex, which is the band's "signature" album: an album recorded in both English and Swedish, chronicling the rise and fall of the Swedish Empire, eventually reaching quadruple platinum status to become the best-selling Swedish metal album in Sweden. Then again, as the humorous observations will attest, one Sabaton album is much the same as any other, and my own favorite is [insert most recently released album here]. You aren't allowed to ignore Sabaton, however, because many artists of the current generation owe something to them, and it's my article and you have to listen to what I tell you to.

Also recommended: PowerwolfBible Of The Beast, RaubtierDet Finns Bara Krig, Civil WarThe Killer Angels, being a literal tank commander, this 10/10 meme



We've seen how power metal can inspire you to grandiloquent displays of magnanimity, suss out your emotional insecurities, and even coax the embers of malevolence lurking beneath your smile. Now it's time for power metal that will strangle the faint strands of hope vainly clinging to your heart. I like referring to Orden Ogan as "depressive suicidal power metal" because it seems like such a contradiction in terms; despite falling short of the intense lypemanic suffocation of Gunmen or Vale, To The End shivers with sorrow as much as cold. Pessimism is deeply entrenched in the frozen wastelands of Orden Ogan's soul – this is the beleaguered, ice-mad hermit of power metal, a curious outlier whose staggering musical feats are powered by the utter depletion of morale, and Sebastian Levermann's dolorous cries are a cold light in the blizzard that will lead you into blissful emptiness. Repetition is a key component of Orden Ogan's style, and with the umpteenth iteration of each melancholy chorus comes the realization that you are not exulting in the luxurious divinity of a mighty refrain but wallowing in the deprecating depression that it forces upon you. Don't be fooled by my colorless descriptions into expecting funeral doom, however – Orden Ogan can write Wrath Of Khan-grade earworms, and their infinitely catchy songs are reinforced by an unusually heavy mode of guitar work. Intense, palm-muted speed riffs turn into pure thrash sometimes, and chug-harmonic breakdown patterns surface more than a few times in their discography; as incredibly melodic as each track is, harnessed to the thunderous bombardment of overly aggressive riffing and the cracking ache of Weltschmerz in Levermann's voice, Orden Ogan might well be labeled "hardcore power metal" or some equivalent neologism. However deviantly you wish to classify them, Orden Ogan have a rare ability to merge dark and light sounds; while I believe that this ability is explored more fully in later, more atmosphere-based albums, To The End showcases the band's songwriting at its best. It may be the album to which newcomers might be most positively disposed, and it is certainly the one that crystallized so many unique qualities of Orden Ogan, which puts it near the top of the pops in terms of originality and effect, by my reckoning.

Also recommended: KiuasThe Spirit Of Ukko, Nocturnal RitesShadowland, SauromOnce Romances Desde Al-Andalus, KreatorGods Of Violence, LanfearThe Art Effect, BorealisWorld Of Silence



Once upon a time, power metal was just traditional heavy metal played fortissimo, right? Epicurean affectations like conservatory pedigrees, illuminated lyric sheets, and purple silk snare drum doilies have curried favor with the entourage of the empowered over the decades, but what do you do when you just want to pile in the van and burn rubber without having to book a fleet of trailers for your animatronic dragons? Certain exceptions aside, A Sound Of Thunder have thus far forborne application of bells and baubles; a classic guitar/bass/drums/cannon quartet suffices for their purposes, which are to raise a gauntlet to heavy metal's progenitors and inject some fresh blood into the old warhorse. I've already explained much of what I love about Time's Arrow, which corresponds to why I have elected to feature it on this list, but the condensed version is that we needed a representative of power metal returning to its base state in the 2010s, an interpretation of traditional heavy metal that's just more guts and more glory. The groovy, classic-sounding riffs slam like Bobby Thomson with a pennant in his sights, and I can guarantee that this album features some of the best bass work in this whole series; there's no Beethoven on Time's Arrow and no ancient lays of mythic warriors, no excess of synths or falsetto or cheese, just a dedicated focus on mining the best performances and slinging the best hooks. The album is not without its ambitions (the title track clocks in at just under ten minutes, with most breaking six, and "Queen Of Hell" is as anthemic as you can get playing this stuff); it's certainly not without an appreciation for the fantasy/sci-fi/horror themes that heavy metal embraces in its most subculture-driven subscenes. A Sound Of Thunder can be engrossing storytellers, and they'll indulge in a bit of pretension now and again – but the primary focus of their discography is to make the most impressive showing out of barebones heavy metal. Put the most arena-oriented Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Manowar, and Dio into a blender and this is what comes out: a pile of black-and-red-clad killers with an array of hard-hitting tunes and a lot of great instrumental prowess on display. This is where what we call power metal lies closest to the traditional metal sound, and really we're all just splitting hairs here; it's just loud and melodic and echoes for ages. That's all you need to know about it.

Also recommended: AcceptBlood Of The Nations, Holy GrailCrisis In Utopia, White WizzardThe Devil's Cut, Seven KingdomsThe Fire Is Mine, EnforcerDiamonds



Gloryhammer originated as an Alestorm side quest, so called because of keyboardist/songwriter Christopher Bowes's notoriety relative to the other members. At first, observers wondered whether this was a "real band" or simply a parody, the latter of which seemed in line with Alestorm's proclivities, but eventually most listeners realized that this was an invalid question. First of all, we live in postmodern times: the fact that you're aware of the joke is in itself the joke because only irony is funny, not conventional humor, so parody isn't funny, which means that constructing parody anyway while fully acknowledging its inherent lameness makes it the funniest post-ironic meta gag in history, so however funny you think this is, it's not the right amount of funny. Second, this is power metal we're talking about. Every single thing is already a parody of itself, in case you've never thought about how impractical fighting the world really is. It took exactly one album for Gloryhammer to divest itself of any existential baggage and charge right into the annals of power metal history; a heroic chorus waits for no philosopher, no matter how many layers of self-conscious humor it is nested in. Gloryhammer is the K-pop of power metal: everything other bands were already doing mixed together, refined, and played one louder in an inscrutable blend of earnest goofiness. Set in a fantastical mythology of the band's own devising, with each member playing a role in the epic romance, Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife is packed full of mighty refrains, grand collages of keyboard-and-guitar combos, and lyrics of questionable grammatical value for an extra dash of Euro-power spice. Gloryhammer dutifully appropriates every power metal cliché in the book and commits to them full-throttle, building on the genre's obsession with majesty and magnanimity and tearing through chorus after chorus of hoofbeat double-bass, scale-scaling synths, and thunderous vocals that sound perfectly fit for the Dundonian throne. Gloryhammer is one of the best demonstrations of how easily metal can get carried away with itself and how fun that can be anyway; at some point, the line between joke and reality must always become obscured, and you may as well start with something that functions perfectly well in both realms.

Also recommended: Twilight ForceTales Of Ancient Prophecies, CelestyVendetta, Barque Of DanteLasting Forever, DerdianNew Era (Pt. I), AxenstarFar From Heaven



Battle Beast came to prominence in the early 2010s thanks to their hyperactive heavy metal style, lobbing clusters of high-impact vocals and dynamite choruses everywhere in an aggressive campaign to find the most metal way to write a pop song. Leading the charge were founding guitarist, backing vocalist, and songwriter Anton Kabanen and lead vocalists Nitte Vänskä (Steel) and Noora Louhimo (Battle Beast and Unholy Savior), all of whom were able to project incredible force with their voices and possessed varying degrees of gravelly texture for extra abrasion. After 2015's Unholy Savior, tensions brewing within the band led to Kabanen's acrimonious ousting; he went on to form Beast In Black, about whom you'll read more below. Although the split between Beast and Beast was bitter and unfortunate, each party, having gone their separate ways, attained license to play whatever their hearts desired, and that brought on two of the best albums of 2017. Bringer Of Pain is the album that lurked just under the surface of the previous three Battle Beast albums, the album that managed to write full songs around those face-ripping choruses where the vocalists dove in to prove their mettle. Simplicity was always the key to Battle Beast, and that remains the case here: limited riffs, built around a handful of chords; straightforward, predictable song structures; single-oriented choruses in every track. When you have a singer who can belt like Louhimo and a chorus that'll punt your ears into oblivion, you don't often have to look much further. Yet those first three albums often felt constrained, suffocated by their directness; Bringer Of Pain takes the extra step and gives itself room to breathe, resulting in a much more comfortable sound that feels fuller while still bringing all the promised pain. Keyboards were part of the band's sound already, but this album dials up the concentration and applies synth splashes to every overloaded trad-heavy riff in sight; the keys play a much larger role here, cushioning most of the edges into more mellifluous melodies and creating a very spacious feeling throughout. In the midst of some conventional hard rock stomping ("Familiar Hell," "King For A Day"), charging metal anthems ("Bastard Son Of Odin," "Straight To The Heart"), and the all-important ballad ("Far From Heaven"), Bringer Of Pain also introduces Battle Beast's greatest epic ("Beyond The Burning Skies") and one of their heaviest, most unique tracks ("Lost In Wars"). This is the Beast's shortest and most efficient album to date, and it yields a great bounty of simple, catchy tunes with metal bones and pop sheen – one of the most exemplary works in the new generation of pop metal.

Also recommended: Follow The CipherFollow The Cipher, Brain StormNeverworld, Pretty MaidsFuture World, CansBeyond The Gates, LordiThe Arockalypse



For several albums, Unleash The Archers were unable to pull their production values up to the same level as their ambitions, but with Apex they finally managed to give voice to their most titanic dreams, and that resulted in something emblematic of a new generation of power metal. Jacob Hansen's production imparts to these melodious marches a sort of Trivium/Arch Enemy flavor, riding that thin line between extreme and accessible with a careful balance of distortion and cleanness, and that tension extends into the music itself. Like many bands of their generation, Unleash The Archers are fueled by more than just pure heavy metal. Taking after the hybrid that 3 Inches Of Blood helped pioneer in the previous decade, Unleash The Archers turn to harsh vocals, breakdowns, and heavy percussion/riff combos for a metalcore-inspired approach that places the band somewhere in the center of a heavy/thrash/melodeath/power convergence, placing their fantasy/sci-fi themes and courageous choruses on a plane of smooth brutality. Their greatest asset, however, is the vocals: on the one hand, there's the obvious magnitude and presence of Brittney Slayes, whose earth-shaking bellows live up to her name, and on the other, there's the thoughtful ways in which her vocal lines complement the instrumentation. While you'll get plenty of blunt, standoffish, brute force-type choruses like the final showdown-soundtrack "Ten Thousand Against One," Unleash The Archers excels with melodies that are not so much bombastic as snaky and unexpected – catchy and cool in the vein of Sonata Arctica, albeit with a tremendous volume that feels more like being broadsided by a buffalo than being caressed gently by Tony Kakko. Classics like "Awakening," "The Coward’s Way," and "False Walls" couch layers of addictively sweet melodies within blasts of aggressive riffing, preserving the tradition of accessibility while showing off the versatility of a conventional metal sound. Apex is an ambitious title, but accurately reflective of this album's position both within Unleash The Archers's discography and at the forefront of power metal's tide of modern hybridization.

Also recommended: Mutiny WithinMutiny Within, Frozen CrownThe Fallen King, Burning WitchesHexenhammer, HuntressSpell Eater, Crystal ViperThe Curse Of Crystal Viper, Charred Walls Of The DamnedCharred Walls Of The Damned



The Megadeth to Battle Beast's Metallica, Beast In Black congealed from the igneous wrath of guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Anton Kabanen after his noticeably unceremonious ousting from his erstwhile project. It's not often that you find power metal fueled by the same furnaces of fomenting rage that dominate, say, thrash, but the not-especially-veiled inveighing against Battle Beast in tracks like "Crazy, Mad, Insane," "Go To Hell," and "Beast In Black" doesn't really fool anybody; although everything can easily be passed off as a Berserk reference, which is what the other half of the album is about anyway, Berserker is equally driven by Kabanen's indignant and single-minded passion to become the pinnacle of power metal, a man who oozes cheese and subsists solely on synthesizer patches that have been illegal since 1989. To complement his own inimitable backing vocals, which resemble healthy vocals processed through an industrial fish scaler, Kabanen recruited Yannis Papadopoulos, a 21st-century Adonis whose voice caresses like silk and scorches like lightning. Papadopoulos's singing can be so smooth and seductive that you could mistake him for the next Nightwish diva, and it can morph into an asphalt-ripping terminator so ferocious that only Beast In Black's bombinating synth blasts can contain it. Beast In Black represents the next stage in evolution for melodic metal: taking notes from the pop charts is one thing we're accustomed to in this genre, and offering no apology for same is expected these days, but to combine hooks like these with commercially optimized production and still retain so much metallic vigor – nay, to overload every single chorus with hyperheroic power and crunch the bones of naysayers underfoot – is a difficult feat to achieve. Beast In Black gives new meaning to the concept of over-the-top cheese. You want romantic ballads? You get romantic ballads. You want explosive shredding and screeching? You get explosive shredding and screeching. You want a synth beat that will make the club regress into a discotheque? Yeah, you get that, too.

Also recommended:HeavenlyDust To Dust, Brothers Of MetalProphecy Of Ragnarök, Ride The SkyNew Protection, AmarantheAmaranthe, AxxisDoom Of Destiny



Italy's greatest non-Rhapsody power metal crew formed in the late '90s and debuted to much excitement with 2001's Heathenreel, a folk-power combo that probably could have earned its own place in the previous segment of this series, but, as with Sabaton and Galneryus, I decided to keep Elvenking loitering in the woods for a while so that I could feature them in the 2010s segment. Elvenking helped prove the viability of the folk-power crossover alongside bands like the previously mentioned Falconer and Ensiferum, so those early albums are crucial, but Secrets Of The Magick Grimoire has been my favorite example of the style since its release: it mixes the jovial lilt of tavern anthems, the jaunty hooks of Freedom Call-school enlightenment, and a slightly primordial sense of wicked fun, calling on the strengths of both primary genres for an extremely detailed and memorable album. Each song on this album evolves through multiple stages, with every last piece of the cycle as heavily orchestrated and as infectious as the last; there are the galloping, speed-driven breakaways, the slow and reflective ballads, the spontaneous drop-offs into acoustic folk, and the mysterious tours through wintry woodland. Every member of the band flows in the same direction as the song demands: the drums surface as blast-beat-and-double-bass fusillades, bouncing tom fills, and medieval-sounding hand percussion depending on the desired effect. Guitar leads inspired by Blind Guardian and Amorphis trade off with violin, each winding its way through complex streams of melody drawn from traditional music, fellow power enthusiasts, and even some melodeath here and there. Damna's raspy cleans span all kinds of delivery, from devilish whispers to dramatic stage narrations, from gently cracking entreaties to high-pitched belting, and they're supplemented by ragged growls, bleachers packed with choirs, and a few guest vocalists; the vocal palette is as diverse as that of the instrumentation, which not only affords the band that much more creative latitude in songwriting but enhances the impression of being surrounded by wood elves deep in an old-growth forest. Elvenking's playful mood and exalted sylvan psalms blend seamlessly in an enchanting mist of melody and magic; next time you find yourself in the midst of nature, surrounded by spirals of berries and thorns, look closely into the shadows and you may see the silhouettes of Elvenking capering around in panegyric assembly.

Also recommended: Mägo De OzFinisterra, Tuatha De DanannTingaralatingadun, FairylandScore To A New Beginning, SpellBlastNineteen, SkiltronInto The Battleground



All right, so maybe Gloryhammer isn't a clear-cut parody band, but Nanowar Of Steel? Definitely just a joke. Right? Right? Parody, and comedic art in general, often gets the short shrift because of its perceived insubstantial nature: it's just a joke, so it can’t be important, impressive, or interesting. It's funny, but it's not a "real" album. Well, as any devoted fan of Weird Al Yankovic will tell you, it takes talent to write a good polka, no matter how stupid it is. They'll also tell you about the importance of a good video – it helps the execution of the joke sometimes, and you get lyrics, quite crucially – but then there are some elements of Nanowar Of Steel's humor that you simply won't understand unless you are a True Crusader of the True Crusade for True European Flower Metal (of Trueness). Take "Barbie MILF Princess Of The Twilight," in which guest vocalist Fabio Lione mimics a famous lyric from "Emerald Sword" (as Barbie, obviously), or "Ironmonger (The Copier Of The Seven Keys)", which features a recreation of a legendary scream from Manowar's "Metal Warriors" – and then there's "The Quest For Carrefour," a perfect upending of Imaginations-era Blind Guardian. There're skits, too, like a real comedy album, but therein lies more expert Manowar parody that isn't to be missed (no matter how many times I hear it, "Images And Swords" is still hilarious to me). Of course, the effectiveness of humor will always depend on the individual experience of the audience members, so this magnum opus of memey mimicry won’t necessarily tickle everyone's funny bone, but to circle back around to the point that I opened with, Nanowar Of Steel brings a whole lot of genuine ability to the Round Table. Stairway To Valhalla profits from the versatility of styles it reproduces (which is more than you're expecting, whatever it is that you're expecting), and the band's two lead vocalists (appropriately named Potowotominimak and Mr. Baffo) supply sky-piercing falsetto (POWER METAL™) and lightning-fast rants in Italian accents, not to mention a pretty damn good Till Lindemann impersonation. These songs function as well as any less self-aware power metal hit, and you'll even get some stylistic innovation that puts Nanowar Of Steel on the cutting edge of metal evolution, later continued by smash-hit chart-toppers (in my imagination) "Norwegian Reggaeton" and "Valhallelujah." Just because a band likes to have fun doesn't mean its music isn't worth serious consideration, and I can tell you from the number of times I've replayed this album that Nanowar Of Steel has already mastered power metal several times over – it's just more fun to have fun. Look around you. This is the genre we love.

Also recommended: Trick Or TreatEvil Needs Candy Too, Sonata AntartikaSonata In Troll Minor, LordiThe Arockalypse, Ultra VomitPanzer Surprise, Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee – "Despacito," Manowar – anything, I guess

We are fortunate in that the personnel on each of the albums featured in this article are all currently living, and thus we have no need of dedicating this segment to their memory; I shall instead dedicate the 2010s article to the late Kentaro Miura, mangaka of Berserk, without whom we would not have our two Beast-themed bands on this list.

Well, that's it. That's all you get for now. I know, I know, actually stopping the ride is not very true-ultra-glorious of me, but we ran out of decades. If all goes well, I do intend to supplement this series with another installment once the 2020s are behind us and I can reflect on whatever worthwhile albums the decade will have brought us, for I fully expect there to be more – plenty of bands new and old are continuing the charge, so there will be just as many great albums to choose from. But until then, if you haven't gotten your fill of great power metal from my articles, I'm sure there are plenty of people around here willing to shell out some recommendations, so drop a question in the comments; after all, my job was just to get you into power metal. Once you're in, then the real fun begins.






Written on 19.12.2021 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 15   Visited by: 166 users
19.12.2021 - 22:48
Siege Blade

Great series. Have you considered doing parts specifically for USPM or power-adjacent NWOTHM? I know you've mentioned some bands here & there,but a deep dive would be cool.
Loading...
19.12.2021 - 23:32
nikarg
Mod
My least liked metal genre in what is, in my opinion, its least interesting decade. Maybe because I have been hardly following the genre for the last couple of decades. In any case, this was so much fun to read, with trademark SSUS priceless quotes ("a man who oozes cheese and subsists solely on synthesizer patches that have been illegal since 1989").

Oh, and all hail the mighty Sabaton (never miss an opportunity to suck up to the Editor).
Loading...
20.12.2021 - 03:10
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Siege Blade on 19.12.2021 at 22:48

Great series. Have you considered doing parts specifically for USPM or power-adjacent NWOTHM? I know you've mentioned some bands here & there,but a deep dive would be cool.

Thanks. I'm glad you like the series. I haven't really considered going into any more detail than what I've already covered; I feel I already stretched the limits of what I know and had the time to research in these four parts, so I wouldn't consider myself qualified to get much more technical. I also think that the smaller and more localized you get with scenes like that, the less interested I am in the genre per se - there are individual bands I like, but I think I have to keep it as broad as the entirety of power metal for me to feel like I have enough stuff I like to work with. I guess I won't say never, but I definitely need a break after spending the bulk of 2021 on this series.
----
"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
Loading...
20.12.2021 - 03:14
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by nikarg on 19.12.2021 at 23:32

My least liked metal genre in what is, in my opinion, its least interesting decade. Maybe because I have been hardly following the genre for the last couple of decades. In any case, this was so much fun to read, with trademark SSUS priceless quotes ("a man who oozes cheese and subsists solely on synthesizer patches that have been illegal since 1989").

Oh, and all hail the mighty Sabaton (never miss an opportunity to suck up to the Editor).

I did have fun with this installment because I finally got to talk about Sabaton, but it was the one part that I struggled to finish, and in part it's because I do agree that this was the least interesting decade to cover. It's odd to say that, because this article is actually the most representative of my personal tastes of the four, but it did seem less exciting and it was definitely a lot harder to pick "important" albums. I'm glad you liked it anyway; this was definitely the most time-consuming project I've ever embarked on for Metal Storm, so it feels good to be done.
----
"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
Loading...
20.12.2021 - 07:46
JoHn DoE

Not much for me here, no surprise.
The only band I like here is Borealis, mentioned as a recommendation.

Also why is Kreator mentioned at some point? I don't get it. They got more melodic but not in the euro-power way.
----
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
Loading...
20.12.2021 - 12:30
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I hope you will live long en3to write part V, Vi, and even X
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
20.12.2021 - 13:12
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by JoHn DoE on 20.12.2021 at 07:46

Also why is Kreator mentioned at some point? I don't get it. They got more melodic but not in the euro-power way.

Not exactly, but they do sound similar to Orden Ogan specifically these days. Someone who likes Orden Ogan and the other bands I recommended might like recent Kreator, and vice versa.
----
"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
Loading...
20.12.2021 - 15:19
Darkside Momo
Retired
Once again, an excellent article Thanks for all the mirth and laughing, I guess this was the funniest of the four articles (well, having both Gloryhammer and Nanowar sure helps )
----
My Author's Blog (in French)


"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you"

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I am awake"
Loading...
21.12.2021 - 10:35
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
I wish I could snap my fingers and just have articles series about every metal genre written by SSUS delivered to me.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
Loading...
21.12.2021 - 11:07
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by nikarg on 19.12.2021 at 23:32

My least liked metal genre in what is, in my opinion, its least interesting decade. Maybe because I have been hardly following the genre for the last couple of decades. In any case, this was so much fun to read, with trademark SSUS priceless quotes ("a man who oozes cheese and subsists solely on synthesizer patches that have been illegal since 1989").

Oh, and all hail the mighty Sabaton (never miss an opportunity to suck up to the Editor).



About decade I might agree whit you, but then again new bands and many unknown bands simply take over where old bands left. Its in all genres, ofter much more better check out new bands as old.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
22.12.2021 - 11:37
bddidier

Thanks a lot, overall a good choice, except Sabaton (it's a matter of opinion of course but I've never liked them). But it's nice to see Galneryus featured, one of the best power metal band around with consistenly good albums.
Loading...
22.12.2021 - 12:39
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Excellent article as always I haven't listened to many power metal albums from 2010 onwards, I'm still working my way through the 80's and 90's, discovering albums I've missed out on, but when I have worked my way to 2010, I will be sure to check out the albums by the bands you have mentioned here, great work .
Loading...
26.12.2021 - 10:28
Arcticus

I've loved this article series - I've been starting to explore power metal more deeply over the past few years after being mostly dismissive of it prior to that, so these lists are like gold mines for me! It seems that my cheese tolerance increases with my age...I must say that when the 2020s list finally appears, I hope to see Judicator on it! Thanks for the superb reading experience and recommendations
Loading...
26.12.2021 - 10:52
nikarg
Mod
^ Since Judicator was mentioned, can I just add that during the previous decade I liked a couple of power/thrash bands - Project: Roenwolfe and Paladin.
Loading...
27.12.2021 - 20:05
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Arcticus on 26.12.2021 at 10:28

I've loved this article series - I've been starting to explore power metal more deeply over the past few years after being mostly dismissive of it prior to that, so these lists are like gold mines for me! It seems that my cheese tolerance increases with my age...I must say that when the 2020s list finally appears, I hope to see Judicator on it! Thanks for the superb reading experience and recommendations

I do intend to cover Judicator once we get to the other side of this decade; beyond that, I'd be a little hard-pressed to come up with new acts who have made the kind of splash that would make them worth featuring, but we still have plenty of 2020s to go, and I have by no means explored what power metal has offered in these last couple of years. I could see Sacred Outcry, Brothers Of Metal, or Warrior Path making the cut, off the top of my head. There are others out there I'll have to research before then.

Anyway, I'm glad you've enjoyed the series. I've always been fond of power metal, but I think that deciding to do this series has really increased my appreciation for it, since I wound up having to listen to hundreds of albums over the course of the writing. I wasn't sure before but I think now I could comfortably say that it's my favorite subgenre.
----
"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
Loading...

Hits total: 2276 | This month: 2