power metal

I've noticed a trend in power metal recently, where the genre is getting fractured in a way that does no one any favors.  On the one hand, there is a group of bands that are taking power metal in a darker, heavier, more modern direction.  While I like some of these bands, they largely s

Of all the metal bands that have impressed me in the last decade, the vast majority of them have only managed to do so with a single album. Maintaining that level has proven difficult for many bands, but Orden Ogan is not one of them.

I first heard about Dragonforce before they became popular through the Guitar Hero games. I heard about their first album when it came out, and I was quite puzzled by what I was hearing.

When last we heard from Sabaton, they were a band in a state of flux. “Carolus Rex” was the last statement of a band that was fracturing, a dividing line that will make clear what constituted the Sabaton sound all these years.

First off, what’s important to underline before telling the Battleroar story is that “Blood of Legends” is not merely an album. The record exists as an exhibition in craft and the ability to tell a tale through a mix of classical narrative and metal elements.

When last we saw Sonata Arctica, the veteran band was in the midst of rebuilding their legacy, after a detour that alienated a large portion of their fan base. That record was a step in the right direction, but not one that was up to the standard that everyone has set for the band.

Normally, I'm not one who goes for gimmicks in music. I find them tacky, and mostly useless appendages that try to mask a band's deficiencies. Taking a cookie-cutter band and dressing them up in stupid costumes, or writing lyrics about only one subject, doesn't make them any more special.

Unless you're one of the small number of people who are devout fans of power metal, the term tends to lead you towards the ludicrous. Power metal is an exercise in excess, the kind of metal that doesn't ask why it's so over the top, but rather asks why the top is so low.

We typically use this space to discuss the comings, goings and debuts of heavy metal, but let’s step back a second and ask a metaphysical question: What makes great music? We can all voice our opinions about why we love music to our very cores, and in a debate rarity, we’re all correct.

It's almost a rite of passage that at some point in their career every metal band will either make a concept album, or will at least write a thematic suite of songs.