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Spiner202
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:32 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:08 pm 
 

I've been a power metal fan for a while, but lately I've been working a bit harder to find some more obscure bands. I love the big names, but I've started to collect a lot of the essential releases from these bands. For that reason, I'd like to leave bands like Sonata Arctica, Rhapsody, Stratovarius, etc, out of this discussion. Also, while I enjoy USPM, it's not what I'm aiming to discuss here.

With that in mind, who are the best obscure/semi-obscure power metal bands? Are a lot of these bands one hit wonders, or do they have multiple great records? I know Japan has a deep scene, but I've largely steered clear of it because I struggle to enjoy the vocals. Most of the bands I enjoy are based out of Sweden, Finland, or Germany. What I look for in these bands is two things: good vocals and memorable songwriting. It's ok to clone Helloween and Kiske, but the key is to come up with somewhat distinctive songs.

The first band I'll bring up is Cryonic Temple. Their sound is somewhat akin to Iron Savior. It's more riff-based power metal, and while the singer doesn't have the biggest range, he does have a powerful voice. They have four albums, but the only one I have is "In Thy Power", which I think is their most popular. It would be a bit better if it were shorter, but that's a problem most power metal has. Are their other albums as good as this one? Worth getting at least?

Spoiler: show


Another interesting band is Highlord. This Italian group is up to 7 albums now. Once again, I only have one, "Medusa's Coil", but it is really impressive. The music is not quite symphonic, but makes heavy use of piano. Although their songs are relatively longer, they prove to be incredibly memorable. The singer sounds like he occasionally struggles, but otherwise does a decent job with a big range. Much like with Cryonic Temple, I'm curious to know if their other albums are worthwhile. I imagine they've changed their sound over the years.

Spoiler: show


The last band I'll recommend for now is Freternia. These guys give a very slight Lost Horizon vibe, but are ultimately just more fun melodic power metal. They occasionally do things a bit differently the way they use backing vocals or some of the melodies they use (the harmonized melodies in "Grimbor The Great" were a bit strange at first, but now I love them). This band is relatively rhythmic; lots of double bass and alternate-picked chugging sections. Same situation as the other two bands where I only have one record, but I'm certain that their first album is great too.

Spoiler: show


What bands do you recommend? What do you think of these three? I have more bands I'd like to discuss, but I'll start with these three.
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hots_towel
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:19 am
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:50 pm 
 

By obscure, do you mean strange or relatively unknown?

I was gonna mention edguy, but I remember and edguy thread a while back getting to page 9 or something, so that rules out unknown, but they sure are weird! The first time they showed up on my power metal pandora, I alt tabbed what I was doing (probably Warcraft) just to see if they were really wailing about clowns. Look up "all the clowns" to see what I mean. Great tunes though

I've mentioned dream evil on this forum too. They have a song that has over a million views on YouTube so I guess that rules out unknown too. Their first album I consider to be their best. Just look up "dream evil-dragonslayer" and I'm sure the full album is up. Gus G on guitar so it's got pretty good guitar work. The vocals are very reminiscent of Bruce Dickinson as well.

Bloodbound is another one I really like. Memorable and Catchy riffs, decent guitar work, Vocals are a little wailish, but great stuff. Look up "for the king"

Holy knights are probably my favorite unknown power metal band (assuming they are still unknown). Very heavy use of the keys/synth so I guess they might be more symphonic metal. Riffs and melodies are very catchy. They only have 2 albums, and they are liked decade apart from each other, but ire commend the first one "through the looking glass" I believe it's called. Warning: that first track has possibly the cheesiest spoken word scene in the history of metal :lol:




I've heard cryonic temple a few times, I'm not sure which, but I have 2 of their songs on my YouTube playlist. They're petty good I think.
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Perdition666
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:08 pm 
 

Oh man, pity you didn't post this thread 6 years ago when I was knee-deep into Euro power metal and hoovered underground stuff like crazy. Alas, I terminally burnt myself out on the sub-genre and sold off several hundred CDs. Good chance you'll know these, but here are a few random favorites:

Secret Sphere:
Spoiler: show

Personally, I only liked their debut (they changed style considerably afterwards), but your mileage my vary (others seem to like their newer stuff more).

Heimdall:
Spoiler: show

Avoid their first 2 albums like the plague (bad vocals). Their 3rd one is their best, IMO. I found them to be pretty different from other Italian pm bands. I like the vocals a lot here.

Supreme Majesty:
Spoiler: show
[/youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG7bkNZ2mGY[/youtube]

Youtube sound quality is terrible, just as a warning (CD sounds much better). Pretty good happy melodic Swedish pm. I couldn't get into their 2 latest albums at all, but their debut is pretty nice.

Now with Japanese power metal (main thing I've been into the last two years, along with J-rock), I can empathize with your aversion to the vocals. They're a motherfucker of an acquired taste. Personally, I found Japanese female vocals way easier to get into than the male ones - mind you, I prefer shrieky, high-pitched vibrato-rape, so you may want to take my opinion with a grain of salt. :P I do find when sung in English, vocals tend to be terribly accented (major put-off to most fans, I understand) - and when they sing in Japanese (strongly preferred by yours truly), that alienates a huge chunk of the audience right there. Also, the obscene cost of CDs ($25-35 US) and the lack of samples for most albums is an understandable deterrent. Galneryus is probably the best gateway band - if you can't get into them, the more obscure bands won't change your mind.
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Exigence
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:32 pm 
 

You dropped Iron Savior so I think I know what you're getting at...,

Sacred Gate - I never see anyone mention them. German power metal and their "Tides of War" album was almost in my top 10 last year. It was heavy on the roman gimmick but fantastic nonetheless. I expect great things if they do another one.

Holy Martyr - rare instance where I suggest an Italian power metal band but their 3 albums have a very sweeping, grandiose approach. Unfortunately they are broken up or on hold at the moment. I don't see them discussed much here either. "Hellenic Warrior Spirit" has some filler instrumentals but the main songs are glorious.

Thomsen - a German metal super group of sorts, I just got the new album which has Udo and Vinnie Appice guesting on some tracks. It's predictable but along the lines of a grittier Iron Savior. They have one other album that autothrall gave a 70%.

I'll think of some more...
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Opus
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:46 pm 
 

Bah, you call that obscure? How about bands that no one has heard of, except for me, and perhaps the guys in the bands?

Isengard (Swe) - Fanatsy power metal, slightly symphonic. Rhapsody meets Blind Guardian in a small remote Swedish village.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flfut6QUOB0

Reptilian - Quite heavy power metal, slightly neoclassical. Great musicianship all around, great guitar playing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzj2HUDXfM0

Manimal - Leaning slightly towards US power metal. Fantastic singer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ6nN_hLWL8
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Blizk
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Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:30 am
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:19 pm 
 

Anthriel are a progressive power metal band from Finland. They've only debuted with The Pathway, but the album is fucking brilliant, I tell you! Plenty of Symphony X influence without sounding American at all.

The track is called "Haven of Grace". Silly people and their misspellings...

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TheNiceNightmare
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:56 pm 
 

Oh man, Freternia are just so great! You know...that album anyway. I haven't heard the debut either, although I think I heard a song or two off of it on YouTube - it wasn't bad, but nowhere near the sophomore's level.

Same with Norwegian Arch Nemesis in that I haven't heard the first album, only the second...but that second album is pretty incredible. Very dark, very atmospheric, very theatrical. It is undoubtedly power metal, but only insofar that it can't really be described as anything else, like someone turned all the tropes inside out. Never got a chance to listen to Shadows in the Mirror, but Of Mind and Fantasy is one of my favourite albums, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for something different...particularly on a cold, rainy night.

Also, obligatory Keldian namedrop. Not sure they still qualify as properly obscure, since they got a lot of well-earned hype for their latest album. Unequivocally my favourite band, absolute top of the line sci-fi themed power metal with just a hint of prog and, especially on the first album, a fair deal of...'80s pop. Trust me, it works well. They're beautiful and catchy and exhilarating, more happy and hopeful than a lot of these bands going for that exact thing pull off, without being too overbearing about it. I'd link to "F.T.L", one of their best songs, but it's even better in context as an album finisher, and you owe it to yourselves to listen through all of Outbound, you'll come out a better person on the other side. I can never give Keldian enough praise.

Moving to Sweden, we have Last Kingdom, criminally underrated band. They're of that hyper melodic Lost Horizon school, they released a single album in 2012, but had you said it was released in 2001 no one would've batted an eyelid. That album is everything Europower should be, catchy, ridiculously melodic, almost too upbeat for its own good. Perhaps a tad overlong, keeping interest towards the end can be difficult, but that's through little fault of the songs themselves I find, it's more akin to a sugar crash. It seems almost, as far as I'm aware, like they dropped that album and then vanished and that's a shame, because I'd love to hear them release more of their addictive sweets.

Those are the main ones I can think to mention off the top of my head, but I'm sure I'll remember more, this is by far my favourite kind of metal.
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BastardHead
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:01 pm 
 

There's a massive lack of Wisdom in this thread. I can't explain why I like these guys so much or what sets them apart so much for me, but I just can't help it. All three albums are great, I guess they're like Rhapsody but with way less fluff and more focus on guitars.

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teh_Foxx0rz
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:15 pm 
 

Let me show you guys some real obscure bands.

First one is Gutter Sirens. From Poland, they manage to sound really happy and joyful without employing tons of synth and cheese - in fact, their accompanying instruments are usually a piano, organ, or a (harpsichordy-sounding) acoustic guitar. All three of their albums so far are good IMO (although they don't have top sound quality), and just look at this cover art:
Spoiler: show


For a complete contrast, we have Shadows of Steel. Completely synthy Italian cheese, but some brilliantly catchy and upbeat tunes! (I'll probably agree with criticism of the vocalist in some of the ballads, however :-P )
Spoiler: show


Now for a more symphonic turn. Wildpath have a female vocalist, and with that likely bring easy comparisons to Nightwish, which isn't inaccurate. However, it's not the whole story. Their debut I feel has a slight Dark Moor vibe (aided by actually having Elisa Martin guest on it!), and their third and current album...well, you'll just have to listen to it for yourself, but let's say it brings a whole load of interesting outside influences into their usual sound!
Spoiler: show


And I'm seconding the mentions of Freternia and definitely Keldian. Great stuff from those two bands.
I'll probably have to come back to mention some more later! So many to name. :-D

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Sestren
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:23 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:25 pm 
 

I too agree on Keldian Outbound. It is the last greatest PM album done imo. From start to finish amazing.

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TheNiceNightmare
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:30 pm 
 

Exigence wrote:
Sacred Gate

I listened to their debut too, and I can see why you'd be all over it, but personally I found it...competent, at best. It seemed to lack personality, like someone had asked an unfeeling computer to sum up power metal. It just was, with nothing bad to say about it only because it seemed to lack character. Hopefully if I bother with Tides of War it won't prove so dull.

BastardHead wrote:
Wisdom


Shit, Wisdom. I listened to their debut too, and I wanted to like it, and it wasn't bad...but at the same time...it mostly just made me want to listen to Hammerfall. Hopefully their later albums are more worth it.

Also, fuck that name. How are you ever supposed to find anything with a name like that?

Also, Teh_Foxx0rz, if I recall correctly from your post in the introduction thread in the Tavern, you're fairly new to metal? And yet you seem to know about pretty much every single power metal band that ever was. Are you some kind of power metal indexing machine? Props though, you seem insanely knowledgeable.
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Last edited by TheNiceNightmare on Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OzzyApu
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:35 pm 
 

Can I just come in here and back up the Keldian mentions? That band rules. They're the Go-to spacey power metal band. Sorry, Iron Savior.
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Mysticaloldbard
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:32 pm 
 

Perdition666 wrote:
Secret Sphere:
Spoiler: show


I really liked that! Just snagged a used copy on ebay.
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Spiner202
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:57 pm 
 

I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my love of power metal! I'm going to go through every link later in the week, but I'll reply to a few comments now.

hots_towel wrote:
By obscure, do you mean strange or relatively unknown?


Leaning more towards unknown. It doesn't have to be unknown at all though. I'm mainly just trying to avoid discussion about the bands that are discussed all the time.

Quote:
I've mentioned dream evil on this forum too. They have a song that has over a million views on YouTube so I guess that rules out unknown too. Their first album I consider to be their best. Just look up "dream evil-dragonslayer" and I'm sure the full album is up. Gus G on guitar so it's got pretty good guitar work. The vocals are very reminiscent of Bruce Dickinson as well.


This is the album I've got and I really enjoy it. Not obscure by any means, but they also aren't a top 10 power metal band. Also, "H.M.J." is one of the most hilarious songs ever written. I like the "thunder-strikin'" line, which in a more offensive band would be a different line :P

Quote:
Bloodbound is another one I really like. Memorable and Catchy riffs, decent guitar work, Vocals are a little wailish, but great stuff. Look up "for the king"


I don't know what to think about these guys. I have Tabula Rasa, and it's pretty much a masterpiece. On the other hand, I also have Nosferatu, and it seems pretty standard to me. Nothing special, and I can't recall a single moment from it. I would delve more into their discography, but the album cover for one of their recent albums scared me off.

Perdition666 wrote:
Heimdall:
Spoiler: show

Avoid their first 2 albums like the plague (bad vocals). Their 3rd one is their best, IMO. I found them to be pretty different from other Italian pm bands. I like the vocals a lot here.


This is a band I've heard of a lot, but never listened to. I'm glad you specified which album to check out, as I would have just gone randomly otherwise. Will listen to this later for sure.

Quote:
Now with Japanese power metal (main thing I've been into the last two years, along with J-rock), I can empathize with your aversion to the vocals. They're a motherfucker of an acquired taste. Personally, I found Japanese female vocals way easier to get into than the male ones - mind you, I prefer shrieky, high-pitched vibrato-rape, so you may want to take my opinion with a grain of salt. :P I do find when sung in English, vocals tend to be terribly accented (major put-off to most fans, I understand) - and when they sing in Japanese (strongly preferred by yours truly), that alienates a huge chunk of the audience right there. Also, the obscene cost of CDs ($25-35 US) and the lack of samples for most albums is an understandable deterrent. Galneryus is probably the best gateway band - if you can't get into them, the more obscure bands won't change your mind.


The language thing hits it on the head. When they sing in English, it just sounds bad, but I also prefer lyrics to be in English (after all, part of the fun of power metal is singing along). I've listened to Galneryus before and wasn't impressed, but maybe I didn't hear the right stuff of theirs.

Opus wrote:
Bah, you call that obscure? How about bands that no one has heard of, except for me, and perhaps the guys in the bands?


The bands I listed definitely are not obscure, but I think the spectrum of obscurity is different for power metal compared to subgenres like thrash and old-school death metal. I could be way off, but I think power metal fans are pickier about what bands they like, and they also cling to those bands more tightly than fans of other styles. I'm definitely this way; I listen to absurd amounts of a few specific power metal bands, yet my thrash collection probably triples my power metal collection. I'm just trying to discover new bands, no matter the obscurity level.

TheNiceNightmare wrote:
Also, obligatory Keldian namedrop. Not sure they still qualify as properly obscure, since they got a lot of well-earned hype for their latest album. Unequivocally my favourite band, absolute top of the line sci-fi themed power metal with just a hint of prog and, especially on the first album, a fair deal of...'80s pop. Trust me, it works well. They're beautiful and catchy and exhilarating, more happy and hopeful than a lot of these bands going for that exact thing pull off, without being too overbearing about it. I'd link to "F.T.L", one of their best songs, but it's even better in context as an album finisher, and you owe it to yourselves to listen through all of Outbound, you'll come out a better person on the other side. I can never give Keldian enough praise.


I hear praise for this band all the time in power metal circles and I have yet to dive in. It sounds like you're recommending their most recent album? I will most definitely buy anything of theirs if I come across it.

Quote:
Moving to Sweden, we have Last Kingdom, criminally underrated band. They're of that hyper melodic Lost Horizon school, they released a single album in 2012, but had you said it was released in 2001 no one would've batted an eyelid. That album is everything Europower should be, catchy, ridiculously melodic, almost too upbeat for its own good. Perhaps a tad overlong, keeping interest towards the end can be difficult, but that's through little fault of the songs themselves I find, it's more akin to a sugar crash. It seems almost, as far as I'm aware, like they dropped that album and then vanished and that's a shame, because I'd love to hear them release more of their addictive sweets.


This description is incredibly intriguing. Another band I'll check out this week.

BastardHead wrote:
There's a massive lack of Wisdom in this thread. I can't explain why I like these guys so much or what sets them apart so much for me, but I just can't help it. All three albums are great, I guess they're like Rhapsody but with way less fluff and more focus on guitars.


Another band I hear of often. I've listened to them a couple of times. I think you're right that they're more riff based, and despite my love of HammerFall, I've never been all that enthralled with anything of theirs that I've heard. Nevertheless, I will check out this track later.

OzzyApu wrote:
Can I just come in here and back up the Keldian mentions? That band rules. They're the Go-to spacey power metal band. Sorry, Iron Savior.


I know I didn't want this thread to be about popular bands, but I've gotta ask: what is the deal with Iron Savior. I have one of their albums: Condition Red. It is an absolute masterpiece. Everything else that I've heard of theirs is incredibly boring. I haven't listened to full albums (other than The Landing, which didn't click), but nothing has caught my attention. "Watcher in the Sky" is a cool song, but otherwise, I'm just not feeling it. I will not hesitate to buy any of their early stuff (up to Megatropolis) should I come across it, but I'm curious to know if anyone else agrees with me about Condition Red.
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ENKC
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:07 pm 
 

The 'Unknown Power Metal YT' page on facebook and its YouTube channel posts this stuff all day. I haven't got a hope of keeping up with it all.

As for Sacred Gate, don't they do more a Greek theme than Roman?
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:13 pm 
 

I'll have a listen to some of these soon, but here are some of my favorites that I often go back to:

Bloden-Wedd

Spoiler: show

Soaring, melodic and interesting; just a solid as hell band without any gimmicks but being awesome. Great riffs, agile melodies and really strong vocals.

The Dogma

Spoiler: show

Sort of a dreary Gothic aesthetic, but the music is crunchy riffs and Kamelotish vocals/keys combinations...listen to that keyboard sound; awesome stuff.

Twins Crew

Spoiler: show

Very recent discovery; like the best of Helloween, Hammerfall, Nocturnal Rites, etc. stewed into a cauldron...great vocals, furious energy. These guys are basically what power metal is about - that uplifting, exuberant attitude and the soaring music.

Thunder and Lightning

Spoiler: show

Power metal heavy as a fucking sack of bricks but also with a ton of emotion and moodiness in the songwriting too. One of the more passionate and atmospheric albums I've heard while still just sticking to a very traditional style. They're not new though, as this is like their fifth album - I look forward to hearing the others. This has just floored me recently.

Arrayan Path

Spoiler: show

I love this band's last album Stigmata. Just power metal so good it's hard to describe why - it just hits all the boxes and the songwriting is genius, appearing to be good at first but growing on you with every subsequent listens. Some of the best vocals around too; just great. Ingenious guitarwork and atmospherics. Can't say enough good things about it.

Winterlong

Spoiler: show

An old favorite of mine; sounding sort of right in the middle of Virgin Steele, Gamma Ray and Blind Guardian. The thin production job won't attract newer metal listeners, but the songwriting is just power metal bliss, with a lot of variety, catchiness and headstrong epic styling to be found, and the vocals, while odd, really work and the guy sells it like he means it. I haven't heard their other albums but this one is a gem. Easily up there with the best albums by the aforementioned bands in terms of quality.

Black Destiny

Spoiler: show

I've name dropped this a lot. Thanks to Perdition666 for introducing me to these guys back in the day - crunchy, muscular power metal with a lot of brooding atmosphere to break up the more upbeat moments. They don't confine themselves to stomping, marching style rhythms like a lot of these bands (Sabaton, Brainstorm, Mystic Prophecy and the likes) do, which makes for a lot more interesting and versatile listen. Always been a favorite.
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Perdition666
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:51 pm 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
Perdition666 wrote:
Heimdall:
Spoiler: show

Avoid their first 2 albums like the plague (bad vocals). Their 3rd one is their best, IMO. I found them to be pretty different from other Italian pm bands. I like the vocals a lot here.


This is a band I've heard of a lot, but never listened to. I'm glad you specified which album to check out, as I would have just gone randomly otherwise. Will listen to this later for sure.

"The Almighty" is my favorite of their 3 latest ones, but if you like that one, the 2 newer ones should be ok too. They had a vocalist change with their latest album, but he sounds pretty similar to his predecessor.

Quote:
The language thing hits it on the head. When they sing in English, it just sounds bad, but I also prefer lyrics to be in English (after all, part of the fun of power metal is singing along).

Yeah, Japanese power metal seems to be more guitar & instrumentation-focused than its Euro-counterparts. I mean, there's stuff over there with catchy/sing-a-long choruses, but its really a different animal altogether (even though it does have some superficial similarities).

Quote:
I've listened to Galneryus before and wasn't impressed, but maybe I didn't hear the right stuff of theirs.

From my experience, I found them to be an acquired taste. They may also not be what you're looking for whatsoever (heavy emphasis on technique and whatnot). Also, the vocals could be a bit of a put-off (even though their first and 2nd vocalists are rather pleasant compared to many of their countrymen). Here is a song with their 1st vocalist and here is one with their current vocalist (they had a major lineup shuffle between Reincarnation and Resurrection, and changed directions a bit).

Quote:
I know I didn't want this thread to be about popular bands, but I've gotta ask: what is the deal with Iron Savior. I have one of their albums: Condition Red. It is an absolute masterpiece. Everything else that I've heard of theirs is incredibly boring. I haven't listened to full albums (other than The Landing, which didn't click), but nothing has caught my attention. "Watcher in the Sky" is a cool song, but otherwise, I'm just not feeling it. I will not hesitate to buy any of their early stuff (up to Megatropolis) should I come across it, but I'm curious to know if anyone else agrees with me about Condition Red.

This actually isn't that uncommon of an opinion around these parts. Personally, I'm in the camp that likes their first 3 albums the most (particularly Unification). The convenient thing about this style of music is, its usually pretty immediate. I don't think you need to play Unification 10 times to figure out whether you like it nor not. Condition Red is actually the one which hasn't fully clicked for me (even though I warmed up to it a bit over the years). This is strictly a "resonance" factor (at least for me), if that makes any sense.

I was gonna recommend Demonlord "Hellforged" (their 4th album is decent too - their first 2 were meh though) and Revengia "A Decade in the Dark" (they went groove metal or something later on though, unfortunately), but I couldn't find appropriate samples on youtube, but I'm sure those can be downloaded somewhere. Moonville is another semi-obscure and sadly defunct Swedish pm band I quite enjoyed and recommend.
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ObservationSlave
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:18 pm 
 

ENKC wrote:
The 'Unknown Power Metal YT' page on facebook and its YouTube channel posts this stuff all day. I haven't got a hope of keeping up with it all.

As for Sacred Gate, don't they do more a Greek theme than Roman?


I have discovered a lot of bands through that guys channel. One in particular is Crosswind who have a really great combination between melody, speed, and heaviness.

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:41 am 
 



How many other people listen to Stormwind? I've been kind of looking for a band that is like this but more in every way--crazy high-pitched vibrato-laden vocal acrobatics from a loud, heroic singer, huge Santa Claus Choruses, and riffs down the fucking throat, so many riffs even UltraBoris would be pleased (none of that modern stop-start bullshit either). So far I've only been able to find bands with at most two of these three characteristics.

I personally haven't heard any Japanese power metal bands that I like. It's not just the language or the accent--the way Japanese metal singers sing doesn't have the same appeal as Iuri Sanson or Daniel Heiman. Is there no way to sing in Japanese while sounding like an almighty metal god slinging thunderbolts from hell?
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rawsewage
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:10 am 
 

Here's a gem I found out about earlier in the year. Bought the album on a whim and haven't regretted it.


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Muthafuca
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:04 am 
 

Artch fro Norway, more on classic heavy metal side than power metal but I love atypical vocals. Two albums in early 90s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=may5ZUyjFCM
Cydonia from Italy, classic Helloween/Labyrinth copy, two albums in early 00s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIbm9n9sqcU
Conquest from Ukraine, awkward and cool at the same time, some hyper speed tracks in vein of DragonForce, several albums and frequent line-up changes. I own only one album, their debut Endless Power and it's excellent in its semi amateurish way...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdndksK9HDA
And my favourite, Alogia from Serbia, prog power sung in Serbian (only one try in English, Secret Spheres of Art, 2005). Their best is their second album, Priče o Životu (Tales of Life, 2004), a perfect prog power symphony. They strayed away from prog power path on their third album, Priče o Snovima (Tales of Dreams, 2012), they went into soft-prog-rocjk territory, but are now back in form as they are preparing the fourth one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1685IgTzBCQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcst4q4RW60
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idw-tTHPhbo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3uZ9vLKjWk

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LegendMaker
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:52 am 
 

Nice thread! I haven't checked all the links yet, but there are some cool recommendations in what I've checked. Shouldn't this be in the Recommendation Central section forum, though? It could complement the heayv/power/speed thread nicely, which maybe focuses more on USPM (plus heavy and speed).

Re: Freternia, I'm surprised to see so much love for their second album over the debut; I have both and while I really like the debut (with 3-4 songs that are awesome and the rest ranging from decent to very good), I gave the sophomore two or three listens, and it's been gathering dust ever since. The debut has bigger riffs, less keys, a rougher sound and more energy overall. I just find it much better songwriting wise. I can't even find a decent upload of the main highlight off of it on YT ("Mistress of the Deep Black Sea"), but here's the next best thing, just in case (that upload is a bit weak, the actual CD sounds better).
Spoiler: show


Re: Wisdom, judging from the one song posted here, I don't hear much Rhapsody at all, but I hear a lot of WishMaster-era Nightwish (the part with the choirs even sounds directly inspired by that album's title track). Sounds good, though. I like that era of Nightwish a lot.

In the same vein, more or less, I'd recommend Visions of Atlantis. More than solid mid-era Nightwish continuation, with somewhat of a soft version of the "beauty and the beast" male/female vocal duo style seen in various bands, but both with mostly clean vocals. Lots of great catchy melodies, pretty arrangements and energy. It's definitely soft and rather sweet. They have 5 albums (with quite a few line-up changes, especially for lead vocals), and so far all I've heard was at least good, but the strongest is 'Trinity', right in the middle.
Spoiler: show
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Dudemanguy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:35 am 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:
Is there no way to sing in Japanese while sounding like an almighty metal god slinging thunderbolts from hell?

This is actually kind of a tall order. Japanese vocalists tend not to sing like their Euro counterparts. While I'm not exactly sure what qualifies as "an almighty metal god slinging thunderbolts from hell" for you, perhaps some of the older Japanese power metal from the early 2000s or late 90s might click with you?

From the top of my head there's Concerto Moon (they've been through three different vocalists, so there's a link for each one):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn_QoC3l_Rs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpXhkyhRF4o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHyFNbVsj4c

Ark Storm:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyCWY1ks1h0

Longinus:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io5Zeqcak3Y

Early Galneryus with Yama-B:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_GDIeAnVDs

Perdition can probably name a few more, but I really don't think there are many of these. Especially not from new bands. It's just not how the east does power metal.

As a sidenote, this thread is really enlightening for me. I never realized Japanese and Europower were so different. I really only listen to the former; I've never gotten much into Eurostuff. You'd think the basic formula of power metal wouldn't change that much wherever you are in the world, but it does.
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Spiner202
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:56 am 
 

Going through as much of this as I can now. Only commenting on the bands I really liked.

Spoiler: show
Secret Sphere - Vocalist is great, and he doesn't sound like most other Italian singers. I like how it went full-on Rhapsody in the middle. Not the catchiest song, but I'd definitely track this down.

Supreme Majesty - Super happy is right on the mark with this one. Seemed closer to something like Heavenly than say Freedom Call or Power Quest though. I'm sort of going back and forth as to whether or not I like this. Really enjoyed the guitar solo.

Sacred Gate - I listened to "Burning Wings". I didn't like the singer that much, but the opening riff was pretty cool (reminded me of HammerFall). Not really power metal the way a lot of the other bands here are, but still deserving of the title.

Holy Martyr - I checked out "Spartan Phalanx". These guys have some really bad artwork (across all three of their albums). This song has an awesome galloping feel. Kind of reminded me of Manowar or Omen.

Isengard - This song was amazing. My favourite so far. I see that this is the first song on the album. Does it hold up after this?

Anthriel - Don't usually like progressive music, but this sounded decent to me. I would likely skip out on the album just because it's 65 minutes though.

This is taking longer than I thought, so I'm gonna stop here for now :lol:


Here's a few more bands:

Black Majesty - Relatively interesting power metal from Australia. Nothing particularly unique, but they just write good, catchy songs. I've only got "In Your Honour", but there isn't a single weak track on it.

Spoiler: show


Dark Illusion - These guys have actually been around since the 80's, but only put out their first album in 2005. It's a good, riff-based power metal record that has some entertaining songs. It took a few listens to get into, but ends up being quite enjoyable.

Spoiler: show


Mystic Prophecy - I don't think these guys are particularly unknown, but nobody ever talks about them. I've got "Satanic Curses", and it's one of the most evil power metal records I've come across. The riffs are excruciatingly heavy and aggressive. It's almost like a thrash or death metal band playing power metal. On the other hand, I got a promo for "Ravenlord" and didn't enjoy it. Anyone know how their other stuff is?

Spoiler: show


Edit:

Quote:
Shouldn't this be in the Recommendation Central section forum, though? It could complement the heayv/power/speed thread nicely, which maybe focuses more on USPM (plus heavy and speed).


Maybe, but I'm hoping for it to be more discussion based. Also, it's kinda similar to those old-school death metal and thrash metal gems threads we had months ago.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:18 am 
 

Black Majesty is fucking awesome, but I dunno, are they really obscure these days? Seems like most PM fans know em.

Mystic Prophecy had one great album in Fireangel, and a really good one in Satanic Curses - the early stuff with Gus G isn't bad, but not really my thing, and the most recent two albums aren't very good - Ravenlord is about half-okay, but Killhammer is weak as hell.

Also, Dream Evil sucks - just saying.

Opus, spot on about Manimal - great stuff. Rhythmic and catchy like I like it.

Gutter Sirens aren't bad either...song is a bit too long maybe, but they have the right idea.

Man, this singer from Wisdom is fucking awesome. Guitars sound nice and meaty too...may check out more sometime!

Here's another good one - Celtic Legacy. An old favorite and their Resurrection album is semi-classic...this makes the case that we really, really fucking need more Irish power metal.

Spoiler: show
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Manic Maniac
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:41 am 
 

I know alot, & I mean alot, of Power Metal, & find that most of the Power Metal bands I usually hear tend to have that European "I wanna be Blind Guardian" sound. I have also heard of a few USPM styled stuff & I have been interested into looking for more, I'm just been too lazy to do that. Recently, I have been getting into the Japanese Power Metal stuff such as the above mentioned Galneryus despite not liking them at first listen. I must agree that it is a taste & I wouldn't have aquired such taste if it wasn't for those "Touhou" Metal bands that had intrigued me very much.

Since I know little of the popularity of some Power Metal bands, I'l only list the bands that I'm positively sure are obscure.

Winterstorm: sorta like Wintersun but without the Death Metal & a little more fantasy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf8nQ197iuA

Order Of Nine: sounds very different from the stuff I usually hear, they kinda sound gothic to me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1it0Wfij4zA

Sacred Blood: very Hellenistic or Ancient Greek sounding, which is rather befitting for a band that sings about Alexander The Great.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y1g1-kt-sU

@Empyreal As obscure as they maybe, I hear very little Power Metal in Celtic Legacy, they sound more like NWOBHM worship with a dash of Thin Lizzy.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:49 am 
 

They do tend to sound like old school metal, but the album's got enough power metal influence and epic scope that I think it's still worth mentioning. That song's just my favorite on the album though - not the most PM perhaps, you're right.
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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:59 pm 
 

Dark Quarterer, anyone? I'm not an expert on this band, but I like the two albums I own. They're a rather off-kilter band from Italy; it's best just to listen for yourselves instead of my trying to describe them. Think something kind of similar to old Fates Warning, Manilla Road, and Manowar.



I apologize if this isn't strictly power metal; it's close enough, I think.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:45 pm 
 

I don't think they're power metal at all haha, like 0,1% or so!

While not exactly the most obscure band, I'm a big fan of Wuthering Heights, especially the Far from Madding Crowd album (Salt and The Shadow Cabinet are also awesome.) Their blend of prog power with some folk and neoclassical is top notch, I don't listen to this kind of music a lot but this band always had an important place in my collection.
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Jonpo
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:27 pm 
 

LegendMaker wrote:
Shouldn't this be in the Recommendation Central section forum, though? It could complement the heayv/power/speed thread nicely, which maybe focuses more on USPM (plus heavy and speed).


Don't do that!! :p
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Spiner202
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Black Majesty is fucking awesome, but I dunno, are they really obscure these days? Seems like most PM fans know em.


No idea. I've been listening to power metal for probably 6 or so years now and only just came across them a month or two ago. In either case, I'm definitely going to be collecting all of their stuff now.

LegendMaker wrote:
Re: Freternia, I'm surprised to see so much love for their second album over the debut; I have both and while I really like the debut (with 3-4 songs that are awesome and the rest ranging from decent to very good), I gave the sophomore two or three listens, and it's been gathering dust ever since. The debut has bigger riffs, less keys, a rougher sound and more energy overall. I just find it much better songwriting wise. I can't even find a decent upload of the main highlight off of it on YT ("Mistress of the Deep Black Sea"), but here's the next best thing, just in case (that upload is a bit weak, the actual CD sounds better).


The only reason why I praise the second album relative to the first is that I haven't found the first yet. Part of the reason I wanted to create this thread is because I'm going back to Wacken next year and want to be properly prepared for the Metal Market. That would be the best place to find most of the stuff mentioned here (though Sentinel Steel is fantastic as well).

I'll also bring up Dragonland. I don't have any of their albums yet, and I think they're somewhat popular, but I'm interested in hearing some discussion about their discography. I've read quite a few people think that "Under The Grey Banner" is a masterpiece. "Starfall" and "Astronomy" seem to get a lot of praise too.

Edit:

TheNiceNightmare wrote:
Same with Norwegian Arch Nemesis in that I haven't heard the first album, only the second...but that second album is pretty incredible. Very dark, very atmospheric, very theatrical. It is undoubtedly power metal, but only insofar that it can't really be described as anything else, like someone turned all the tropes inside out. Never got a chance to listen to Shadows in the Mirror, but Of Mind and Fantasy is one of my favourite albums, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for something different...particularly on a cold, rainy night.


Just listened to "Judgement Day" from the second album and I'm really enjoying it. Not usually a big fan of when bands get more progressive, but there are a lot of hooks here. This is going on my list to look out for. Also, how wicked is that album cover? Definitely one of the coolest ones I've ever seen.
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ENKC
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:05 am 
 

I've seen Black Majesty live and have a couple of their albums. They're competent in the studio and on the stage but they don't do anything you can't hear from other bands.
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TheHundredthApostle
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:49 am 
 

Came here to mention Germany's Sacred Steel; great riffing though tilted a bit towards the American style of Omen and Helstar but the singer ensures things sound German (with an occasional death metal persona);
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WBtfjMj-_U

Air Raid from Sweden is also pretty good with a bit of influence from Grave Digger and Saxon yet still maintaining their own identity. A bit more traddy than your usual Swedish PM bands which is why I like them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GgH6j46acg

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Spiner202
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:55 am 
 

Last night I came across a band called Meduza, from Sweden. I listened to a few tracks from "Now and Forever" and calling them neoclassical power metal is a great definition. They sound like Malmsteen, but in a more power metal context. I didn't go through the entire album, but here's a cool track:

Spoiler: show


The vocal patterns in the verse of this song even remind me of one of the songs from "Odyssey" (maybe "Riot in the Dungeons"?). Apparently this is Apollo's (Firewind) old band, but he sounds different here than in Firewind.

TheHundredthApostle wrote:
Air Raid from Sweden is also pretty good with a bit of influence from Grave Digger and Saxon yet still maintaining their own identity. A bit more traddy than your usual Swedish PM bands which is why I like them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GgH6j46acg

These guys are really good, but not quite the sound of a lot of the bands mentioned here. Nevertheless, they have a lot of cool tracks. I really like "When The Sky Turns Red", "The Lost City", and especially "Dying Man".
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mjollnir
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:24 pm 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
Last night I came across a band called Meduza, from Sweden. I listened to a few tracks from "Now and Forever" and calling them neoclassical power metal is a great definition. They sound like Malmsteen, but in a more power metal context. I didn't go through the entire album, but here's a cool track:

Spoiler: show


The vocal patterns in the verse of this song even remind me of one of the songs from "Odyssey" (maybe "Riot in the Dungeons"?). Apparently this is Apollo's (Firewind) old band, but he sounds different here than in Firewind.


This is great! It's a worship band but nonetheless it's cool. They actually sound like a mixture of Malmsteen solo and Alcatrazz. The singer tries to sound like Joe Lynn Turner but winds up sounding like Graham Bonnet. lol The guitar work sounds good though.

I found this band a few weeks ago. Piet Sielck mastered their album and Lars Ramcke produced. The vocalist is a bit limited but she's adequate for an old school metal sound.
Spoiler: show
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Perdition666
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:33 pm 
 

The Swedish band Pathos is one I'd like to recommend (they're on the darker, thrashier side of things though).

Spoiler: show



I found the album took some time getting into, but was worth it. Its a pity half the band is wasting their time with the Nostradameus ([edit] whoops, looks like that band went "on hold" too).
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Rocka_Rollas
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:08 pm 
 

Haha just popped in and realized one of the only bands I knew in this thread was Cryonic Temple... They have some good songs for sure, but not a big fan other than occasional tracks. The singer on the early albums has an awful lot of swedish accent on the singing... I prefer german accent, of course :D

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Sestren
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:59 pm 
 

I might as well recommend those to hear Elegy. Manifestation of Fear and Forbidden Fruit are amazing.

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Abethedemon
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:57 pm 
 

Shadow Host
Thrashy power from Moscow


Battleroar
Surprised these guys haven't been mentioned yet, epic power metal from Greece, maybe a bit too uspm influenced, but I like that imo.


That's all I can think of off the top of my head, Cryonic temple were already mentioned as were Heimdall. I would recommend Heavenly, but you guys probably know about them already.

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BastardHead
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:20 pm 
 

Major props for Shadow Host there! I'd never heard them before, but whenever people go on about power metal being heavier or darker, they usually don't also mean faster, in my experience. That's the exact kind of riff induced grin I got when I first heard Evolution Purgatory.
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