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Well, my favorite band is Nightwish. But what really got me into symphonic metal I guess you can say was Evanescence. It was the first band that I listened to that wasn't Celtic folk music. Then I found "Angels" by Within Temptation. Then someone online suggested I check out Nightwish. I did and... I was blown away. Toumas's command of the English language is outstanding! Tarja and Anette do such a wonderful job. Empuu is amazing on the guitars.
Yes, I do love symphonic metal and gothic metal and I guess people in the metal community look down on those to subgenres. But I like metal in general and will listen to almost any metal, though I'm not a big fan of black/death metal though.
I'm also a reather big manga fan. Lol. Funny huh? I love metal and manga. What a weird combination.