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Hour of Power

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

During my week off, I made myself a “to-listen-to” list of music. I have so far managed to listen to bits and pieces of nearly 15 bands (mostly old ones) that I’ve only recently discovered. Much of this list is power metal. I used to think that the metal subgenre repeated itself too much to be worth listening to (which is still sometimes true). However, I decided to step out of my “Keeper of the Seven Keys” bubble and open my mind; I’m very glad I did so. If you are looking for an hour of power, there are many great albums that can fulfill that desire. I’ll start with my recent personal favorite, Lost Horizon.

(Yes, I also think they look quite silly, but that doesn’t stop them from being amazing)

Lost Horizon

It’s a shame that the band lineup has drastically changed, because Lost Horizon has made its way to my favorite Swedish bands list (including Pain of Salvation, Evergrey, and Opeth). Their strongest aspect is no doubt the vocals. Daniel Heiman possibly has the largest vocal range and the most powerful voice I have ever heard. His phrasing is absolutely stellar; it is so rare to see high pitches used so effectively frequent. But also, the rest of the band is quite talented. They usually serve as support for Heiman’s voice, but upon close inspection of the remaining instruments, there is much to be impressed with.

The band has released two albums, Awakening the World and A Flame to the Ground Beneath, both of which are amazing (I would give them each an A rating). Apparently there is a new album in the making, though I doubt it will be comparable without Heiman behind the microphone. However, I am over-satisfied with the two that will easily stand the test of time.

Wuthering Heights

Sometime within the year, Wuthering Heights is to release a new album. They are a mix of numerous genres (such as progressive, folk, and viking metal), though power metal is the predominant. Even in the power metal scene, this band has a unique sound. The vocals are very good (though I definitely prefer Heiman), and the same goes for the other instruments. Elements of progressive are employed very tastefully and to my liking.  I have only listened to their latest two albums, Far from the Madding Crowd and The Shadow Cabinet, but they have me restlessly anticipating the upcoming 2010 release, SALT. Definitely check these two out!

Rage

Last, but not least, is the German heavy power metal band, Rage. I was worried of being too lenient on my review of Strings to a Web, but it is nearly a month past and it is still running on my playlist. Other albums that I have heard are Black in Mind and Trapped!, which both sounded good during my quick listen. However, those listens were not focused enough for me to comfortably recommend them. Still, their latest release Strings to a Web is a confident personal recommendation.

Other Noteworthy Power Metal Bands:

  • Blind Guardian
  • Evergrey (progressive)
  • Gamma Ray
  • Helloween
  • Iced Earth (thrash)
  • Kamelot (symphonic, progressive)
  • Symphony X (neo-classical, symphonic, progressive)
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