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Power metal or just power (Eng. power metal, from power - “power”, “power”) - one of the areas of metal. It is characterized by a higher execution speed than the "classic" heavy metal, but also more melodic than speed metal. The ancestor of power is the group Helloween, released in 1987-1988. double album "Keeper of the Seven Keys", which became the standard of metal. Power metal in the form in which it was created by Helloween can be called quite optimistic and life-affirming music (sometimes this trend is called "happy metal" - "happy metal"). Later, power metal became widespread in Europe, and especially in Finland, where many popular power groups were formed today (such as Stratovarius, Nightwish and Sonata Arctica) Some (e.g. Blind guardian) used a somewhat darker and often “epic” sound.

A very popular theme of songs in modern power metal is fantasy and fantasy in general. The Blind Guardian, for example, recorded the 1998 concept album Nightfall In Middle-Earth by The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Also, metal is sometimes called the direction of metal, which developed in the United States in the early 1980s. as a more aggressive form of traditional heavy metal (somewhat akin to thrash metal). Representatives of this direction are often called Manowar. This direction, however, has not been extensively developed and faded over time, these days, the term "metal" is usually understood to mean the direction created by Helloween.

American Power Metal

The American Power Metal, like the European Power, was born under the influence of such groups as Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, Queensryche and Helloween .. Some musicologists believe that modern American bands Iced Earth and Nevermore became the founders of this style in America, but at the same time, others say that it was in America that this style was absorbed by the more popular thrash metal style. Still others believe that it was in America that Power Metal got its second wind along with the development of groups such as Zandelle, Gothic Knights, Phoenix Reign, Twilight Odyssey, and pioneers of the American Power, Virgin steele. Also, a group of their Florida called Kamelot became popular precisely because of its European sound and the fact that one of their albums was sung by someone Shagrath from the Norwegian Black metal Dimmu Borgir team. Following Camelot, another group from Nebraska, Cellador, in August 2005, was signed to the Metal Blade Records label, which characterized the return to the sound that is more familiar to European Power Metal.

European Power Metal

In the mid-80s of the 20th century, groups such as Helloween (Germany) and Europe (Sweden) began to attract the attention of listeners to the melodic in songs and compositions. Helloween attempted to mix fast speed metal riffs with guitar melody and powerful Iron Maiden style vocals] and the clear sound of musical instruments. Their albums Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 1 (1987) and Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 2 (1988) have undoubtedly become the cornerstone in the development of the genre. Since then, the European “happy metal” has spread widely and became popular throughout the continent as much as it was unpopular in the USA. But since then many Power Metal bands have moved away from that “happy metal sound” so characteristic of their predecessors and became add more epic to the music, coolly mixed on Power Metal itself. Groups such as Blind guardian, began to combine classic Power Metal sound with orchestral themes. Groups such as Rhapsody and Angra.

Musical style characteristic

Power metal, as the term we use today, is based on a powerful, epic sound, usually at high speeds, rooted in a style such as speed metal and catchy tunes. While the lyrics of rock musicians are based on social, historical and personal themes, Power Metal makes full use of lyrics based and inspired by religion, science fiction, mythology and fantasy and is more or less optimistic than most lyrics in metal in general .

Power Metal vocals are usually “clean” as opposed to vocals in styles such as death metal, black metal and therefore the vocals are performed by fairly trained singers. Following the traditions of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Helford, Power Metal vocalists tend to sing in high voices and often even falsetto. Singers such as Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch often use vocal polyphony when recording albums, dating back to Queen. Due to the fact that the vocalists in Power Metal play a very significant role in the group, they often cannot be as guitarists and bass players. For this reason, Hansi Kürsch was removed as the band’s bass player after the release of The Forgotten Tales. This is also the reason why Kai Hansen recruited Michael Kiske to the vocalist position for Helloween after singing on his first two albums. When did Kai create his group Gamma rayHe invited Ralph Shipers to the place of the vocalist. But still, after Ralph left the band, Kai again took the place of vocalist and guitarist.

Power Metal guitarists and bassists usually play fast musical passages with infrequent and slow chords, with a harmonic tempo that changes from faster to less fast. But we hear fast and melodic guitar solos on every album of any group.

Power Metal drummers often play two bass barrels for greater speed. They also play a constant stream of sixteenth notes with an emphasis on the rhythm of the snare drum. Many groups deny such a formula, but still it remains surprisingly universal.

Many groups also use keyboards, but keys are not the dominant tool. They only create a certain background in the music. But still some groups, for example Italian Rhapsody, constantly use keyboard and symphonic elements in the recording. Therefore, Rhapsody is often called "Hollywood Metal" because of their overly pompous sound. Power Metal is very popular as a style in Europe, Japan, some countries of South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) and is also becoming more and more popular in North America.

The most famous groups:

Heelloween
Gamma ray
Blind guardian
Hammerfall
Nightwish
Rhapsody
Iced earth
Nevermore
Kamelot
Sabaton

Content

Both American and European power metal originated under the influence of such groups as Rainbow, Iron Ma>. In the works of English rock bands of the 70s and 80s, fast, energetic compositions and texts about fantasy and the Middle Ages already met - those elements that will later form the basis of the genre. Some call the first power metal song Rainbow's “Kill the King” from the album Long Live Rock'n'Roll (1978), although neither the term nor the genre appeared at that time, and it would be more accurate to say that such compositions influenced the appearance of power metal in the future.

American Power Metal (Protopower) Edit

The name “power metal” was first heard in the United States in the first half of the 1980s. So called the music of bands such as Manowar, Virgin Steele, Manilla Road, Iced Earth, which in our time is usually referred to as speed metal or heavy metal. These groups served as a prototype for modern power metal, giving it speed, energy and military-historical pathetics. Similar music was played in Germany: Blind Guardian, Grave Digger, Rage and some other groups, but in Europe the term “speed metal” was adopted for it.

Over time, in America, this style was absorbed by the more popular thrash metal style, which is the development of speed metal towards more aggression and heaviness. Current generation American power metal bands such as Kamelot and HolyHell are already playing “European”, a more melodic power, not like speed and thrash.

European Power Metal Edit

In the mid 80-ies of the XX century, German groups such as Running Wild and Helloween began to attract the attention of listeners to the melody in songs and compositions. They attempted to mix fast speed metal riffs with guitar melody, powerful Iron Ma> vocals and Gamma Ray. Since then, German power metal has spread widely and has become popular throughout the continent, including Russia. Swedish virtuoso guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen has also become one of the founders of European power metal. In 1996, the Swedish band Narnia and the Finnish band Nightwish formed, who also played in this style. In the United States in the 1990s, bands such as Kamelot, who performed purely European power metal, began to appear.

Among the modern European power metal, one can conditionally distinguish the so-called power metal schools, which differ significantly in sound, although there is often a mixture of styles and techniques. Usually they talk about the division into Italian, German and Finnish schools, the founders of which are considered, respectively, Rhapsody of Fire, Helloween and Stratovarius.

Power metal appeared in Russia in the early 1990s and is a European version of this genre. The first to play power metal in Russia were Archontes and Shadow Host (1993), then the Epidemic (1995), later Catharsis (1996), Arida Vortex (1998), Arda (2000), Arktida (2003), Charisma (2004) appeared . An important milestone in the history of Russian metal was the "Elven Manuscript", the power metal opera of the Epidemic group. The musicians of the largest Russian metal bands such as Aria, Black Obelisk, Arida Vortex and others took part in her recording.

Symphonic Power Metal Edit

A special kind of power metal was generated by the introduction of keyboards, synthesizers into the music of power groups. Synthesizers at first performed the function of a background instrument, usually representing symphonic or folk instruments, such as a flute, violin, and forge. This tendency was especially pronounced in the very first albums Nightwish and Rhapsody of Fire, whose keyboard players Tuomas Holopainen and Alex Staropoli, respectively, are some of the most prominent keyboardists in rock music and songwriters in their groups.

Over time, the keyboard parts became more complete, solos appeared on the keyboards. At the same time, richer bands began recording with invited musicians and entire orchestras, and not just imitate their playing with a synthesizer. As a result of such mixing with symphonic metal, symphonic power metal was obtained. His trends are followed by such groups as Powerwolf, Nightwish, Rhapsody of Fire, Catharsis, Versailles, Tears of Magdalena, Dark Moor, Kamelot.

Other Blends Edit

There are many groups in whose music the speed and virtuoso soloing of power metal are combined with elements of other types of metal. Power merges especially closely with heavy and speed / trash, the border between these genres is always difficult to draw. Alestorm, Mago de Oz and Turisas (on the debut album) combine power and folk metal, Children of Bodom, Kalmah, Norther, Wintersun - power and melodic death, Týr - power and Viking (this genre is also called "Scandinavian power metal"), Symphony X - power and progressive, Yngwie Malmsteen and Narnia - power, progressive and neoclassical metal.

Power metal lyrics, as a rule, lack the explicit social protest inherent in many genres of rock music and are more positive and non-conflict, which contributes to the commercial success of the groups. Although it often contains stories of wars and battles, the emphasis is not on rapture by battle and violence, but on knightly honor and valor.

A very popular theme of songs in modern power metal is fantasy and fantasy in general, which is characterized by a departure from reality, fiction, fairy tale, heroism. So, the main theme of Blind Guardian texts is fantastic works. In 1998, this group recorded the concept album Nightfall In M>. The tradition of fantasy in texts is supported by groups such as Rhapsody, Kamelot, Avantasia, Epidemic, which released concept albums with stories in the fantasy genre. These groups are often referred to as “epic power” or “fantasy power” for their lyrics. Another popular topic is historical events that really happened battles. Vivid examples of this are the Sabaton group, partly Iced Earth and Grave Digger. One of the founders of the genre, Running Wild, devoted almost all of his discography to the theme of pirates.

Distracted lyrical themes, such as personal experiences, worldviews and love, are also common. Lyrics can be found in abundance at Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, Nightwish.

Modern power metal is based on powerful sound and grandiose harmonies and catchy melodies, usually performed at high speeds, rooted in speed metal. Power metal is characterized by rich background instrumental parts built according to classical canons. In studio recordings, the technique of recording parts of several instruments from one synthesizer is often used, followed by mixing. Many musicians have a classical musical education.

Vocals in power metal are usually “clean”, as opposed to vocals in death and black metal, so vocal parts are performed by fairly trained singers. Following the traditions of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, power metal vocalists tend to sing in high voices and often even falsetto. Singers such as Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch often use vocal polyphony when recording albums, dating back to Queen. Some groups for recording or live performances attract choirs. Often used female opera vocals (usually soprano). However, many groups of this genre, along with clear vocals, still use screaming inserts. Usually these are performers who have not completely departed from the speed metal roots (the same Blind Guardian, late Sonata Arctica, etc.).

Since vocalists in power metal play a very significant role in the band, they often cannot be either guitarists or bass players. It was for the sake of concentrating on singing that Hansi Kürsh stopped playing bass after the release of the album “Nightfall in Middle-Earth”. For the same reason, the band Helloween invited Michael Kiske to play the vocalist, although guitarist Kai Hansen sang on the first two albums. When Kai created his band Gamma Ray, he invited Ralph Shipers to the place of the vocalist. But still, after Ralph left the group, Kai again began to combine the duties of a vocalist and a guitarist.

In power metal, guitarists and bassists usually play fast musical passages with infrequent and slow chord changes, with a harmonic tempo that changes from faster to less fast. But fast and melodic guitar solos can be heard on every album of any group.

Drummers often play on two bass barrels for greater speed. They also play a constant stream of sixteenth notes with an emphasis on the rhythm of the snare drum. Many groups deny this formula, but still it remains surprisingly universal.

Many groups also use keyboards, which, however, are not the dominant tool. They only create a certain background in the music. But still, some groups, for example, the Italian Rhapsody, constantly use keyboard and symphonic elements in their recordings. Therefore, Rhapsody is often called "Hollywood Metal" for its pompous sound.

Some groups use separate classical instruments (mostly stringed) or entire orchestras when recording or at concerts. The stage decision of live performances is often characterized by dynamism and theatricality, the presence of a large number of costumes and show elements.

Power metal is very popular as a style in Europe, Japan, some countries of South America, and is also becoming more and more popular in North America.

Power metal

Power metal (Eng. Power metal, from Eng. Power chord - a chord of sounds in a fifth and octave) - one of the directions of metal that developed in the second half of the 80s of the XX century.
Power metal is characterized by a higher execution speed than the "classic" heavy metal, and more melodic than speed metal and thrash metal. The main attributes of the genre are speed, complexity and melody of guitar parts, clean high vocals (sometimes with screaming inserts) and backing vocals. Compared to many other types of rock music, power metal is quite peppy and optimistic music (sometimes it is jokingly called “happy metal” - “funny metal”). The texts are usually devoted to fiction and the Middle Ages. This genre is most widespread in Europe, especially in Germany and Finland.

Story

American Power Metal (Proto Power)

The name of the style “power metal” was first heard in the USA in the early to mid-1980s. So called the music of bands such as Manowar, Virgin Steele, Manilla Road, Iced Earth, which in our time is usually referred to as speed metal or heavy metal. These groups served as a prototype for modern power metal, giving it speed, energy and military-historical aesthetics. Similar music in Germany was played by Grave Digger, Rage and some other groups, but in Europe the term "speed metal" was adopted for it.

American power metal, like the European one, was born under the influence of such groups as Rainbow, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Over time, in America, this style was absorbed by the more popular thrash metal style, which is the development of speed metal towards more aggression and heaviness. American power metal bands of the current generation, such as Kamelot and HolyHell, are already playing “European”, a more melodic power, not like speed and thrash.

European power metal

В середине 80-х годов XX века такие немецкие группы, как Running Wild и Helloween, стали привлекать внимание слушателей к мелодике в песнях и композициях. Они предприняли попытку смешать быстрые speed metal-риффы с гитарным мелодизмом, мощным вокалом в стиле Iron Maiden и чистым звуком музыкальных инструментов. Так зародилась первая волна немецкого пауэр-метал, самыми значительными группами которой, помимо упомянутых, стали Blind Guardian и Gamma Ray. С тех пор немецкий пауэр-метал широко распространился и стал популярным по всему континенту, включая и Россию. В США в 1990-е годы начали появляться такие группы, как Kamelot, исполняющие чисто европейский пауэр-метал.

Среди современного европейского пауэр-метала можно условно выделить так называемые школы пауэр-метала, значительно отличающиеся по звучанию, хотя зачастую происходит смешение стилей и техник. Usually they talk about the division into Italian, German and Finnish schools, the founders of which are considered, respectively, Rhapsody of Fire, Helloween and Stratovarius.

Power metal appeared in Russia relatively recently - in the early 1990s, and is a European version of this genre. The first in Russia to play power metal began Archontes and Shadow Host (1993), then the Epidemic (1995), later Catharsis (1997), Arida Vortex (1998), Arda (2000) appeared. It is worth mentioning the power metal opera "Elven Manuscript", in the recording of which, among others, the musicians of the largest Russian metal bands such as Aria, the Black Obelisk and others took part.

Symphonic Power Metal

A special kind of power metal was generated by the introduction of keyboards, synthesizers into the music of power groups. Synthesizers at first performed the function of a background instrument, usually representing symphonic or folk instruments, such as a flute, violin, and forge. This tendency was especially pronounced in the very first albums Nightwish and Rhapsody of Fire, whose keyboard players - Tuomas Holopainen and Alex Staropoli, respectively - are one of the most prominent keyboardists in rock music and songwriters in their groups.
Over time, the keyboard parts became more complete, solos appeared on the keyboards. At the same time, richer bands began recording with invited musicians and entire orchestras, and not just imitate their playing with a synthesizer. As a result of such mixing with symphonic metal, symphonic power metal was obtained. His trends are followed by such groups as Nightwish, Rhapsody of Fire, Catharsis, Versailles, Tears Of Magdalena, Dark Moor, Kamelot.

Theme

Power metal lyrics, as a rule, lack the explicit social protest inherent in many genres of rock music and are more positive and non-conflict, which contributes to the commercial success of the groups. Although it often contains stories of wars and battles, the emphasis is not on rapture by battle and violence, but on knightly honor and valor.
A very popular theme of songs in modern power metal is fantasy and fantasy in general, declaring a departure from reality, as a search for a new path in the development of personality. In particular, the main theme of Blind Guardian texts is science fiction, in 1998 the group recorded the concept album Nightfall In Middle-Earth based on The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien. The tradition of the concept of fantasy in texts was further supported by groups such as Rhapsody, Kamelot, Avantasia, which released conceptual fantasy-themed albums. This area is often referred to as “epic power” or “fantasy power”. Distracted lyrical themes, such as personal experiences, worldviews and love, are also common. The most popular group of this kind in the CIS is the Epidemic, known mainly for its conceptual albums, "Elven Manuscript" and "Elven Manuscript: A Legend for All Seasons."
The musical characteristic of style

Modern power metal is based on powerful sound and grandiose harmonies, usually performed at high speeds, rooted in a style such as speed metal and easy to remember tunes. Power metal is characterized by rich background instrumental parts built according to classical canons. In studio recordings, the technique of recording parts of several instruments from one synthesizer is often used, followed by mixing. Many musicians have a classical musical education. While rock music’s lyrics are based on social, historical, and personal themes, power metal uses lyrics based and inspired by religion, science fiction, mythology, and fantasy and is more optimistic than most metal lyrics in general. Most bands working in power metal gravitate towards the plot unity of created albums, recording peculiar metal operas, often based on literary works.
Power metal vocals are usually “clean”, as opposed to vocals in styles such as death metal and black metal, and the vocals are therefore performed by fairly trained singers. Following the traditions of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, power metal vocalists tend to sing in high voices and often even falsetto. Singers such as Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch often use vocal polyphony when recording albums, dating back to Queen. Some groups for recording or live performances attract choirs. Often used female opera vocals (usually soprano). However, many groups of this genre, along with clear vocals, still use screaming inserts. Usually these are performers who have not completely moved away from speed metal roots (for example, the same Blind Guardian, late Sonata Arctica, etc.)

Due to the fact that vocalists in power metal play a very significant role in the group, they often cannot also be guitarists and bass players. It was for the sake of concentrating on singing that Hansi Kürsh stopped playing bass after the release of the album “Nightfall in Middle-Earth”. For the same reason, the band Helloween invited Michael Kiske to play the vocalist, although guitarist Kai Hansen sang on the first two albums. When Kai created his own band, Gamma Ray, he invited Ralph Shepers to replace the vocalist. But still, after Ralph left the band, Kai again began to combine the duties of a vocalist and a guitarist.

In power metal, guitarists and bassists usually play fast musical passages with infrequent and slow chord changes, with a harmonic tempo that changes from faster to less fast. But fast and melodic guitar solos can be heard on every album of any group.

Drummers often play on two bass barrels for greater speed. They also play a constant stream of sixteenth notes with an emphasis on the rhythm of the snare drum. Many groups deny this formula, but still it remains surprisingly universal.

Many groups also use keyboards, which, however, are not the dominant tool. They only create a certain background in the music. But still, some groups, for example, the Italian Rhapsody, constantly use keyboard and symphonic elements in their recordings. Therefore, Rhapsody is often called "Hollywood Metal" for its pompous sound.

Some groups use separate classical instruments (mostly stringed) or entire orchestras when recording or at concerts. The stage decision of live performances is often characterized by dynamism and theatricality, the presence of a large number of costumes and show elements.

Power metal is very popular as a style in Europe, Japan, some countries of South America, and is also becoming more and more popular in North America.

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