Sunday, January 20, 2008

Power Metal 101: Vikings on Speed

This is a bit of deviation for Rock Revival, given it's a more contemporary than the genres considered so far. Think what would happen if the Vikings had discovered progressive rock and stormed the beaches with electric guitars rather than axes, if the enemy was Death Metal, with it's cookie monster voices and chaos and defeat came depending on how fast you could play. Then you would have Power Metal.

Speed metal symphonies, clean crisp vocals, themes that would make Rick Wakeman proud and a fondness for worse accents than Klaus Meine on Scorpions Acoustica.

One Power Metal band, Manowar, takes itself EXTREMELY seriously, succeeding with Guiness Book of Records as the loudest band ever recorded live; when they tried they did'nt bother having an audlience.

Others, like Sonata Artica from Finland have flashes of brilliance, like their cover of Still Loving You (also Scorpions).

Blind Guardian are probably the most amusing, covering The Beach Boys Barbara Anne in Power Metal stylie (what ?) and doing a wonderful job of souped up medieval fare.

This genre is most popular in South America, Japan, Scandinavia and Quebec (?), but is has grown in popularity with the rise of Dragonforce.

Now before any of the older readers get all precious, this music is the natural successor of Rainbow, King Crimson and Rush....

The idea of it can be tough for me, but the other day I checked my recently played tracks on my ipod and found tracks identified as Power Metal were as common as those in my early-1960's list; so what do I know, it's metal without the devil and prog that finally has it's tongue firmly in it's cheek.

Image: Courtesy Nuclear Blast

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