Power metal: fast, uplifting, but often overlooked

Image for DragonForce, a top power metal band.

Image for DragonForce, a top power metal band.

Are you familiar with the music genre known as “power metal”? Unfortunately, most people don’t know what this genre even is. Power metal is a sub-genre of and lighter version of “heavy metal,” which originated in the 1970s.

Power metal is appealing to me because I like mostly everything about it. For example, I love the mixture of fantasy-based lyrics and the genre’s accelerated, more inspiring sound, compared to other metal genres. My personal favorite example of a power metal band would have to be DragonForce, a band based in London and formed in 1999. This is one of the few bands that hasn’t written a bad song.

Here’s what an online site that features rock and metal bands, said about DragonForce: “When it comes to metal subgenres, power metal is often overlooked in the modern era. Though it takes a band as technically exciting as DragonForce to break through in power metal these days, the genre has always towered in triumph due to its epic themes, soaring vocals, theatrics, and top-notch musicianship” (Loudwire, “Loud Lists: Best Power Metal Bands”).

Jim Bybee of Roland Corporation, wrote on the Roland blog once about the incredible skills of DragonForce’s guitarists: “Featuring shred-masters Herman Li and Sam Totman, the British power metal band DragonForce delivers a high-adrenaline, twin-guitar onslaught that takes no prisoners.” Bybee pointed out that Li and Totman had been recognized around the globe, earning the Number 11 spot in a Guitar World poll that chose “The 50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time.” The blends of Li’s and Totman’s guitar styles, and either ZP Threat or Marc Hudson’s vocal deliveries are just amazing, and nothing has ever topped it for me.

Power metal is like soup; you could mix together different kinds of things and get different results. You can change the instrumentation, the lyrical content, the speeds, or the styles. I have yet to hear something that sounds the same [as anything that has come before it].