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Which band most definately deserved a spot on the 'Big Four'?

Blind Guardian131
Helloween102
Gamma Ray36
Iced Earth30
Kamelot26
Nightwish15
Sonata Arctica12
Rhapsody Of Fire10
Other9

Total votes: 371


ZGoten

Posts: 149

Age: 25
From: Germany

  10.06.2011 at 21:42
Hi there everyone,

so we all know the 'Big Four' of thrash, don't we? They were huge in the 80's and still enjoy a large following that originated during that time. Just for the fun of it, I thought it might be nice to discuss what we would consider the 'Big Four' of power metal. Obviously, there is no such thing as an official list of names, and we won't create it and spread it to the world, but that's not the point of this discussion anyway. Let's just have a little fun.

Now Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax were pretty much chosen as the 'Big Four' because they were the most succesful bands of their genre, commercially speaking. I however, want to focus more on factors like influence, originality, musicianship and consistency for our little debate. That's partly because power metal has never been popular on the mass market to be honest, but mainly because there'd be no reason to discuss otherwise, since we could just look at the plain facts of who sold the most records.

Still I'd prefer a little bit of an objective debate, if that's possible. Let's not just vote our favorite bands, because else we could simply look at the band rating here on MS. Let's focus more on the above-mentioned criteria. In the poll, I've tried to name the eight bands that are most likely to match those criteria the best, but of course my musical knowledge isn't the greatest, which is why you can still vote for the option 'other'. Also, I've tried to avoid bands that are just as much another genre as they are power, bands like Wintersun with a very strong melodeath aspect to them or Symphony X, which are probably more progressive metal anyway.

Since you can only vote for one band, please choose the one that, in your opinion, would deserve a spot on the 'Big Four' the most!


Alright, now let me start with my opinion:

Blind Guardian:
This should come as no surprise. Blind Guardian have been around since the mid eighties and have been a driving force of the genre in the nineties. They've been quite consistent over all those years and that even while constantly evolving in sound. There are many BG songs, that are well-known even outside of power metal, such as 'The Bard's Song (In The Forest) or Mirror Mirror.

Helloween:
Helloween are arguably the fathers of power metal. They have been hugely influential in the late eighties, even to the early sound of Blind Guardian. Helloween has not always been quite as consistent as BG (Chameleon and PBGA come to mind), and that while being less experimental. Still, as '7 Sinners' demonstrated, Helloween is no band that simply forgets how to make great music, and their impact on the metal scene simply cannot be denied.

Kamelot:
Out of all those bands, Kamelot is probably the one that has evolved the most over time. It is arguable whether or not that has occured for better or for worse, the relative consistency is still there though. Since Roy Khan joined the band in '97, Kamelot had been steadily improving over three albums, until the incredible 'The Black Halo' came along. As of now, I can't really see how Kamelot has been influencial to the genre at all, but it's probably too early to tell anyway. However, despite the little miss step that was 'Poetry For The Poisoned', I consider Kamelot to be the best band in power metal at the moment.

???:
Blind Guardian, Helloween and Kamelot definately take three of the for spots in my opinion. I am unsure though, what the fourth band should be. To further represent the US, I'd probably go with Iced Earth, as they made quite an impact over on the other side of the ocean and have been around for quite a while. I still don't know their music well enough to confidently vote for them though.

Speaking of which, where does my vote go? Well, I'd consider Kamelot the best power metal band of today and Helloween the best and most influencial in the late 80's / early 90's. However, Blind Guardian have been consistantly very strong throughout all that time, when Kamelot still struggled to find their sound and even later, when Helloween lost some of their luster. Throughout 20 years, Blind Guardian have always been among the top of the genre if not the top at times, and that's why my vote goes to Hansi, Andre & Co..
TrollandDie

Posts: 273

Age: 19
From: Ireland

  10.06.2011 at 21:50
I'm running short on time so I'll just say who I think should be the big four of power metal in my opinion.

Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian and Iced Earth.
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SoshianT

Posts: 16

Age: 24
From: Iran

  10.06.2011 at 21:56
I think the big for power metal : Kamelot,Blind Guardian,Helloween,Iced Earth
Nyoink

Posts: 44

Age: 21
From: Greece

  10.06.2011 at 21:58
I personally dont hate any of these bands listed, though old Helloween is a level higher than these bands... old Helloween can be called a legendary band, while the others are just very good. So my vote goes for Helloween, my favourite power metal band!
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat

Posts: 3818

Age: 26
From: USA

  10.06.2011 at 21:59
Written by ZGoten on 10.06.2011 at 21:42

???:
Blind Guardian, Helloween and Kamelot definately take three of the for spots in my opinion. I am unsure though, what the fourth band should be. To represent the US, I'd probably go with Iced Earth, as they made quite an impact over on the other side of the ocean and have been around for quite a while.


Kamelot is an American band, dude.
----
"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST..." ____Frank Zappa
ZGoten

Posts: 149

Age: 25
From: Germany

  10.06.2011 at 22:05
Well, I know that. I should have set 'to further represent', but oh well. Let me edit it real quick.
Milena
Learning To "X"

Posts: 4380

Age: 22
From: Serbia

  10.06.2011 at 22:09
Probably Stratovarius, they were pioneers with the keyboard thing. But I'd go with Lost Horizon 'cos they're cult, the only 'epic' band that amazed me. I don't think that Kamelot and Sonata should be in, they're my fave power metal bands, but simply because they're not your typical power metal, and they both have a non-power phase begining from 2007 (and earlier, if you think that The Black Halo/Reckoning Night aren't power metal, which is the opinion of many people)
----
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
Saeed_P

Posts: 108

Age: 22
From: Iran

  10.06.2011 at 22:14
So it's not complete!!! cant see WUTHERIHG HEIGHTS on this list.
they are all the same and repetitive and boring same genres.
i cant vote for the others ; you should check some bands more before post it
The Shape 1973

Posts: 2734


  10.06.2011 at 22:15
1.Helloween are the originators.
2.Stratovarius started the Finnish power metal scene followed by Sonata Arctica and Thunderstone.
3.Yngwie Malmsteen, however hated shaped the sound of the guitars for power metal.
4.Edguy, released strong albums in the early days and Avantasia pull in the big names for their concept albums.

Would not call Nightwish or Kamelot power metal really. Gamma Ray are relying to heavily on NWOBHM to be considered power metal.
ZGoten

Posts: 149

Age: 25
From: Germany

  10.06.2011 at 22:21
Well, I'm limited to only 9 poll options, which of course is not enough to please everyone. ^^
The thread is more about posts than the poll anyway.
Saeed_P

Posts: 108

Age: 22
From: Iran

  10.06.2011 at 22:34
Written by The Shape 1973 on 10.06.2011 at 22:15

1.Helloween are the originators.
2.Stratovarius started the Finnish power metal scene followed by Sonata Arctica and Thunderstone.
3.Yngwie Malmsteen, however hated shaped the sound of the guitars for power metal.
4.Edguy, released strong albums in the early days and Avantasia pull in the big names for their concept albums.

Would not call Nightwish or Kamelot power metal really. Gamma Ray are relying to heavily on NWOBHM to be considered power metal.

that's right if gamma ray was not heavy how could it performed "Heavy Metal Universe" song!
Swamphell
Account deleted
  10.06.2011 at 22:39
Helloween, Gamma Ray, Rhapsody Of Fire & Blind Guardian
Risto
Wandering Midget

Posts: 649

Age: 28
From: Finland

  10.06.2011 at 22:56
I would pick the following bands:

Nightwish
Helloween
Blind Guardian
Stratovarius

This is from someone who isn't really a fan of the genre, apart from Iced Earth. They could possibly be there in place of Nightwish who are indeed a bit so-so, but if we use Metal Storm's definitions Nightwish would definitely belong.
The Norseman

Posts: 68

Age: 33
From: Portugal

  10.06.2011 at 22:58
So here I my picks:

First, the obvious picks:

Blind Guardian (my vote): I think this first spot is obvious. They have great classic albums and keep releasing fresh new albums that sound great. Never stoping in time and continuing to evolve their sound.
Helloween: Pretty close to Blind Guardian. Everytime a new album is released they have to suffer the comparison with the Keepers albums that made Power Metal what it is. They have been travelling a harsh path but are still alive and kicking.

Now, it's gets harder to pick from here... there are to many Power Metal bands that could diserve this spots (Gamma Ray, Nightwish, Iced Earth, Sonata Arctica, Rhapsody of Fire, Hammerfall, Edguy/Avantasia, Stratovarius, etc..)

I'll pick this two:
Gamma Ray: Kai Hansen is one of the Keepers, he knows about Power Metal, he might not had so much success outside Helloween but he puts passion into his music. Gamma Ray albums might not be always excellent but they are never bad.
Nightwish: Nightwish has to be here, it's one of the most succesful Power Metal bands of our days. They were awesome with Tarja but they are still pretty good with Anette. They have some of the best songs in the Symphonic Power Metal universe. They diserve to be one of the "four".

I think Tobias Sammet also diserves a place in there but he's still young, he'll counquer his place in the power metal history if he keeps doing the same great work he has been doing.

Like I said, it's tough, besides Helloween and Blind Guardian, I don't think there is a crystal clear "big four" in Power Metal. There are many great bands but none has still manage to be big enough to justify a "big four", i think.
Yugosaki

Posts: 109

Age: 27
From: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  10.06.2011 at 23:20
Running Wild.... I would also say that Rainbow are the fathers of this genre...
Metal Invader

Posts: 264
From: Croatia

  11.06.2011 at 00:12
Written by Nyoink on 10.06.2011 at 21:58

I personally dont hate any of these bands listed, though old Helloween is a level higher than these bands... old Helloween can be called a legendary band, while the others are just very good. So my vote goes for Helloween, my favourite power metal band!

totally agree with you..Helloween is my pick every time others are BG,GR and Iced Earth
WorpeX

Posts: 644

Age: 25
From: USA

  11.06.2011 at 00:21
My picks are more along the lines of the 'Big 4 of Thrash'. I think the 4 big Power Metal bands from the late 80's/early 90's should get the title: Helloween, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, Gamma Ray. The only tough call for me is not including with Iced Earth, but because they've gone through so many iterations of the band now, I think the others are better choices.
Bad English
nobody

Posts: 38463

Age: 29
From: Sweden

  11.06.2011 at 00:47
http://www.metalstorm.net/forum/topic.php?topic_id=138
Do you ever use a serch?
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
ZGoten

Posts: 149

Age: 25
From: Germany

  11.06.2011 at 01:10
I think the topics are different enough.
bj_waters

Posts: 235

Age: 30
From: USA

  11.06.2011 at 01:20
This is a concept that I've actually given a lot of thought. However, I would add that another of the main reasons the Big 4 of Thrash were titled so were because they were massive innovators within the genre. Metallica led the way, Megadeth splintered off and added technique, Slayer gave them a strong image, and Anthrax helped solidify the community and had a different approach to Thrash. It's with this in mind that I pick my recommendations for the Big 4 of Power Metal, especially since I think I can create an interesting mirror of the Big 4 of Thrash.

My picks are Helloween (my vote), Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, and Stratovarius. All four of them grew from speed metal and by the mid 90s had established the sound that we all recognize as power metal. Now allow me to break this down.

Helloween is like Metallica in that they were the first (Walls of Jericho is pure Power Metal). They were the innovators who then influenced tons of other bands. There's a big reason why Helloween is one of the most covered bands in the Power Metal world, just like Metallica is the most covered in Thrash (and perhaps in all metal).

Gamma Ray is like Megadeth in that they were the splinter group. Now, I know that Dave Mustaine was kicked out whereas Kai Hansen left of his own accord, but it doesn't change the fact that these two influential guitarists helped reinforce the sound and styles of their particular genre.

Blind Guardian is like Slayer in that they both gave the genre an image. I'm mostly talking about lyrical content. Just as Slayer upped the ante on violence and shock (though Death Metal took more of that than Thrash), Blind Guardian created the stereotype that Power Metal is all about fantasy by having songs (and albums) dedicated the the world of Tolkien. While they certainly weren't the first, it is what made them big and what made a lot of other Power Metal bands resort to having fantasy inspired lyrics.

Stratovarius is like Anthrax in that they took a different approach toward their respective genres. Anthrax was much more lighthearted and open-minded about incorporating different styles of music in their thrash, like wearing their hardcore influences on their sleeve and being pioneers in rap metal and all that. Stratovarius' contributions came in Malmsteen-style guitars teamed up with symphonic keyboards to create the epic soundscapes that Power Metal is known for. And Stratovarius was the first band to feature guitar vs. keyboard solo duels the way that they do.

I admit this is mostly European Power Metal that I'm talking about; I have a hard time understanding US Power Metal as a genre (I haven't listened to any Iced Earth and struggle to understand what else falls in the genre that doesn't have a foot in Progressive Metal). In short, I'm ignorant about the US Power Metal scene. Still, Power Metal as we know it today has come about because of these four influential and innovative bands paving the way for hundreds of other bands to follow through the late 90's and early 2000's. I know mirroring the Big 4 of Thrash might be pretentious and silly, but I like the way my theories stand.

Of course, Exodus insists that they're part of the "Big 5 of Thrash," so perhaps 4 doesn't have to be the number. Unfortunately, I don't have a fifth in mind. All I ask is that you take my ideas for what they're worth.
ScreamingSteelUS
Die by Steel

Posts: 408

Age: 20
From: USA

  11.06.2011 at 01:20
It would be a crime to not include Blind Guardian and Helloween. Iced Earth I also fully support. I think it would be worth mentioning Dio and Manowar, because they were fairly influential in the genre's early days even if you don't consider them to be power metal per se.

So I would vote for BG, IE, and Helloween, and... well, the last is anyone's guess. I'm not familiar enough with any of the other choices to say for certain, but I think Edguy deserves a little recognition.
SamuelSanchezAlvarez

Posts: 58

Age: 23
From: Spain

  11.06.2011 at 01:32
I would say Helloween, Gamma Ray, Running Wild and Blind Guardian. Unfortunatley I'd leave Iced Earth, one of my favourite metal bands in general, Edguy, Kamelot, Rage, Sonata Artica...It's nearly impossible to choose the "Big Four of Power Metal" , but this poll is really original
bluegreengod
Account deleted
  11.06.2011 at 01:34
I kinda have a hard time calling nightwish power metal. 2 bands worthy of mention: Hammerfall and Manowar (even though I don't particularly like either of them). I'd have to say the big 4 are Blind Guardian, Helloween, Iced Earth and hmmm....probably Sonata Arctica.
Joker

Posts: 40
From: Syria

  11.06.2011 at 01:43
I don't know if Symphony X can play this...prog power
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave

Posts: 4181

Age: 30
From: Australia

  11.06.2011 at 01:44
Well i think it's strange you left Stratovarius out of the options and included Sonata Arctica, considering you are talking about influences. I think Stratovarius is an important factor in defining Finnish Power Metal (one of the biggest power metal countries out there). Sonata are good too, but they are newer and are probably on the same level as Stratovarius with consistency and musicianship.

I also find it strange the voting method you used. I think it would make more sense to leave out Blind Guardian and Helloween, because we know they will be voted in. Personally though, i feel Helloween should only be included because of their history in starting the trendy genre, they have released a lot of crap since then.

I don't agree with Kamelot because they are not really Power Metal based, sure all of their albums have some characteristic of the genre, but not in an entirety. If you listen to all their songs, only a small amount (less than half) are actually power metal. They are a great band who i agree have developed a different kind of sound, but not in the top 4.

Iced Earth i think deserve a look in. The popularized the US power metal sound with a mix of European sound. They pushed the Heavy Metal boundaries to a Melodic up tempo riff-a-thon. Sure they are not the creators of their sound, but they characterize that sound well. They added some darkness to the genre.

Rhaposdy of Fire do what they do well, and consistently. But not enough to give them a spot. They have not really developed their sound other than orchestration.

Gamma Ray would be in the list if Helloween weren't. I actually prefer them to Helloween, and are more consistent with better albums, however, they can be a bit repetitious.

Nightwish - no. A good band who put a spin on the Finnish scene, but contributed nothing that Stratovarius already did besides add a female vocalist. Musically, Nightwish are nothing special, they just knew who to blend it all together to make great music. I don't think you can call them Power Metal anymore also.

Edguy i'm surprised are also not on the list. They have no WOW factor, but they added something different to the genre. They could have a joke and make cheery decent music.
Vacant Throne

Posts: 59

Age: 29
From: USA

  11.06.2011 at 01:48
1. Helloween
2. Blind Guardian
3. Stratovarius
4. Lost Horizon

I find it funny that when I was a kid I listened to the top 3 bands here for years thinking that I was the only one who knew about them.
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Bad English
nobody

Posts: 38463

Age: 29
From: Sweden

  11.06.2011 at 01:49
There isnt such list and never wont be Blind Guardian, Helloween, Gamma Ray can go together because same members in, simmilar style and simmilarities, same dat and years when they played, but there is also US Power like Attacker, Helstar, Jag panzer, Omen and such type of bands who influanced a lot of this is almost not possible to tell,
Germany: Gammaray, BG, Helloween
Finland: Styarovarius, Sonata Arctica
Swe: Hammerfall, Saboton, Falconer.

Iced Earth and Nightwaish is falling out because it is not a power,same power what you put most bands, I wont vote, there no way I can because Ger bvands influanced most but also US power to, then came others
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Vacant Throne

Posts: 59

Age: 29
From: USA

  11.06.2011 at 01:51
I agree with Bad English on possibly doing a top 4 of each country instead. I suppose it's the only way to be fair.
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Bad English
nobody

Posts: 38463

Age: 29
From: Sweden

  11.06.2011 at 02:13
Written by Vacant Throne on 11.06.2011 at 01:51

I agree with Bad English on possibly doing a top 4 of each country instead. I suppose it's the only way to be fair.

and also time because many would say Ed Guy + tgose BIG 3 but they started leither at 90's
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Mountain King
K i K o

Posts: 446

Age: 26
From: Lebanon

  11.06.2011 at 03:14
With a lot of experience in the Power Metal Genre (My favorite with Heavy Metal) and as a guitar player that covers Power Metal songs, here is my Big Four list:

1- Helloween (A legendary band by all means with Michael Kiske and with Andi Deris)
2- Stratovarius ( Genial compositions. Fast and beautiful)
3- Angra (Might be a little proggy but they are more of a Power Metal band)
4- Edguy (Exceptionally amazing compositions and consistency make them the fourth band)

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