The 'Big Four' Of Power Metal ? (Just For Fun)
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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:
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 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.
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..
PollWhich band most definately deserved a spot on the 'Big Four'?
Rhapsody Of Fire
Total votes: 372
| Dark Blood
Rocker of Worlds
| Night Sight
| Night Sight
From: The Netherlands
| Chris Steele
| Chris Steele
| Rogue Element
| Bad English