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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


The original post

Posted by ZGoten on 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..



Page 2 of 4

JD
Kafir

Posts: 4030

Age: 25
From: Germany

  11.06.2011 at 04:12
Iced Earth i guess, because i hate the other bands in this poll.
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Gopherhawk

Posts: 188
From: USA

  11.06.2011 at 05:11
Helloween, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, Iced Earth
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Follow your heart, not trends.
jsoft

Posts: 10

Age: 26
From: Portugal

  11.06.2011 at 05:12
Blind Guardian and Helloween
Sepulnation

Posts: 75

Age: 29
From: Chile

  11.06.2011 at 05:21
Helloween, gamma ray, stratovarius and the fourth hahaha....
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YEAH!
x-avier

Posts: 39

Age: 28
From: Ecuador

  11.06.2011 at 05:21
Stratovarius should be there
Bloody_Footprint

Posts: 30

Age: 27
From: USA

  11.06.2011 at 05:38
Blind Guardian is an obvious choice, even people with a basic idea of metal know about them, After "Keepers", Helloween's work becomes hit or miss but the "Keepers" albums are such power metal staples that they have to go in. Iced Earth is like Blind Guardian, goes without saying. The one most people are mentioning that didn't make the original poll, Stratovarius not only influenced power metal but the Finnish metal scene as well.

Rhapsody doesn't have the popularity or influence and neither Sonata nor Nightwish have done anything power metal for a while.
----
Neurosis and Metal since '87
GroundZero

Posts: 90
From: Mexico

  11.06.2011 at 06:08
Compulsorily: Helloween and Gamma Ray.

The other 2 places could be filled with Edguy, Hammerfall, Primal Fear or Kamelot.

I would like to add Masterplan, but they have a relatively short trajectory.
Dark Blood
The Avenger

Posts: 1435

Age: 29
From: Portugal

  11.06.2011 at 06:22
Blind Guardian, Helloween, Kamelot, and... I dont know, maybe Nocturnal Rites or Hammerfall.

First 2 for the obvious reasons. They are the fathers of power metal, as it's considered by many of us.
Kamelot because they reinvented the genre in their own way, and made it really classy with their personal touch.
The other one I can't decide, but I think I'd go for Nocturnal Rites.. They are a really solid band and in my point of view kind of forgotten and underrated.
----
It is humanity who must pay homage to the greatness of the Universe... not the Universe to the human narcissism.
bj_waters

Posts: 232

Age: 30
From: USA

  11.06.2011 at 06:25
I find it interesting that people are using entire discographies as part of their judgement, claiming that certain bands shouldn't be in simply because their later albums weren't up to snuff. Metallica has caused some of the most heated debates in all of metal because of their later, non-thrash albums and yet they are considered a part of the Big 4 of Thrash. This is why, as I said earlier, innovation is much more important for identifying the four key bands who created the sound of Power Metal than their later albums. This is why I have picked my four (Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, and Stratovarius). All four of those bands were part of the speed metal movement in the late 80s and reformed it into the Power Metal we all recognize. While there were other bands doing similar things (Running Wild, Grave DIgger, etc.), these were the bands who really led the charge, in my opinion. Many of the other bands mentions, like Kamelot, Nightwish, Hammerfall, and Edguy, came after, like a second wave of Power Metal. (Still, my ignorance of Iced Earth kind of hinders my argument.)

As for bands like Iron Maiden, Dio, and Manowar who may have influenced them, they shouldn't be considered part of the Big 4 in the same sense that Diamond Head, Venom, and Discharge wouldn't be part of the the Thrash Big 4.
Xim
Rocker of Worlds

Posts: 273

Age: 24
From: Canada

  11.06.2011 at 07:08
I totally agree with Helloween, they pretty much invented the genre. I think Gamma Ray deserves your number 4 on the spot considering the original master-mind behind Helloween was Kai Hansen, who is now the man behind Gamma Ray. Plus he's regarded as "the grandfather of power metal".
Soviet

Posts: 155

Age: 20
From: Canada

  11.06.2011 at 07:57
Helloween, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, and Blind Guardian. <<<none more deserving

Replace Kamelot with Stratovarius on that list...
----
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Night Sight

Posts: 256

Age: 20
From: Iran

  11.06.2011 at 11:36
Where is manowar??
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Alone in death
Alone in the daylight
Night Sight

Posts: 256

Age: 20
From: Iran

  11.06.2011 at 11:38
None of these bands except iced earth,helloween and blind guardian are deserve to be in that list
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Alone in birth
Alone in the darkness
Alone in death
Alone in the daylight
malaikat

Posts: 405


  11.06.2011 at 11:55
Blind Guardian, Helloween, Gamma ray, and... I don't know, Nightwish I guess, for the popularity only.
malaikat

Posts: 405


  11.06.2011 at 12:01
Blind Guardian, Helloween, and Gamma ray. I don't see Iced Earth as a great band, compared to these three, they are waaay more limited and monotone imho. Just my two cents.
jacut

Posts: 64

Age: 30
From: France
  11.06.2011 at 12:05
Blind Guardian, Helloween and Gamma Ray are up there for sure because of the the quality, consistency and impact their music have had on power metal. They basically SHAPED it to what it is today with Helloween/Gamma Ray (or say, Kai Hansen) creating it and Blind Guardian perfecting the genre, so I'd make it a big three. If you really need a big four, among the bands you mentionned I guess Iced Earth is the most influencial and the one with the higher longevity but I don't really like their music and don't think their contribution was as strong as my big three's.
musclassia

Posts: 161

Age: 22
From: UK

  11.06.2011 at 12:21
I would've thought Stratovarious would be a shoe-in for this. Not necessarily my favourites, but I've always had Helloween, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius and Gamma Ray as a subconscious big 4 of power
Justicelust

Posts: 213

Age: 25
From: Iraq

  11.06.2011 at 12:30
Nightwish, Kamelot, Helloween, and Blind Guardian.
RhaegarTargaryen
Telcontar

Posts: 359

Age: 31
From: Serbia

  11.06.2011 at 12:51
Blind Guardian, Kamelot, Stratovarius and Helloween realistcly, if it would come down to my personal taste, Blind Guardian, Kamelot, Evergrey and Nightwish...
----
... For years I have traveled in coldness,
But my heart is warm as the darkened sun above me...
Nothing can never take away
What I've seen with these tired eyes
tomasmakina

Posts: 9

Age: 26
From: The Netherlands
  11.06.2011 at 13:49
Well, i think the most cleare is Helloween, the metallica of the power metal.
Secondly the best quality band of power metal, with roots in helloween would be Gamma Ray.
Then other band on his own, really classical and famous, with an arguable quality is Stratovarius.
And, with somebody who do extra things, or add kind of rock stuff in his carrer, the last one should be Edugy.
Chris Steele

Posts: 123

Age: 20
From: Denmark

  11.06.2011 at 13:59
Gamma Ray, Helloween, Blind Guardian and Iced Earth
Chris Steele

Posts: 123

Age: 20
From: Denmark

  11.06.2011 at 13:59
Gamma Ray, Helloween, Blind Guardian and Iced Earth
Cryzpin

Posts: 113

Age: 34
From: Czech Republic

  11.06.2011 at 14:12
Blind Guardian just don't belong here, since it is Fairy Tale Metal, nothing about poiwer there tbh.
Helloween, Iced Earth, Gamma Ray...Kamelot.
Rogue Element

Posts: 11

Age: 29
From: USA

  11.06.2011 at 14:39
Helloween, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, and Stratovarius. All four are well known in the metal community and have put out stellar, genre-defining material during their careers. Each band has contributed something to power metal's sound and popularity: Helloween is considered to be the fathers of power metal, Blind Guardian has innovative album concepts and unique style, Iced Earth is probably the most popular and successful American power metal band, and Stratovarius has influenced a bazillion bands while also contributing to the birth of symphonic power metal.
Yavanna

Posts: 593

Age: 24
From: Brazil

  11.06.2011 at 18:43
Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, Sonata Artica and Nightwish
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Walk me across the water
And maybe you'll understand
Guib

Posts: 2063

Age: 23
From: Canada

  11.06.2011 at 19:31
Well I don't really understand why Stratovarius is not in the poll LOL ??

And out of popularity and career I guess the big four would be ... Helloween, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth and Stratovarius
even if you don't like the bands they pretty much defined what power metal is.
----
- I love my technical, melodic, my thrash, agressive and fast paced, my sludge, well thought, my heavy, heavier and my metal, ever-growing -
Vikcen
Metálico

Posts: 812

Age: 35
From: Spain

  11.06.2011 at 22:02
Written by SamuelSanchezAlvarez on 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


I think Running Wild is a band very accurate to the concept of "Big four", plus the obvious Blind Guardian and Helloween.
Bad English
nobody

Posts: 38122

Age: 29
From: Sweden

  11.06.2011 at 23:05
Written by Vikcen on 11.06.2011 at 22:02

Written by SamuelSanchezAlvarez on 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


I think Running Wild is a band very accurate to the concept of "Big four", plus the obvious Blind Guardian and Helloween.


Disagree because there was many good bands before, only RW was maybe who hit the lil nail to bring wgole genre in mainstreem
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ZGoten

Posts: 149

Age: 25
From: Germany

  12.06.2011 at 01:08
^Which may be just as important. I think people here generally emphasize influence a little too much. But then again, it's all a matter of opinion, I guess.
Metal_4Ever

Posts: 869

Age: 18
From: Syria

  12.06.2011 at 05:04
Written by Soviet on 11.06.2011 at 07:57

Helloween, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, and Blind Guardian. <<<none more deserving

Replace Kamelot with Stratovarius on that list...

WTF!!, Do you compare between Kamelot and Srarovarius....
Listen, Kamelot remains the pride of power metal..
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