Symphonic Power Metal

Axenstar – Chapter VIII Review

Axenstar – Chapter VIII Review

“”Is it necessary for artists to grow?” A question that haunted me as I listened to Chapter VIII, the eighth album by Swedish power metal act Axenstar. When an artist finds their niche, deviations always run the risk of alienating their audience from what they found appealing in the first place. Power metal in particular carries plenty of clear expectations—soaring choruses, galloping drums, warbly vibrato for days—and it’s easy for a band to fall into a groove. But where is the line drawn between comforting familiarity and stagnation?” Chapter and old verse.

Mystfall – Celestial Vision Review

Mystfall – Celestial Vision Review

“Symphonic metal is an overstuffed genre with precious few top-tier acts. Success depends on compelling vocal performances, ear-worm choruses, apocalyptic orchestral arrangements, and diligent production to meld it all together. Not even a year old and recently signed to Scarlet Records (alongside last year’s power metal standouts Fellowship) Greece’s Mystfall has wasted no time in bringing forth their debut album Celestial Vision.” Bombast in the myst.

Twilight Force – At the Heart of Wintervale Review

Twilight Force – At the Heart of Wintervale Review

Twilight Force’s Dawn of the Dragonstar should have been on my 2019 year-end list. Hell, I should have at least written a Things You Might Have Missed piece on it. Yet in retrospect, at the time, the prospect of fully embracing Twilight Force was borderline embarrassing, even for me.” Return of the GammaStrataWeenie.

Rhapsody of Fire – Glory for Salvation Review

Rhapsody of Fire – Glory for Salvation Review

“If Turilli was the flighty artist constantly on the move, Staropoli was the guy who’s kept writing choruses which were an innovation in 1997. Combining these two artistic visions created something special. But the split left Rhapsody of Fire with three problems. First, Staropoli needed to become a better composer; second, he had to replace his band; and lastly, he needed to forge a path forward.” How many of these things does Glory for Salvation accomplish?

Seven Spires – Gods of Debauchery Review

Seven Spires – Gods of Debauchery Review

Seven Spires released their second full-length album Emerald Seas, the prequel to their debut album Solveig, in February 2020. In tragic fashion, the four Berklee College of Music graduates scrapped their tour because of the global pandemic. Instead of wallowing in sorrow, the band wrote nearly 80 minutes of glorious new music, a true testament to their fervent love for the crafts of songwriting and musicianship. I raved about Emerald Seas in TYMHM last year, and let’s just say that my expectations were high for Gods of Debauchery.” Gluttony of goods.

Winterage – The Inheritance of Beauty Review

Winterage – The Inheritance of Beauty Review

“You know when you lose a bet and find yourself wearing a Red Sox jersey and forced to eat a hundred cocktail weenies until you purge yourself in the tub? Well, that’s nothing compared to the Paw of Steel punishment for picking on Kenny. Ken told me it was corset-core. Cool, I like corsets. There may or may not have been the mention of Nightwish, but I cataloged that as trollarchy. So, I took the punishment and rolled with it. Well, you know those times when a movie character comes to a dramatic realization? When the camera zooms in, and they look up at nothing and whisper, “Dear GOD”?” Cheesy justice.

Memories of Old – The Zeramin Game Review

Memories of Old – The Zeramin Game Review

“As if the cover of Memories of Old’s debut wasn’t enough of an indicator, this one is for all the fantasy nerds out there. Promo materials for The Zeramin Game identify Memories of Old’s music as symphonic power metal, but if we’re talking specifics, The Zeramin Game is a spirited cross between castle metal and pirate metal. It’s the kind of album I’d expect might be born if Serenity and Alestorm had an inkling for each other — an album concerning equal parts ancient times, legend, and prophecy and equal parts a journey across turbulent seas.” Game-core.

Terra Atlantica – Age of Steam Review

Terra Atlantica – Age of Steam Review

“Steampunk is such a cool aesthetic. Victorian-era styling fused with futuristic tech in a fictional timeline where steam power reigns dominant as the primary energy source. The idea practically sells itself! While I’m not especially knowledgeable on the lore that creators fashioned within the steampunk universe, almost anything bearing the tag garners my attention. My enthusiasm for the genre attracted me to Terra Atlantica’s sophomore full-length, Age of Steam. Will it be the lean, mean, steam-powered machine I so desire?” Steamed hams.

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

“Seeing the almighty “power metal” banner waving boldly above a Pile of Intrigue in the Promo Pit is a fascinating experience, because it never fails to bring out my optimism and cynicism in roughly equal amounts. On the one hand, I love power metal. On the other hand, it’s such a straightforward genre that even established acts occasionally have trouble with a potentially generic sound. As per usual, optimism won out, so today I will tell you about my experience with Selenseas, a Russian group dabbling in symphonic power metal.” Power outage.

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

“Angry Metal Guy’s latest n00b interrupts your regularly scheduled black metal to bring the ultimate question: is power metal metal? “It has the word metal in it, so of course it is, you babbling bumbling baboon,” you say. I get it, and it’s been proven again and again, but while various facets of the metalverse have to justify why they’re not rock, power metal is one of the only styles that must justify why it’s not pop.” Justify our love.