The Top 10 Power Metal Bands

Categories: Metal

hammerfall.jpg
Hammerfall
Despite the bad rap heavy metal music gets for being degenerate, angry, violent music, there is a sub category within metal that is as uplifting as it is loud. One of the most intense and powerful subgenres is Power Metal, a very vibrant and energetic style that was created on a foundation of arguably four bands: Iron Maiden, Dio, Judas Priest and Manowar. Of course, other bands such as Queensryche, Fates Warning, Queen, and even Def Leppard and many others all played a role in Power Metal as well. But there is a thin line that blurs the distinctions between early thrash, '80s metal and power metal. Many of the bands are based out of Europe, with Germany being a hotbed for some of Power Metals earliest, and most well known bands. Today, Power Metal is a worldwide phenomenon, as big if not bigger than thrash, death or black metal scenes all across the globe. We now present our list of the Top 10 Power Metal Bands.

See also: Top 10 Stoner Metal Bands

10. Primal Fear
Based out of Germany, Primal Fear formed in 1997, and features vocalist Ralf Scheeers, bassist Mat Sinner, and guitarists Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyrodt. The band's sound has been often compared to that of Judas Priest, and it makes sense. At one time, vocalist Scheepers was almost chosen as replacement for Judas Priest singer Rob Halford. After he was not chosen, Primal Fear was formed. The band's thrash-meets-'80s-metal vibe is often the musical backdrop for such subjects as religion, government, wars, and even space exploration, as seen on the album Black Sun (2002).


9.Dream Evil
Named after the 1987 album by Dio, Dream Evil was founded in Sweden in 1999, by Swedish extreme metal producer Frederik Nordstrom, and at one time included renowned Greek metal guitarist Gus G (Firewind, Arch Enemy, Ozzy). Traditional heavy metal meets modern in this epic and grandiose approach to power metal. The band music is full songs that are very uplifting tales about slaying dragons, revealing prophecies, displaying honor and showcasing bravery.

See also: Top 10 Grindcore Bands


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55 comments
celisyunkong
celisyunkong

And Sabaton, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius aren't there


celisyunkong
celisyunkong

Mirror Mirror should be the Blind Guardian song


celioazevedo
celioazevedo

Helloween is the best band of the universe.

atomwan
atomwan

At the very least this list needs Edguy, nightwish, sonata arctica, and stratovarius. I do fucking love me some dream evil though.

jccg_89
jccg_89

¿Really?, HammerFall. 9 inches of blood and Rhapsody of Fire included but not Stratovarius, Running Wild and Iron Savior not included?

eckmanmj
eckmanmj

Not a bad list.  Im okay with the top 3, but I do think Manowar needs to be on here, if only for the sole reason that they've been doing it the longest.  Many of the themes and styles evident in modern power metal were first heard in the early 80s.  

Dungeon_Vic
Dungeon_Vic

And of course there is always Angra (first two but also the Falaschi albums), Nightwish (not my cup of tea but Oceanborn, Wishmaster are classics), Edguy and Avantasia (I would give it to the first Avantasia), Kamelot (Fourth Legacy, Karma and Epica for me)...


Dungeon_Vic
Dungeon_Vic

Wow, this was an awful list with equally awful commentary, sorry mate. So misleading I just have to provide the correct list and correct albums because my OCD is flaring up!

The essential, historically most significant German power metal bands:

Helloween 
Helloween EP, Walls of Jericho, Keeper of the Seven Keys I and II are the absolute essentials, with Keeper I defining sonically the european power metal sound that was copied by almost everyone. Also solidified the use of "power metal" to mean this kind of music (in the US the term was used to describe early, melodic thrash - like Ride the Lightning, Metal Church, early Overkill etc.)

Time of the Oath, Better than Raw, The Dark Ride are imo the best albums with Deris.

Keep away from Chameleon, it's a pop/rock album.

Gamma Ray
No World Order their best???!!! WHAT THE HELL???

No, no, no. They have two eras. The first era begins with vocalist Ralf Scheepers (now in Primal Fear) and three excellent albums. Heading for Tomorrow is closer to the Keepers sound and Insanity and Genius is the most impressive one. Amazing diversity in the songwriting.

Second era, features the Master on vocals: Kai Hansen. Land of the Free is the band's best and one of the genre's best albums and was the blueprint for the band's futire career: Walls of Jericho ferocity meets Keeper of the Seven Keys melody. PERFECT.

Fans of that sound also swear by the next two: Somewhere Out in Space and Powerplant. Great albums. No World Order and Majestic ain't bad at all but it is obvious there is a recipe going on here that includes classic Hansen and Painkiller.

Running Wild
SHAME ON YOU for not including them on the list. One of the 3 major forces of german power metal (Helloween/Running Wild/Rage is the equivalent of Kreator/Sodom/Destruction). Fantastic band, signature sound, pirate image that gives them many cool points. Two eras again: the more raw heavy/power/speed era of the early 80s and then the classic power metal era. Port Royal is the inbetween album and is probably their best, featuring their classic song Conquistadores, which along with Under Jolly Roger and Riding the Storm are the bands most iconic anthems. Any power metal fan needs their 1984-1998 discography but if you don't own Port Royal, Death or Glory and Pile of Skulls you don't know your metal. End of story.

Blind Guardian
I cannot believe you forgot to mention Imaginations from the Other Side, their breakthrough album to the rest of the world. Perfect balance between their more complex era that started with nightfall in middle-earth (and got a bit out of hand on Night at the Opera) and their speed/power godliness of Tales from the Twilight World and Somewhere Far Beyond.

Rage
HUGE omission. You need Secrets in a Weird World, Trapped!, The Missing Link (their best imo), Black In Mind for their best works and that is just scratching the surface. Also, one of the first bands in metal to combine classic orchestras and metal before it became a trend (before Metallica and more importantly WAY better than Metallica).

Stratovarius
How you can ommit Stratovarious is beyond me. One of the most popular bands of the genre and a band that was the gateway to power metal for a huge number of people. Dreamspace, The Fourth Dimension, Episode and Visions are absolute must-have albums for the fan of the genre. 

Primal Fear, 3 Inches of Blood and Dream Evil have no business in such a list. They are not bad bands but taking the place of Running Wild, Stratovarius and Rage is totally misguided.

Iced Earth? A power/thrash band. I guess most people into power metal were also very much into Iced Earth, so their inclusion makes sense. But if you include american power metal bands then the list is even more problematic: Where is Savatage? Vicious Rumors? Crimson Glory? The American version of power metal is an incredibly rich genre with the bands displaying lots of character and not the standard double-bass drumming recipe.

Sticking to Europe, I would also have included Heaven's Gate (Livin' in Hysteria), Morgana Lefay (Maleficium), Tad Morose (Modus Vivendi) - in the parentheses the essential album from each band.

mlaingold
mlaingold

The list is written, by somebody who just want's to pinpoint his musical interests, with no actual knowledge on the subject he writes about. I'd agree, that Helloween are the cornerstone for most power metal bands, but Iced Earth, Blind Guardian are by far not PM. Both bands, in their own niche incorporate to many styles and play much more complex music, than say Gamma Ray, Grave Digger or Hammerfall. I wouldn't agree on Hammerfall being the second band on the list. After their debut and the second albums, Hammerfall had nothing new to offer. Also musically, they are like Dark Throne to black metal... Very immature. There are tons of good PM bands, like couple of Kamelot albums, Serenity, White Skull, Sabaton etc... 


Bottom line, the list is wrong and IMHO the writer should keep he's opinion to himself. 

chella1788
chella1788

"Arguably, the most prominent Power Metal bands, Helloween was founded in Hamburg, Germany, in 1984 by guitarists Kai Hansen and Michael Weikath with bassist Markus Grosskopf, and drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg."


The grammar in this sentence makes me want to stab a baby.

mcufre
mcufre

No Lost Horizon? Worthless list.

Bob Lopez
Bob Lopez

Haizeus Gytn some of these aren't even power metal lol

matthew.hendrick85
matthew.hendrick85

I agree with some of this, but without a mention of either Sonata or Kamelot...or Nightwish for that matter. I thought at least one of those would've been in here. At least Rhapsody made it

mathieu_chiasson_123
mathieu_chiasson_123

this list fucking blows, I know hundreds of power metal bands that crush these, they're not on here because it's not mainstream garbage

bogsmash
bogsmash

The fact that there is no Sonata Arctica, makes this list stupid.

Mango
Mango

Where is Kamelot?

Fredpalas
Fredpalas

No Sonata No Stratovarius, no Power metal chart

FloodOfBlood
FloodOfBlood

Let us not forget 'CAGE'.  Their 'Hell Destroyer' album kick butt.  And, I am also surprised Dragonforce is not on the list.

Lilmouse
Lilmouse

Did I really just read a Top 10 Power Metal list where Manowar wasn't mentioned? o.O

fabiantomas
fabiantomas

No Sonata Arctica, no Stratovarius, no Sabaton, no Wisdom, no Europe, but we got some heavy too? What kind of list is it?

vggiabao
vggiabao

For me, sabaton will appear in top 10


kamilk612
kamilk612

First of all Iced Earth is not power metal band. It's hudge mistake here. Second thing HammerFall in second place - another hudge mistake. The person who wrote this supose to be fired.

selkir
selkir

What? Hammerfall better than Blind Guardian? O.o I don't think so...

atomwan
atomwan

@Dungeon_Vic Avanatasia is a super group, edguy should definitely be on there though

jccg_89
jccg_89

@Dungeon_Vic  You just forgot to mention Iron Savior, damn, fucking Piet Sielck was on the cration of Helloween and Gamma Ray and if it is not that "mainstream" it is one of the most powerful Power Metal band.

santiago_erazo
santiago_erazo

@mlaingold  A couple Kamelot albums are power metal but they are way past power at this point. If Blind Guardian shouldn't be on this list, Kamelot should not be by any means either. Also I haven't kept up with Guardian much but I always thought of them as pretty power metal, though not as straight forward as others.

strutter1995
strutter1995

@matthew.hendrick85  They're all symphonic metal, not just power metal, but then again, so is Rhapsody and current Blind Guardian.

mlaingold
mlaingold

@mathieu_chiasson_123  

Please, do tell about those bands, that can crush Helloween, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth and Grave Digger. I'd really like to listen to them.

mlaingold
mlaingold

@bogsmash the fact that Sonata Arctica is an OK band, with nothing new or exceptional to offer, makes it totally fine. And they are babies compared to Helloween or Blind Guardian.

santiago_erazo
santiago_erazo

@Fredpalas  Stratovarious should have absolutely been on here. Someone also mentioned Angra, would have been cool.

vengense4ever
vengense4ever

@selkir  Blind Guardian has been around for a long time... i believe they are the best... i havent heard anyone else sound like a Bard

Dungeon_Vic
Dungeon_Vic

@jccg_89 I love Iron Savior's first album but I am not at all impressed with their later releases. One album does not propel you to the 10 best power metal bands of all time, imo.

Scanner's Ball of the Damned (1997) is even better, one of the best european power metal releases ever (listen to Puppet on a String or Tollshocked or Frozen Under the Sun) but I would choose bands with a string of high quality releases (like Heaven's Gate etc that I mentioned above).

mcufre
mcufre

@strutter1995 Symphonic POWER METAL, so it's a subcategory of Power Metal, it's not incorrect to group them in a power metal list.

mathieu_chiasson_123
mathieu_chiasson_123

@mlaingold @mathieu_chiasson_123  Insania Stockholm, Messenger, Gallow's End, Highland Glory, Lost Horizon, Anthriel, Symphony X, Majesty, Wizard, HIBRIA and ZONATA there are many more, mainstream music like all of those bands on here is alright, but there's ALOT better out there that is unheard of no hate on Helloween and Blind Guardian I'm a fan of them as well. Also try out Bane of Winterstorm and Dragonland two of my personal favorites.

santiago_erazo
santiago_erazo

@mcufre @strutter1995  I'd say Rhapsody is symphonic power but Kamelot and Nightwish are far past the power point and mostly symphonic. Sonata might still be considered power, I haven't listened to their newer stuff though.

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