Okay, it's the last week for this series. This week, I take on power metal. Power metal has never been a favorite genre of mine, although along with doom metal it is a little closer to the traditional metal style, rising out of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden influences. However, there's two types of power metal: European and American. American-style power metal is a little more aggressive and not as orchestral. As such, you will see more American power metal than European in this list.
TWISTED TOWER DIRE: CREST OF THE MARTYRS
Starting things off is the incredibly underrated Twisted Tower Dire. This is American power metal at its best. It's extremely catchy and yet retaining an aggressive edge. This is very close to traditional metal, but it still keeps a general power metal sound. Their vocalist sounds amazing, with a sharp distinctive vocal style. The guitar riffs are heavy and interesting and the solos are incendiary. This is an incredible band that has not received much of any exposure at all.
TAD MOROSE: MODUS VIVENDI
Yes there will be some European power metal bands on this list. Tad Morose is a progressive/power metal band from Sweden. As far as European power metal goes however, the Swedish bands are typically a little more on the aggressive side, while remaining extremely melodic. This album is an excellent example. The band sounds a little like the American band Kamelot. Tad Morose is an extremely gifted band at writing infectious choruses, a gift they use to full effect on this album. Yes it is melodic, and progressive, and it's extremely powerful.
NIGHTMARE: GENETIC DISORDER
Nightmare is a French power metal band that plays a style closer to the American power metal style than the flowery European style. Nightmare is a band that has been around for a very long time. I have almost never seen them mentioned in any metal publications at all though. It's a shame because this is some very catchy and melodic power metal. It's also surprisingly aggressive for the style. Nightmare has been around since before the European "flower" metal style and resembles Grave Digger much moreso than Blind Guardian.
Melding elements of power metal and progressive metal, we have the mighty Outworld. The singer's air-raid siren-like vocals soar over the rather complex riffing and keyboard flourishes. The vocals are really the most important factor in this band's musical style. The music is similar to Symphony X, but harder and heavier and the vocals are significantly better as well, not to say Symphony X is bad at all. This album will definitely wake you up in a hurry.
OMEN: BATTLE CRY
Omen is one of the original bands in the American power metal movement. They themselves ride the border between power metal and traditional metal, but they're here because of their influence on the fledgling genre in the early 1980's. Because of groups like Omen and Jag Panzer and Manowar, we have the American power metal style. Groups on this list like Twisted Tower Dire owe a debt to Omen and others. All that praise is meaningless of course if the album itself were not as good as it is. This is a truly underrated gem for its time.