Nine Circles ov… Power Metal 2007

2007

Ever since I left social media in early 2017 I’ve had plenty of extra time on my hands. Sure, I spend most of that extra time staring at my bedroom wall, but I also use it to go back and listen to tunes from years ago. With the influx of new music being released every week it gets increasingly hard to slow down and listen to albums that entertained you when you were younger. I am definitely guilty of this. Now that I’ve dusted off the old CDs and revisited them I have the opportunity to analyze certain things I may not have thought of the first time around.

One of the things I’ve noticed is despite the early 2000s being a dark time for power metal, the sub-genre had an amazing 2007. Some of my favorite records were released in that year, particularly Manowar, who delivered their most divisive album amongst the die hards: Gods Of War. I can go on for hours talking about Manowar (seriously, I can – ask the dudes who run this site) but there was much more that deserves your attention. So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I am going to highlight some power metal albums I loved from 2007. These are not ranked but arranged in alphabetical order.

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Astral Doors – New Revelation: This was my first introduction to Astral Doors. I remember thinking the singer Nils Patrik Johansson sounded like an angrier Dio. From beginning to end this album is an absolute gem. There is a certain passion to it that’s hard to explain, but it resonates with force. Favorite track: “Cold War Survivor”

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Empire – Chasing Shadows: Power/heavy metal mixed with a blues rock sound. Led by singer Doogie White, Chasing Shadows takes you on a nice philosophical journey that even the power metal haters can enjoy. This album has a special place in my heart, especially the track “Child Of The Light.”  Favorite track: “Child Of The Light”

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Excalion – Waterlines: This is, in my humble opinion, the best melodic power metal album of all time. Each track is spectacular! There is a sense of strength that is pure finesse and smooth. Finland can power metal with the best of them. Excellent songwriting with earworms galore. Favorite track: “Arriving As The Dark”

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Iced Earth – Framing Armageddon: This choice may attract some disagreement, which is totally understandable, but for me this is an excellent album. Tim “Ripper” Owens delivers an excellent performance on vocals and there are more hits than misses. The last minute of the title track is so freaking powerful!  Favorite track: “Framing Armageddon”

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Iron Fire – Blade of Triumph: For me, Iron Fire is one of the most unique bands in power metal. They have the sound, but it’s more gritty. This album is their best in my opinion. The songwriting is incredibly strong and they deliver a tremendous performance that would make any power or traditional metal fan proud. Favorite track: “Hail To Odin”

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Messiah’s Kiss – Dragonheart: This is the surprise album on the list. At the time I’ve never heard of Messiah’s Kiss and this record absolutely blew me away. It’s basically a heavy metal/hard rock album that was overtaken by the power metal gods. Fantastical lyrics and melodies that never end. Favorite track: “The Ivory Gates”

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Nocturnal Rites – Grand Illusion: Not only is this a tremendous power metal record, it contains a song (my favorite track) that exemplifies my life as a whole. Both the music and vocals are strong, yet beautifully melodic at the same time. In a time of a more softer power metal, Nocturnal Rites continued to bring the heavy with Grand Illusion. Favorite track: “Still Alive”

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Silent Force – Walk the Earth: This is the final album with singer D.C. Cooper, and he left on a massive high note (pun intended). A record full of carefully crafted gems that range from strong to passionate to beautiful. Silent Force was one of those bands that solidified my love of power metal. Walk The Earth is incredibly special to me. Favorite track: “Running Through The Fire”

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Sonata Arctica – Unia: In my opinion, the best Sonata Arctica album. It’s great melodic power metal, for sure, but it has a darkness to it that gives the record a tremendous atmosphere. Tony Kakko’s voice is top-notch and each track could be a single, it’s that good. I’m not a fan of their most recent sound, but Unia is so good it doesn’t matter. Favorite track: “The Vice”

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I still remember listening to AOL Radio’s power metal station and hearing many of these great tunes. While putting this list together I took a listen to each of these albums again and they still sound as tremendous as they did several years ago. The first ten years of the new millennium weren’t kind to the wonderful sub-genre, but 2007 was definitely the exception. Through all of the early 2000s, my love for power metal never died. You’ll be reading more about that soon. Did I miss any good power metal albums from 2007? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. Thank you all for reading, I truly appreciate it.

HAIL to you all!

-Frank


 

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