I find it fascinating that power metal still doesn’t get the fair shake it deserves from the metal community. The same folks who mock and ridicule bands for dressing up like superheroes in their videos or writing about dragons or Lord of the Rings are the same folks who worship bands who revel in dressing up and running around in the forest in wizard hats or, come to think of it, also write about the Lord of the Rings (or at least derive their name from it). Yet, despite these similar touch points in silliness power metal still has a stigma attached to it, one I admit to having for a time as I became engrossed in the more extreme aspects of metal.
What’s the point, besides my linking to that awesomely ridiculous Immortal video? It’s that there’s plenty to love in power metal, and the claims of cheese and pomp are no more valid than they are in any other genre in the scene. For this edition of Nine Circles ov… I wanted to take a look at a few of the bands and albums that brought me back into the fold – many of them introduced to me by former 9C scribe and power metal champion Frank. So think of these as gateway bands: we’re not going full-on Gloryhammer yet (although Gloryhammer is awesome); the emphasis is on heaviness, aggression and, ultimately, power ¹. Continue reading