Monday, April 26, 2010

Metal Briefs: Power Metal

For the second installment of my Metal Briefs series, I thought I'd take a look at one of my less favorite metal genres: power metal. Most of the time it doesn't really speak to me, but there are other times--very rarely--that it works well for me.

Cellador: Enter Deception (2006)

Enter Deception I picked up this album because Cellador is from my home state of Nebraska. I'm not aware of any other metal bands from the state, so this seemed like a good enough reason to me to get it. They're signed to the legendary Metal Blade, so that's another thing in its favor. Also on the plus side, the guitar solos are great. On the other hand, there are some very important negatives: Even though everything seems to be done skillfully enough--drums, vocals, etc.--the album is still kind of dull, outside of the solos, owing to such ill-defined criteria as lack of chemistry and uninspired songwriting.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

Divinefire: Hero (2005)

Hero Divinefire (of Sweden and Finland), on the other hand, shows much more chemistry in their sound. This Christian band has an approach which sounds a lot like one of my favorite power metal bands, Brainstorm, only with symphonic elements overlaid. These guys play with skill and conviction, and the orchestral parts merely add to the high drama; they're definitely worth a listen. And did I mention the amazing cover of Queen's "The Show Must Go On"?

I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Raintime: Flies & Lies (2007)

Flies & Lies I saved the best for last: Italian group Raintime, who incorporate elements of progressive and melodic death metal into their power metal. The vocals are definitely more interesting, since Claudio Coassin doesn't only sing, he also has a scary voice somewhere between a hardcore scream and a black metal rasp. Rather than a full symphony, they opted to go with keyboards, which are used to emphasize rather than confuse their songs. They're heavier than the above two groups, and their songwriting skills are on another level entirely.

They did also happen to do a cover song as well--one which is quite a bit improved from the original. I give this album 4 out of 5 stars.


  1. Nebraska definitely is not a very big state for metal. Cellador is the most well-known band from the state. There are others of course, but none who have achieved the kind of success Cellador has. Which is saying something because they aren't really all THAT well-known. They've also been MIA for a few years now. Not sure what's going on there.

    As for power metal, it took me quite awhile to really get into the genre as well. I find that I prefer bands that play more 80's American style power metal instead of the European "flower" metal style. Twisted Tower Dire and Hibria are two very good bands in this vein.

  2. I think the American power metal style is better because it's darker and more thrash-oriented, so I'll definitely have to agree with you. I may have to look into those two groups.

    Now that I'm a bit more curious about Nebraska metal, I think I'll do some more research and a post on it.

  3. I have had a few posts on my blog about Nebraska metal bands, under the label "Nebraska metal", I think. I have found a few here and there but they are mostly doing things themselves without any label help.