Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Power Metal Scene
Band Photo: Dragonsclaw (?)
Power metal: master of epic guitar solos and frequent champion of all that is cheesy. Some love it for the deliciously grandiose high-pitched vocals, and others hate it for the exact same reason. While not all can appreciate the lyrical themes and vocal stylings of the genre, the level of both passion and technical proficiency displayed by the power metal virtuosos can't be denied. There are the obvious big names in the scene like Fates Warning, Blind Guardian, and Jag Panzer, but what’s going on in the underground these days?
Unlike with the hordes of black metal or death metal, there isn’t nearly as large a pool of unknown talent in the power realm. In this case that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as lesser quantity can lead to better quality. For this week’s edition of Unearthing the Metal Underground, we’ll look at three lesser known bands from different corners of the globe that all approach the power metal style from a slightly different angle.
To start our expedition into the power metal underground we’re headed to Finland for a tour-de-force of shredding solos and pounding drums. Tiluland dropped the debut album “Axes of the Universe” last year and put a surprising twist on the style by going completely instrumental. Driven by guitar acrobatics instead of the standard falsetto singing, Tiluland is the band for you if you love the fast and epic instrumentation of the genre but don’t care for the vocal style.
Check out more on Tiluland via Facebook, or listen to two songs from the “Axes of the Universe” album below.
“Tilu of the Kings”
“March of the Immortals”
Leaving Europe behind and heading over to the Australian outback we find Dragonsclaw, a new project from guitar player Stu Marshall (Empires of Eden) that is out now with the debut full-length “Prophecy.” Following more in the time-honored footsteps of the genre, Dragonsclaw is a mix of early classic heaviness and epic power that will more than please fans of traditional metal.
Stay up-to-date with Dragonsclaw by heading over here, or check out two cuts from “Prophecy” via the YouTube players below.
“Angels in White”
Making our way back to the U.S. we end our look at some of power metal’s finest underground acts with Theocracy, which released a third album late last year. “As The World Bleeds” is hitting the power metal world like a bombshell, garnering consistently high rated reviews and seeing the band rising up the ranks.
Yes, the album’s lyrics are explicitly religious, fairly preachy, and frankly ridiculous, but the music itself more than makes up for it. And honestly, what power metal band worth its salt doesn’t go over the top? Although there are definitely some poppy moments, the tracks are consistently unique and frequently lean toward the heavier end instead of specifically staying only on the melodic side.
More details on Theocracy can be found at this location, or you can give “As the World Bleeds” a preview by checking out the two songs below.
These are only three of the power metal bands in the underground worth checking out, and there are undoubtedly more to be found. If you’ve got a favorite power metal band that wasn’t mentioned here, share your recommendations in the comments below, and check back in again next Monday as we unearth more of the metal underground.
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