A Genre On Its Deathbed
by 4th Horseman
Power Metal is a style that is bashed quite a lot by metalheads who generally prefer the extreme end of the metal spectrum. Customarily, it is the duty of anybody who prefers other metal genres to criticize power metal for whatever reason. Well boys and girls, today you will learn something, so start taking notes. Yes…power metal, as we know it, is extremely homosexual, and anybody who makes fun of power metal is to be from this day forth hailed as the champion of delivering established and scientific fact. Because power metal (Flower Metal) is indeed…METAL FOR THE SISSIES!
The vast, vast, vaaaaaast majority of the power metal bands out there today really need to stop sucking so much dick and actually start playing some real metal. And yes, my finger here is squarely directed at pretty much all you Finnish/Italian pop-power metal bands out there and the likes. They all sound the same! They all do the same thing! They are all competing for who can out do the other, in something where there really is nothing much left to do. Generic Power Metal is inherently incapable of delivering any kind of punch, crunch or intensity. Dragons, flowers, girly orgasmic screams, epilogues in the booklets, a storyline and a triumphant hero, double bass fetishes…Who really gives a damn? Hasn't anyone gotten tired of that shit by now? Not that it was all that great to begin with, but it was a decent ride for a little while.
The glorious, happy, heroic, flowercore power metal train stops here and all metalheads on board need to get off. The reaper had struck the thrashers at the dawn of the nineties. He is brandishing his axe in the power metaller's direction now! Only but a few bands out there realize this; but the majority of them are soon to fall.
Now then….there is a tangent form of power metal that is not only melodic, but quite aggressive, completely compatible with the dark nature of the metal world and actually has a long and consistent future. Unfortunately, it is an extremely rare commodity right now. Power Metal doesn't have to suck. It's just that most bands go out of their way in order to make sure that they do. I still haven't figured out why. I simply seem to be blaming homosexuality for this, but that really isn't a good enough reason. After all, Rob Halford is a cock-gobbler and his musical talents are about as good as they get. In any case, this tangent type of power metal that I speak of is generally termed as 'crunchy power metal' or 'ballsy power metal' or 'dark power metal'. Perhaps most fittingly, as Tad Morose's Urban Breed had put it – simply "Powerful Metal". This is the type that has some sort of crunch, a certain heaviness to it, a groove going, chunky riffs that actually sound like riffs and not tiny ass leads and solos shoved in all over the place. (Yes, the METAL kind of power metal). I am not talking about traditional heavy metal here. There are power metal bands out there that fully well maintain their power metal status and distinguish themselves from the traditional crowd, but still manage to produce great music – great power metal.
Flower metal bands spread all over Europe like a bunch of maggots and were hailed as the saviours of metal. There is no arguing with this of course…as the stupider the mainstream gets the better the underground comes to be. That would probably be flower metal's only contribution – that it provoked the rest of the bands to stop and say "what the fuck is this shit…we have to show them what metal is supposed to be!" At the same time the flower metal scene exploded, when men wearing capes and wielding plastic swords started coming out of the closet and openly playing their music, a darker, much aggressive and heavier form of power metal started to take form in the underground with bands such as Morgana Lefay. It is a pity that Morgana Lefay got lost in that frenzy of Helloween inspired sunshine freaks celebrating their 'new' style of metal and its popularity. But thankfully, the aggressive bands did make their mark and bands all over the world picked up the scent. Tad Morose (Sweden), Eidolon (Canada) with their renewed thrashy-power metal style, Angel Dust (Germany), Falconer (Sweden), Stygma IV (Austria) and Magnitude 9 (USA) are a few examples of the bands that seem to be pioneering and directing this crunchier, darker and ballsier brand of power metal into the future. Such is the answer. Bands of this, heavier and darker kind are the only source that are capable of upholding the power metal flag if power metal is to be around 10 years from now. Because let's face it…it is getting annoying people! Really, really annoying. It is no surprise that the flowercorists who once flocked to the next big Labyrinth are seeking alternatives in the traditional metal genre because the sun appears to be setting on power metal. This must not happen. And the only way that it won't is if changes are made, and more bands started playing the aggressive kind of power metal…fully maintaining and keeping the genre alive. If only things got slightly heavier or more aggressive as a general phenomenon, we have nothing to worry about. Combinations with other metal genres, in the vein of Lost Horizon (Sweden), Nevermore (USA), Jag Panzer (USA) may also prove worthy to the test of time. Flower Metal was just a queer's dream come true; a mere hiccup on the grand scheme of metal and a temporary solution. The real kind, the real answer was always in the darkness and hiding in the dust…a virgin bride waiting to be rocked.
This writer is fully aware of the type of accusations that he will face for writing this. I would just like to point out that it is not a matter of taste. I rather enjoy power metal, including most of the aforementioned as well as bands like Blind Guardian and older Helloween; even some flower metal from Freedom Call and Avantasia. This IS a power metal fan talking here. The point is undisputed. Flower metal (just like thrash in the early 90s) is extremely saturated and bottlenecked right now. The vast amounts of them do the exact same thing, and it is precisely because of that that they shall all fall! This, my friends, is not my prediction, but a fact. Generic power metal is not going to last more than a couple of years from now. We already have melodic death metal bands spreading like wildfire right now…take away the growling vocals from them and what does their music sound like? Power Metal? Yes…but not flower metal. Power Metal in the vein of the prospective bands mentioned above. Melodic Death Metal (and the likes) is great too, but it shouldn't develop at the expense of power metal. We need to preserve this genre and not have bands mould the power metal sound into something different without reaching the genre's full potential. That would truly be a great loss…not just for power metal, but metal as a whole.
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