Best Symphonic Metal Bands
The Top Ten
It's not just the lead singers, it's the whole package. Every member of the band is exceptional at what s/he does.
1. Jukka's drumming is really powerful and drives the energy of the music.
2. Emppu attacks those guitars in a really crisp rather than distorted way.
3. Marco plays some sick bass and his powerhouse voice is not only unique in a genre populated by growlers, it's an elemental force that is somehow capable of warm beauty in softer songs.
4. Anette's voice was melodic, lovely and dynamic, sometimes beautifully aggressive, other times soothing and motherly. Tarja's operatic soprano was unique with its dark, heavy timbre and capable of remarkable icy melancholy. On the early albums, she also sang with a full classical voice rather than the watered-down pseudo-classical vocals so many lead singers adopt in this genre. She was the real deal. Her powerful voice harmonized against itself also created a full choir effect where other bands needed to hire an actual ...more
They were great with Tarja and also are great with Anette. It's not really about the singer - this band has such great arrangements and big symphonic sound that it blows you away.
Nightwish is my favorite band and I will always love them first but when I die I will be buried with their music records I have purchased will be with me forever, to be with me in spirit and be a good friend to the plants and animals. They make me feel so spiritual and that's what really is awesome!
Nightwish is the best band in the world. This is all coming from a 12 year old but I'm mature. I've been a huge Nightwish fan for 6 years. First heard 'Poet and the Pendulum' and fell in love with Nightwish. Have been with them ever since. I even got to meet them one time and I nearly passed out I was so excited. I am such a huge Nightwish fan that I know everything there is to know about Nightwish. Everything. I really like what Tuomas does with not only the piano and keyboards but the lyrics and songs themselves. Nightwish has got to be the deepest, best, and darkest band of all time. And I love them. They have inspired me to write my own songs. My father says I'm absolutely amazing at song writing, saying I could compete with Tuomas at only age 12. Some of my songs are titled 'Crimson Moon', 'Black Memories', and 'Don't Go Back'. Very dark songs. Anyway, I love Nightwish to the bottom of my heart. They have been my favorite band for six years straight. I've never wavered. And I ...more
Kamelot have been releasing exceptional albums for well over a decade, they don't rely on a backup tape the way other bands so often do, but rather play as much of the orchestrations as possible themselves live. When Kamelot perform live, they perform - they don't play bland repetitive crappy riffs while tip-toeing around a backup tape. Their lyrics, studio AND live, are crisp and clear, you don't have to pull out the lyrics sheet to know what is being said like you do with so many others. WT and Epica are both unreliable live, Anette was also very erratic live. Tarja was solid live, but you couldn't understand a word she said, so who cares if she's on key? Both Roy and Tommy enunciate properly and sound as good (sometimes better! ) live as they do in studio. No one else on this list can say that.
Kamelot's music = ART!
My favourite band. So many wonderful elements - classic, oriental, heavy - so many emotions. Almost everything is a masterpiece to hear.
Every time I listen to them, I really feel like I'm into a fantastic new world.
Khan's voice is without a question a wonderful one, and he hits the notes so awesomely. But non the less there is Tommy, which isn't there to prove, he can sing. No, he really sings the songs with the emotions the song bring, and fits his voice to the song. That's what I call real artists and musicians.
Kamelot has been the soul inspiration for many of the bands in the symphonic metal genre as a whole. They have beautiful, heavy, fast and powerful music and can cover a wide range of the desire people look for in the metal genre. Not to mention its made up of some of the best musicians you will ever find and probably the best singers in music HISTORY... Roy Khan and Tommy Karevik. They have wonderful lyrics in concept album themes that will tell beautiful stories of tragedy, love, and anger. They have Fast paced and intense Drum sections, incredible guitar tone coupled with great riffs and melodies, Powerful and epic orchestral backbones for their music. You just can't get any better then Kamelot.
I must say that I was a big Nightwish fan and still I am, until I found Kamelot. It now have been 3-4 years and their songs are as fresh as they can be for me and not a week passes not listening to their songs. Their music gives me all the energies I need in harmonious proportions: power, cadence, sensibility, exaltation, rest, prayer, love, sorrow, communion with nature, human frailty, courage, soaring of my spirit. I do not have words to describe the state Kamelot gets me in. I found the Holy Grail! It was a tremendous wandering in search for it. It worth it. I finally have my rest!
While I love Kamelot, Nightwish and Within Temptation, I have to say that Epica is perfects the genre when it comes to calling it "metal. " The musicianship is absolutely excellent starting from "Design Your Universe" and is even more flawless with "Requiem for the Indifferent. "
Mark's compositions just become stronger and stronger with each record, and his voice improves. Simone has also improved her voice and expanded it to a rock/pop edge in addition to her operatic one. This way she can seamlessly go from each and decide to pick which is best for a song or certain part. The dialogue with the other members is amazing, and their live shows are amazing as well.
It's the balance between the symphonic and the heavy that is perfect, when it comes to both the vocals and the music. That is why Epica isn't too heavy or too soft, and the melodies and harmonies are perfect by the new album.
They are awesome... Every album and every song is a masterpiece. Their compositions and their lyrics are great and they are becoming better and better. Simone Simons has the greatest voice that I have ever heard (she has improved so much since the phantom agony) and Mark's grunts are great too. Also they have evolved through the years and every new record is better and heavier than the previous ones. I think that they can maintain the balance between symphonic music/operatic vocals and metal music/harsh vocals better than any other symphonic metal band. That can make them the definition of symphonic metal. One important thing is that they are really good live, they are great performers... And every time you say this is their best album/show ever they can't do anything better than this, they will surprise you with their next project... And you will never be dissapointed...
One of the best Symphonic Metal Bands of all time. Simone's voice is so touching.
I think the quality that places "Epica" way ahead of all the other bands categorized under Symphonic Metal genre, is melody. Every single song composed by Epica is such a delight. You can feel the genius behind every melodic line and they haven't run out of ideas so far. One album after the other and the melodies get more and more beautiful and sublime. They are obviously familiar with indigenous music of different countries around the world and make use of them with perfect artistic vision and in a way that while being comprised of eclectic sounds and tunes, they sound just like what we want to hear when we say "Symphonic Metal". They truly represent the genre.
Phenomenal musicianship, instrumentals and vocals. That goes without saying for every band on this list. They have the ability to go for a full orchestral sound or a full metal sound or amazingly ranged vocals/instruments or really tight vocals/instruments.
What makes Within Temptation unique and the best?
1. Every album is completely different. You can get folk/strings to a track in one album, a dance track backing to a track on the next album, and a rap collaboration track on the next album (and indeed we got that - and, incredibly for metal, all three worked really well).
2. They have actual songs. Most metal bands are great at producing symphonies but don't have tunes you can sing along to. Even Nightwish has one singable tune for every ten epic orchestrations. Within Temptation, however, achieve both pretty consistently.
3. Consistency. They recently released an album that was full of covers of popular songs, and every song on there was as good as the original. ...more
Hydra was the first album I heard from Within Temptation. I can't believe I had never heard of them before this. They are such a great band musically and vocally. Perhaps it's because they are Dutch and the US & UK media are only interested in throwaway plastic pop.
I now have all their albums and can quite honestly say there is not one track of theirs I dislike. Yes some songs are better than others but all are good. There has been a lot of debate that Within Temptation are not as good now as when they started and that they have become more commercial. So let me give my perspective as a new fan. I agree that their sound is more commercial now but this is just a sign that the band is developing and maturing otherwise they would just get stale. Lets hail Within Temptation for what they are, a fantastic band who can write & perform many different styles of music. Sharon den Adel sounds great singing in any style and has got to be considered one of the best female vocalists of all ...more
A lot of bands usually have the same vibe with every album and just a little addition to their sound, but Within Temptation are always unique with every album!
Sharon den Adel's voice is just absolutely angelic! Somewhere just makes me cry every time! A lot of vocalists also do not sound in their prime when live, but Sharon just kills it every time when they are live!
The Silent Force, in my opinion, is their best album. A lot of their songs are very nostalgic, plus paired up with Sharon's angelic voice just makes that album heavenly.
You just have to give Within Temptation credits for such beautiful and complex songwriting. Some remark that The Heart of Everything was commercially driven, but you can't deny that the lyrics are very meaningful! )
Within Temptation is the first Symphonic Metal/Rock band that I've discovered and definitely my absolute favorite! Within Temptation's sound varies from every album (but not straying away from the Symphonic ...more
This band is willing to keep the reign of Sharon den adel with as long as Nightwish. Nightwish has damaged their reputation with all the drama in the past year while Within Temptation, they seem to improve their image. This is the best Symphonic Metal band ever since they are one of the starters of Symphonic Metal abs also the most Respected.
Rhapsody of Fire is, in my opinion, the best power metal band. I love everything about them, the band members, the music and the lyrics are great and really tell a story. You can really dream away with Rhapsody of Fire's music and the live performances are amazing! Rhapsody of Fire is the best band I have ever heard!
THE best band of all time. Even before when they were just Rhapsody, they had the best concept albums ever, with an amazing mythical folklore epic story. Besides The Gorillaz I've never known a band to make an amazing long lasting story through their albums and make it sound amazing, check these guys out!
They are a superb band! The best in my opinion! They can easily make songs which sound Epic, some others sound Merry, others are darker and more aggressive, and the ballads are wonderful. Not to mention the fact that their Sagas are both FANTASTIC! Superhuman singer, godly guitarrist, extremely brilliant Keyboard plyer! PERFECT!
The music, the lyrics, the stories, the spirit... Everything about this band is incredible and their live performances are breathtaking. Honestly, I could hardly think of a better band.
At first I thought Sirenia has too soft singer (Ailyn), however I found it amazing and now it is my second favourite Symphonic Metal band! Monika was wonderful but maybe not so good for this type of music and generally metal. An Elixir for Existence and At Sixes and Sevens is much heavier than The Enigma of Life or Nine Destinies and A Downfall. If you wanna hear the best of them, check out their latest album Perils of the Deep Blue (best of all). The Enigma of Life is their worst album but it is good if you want to hear something depressive and even dark.
It is my most favorite metal band (better than Nightwish, Epica etc.). Especially Perils of the Deep Blue is a masterpiece! I love you Sirenia!
Sirenia is amazing! All of their past singers have great voices as well as their new singer! I love this band. Even though they are more gothic metal
I like Nightwish better but Sirenia is amazing. Definitely my second favorite band.
Very good band. Charlotte Wessel's vocal are amazing, the songs are very heavy but with enough atmosphere to make them one of my favorite symphonic metal bands.
I love every band here! Actually the ones I want tat the top are already there! So, I will give my vote to Delain, because I think they are amazing, and also quite a mature band, in the sense of what they write about! Charlotte is beautiful, and the melodies are both powerful and super melodic!
Great band, they don't have any bad songs, their worst song is at least average, and their best songs are amazing.. So catchy.
Pretty much my favourite band at the moment. A brilliant run of albums with the last three being genuine five star belters. Charlotte's vocals are strengthening and the whole band are at the top of their game. At the heart are set of consistently great songs. 2016's Moonbathers is top notch from start to finish but perhaps The Human Contradiction and We Are the Others are their best release, each asked with superb melody driven rock and metal mixing symphonic elements with thundering energy, but never overspilling into melodrama. Can't recommend them enough.
Sonata has meant more to me than any other band for the past 7 years. Their personalities, their awesome music, inspiring lyrics and one of a kind attitude are the cause of that. I never saw any other band like them, and their uniqueness is what really makes them the top of the crop. Their shows are filled with humor, the frontman is an insane but oh so lovable maniac and all of them are masters in what they do, both on stage as on album. Every song they ever wrote has a story of its own, and the sweeping melody's and chilling guitarsolos in combination with Tony Kakko's versatile voice, makes me have no mercy for my 'repeat' button whenever sonata is playing!
This band is truly one of a kind. Whereas many other bands in this genre have some nice songs, Sonata Arctica always has something special. They have an incredible sense of melodies and harmonies that always stand out. Also, if you're searching for the very best ballads in metal: Sonata Arctica is where you will find them.
Very good band... They have a great symphonic keyboard music... Especially in the songs paid in full and blacksheep
SA is the first group I've heard in symphonic metal and the first I see in concert. It's my favourite group and I try to the group will discover. (I'm French so sorry for my bad English)
I absolutely love Therion, I never get bored with their amazing songs! I have seen them twice and they have blown me away. Plenty of singers and musicians have taken part of this awesome band and all of the albums have a unique style. The songs are not the same at all and they are extremely complex. They have so many flawless songs that I can't choose which ones to listen in a concert. I'd rather go and see a 10 hour live performance and listen to all of their songs.
Though they are hard to get into, Therion is one of those bands you can listen to for years and still hum in your head as you go to sleep. Some of the operatic elements in the album Secret of the Runes are simply stunning. The force of Theli is stunning. Every album has a unique style, and almost all of the songs are crazy awesome. Therion is to symphonic metal as Tolkien is to fantasy, simply the best. (If you have any doubts listen to: To Mega Therion, Vanaheim, Asgard, Enter Vril-Ya, Cults of the Shadow, and Uthark Runa)
Therion aren't only the founders of Symphonic Metal, their Innovative complex-structured albums are clearly a step above their brethren.
Lately the Symphonic genre has been plagued with mediocrity, generic keyboards, boring songs performed by hot singers.. Gives a really bad image to Symphonic and metal in general.
I've listened a lot the other bands on this list, and as good as many of them are, there is still a huge gap between Therion and the other bands.
What? How can these music geniuses be in such a low position? They are just GREAT!
I Think, Blind Guardian has to place in Top 10!
When I added them, they weren't even on this list, now they're at 16th! Hope they reach the top 10
This band DESERVES to be in the Top 10!
If you know some music theory and can deal with fast and brutal groove then you realize this band is a rare one which makes these two worlds truly combine. not to palm mute on a simple 4th note in half of the song, not to make you predict the next instrument and scale, Heavy as the suns core and deep and glorious that melts your heart and drops your tears which makes you experience the heaviest and saddest climaxes.
They also have a great evolution, each album is better or either good and different from the one before, most fans favourite is The Great Mass which is so dark you can imagine a rain of dead bodies from the sky!
Fleshgod Apocalypse and Epica are also bands I think they deserve to be honored the best Symphonic Metal bands, too sad to see FA also in the 40's if this list. There's a problem if artists like this are so underrated...
Damn these guys are so underrated!
These guys are pure genius. They are artists
Probably the best symphonic death extreme metal in the planet.
Their music evokes ancient demon, brings ancient knowledge again to the high spot. Everything they do... Mythology, personal thoughts,
You can't find any bands better than septic flesh in symphonic metal!
Listen to their album " A GREAT MASS OF DEATH", they are pure amazing.
Thanks to their music I am able to type this message. Their music saved me in my darkest days. I am still sad that the no longer exist as a band, but thankfully the ex-members are still involved in the music business
Have their distinct sound in the symphonic metal scene, Floor is one of the best singers in symphonic metal and is used much better in this band than her current band: Nightwish (also an amazing band) Not to mention the instrumentation is phenomenal.
It's difficult to chose one band and not select Delain, Within Temptation or a host of many others. But when it comes to putting out nothing but great quality albums, it's hard not to pick Sharon and the boys.
Only Floor Jansen is the best!
Opeth is not a Symphonic Metal band. PLEASE! It's a fantastic band, one of the best metal bands of all the times, but it is not a symphonic metal band, I repeat.
Absolutely incredible band, progressive/poetic/demonic and HEAVY, songs are almost never shorter than five to six minutes, one song is over 20 minutes long and they have plenty of albums to submerge your time/life in. Great live, as well!
Opeth is amazing! But I would classify more as progressive rather than symphonic
Opeth is awesome and precised but NOT symphonic!
Emperor are mind blowing!
This is one of the most original and amazing bands to come out of a flooded generic everybody sounds the same genre.
This is the symho death band we need.
Lol why is FGA so low
The first and best singer of female fronted metal with an amazing band mixing gothic, symphonic, folk and some of the most incredible melodies and vocals you will ever hear. All hail Leaves Eyes and the goddess of metal Liv Kristine
Whenever I'm listening to a symphonic metal playlist and there is a song I really like, I check the band's name. It usually is Leaves' Eyes.
Before Liv Kristine was in Leaves' Eyes, she was the lead for Theater of Tragedy.
After Tarja left Nightwish, these guys became my favorite band.
If you could listen to only one song from this band, I'd recommend Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse. Pay attention to piano their solos. Even better, find a live version with an orchestra on YouTube.
Gateways is a masterpiece, so is Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse.
WHAT? SECOND LAST? NEEDS TO BE WAY AHEAD OF CRAFLE OF STUPID DANI FILTH BANSHEE SCREAMING LITERAL FILTH.
Their compositions are complex yet beautiful and the overall sound is just epic.
Talented musicians who meld visceral metal rhythms with majestic orchestration and operatic vocals. They're music has evolved with their last three albums, possibly a staple for what the genre is supposed to represent; art. Whilst Nightwish will be forever the flagbearer, Xandria is becoming a more versatile band able to deliver incredible music.
AMAZING new album Sacrifisium! Listen to it people, it is just perfect. Reminds me of the times when Nightwish and Within temptation were at their best. New singer has really beautiful and still powerful voice. It gives me goosebumps. I think that at the moment Xandria is totally in top 5 bands in the genre.
Just stumbled into this band and very very very few bands can hook me in as hard as this one did. I have a short list of symphonic metal groups I can listen to regardless of mood. the other ones being within temptation, lacuna coil, and nightwish. that being said I am surprised they are not higher up this list.
"I am a xandria fan, I have never seen or heard anything like this! Save my life is quite possibly one of the most emotionally intense things I have ever witnessed before in my entire life EVER! I love this band, and Diane van Giersbergen is NO doubt one of the most awesome female performers I have ever seen or heard in my entire life! Lisa is also awesome, and extreemly emotionally powerful! Save my Life makes me cry! I am currently seriously considering starting my own band and I can honestly say that Xandria is beyond a shadow of a doubt one of the most important inspirations in my life ever! I love you Xandria! "
Tobias Sammet's ability to bring the perfect voices to the right songs and never put out a stale album is amazing. From The Metal Opera I to The Mystery of Time Avantasia's ability to haunt you with one sang and then bang your head with the next is brilliant and displays the creative force of Sammet who never lets things get out of control or get stagnant.
Listen to "The Seven Angels"!
I love The Mystery of Time, especially tracks within it such as 'Sleepwalking', 'Black Orchid' and 'Invoke the Machine'. Every song has it's own epic riff and hook. Love it!
Avantasia made "The Scarecrow", in my opinion the best song ever made, powerful, beautiful, melodic, great lyrics, awesome and unique voices, it has everything a song need to be perfect!
Honestly, Haggard may be one of the most under-rated bands I've seen. Yes, there are bands like Epica, Nightwish, WT, Avantasia and Therion which have awesome Symphonic Metal songs, but this band seems really different to me! They have a blend of classical, real classical musics mixed with growling and amazing vocals. I've searched for bands similar to them, and failed to find any.
Every single song is a masterpiece and it really saddens me seeing that this band got only 1%!
To get a quick idea, check Awaking the Centuries, you won't regret it!
Haggard.. First time I heard them I was thinking, what am I listening to, now its easily my favorite band. Its somewhere between Epica and Opeth, only with a stronger classical/medieval influence, its very well done and quite original.
Haggard is from another world, there is not one symphonic metal band like them, closest I can get is Therion but not even then... Haggard really blends classical with metal, I totally love it and I wish they would release a new album but they haven't in a long time because is extremely fantastic.
HAGGARD! Haggard is a German symphonic metal musical group founded in 1989. The group combines classical music and early music with doom metal.
I know that despite being a symphonic metal one it also falls on the progressive category. But they must be within the top 5 in this list for their musical arrangements, flying guitar licks, awesome progressive drumming and above all their awesome soothing sound quality of recording. I will be pleased to get caught myself and imprisoned at the DUNGEON until death.
Makes no sense to have Symphony x below bands like Cradle of Filth when it comes to symphonic metal. I agree that they should be in a top 5 at least
Recently (in the past year) found this band. When I think of all the years I missed not listening to their music, it kills me. At least I found them before I died.
It's a good metal band, I think it's more simple and more classic than dream theater
Jen is tremendous
One of the best new Symphonic Metal groups of 2016
İn future we will hear them a lot
My father has been following Stratovarius from the 80's, so when I was born, I wasn't given much choice. If I recall correctly, I was only 2-years old when I attended my first Stratovarius live event. My father just decided in cold blood that I will follow them. I don't even dare to think about what would have happened if I would have started to follow Eminem for example.
The real following of Stratovarius started maybe five or six years ago for me. As I said, Stratovarius has been my favorite since I was a little boy, but that wasn't the same at all compared to today. Stratovarius has changed to love and passion. Despite my young age, I have been following Stratovarius for quite a long time, but year after year my interest and love for the band is only getting stronger. You can say, that Stratovarius is a big part of my life, for which I can't live without, and don't even want to live without.
My favorite band of all time! They are the musical love of my life. With Stratovarius I really learnt to love metal, they defined my musical tastes in the long run. They are the fathers of the most of the bands listed here, they defined the symphonic-power metal genre as we know it nowadays, they deserve the #1
... Just like to hear Stratovarius a lot - what more do I need to say?!? This is reason enough to vote for the band. It has been shining, then surviving and later developing during time.
This is for me the end-all symphonic metal I've heard and no other band comes close. Check out the album Elysium.
Cradle Of Filth are Gothic/Symphonic Black Metal, not a pure Symphonic Metal.
Early Cradle is devilish poetry beyond compare. A must listen-to band.
Some of listed bands isn't Black Metal. So COF is best in this list
There's no equal to Cradle of Filth in composition and lyrics as well!