Top 10 Founders of Power Metal
The Top Ten
Rainbow created power metal - 'Gates Of Babylon' was the first power metal song ever.
'Eyes Of The World' was the first symphonic power metal song (no symphonic orchestra but symphonic vibe from start to finish).
'A Light In The Black' and 'Kill The King' were among the first speed metal songs. Currently speed metal is a subgenre of power metal because speed metal is a smaller subgenre than power metal. But chronologically speed metal emerged before power metal - power metal is a mix of speed metal and traditional metal (slower than speed metal and faster than traditional metal).
Regarding speed metal Ritchie Blackmore just continued what he started with Deep Purple (songs like Highway Star, etc. )
Rainbow was highly influential in power metal, but the first power metal song was was "Warrior" by the band Riot off the album "Rock City" (1977). Helloween had the first full power metal album with "Walls of Jericho" (1985) although they actually had an EP called "Judas" which came out in 1984. It is now released as part of the Walls of Jericho album.
I have noticed it too. I am no power metal expert. But I have seen most power metal licks are fast but not thrashy. I mean they use fast chords progression but they don't strum their strings like thrash metal (brutal strumming). Ritchie Blackmore used this technique in many songs. Especially songs with Rainbow.
Not Power Metal, but Dio's fantasy themed lyrics were highly influential
Rainbow didn't play only power metal but they invented power metal. Namely Dio's fantasy themed lyrics defined power metal because the most distinctive feature of power metal as a subgenre is the bunch of lyrical themes. Musically, power metal wasn't something absolutely new or radically different.
There are many early influences for power metal, but Helloween clearly pioneered the fast paced, catchy, uplifting sound that defines the genre of power metal that we know today. "Walls of Jericho" (1985) was the first power metal album and should be up with the Keepers albums even though it did not get as much publicity.
To me, Manowar never achieved this type of sound until the "Fighting the World" album which came out in 1987... with the song "Black wind, Fire and Steel". Everything before that fell into the "heavy metal" category.
However, It should be noted that the first actual power metal SONG was "Warrior" by the band Riot off the album "Rock City" (1977).
I've never read about such notion and Wave but we can probably talk about a New Wave Of European Power Metal (influenced by The NWOBHM), where Helloween played the key role but Helloween didn't invent power metal.
So Walls of Jericho was the first album from this New Wave but it wasn't the first Power Metal album ever. Manowar released 4 power metal albums before Walls of Jericho.
Walls of Jericho was the first Power Metal album.
Should be #2 after Rainbow.
1) Manowar released 4 power metal albums before Walls of Jericho. They were influenced by Dio because Joey DeMaio (bassist) and Dio were close friends.
2) Formed in 1980, the band is known for lyrics based on fantasy (particularly swords and sorcery) and mythology (particularly Norse mythology).
3) They wrote lots of metal anthems glorifying metal music, which is another power metal feature (mostly power metal bands sing about the metal music). Manowar have to be credited for starting this power metal tradition.
4) They practically invented Battle Metal (a subgenre of power metal) because Manowar's stuff has a martial air to it (and their name says it loud - Man O' War). Turisas made it more popular.
I'll start with this: they are a very proficient band with several masterpieces but terribly underrated.
As far as I know, they first introduced progressive elements into power metal (mid/late 80s). Savatage fans wonder if they are a prog metal band or power metal band - they are both but most of their stuff is Prog Power Metal, combining the two subgenres. I think Prog Power Metal is great.
Formed in 1978, they started as a power and speed metal band, but later added prog and symphonic elements. Their later songs are better but relevant here are their early songs (enjoy the insane vocals and solos):
1983 - Scream Murder, Sirens (power/speed metal); 1984 - Visions, The Whip, The Dungeons Are Calling (power/speed metal); 1985 - Washed Out (speed metal); 1989 - Gutter Ballet (prog power metal).
Their most popular song is 'Hall Of The Mountain King (1987) - it's great but they had better songs in the 90s/00s.
At a later stage Blind Guardian also included some prog ...more
Yes! They definitely deserve to be here!
Their 1988 debut album sparked a lot of new bands
Yngwie's instrumentals are neo-classical metal but his non-instrumental songs are either power metal or speed metal.
My fave song is Rising Force - it's a masterpiece.
Other power metal songs from the early Yngwie (1984-1986): As Above So Below, Liar, Disciples of hell, Anguish And Fear, Fury, Magic Mirror.
Besides, Yngwie Malmsteen made a significant impact on many future power metal guitarists, with his accurate and fast neo-classical style (most notably Timo Tolkki - Stratovarius, and Olaf Lenk - At Vance).
Also, Yngwie's bandmate Jens Johansson modernized the keyboard sound of Deep Purple's Jon Lord, which was further incorporated into the power metal genre.
The instrumentals influenced Power Metal with their first 2 albums, but then "Under Jolly Roger" turned them into a Power Metal band in 1987.
My list in chronological order of appearance of their first power metal songs/albums:
1 Rainbow - 1978
2 Manowar - 1982
3 Dio - 1983, May
4 Savatage - 1983, Nov
5 Yngwie - 1984
6 Helstar - 1984
7 Helloween - 1985
8 Leige Lord - 1985
9 Running Wild - 1987
10 Stratovarius - 1989
11 Rage - 1989
12 Gamma Ray - 1990
13 Blind Guardian (their 1988 album wasn't power metal, it was speed-to-thrash; power metal emerged later in their stuff)
Holy Diver and many more.
Leige Lord is a very underrated Speed Metal band who only released 3 albums. Their instrumentals influenced Power Metal
New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (mostly Maiden and Priest) certainly influenced the New European power metal of the 80s:
Power metal became faster - it's just because Maiden and Priest made traditional metal faster and closer to speed metal, started by Deep Purple;
Most of the new European power metal singers embraced high pitched vocals, inspired by Halford and Dickinson (Kiske, Kotipelto, Scheepers, etc).
Dio and Eric Adams of Manowar, as representatives of the early power metal, were not tenor wailers.
High pitched singing became a typical feature of power metal but it's not obligatory. Hansi Kursch is not a high pitched singer but Blind Guardian is considered by many as the best power metal band ever.
So Blind Guardian vocals are closer to the first power metal bands - Rainbow, Manowar and Dio.
Even though I agree the NWOBHM was highly influential I don't think Iron Maiden and Judas Priest should be in the top 10 - as influencers only, they should be lower and make room for actual power metal bands in the top 10-20.
Not a Power Metal band, but Bruce Dickinson's vocals were highly influential
One of the biggest influences if not the biggest on power metal!
The speed they displayed in their early albums was highly influential, but they became a Power Metal band in 1989
Awesome Band First Power metal song Warrior 1977
It's ashamed that Queen II gets so over looked as being a clear beginning of Power Metal. Most seem to reject Queen, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest as being Power Metal only because they are older and don't have the exact same sound as the 90s and 2000s Power metal bands, which is completely illogical. The all carried the same characteristics of the genre, and just did it much earlier. Of course it's going to sound different. it was a different time with different recording technology and formats. That doesn't make it not Power Metal. It's like saying "Black Sabbath (song) isn't Doom Metal because it was much earlier than later Doom Metal bands". That doesn't disprove the claim in any way because even bands of the same genre at the same time will sound different. So why wouldn't a band from 20-30 years prior be considered in the same genre?
Queen 2 was the first power metal album - hear the likes of nevermore, white queen and then father to son,ogre battle and seven seas of rye.All this was 2 years before RAINBOW'S Rising came out - by this time QUEEN had moved onto different things but this was the first power metal album.A phenomenal band!
Ogre Battle may be the first power metal song, or more like proto power metal
Gamma Ray is a power metal band from Hamburg, northern Germany, founded and fronted by Kai Hansen after his departure from the German power metal band Helloween. Hansen is the current lead vocalist, guitarist as well as the chief songwriter of Gamma Ray. The band is known as one of the most prominent bands of the German heavy metal scene.
Excellent, yet heavily underrated band. Made some truly classic epic heavy power metal albums. Just great.
Phenomenal, just discovered them recently.
Warlord is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1980 and based in Los Angeles, California. Since its formation the band has been led by guitarist William J Tsamis and drummer Mark Zonder. And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun..., issued in October 1984 and accompanied by a VHS home video release of the same name (now in DVD) was first power/speed metal album.
Listen to their first EP. You'll see what we mean.
HammerFall is a Swedish heavy metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden. The band was formed in 1993 by ex- Ceremonial Oath guitarist Oscar Dronjak.
Influential towards the creation of Power Metal, but Accept is a Traditional Heavy Metal band.
Only on place 21? Are you kidding?
Their band name is so cool!