Top 10 Founders of Power Metal

ryanrimmel

The Top Ten

1 Rainbow Rainbow Rainbow are a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio as the lead singer and lyricist. Rainbow were ranked No. 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band has sold over 28 million albums ...read more.

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. ) - Metal_Treasure

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. - zxm

DIO!

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2 Helloween Helloween Helloween is a German power metal band founded in 1984 in Hamburg, Northern Germany. The band is a pioneering force in the power metal genre, and their second and third studio albums, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I and Part II, are considered masterpieces of the genre.

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. - Metal_Treasure

Walls of Jericho was the first Power Metal album. - ryanrimmel

Because kiske!

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3 Manowar Manowar Manowar is an American heavy metal band from New York City, New York. Formed in 1980, the group is known for lyrics based on fantasy and mythology.

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. - Metal_Treasure

4 Savatage Savatage Savatage is an American heavy metal band founded by the brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1978 at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

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 - Metal_Treasure

5 Blind Guardian Blind Guardian Blind Guardian is a German power metal band formed in the mid-1980s in West Germany. They are often credited as one of the seminal and most influential bands in the power metal and speed metal subgenres. Heavily influenced by Queen, they use the technique of overdubbing. They also incorporate large ...read more.

Their 1988 debut album sparked a lot of new bands - ryanrimmel

6 Running Wild Running Wild

The instrumentals influenced Power Metal with their first 2 albums, but then "Under Jolly Roger" turned them into a Power Metal band in 1987. - ryanrimmel

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) - Metal_Treasure

7 Yngwie Malmsteen Yngwie Malmsteen Yngwie Johan Malmsteen is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who was born on June 30th, 1963, in Stockholm, Sweden. He was known for his neoclassical metal playing style back in the 1980s.

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.
- Metal_Treasure

8 Helstar
9 Dio Dio Dio was an American heavy metal band formed in 1982 and led by vocalist Ronnie James Dio, after he left Black Sabbath with intentions to form a new band with fellow former Black Sabbath member, drummer Vinny Appice.

Holy Diver and many more. - Metal_Treasure

no 2

10 Stratovarius Stratovarius Stratovarius is a Finnish power metal band that formed in 1984. Since their formation, they have released 16 studio albums, 4 DVD and 3 live albums.

The Contenders

11 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The most critically acclaimed period for the band was from 1983-1989. With vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, lead guitarist Dave Murray, rhythm guitarist Adrian ...read more.

Not a Power Metal band, but Bruce Dickinson's vocals were highly influential - ryanrimmel

One of the biggest influences if not the biggest on power metal!

Like a Proto Power Metal.

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. - Metal_Treasure

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12 Leige Lord

Leige Lord is a very underrated Speed Metal band who only released 3 albums. Their instrumentals influenced Power Metal - ryanrimmel

13 Rage

The speed they displayed in their early albums was highly influential, but they became a Power Metal band in 1989 - ryanrimmel

14 Riot

Awesome Band First Power metal song Warrior 1977

Awesome Band

15 Queen Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury ...read more.

Ogre Battle may be the first power metal song, or more like proto power metal

16 Accept Accept Accept is a German heavy metal band from the town of Solingen, originally assembled by former vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes.

Influential towards the creation of Power Metal, but Accept is a Traditional Heavy Metal band. - ryanrimmel

17 Saxon Saxon Saxon are an English heavy metal band formed in 1976, in South Yorkshire. As one of the leaders of the new wave of British heavy metal, they had eight UK Top 40 albums in the 1980s including four UK Top 10 albums and two Top 5 albums.
18 Manilla Road

Phenomenal, just discovered them recently. - Caleb9000

19 Scorpions Scorpions Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band's inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal.
20 Judas Priest Judas Priest Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. The band has sold over 45 million albums to date. They received a lot of popularity due to their big hits Breaking The Law, You've Got Another Thing Comin', and Living after Midnight which were played on the radio a ...read more.

Their band name is so cool! - Ananya

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List StatsUpdated 17 Oct 2017

100 votes
25 listings
2 years, 184 days old

Top Remixes

1. Rainbow
2. Manowar
3. Savatage
Metal_Treasure
1. Helloween
2. Blind Guardian
3. Stratovarius
Pony
1. Helloween
2. Iron Maiden
3. Rainbow
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