Top 10 Best Power Metal Bands

There are many power metal bands, some of which are pure power metal. But who will be considered the greatest?
The Top Ten
1 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

A very good argument could be made for Nightwish, Helloween, Stratovarius, or even Judas Priest or Iron Maiden simply because of the huge influence they have had on the development of epic power metal. But Blind Guardian is the band against which all other power metal bands are measured. They set the bar, and they set it high. Not only does the singer have an amazing voice, but they also have a large variety of music ranging from folk rock like Skalds and Shadows, Curse My Name, or The Bard's Song (In the Forest) to symphonic power metal like The Wheel of Time or Sacred Worlds. They play fantastic power-prog like Fly, and Nightfall in Middle-Earth is just in a class all its own. Even their old speed metal stuff is excellent. It is hard to pick the best power metal band, but if pressed, Blind Guardian definitely has the best resume.

2 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.

Helloween is the best power metal band and is still excellent today, unlike many metal bands. The last Helloween albums are better than those of the heavy gods (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest), and I think I even prefer Helloween's career. Underrated and unforgettable, Crimson Glory's first two albums are pure art, at least as good as the Keepers, but Helloween has made so many great works and still has so much to offer.

In the power metal genre, Iced Earth, early Queensryche, and Blind Guardian are great too.

3 Sabaton Sabaton is a power metal band from Falun, Sweden formed in 1999. The band's main lyrical themes are based on war and historical battles.

The first power metal song I listened to was Bismarck, and I was enchanted. I had always thought that the sound density of even the hardest rock was lacking, and the introduction to metal was truly an inspiring time. I believe that Sabaton is literally the definition of modern power metal and is smack dab in the middle between symphonic and melodic death, two of my other favorite genres.

I absolutely love Sabaton. I love their style and their live performances. They write songs about history, unlike many others. I think they get so much hate because they're successful and popular, and they don't have the sort of "power" in thrash metal.

New and popular metal bands often receive hate from the old, conservative fans, but I think when this band gets as old as Iron Maiden, they're going to be one of the best bands ever. By the way, if you like historical lyrics, why not check out Civil War? Their founding members are former members of Sabaton who couldn't keep up with the performing rate (they want to spend time with their families and friends).

4 DragonForce DragonForce are a British power metal band based in London, England. Formed in 1999, the group are known for their long and fast guitar solos, fantasy-themed lyrics, and electronic sounds in their music to add to their retro video game-influenced sound.

DragonForce receives way too much hate and criticism just because of how fast and melodic their songs are. It's like if somebody tries something that sounds outrageous, there's always going to be people who will hate it. But the only reason people hate on DragonForce is that they are just brilliant at what they do. They have gotten better.

I personally think that DragonForce is what power metal should be all about with its fast-paced songs with melody, long, fast, technical guitar solos. They even have some fast keyboard solos and even a bass solo in "Body Breakdown". But most of all, the sound effects they create and perform live are truly unique.

I can't think of any other band in the power metal category that makes their own sound effects. I think other bands should take note of them, especially as they are one of the few power metal bands that have achieved mainstream success.

They don't always make stupidly fast songs, and "Three Hammers" is a great example of that. It shows that they are optimistic and look for new ways of music-making.

Yes, they aren't always amazing live (partly because they sometimes go too far by getting themselves drunk), but when they are, they really are amazing at what they do. They have gotten way better at performing live than how they used to be, and they do work really hard on their own songs.

And no, I don't think "Through the Fire and Flames" is their best song. I personally think it's overrated compared to a lot of the songs they have made, such as "The Last Journey Home" and "Cry for Eternity", which are two of my very favorite DragonForce songs. In fact, they have made a lot of songs that are way better than "Through the Fire and Flames".

5 Iced Earth Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band from Tampa, Florida. It was formed in 1984 under the name Rose, then Purgatory, by guitarist and main songwriter Jon Schaffer, and original drummer Greg Seymour. The band's music has also been described as thrash metal and power metal... read more

Iced Earth is one of, if not the, most underrated band ever. Jon Schaffer is a genius and one of the best guitar riff writers of all time. Even though I'm still a huge fan of their new stuff, it's hard to argue that their old material isn't their best. Anyone who doesn't know them should start with "Days Of Purgatory," which takes the best songs from their first few albums and re-records them with a better lineup and a much better singer, Matt Barlow. Barlow is up there with the greatest singers in history (do you notice a "this band is the greatest _____ of all time" formula occurring here?). I respect him so much I named one of my pets Barlow. It's tough trying to decide who wins in an Iced Earth versus Blind Guardian debate, but I think I'd give the edge to Iced Earth by a very small amount.

6 Sonata Arctica Sonata Arctica is a Finnish power metal band from the town of Kemi, Finland. Created as a hard rock band named Tricky Beans, they later changed to Tricky Means and finally to Sonata Arctica, when they shifted to power metal.

One of the best power metal bands in the whole world! Full of speedy notes combined with a very cool keyboard, which produces a lot of smooth melodies. For those who like songs made of riffs that recall medieval times with a strong personality, Sonata Arctica is the right one to listen to!

Very few bands can make songs as melodic and lyrics as thought-provoking as early Sonata Arctica. Greats like Don't Say a Word, Fullmoon, Kingdom for a Heart, Letter to Dana, Mary-Lou, Replica, San Sebastian, Victoria's Secret, and Wolf & Raven are examples. And honestly, their new stuff isn't too bad either.

7 Hammerfall HammerFall is a Swedish heavy metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden. The band was formed in 1993 by ex-Ceremonial Oath guitarist Oscar Dronjak.

I have no idea why people put Iron Maiden in the Top Ten power metal band lists. I agree that Maiden is one of the greatest NWOBHM bands so far, but obviously, it's not a speed/power metal band. Any Means Necessary, one of the best songs of Hammerfall, was my very first song I listened to in power metal, and it made me become a huge fan of the genre.

I also like all the bands on this top 10 list, but Hammerfall is my most favorite power metal band. I think they should be in the top 3 places on the list because of their epic songs like Glory to the Brave, Hammerfall, Hearts on Fire, Any Means Necessary, and well, almost all of their songs are epic. Let the hammer fall on the haters!

8 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.

Hunting High and Low, The Unbreakable, Black Diamond... Stratovarius has way better songs than most of the power metal bands. Why are they so low on the list? They should be at #4, if not in the top 3. I heard these guys back in 2003 at Tuska Open in Helsinki and believe me... They really do capture the audience, just like Iron Maiden, which is my favorite, followed by Stratovarius.

Seeing them so far down the list really shook my mind. They've been around for more than three decades and have influenced a plethora of power metal bands that popped up over time. Despite being such an influential and musically tasteful band, they're not rated properly, which is also apparent on other ranking and opinion-based music websites.

9 Nightwish Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland. The band was formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and lead singer Tarja Turunen. It's currently formed by Tuomas, Emppu, lead vocalist Floor Jansen, bassist and vocalist Marco Hietala,... read more

I'm not too fond of metal bands with women in them. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not sexist. I have tried time after time to listen to metal bands with female singers, but unfortunately, most of them fail to deliver that aggression that I like in my metal.

But out of the so few metal bands with female singers, this is actually one of them. This band is aggressive, heavy, and overall appealing to the ears as far as power metal goes. So if you are not as much a fan of bands led by women as I am, give these guys a try, you won't be disappointed.

10 Gamma Ray 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.

I can't believe Gamma Ray has so few votes! Just listen to Land of the Free, Somewhere Out in Space, Powerplant... Kai is a genius - one of the best songwriters on the metal scene. He and Weikath INVENTED the whole power metal genre, for God's sake! And he is an exceptional guitar player and a very positive and funny guy. Not to mention I just LOVE his voice - it is so unique and diverse, always keeps me interested.

Gamma Ray should be in the top 3 along with Helloween and Blind Guardian. This band has no weak album. Kai's voice seems to get better and better with every record, and the guys are just awesome live and always so nice with the fans. Great band!

The Contenders
11 Kamelot Kamelot is an American power metal band from Tampa, Florida, formed by Thomas Youngblood and Richard Warner in 1991. The Norwegian vocalist Roy Khan joined for the album Siége Perilous, and shared songwriting credit with Youngblood until his departure in April 2011. On June 22, 2012, Youngblood announced... read more

Roy Khan, the vocalist, makes this band. Most metal vocalists are just gravelly-voiced or know how to hype up the audience, which are good skills in their own right, but no other metal bands have the operatic pipes of Roy Khan. He is comparable to a male Tarja Turunen.

In addition, the songwriting of Kamelot is very noteworthy. Their albums aren't just about their feelings or lives, but they correspond with underlying stories. If you're interested, check out songs like "The Haunting" and "March of Mephisto." Those are my favorites.

12 Powerwolf Powerwolf is a German power metal band created in 2003 by Charles and Matthew Greywolf. The group is notable for having dark themes and images, both musically and lyrically.

I shouldn't like this band. I'm an Orthodox, and half their songs are satanic, but their music is just so good that I can't help myself.

I wanted to vote for Sabaton, but that is an obvious choice. Their lyrics prove that these guys are absolute lyrical geniuses. Powerwolf also makes songs that are extremely catchy, such as Prayer in the Dark and Resurrection by Erection.

Okay, half the bands in the top ten aren't even power metal! Iron Maiden? Nightwish? Sorry, but symphonic metal and heavy metal do not a power metal band make. Anyway, these guys are pretty sick and definitely my favorite straight-up power metal band.

13 Rhapsody of Fire Rhapsody of Fire is an Italian symphonic power metal band created by Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli, widely seen as a pioneer of the symphonic power metal subgenre.

Some guy put Iron Maiden on this list. That's good because Iron Maiden is actually power metal. But if Iron Maiden is here, Judas Priest also should be here in second.

Rhapsody of Fire is a really great symphonic power metal band. I started listening to them about one year ago, and now they are one of my favorite power metal bands with their awesome sound. My favorite thing about them are their solos, made by LUCA TURILLI! If you haven't heard any song from them, you should start with "Emerald Sword" and "Dawn of Victory."

14 Edguy Edguy is a heavy metal band from Fulda, Germany that was founded in 1992 by 14-year-old students Tobias Sammet, Jens Ludwig, Dominik Storch and Dirk Sauer.

Fantastic band. Unfortunately, they're not as famous as they deserve to be. So many good songs like Sacrifice, Tears of a Mandrake, Lavatory Love Machine, Forever, Superheroes... Tobias Sammet is a musical genius. Listen to Avantasia, and you will understand what I'm talking about.

No other band that I have ever listened to has had as many amazing songs as Edguy. They seem to put the same amount of effort into every song. If you like Edguy, you must listen to Avantasia. Best band ever.

Edguy is a very stereotypical power metal band, but they play the part well with consistently good releases and very catchy songs.

15 Avantasia Avantasia is a German supergroup rock opera project created by Tobias Sammet, vocalist of the band Edguy.

My absolute favorite band of all time. They don't have a single bad song. You can listen to any of their albums and love it, though I personally recommend The Scarecrow, Angel of Babylon, and Ghostlights.

Definitely better than the majority of the other bands. Iron Maiden shouldn't be here because it is not power metal.

Avantasia is one of the most creative, heartfelt, and talented bands out there, which is why I'm surprised to see it ranked as No. 19 of the top power metal bands. I would personally rank them as No. 1, but a top ten spot would also be fitting.

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

They have been a significant influence in the history of metal, especially in genres such as power metal, symphonic metal, Viking metal, war metal,... read more

I know they sometimes come off as cheesy and strange, but especially "Battle Hymns," "Sign of the Hammer," and "Kings of Metal" are classics for a reason. Manowar clearly is a milestone in power metal and one of the pioneer bands.

Yes, some of the things they do seem somewhat sexist and yes, their last few albums were not that great, but when you take your time to realize how great and important their pioneering role was, and when you don't take them too seriously, you will definitely appreciate them more. Personally, I would place them at the top of this list, but they at least should be in the top 5.

17 Firewind Firewind is a Greek power metal band. Formed in 1998, the group is currently signed to Century Media Records and was originally a small project created by guitarist, Gus G.

The awesome shredding from Gus G in the latest albums is killer! Along with the fact that they are all actually really good musicians, I too think they should be up there. I would say Iron Maiden is the best band on this list. Well, they're the best band on most lists, but they aren't really power metal, and I can see why people would think so. However, I would see them more as NWOBHM, to be honest. Firewind, for me, should be around the area of Stratovarius also.

Amazing band! I agree with some of these bands being on this list, but I feel like Firewind should definitely be in the top five with songs like Mercenary Man. I could never get enough of listening to these guys. They're quite unique.

18 Primal Fear Primal Fear are a German metal band formed in 1997 by Ralf Scheepers and Mat Sinner. They play heavy metal, power metal and speed metal. Primal Fear remind of Judas Priest but Primal Fear are faster and heavier. They use twin (dual) lead guitars. Ralf Scheepers voice reminds of Rob Halford.

Excellent band, should be higher - in my personal top 5 power/speed metal bands. They play an updated version of the traditional metal of the Judas Priest type but also power metal and speed metal (equal portions of those three).

The songs are perfectly written and performed - memorable riffs, choruses, solos. Awesome twin lead guitars, harmonies. All band members show musicianship - remarkable vocals, drums, guitars, bass.

Power and speed metal songs:
Riding the Eagle, Where Angels Die, And There Was Silence, Unbreakable-2, Demons And Angels.

Heavy metal songs:
King For A Day, Strike, All For One, Diabolus, Blood on Your Hands, Six Times Dead (16.6).

19 Symphony X Symphony X is an American progressive metal band from Middletown, New Jersey. Founded in 1994, the band consists of guitarist Michael Romeo, keyboardist Michael Pinnella, drummer Jason Rullo, lead vocalist Russell Allen and bassist Michael Lepond.

How can I resist this? Symphony X should really be number 1. It has the most powerful neoclassical sound in the world, with one of the best guitar players and singers. I should really say it is the most stupid list in the world compared to all the others.

Progressive Metal, Neoclassical, Power metal. All of these three styles define them quite well. They are among my favorite bands of all time. I've listened to all of the top 10 bands, and I really think Symphony X is the number 1!

Progressive and powerful. They make songs that are not only fast but also quite melodic. Russell Allen is undeniably a great singer. Power metal at its finest.

20 Children of Bodom Children Of Bodom was a melodic death metal band from Espoo, Finland. Formed in 1993, the final lineup consisted of Alexi Laiho, Janne Wirman, Henkka Seppälä, Jaska Raatikainen and Daniel Freyberg.

To be honest, I don't know what the heck these guys are, but they sound like power metal to me, so... Yeah. I don't have much to say about these guys because, as you can tell from what number these guys are on this list, they are not my most preferred band to listen to. But when I'm in the mood, they are pretty fun, simple, and overall entertaining to listen to. And just to add for the fun of it, these guys have a hilarious but surprisingly metal cover of Britney Spears' "Oops I Did It Again."

Hey! What's wrong with you guys? They're the best power metal band and they play the best power metal! They should be at the top! Even though their vocals are not good, the music is really awesome!

21 Demons and Wizards Demons and Wizards is a power metal band conceived as a side-project by vocalist for Blind Guardian, Hansi Kürsch, and the guitarist for Iced Earth, Jon Schaffer.

This is the band of Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth), formed as a side-project, and offers the best of Blind Guardian and Iced Earth combined. Excellent power metal with no weak spots - a must listen.

Songs: Tear Down the Wall, Crimson King, Heaven Denies, Path of Glory, Blood on My Hands, My Last Sunrise, Fiddler on the Green.

Great power rock opera band! Great mix of heavy metal and symphonic-like vocals!

22 Theocracy Theocracy is a Christian progressive power metal band founded in 2002 by Matt Smith of Athens, Georgia.

The greatest American power metal band of the last two decades is undoubtedly Theocracy. "As the World Bleeds" is one of the greatest power metal albums I have ever heard. Matt Smith's vocal abilities are unmatched, and the instrumentation is heavy, soaring, and incredible from a technical standpoint.

Songs like "I AM" and "Mirror of Souls" showcase what this band is capable of. Their newest 19-minute epic, "Red Sea," is amazing. I would label it as their magnum opus. It is power metal at its finest.

Do not sleep on this band because they are Christian. You will miss out on what is easily the best American power metal band in recent history. Give their newest album "Mosaic" a listen. You will not be disappointed.

23 Angel Dust Angel Dust are a German heavy metal band. Initially active from 1984 to 1990 as speed and thrash metal band, they dropped their thrash roots in favor of a power/progressive metal sound upon reforming in 1998.

Why this group is not a household name is beyond me. Publicity problems? They add something different - power, melody, and some thrash to some special ballads. Musically VERY accomplished. What the hell happened?

Complex, deep, and downright fascinating. A very underestimated band.

24 Manilla Road Manilla Road is an American heavy metal band from Wichita, Kansas, founded by lead guitarist Mark 'the Shark' Shelton.

YEAH! The ultimate power metal band, been around for a long time. No funny synth, string setting on a keyboard, or edited vocals. Pure bass, guitar, drums, and vocals. A 3-piece band (now a 4-piece, added vocalist). More muscular than a lot of bands, never been signed to a big name record company. Always sounding REAL and EPIC. That's why these guys are my favorite PM band.

Most underrated band of all time. They had a great run in the '80s, releasing many great albums like Crystal Logic and Open the Gates. Listen to The Ninth Wave and up the hammers!

25 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

The inventors of power metal. Awesome songs, top-notch musicianship. They deserve a decent spot on this list. They are always so underrated. When Dio and Rainbow are not in the top 10 - that's really embarrassing.

Gates Of Babylon - a genre-defining song.

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