the 101 rules of both black metal and prog metal have been written, so why don't we create a "101 rules of" for another one of the most cliched genres in metal? I know we have a decent amount of power/neoclassical fans here, so, lets name some! - Have at *least* 1 song on every album with a major key chorus. The more the better. This is not optional. - Don't be Timo Tolkki. - Make sure each new album is "a little more prog" sounding than your last without ever actually crossing over into prog territory. - Be METAL. Write songs about how awsome metal is and/or how metal will never die. - Don't extend your classical influence beyond the baroque era. Everything else is "not melodic enough." - Praise Nightfall in Middle Earth by Blind Guardian as one of the best metal concept albums ever. Never actually read The Silmarillion. - Rhapsody is gay. - OK, if you DO like Rhapsody tell people "Their music is amazing but their lyrics are gay." - Cycle 5 progressions are your friend. When in doubt, throw one in with the guitars playing sweep arpeggios or pedal tones over it. - Claim your music is classically influenced. Never actually listen to classical music. Anyone got any others?