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Kinda OT: Prog v. Power Metal?

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by Rose Immortal, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Rose Immortal

    Rose Immortal Spirit of Hope

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    No, I am NOT asking which one is better! :yell:

    OK...deep breath... ;)

    Since I'm a little bit ignorant about metal, I'm asking how you tell the difference between prog and power metal. I've seen SymX classed as both, and Blind Guardian is difficult for me to make a call about, too. And what about DT? Strictly prog, right?

    So...how do you tell the difference?

    I'm posing this question to both a metal-oriented board (SymX) and to a prog-oriented board, and I'm going to compare the different answers I get.
     
  2. soundgarden

    soundgarden I know how to be cool !

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    Actually, i don't know the real difference as well.

    Prog is an attempt to make "rock(or in our case, metal) as sophisticated as classical music." I think power metal is just a sub-genre of prog that focuses less on that attempt.

    I consider Sonata Arctica and Kamelot Power metal. I put Symphony X as prog. I think Dream Theater is both Prog Rock and Prog Metal.

    I heard Nevermore is considered power metal :guh: hence my confusion.

    There should be like a Metal Government where we all elect leaders to oversee the classification of bands and the creation of new genres. :p
     
  3. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    imo "Power" metal is easier to define than "Prog".

    to me, Power includes anything that has driving fast rhythms (ala Sonata Arctica most of the time) and is usually but not limited to themes about fantasy and space. general emphasis on the "power" of the music.

    Prog would be metal that pushes the borders of what is normal, that is complex either in concept or technical execution. i make this important distinction as i consider something complex in more than just difficulty of playing it- but the lyrics and composition as well. general emphasis on "thinking/understanding something abstract"

    with those definitions, i'd put DT under Prog Metal, Sonata Arctica under Power Metal (though lately more towards Prog), Kamelot in the middle leaning towards Power, SX in the middle leaning towards Prog.

    I'd consider BG Power Metal most of the time. clear extremes would be: Rhapsody- Power Metal and Zero Hour - Prog Metal.
     
  4. Imaginarium

    Imaginarium Winds of Creation

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    spot on
     
  5. arglebargle

    arglebargle Member

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    Prog features long songs, time changes, complex melodies and rhythms, elements of other genres, etc.

    Power features driving drums, upbeat vocal melodies and choirs, fast guitar riffs, etc.

    Naturally, the line between the two can be very blurry at times. I've witnessed AT LEAST 10,000 internet arguments about power and prog, and what band fits in what genre. The conclusion I've come to: GENRES ARE EVIL.

    Spending too much time trying to neatly classify bands will only lead to frustration and internet arguments with other people. I used to think that genres were a good thing, but now I realize they only serve to limit music and people's opinions of music.

    Kamelot is mostly power metal. Dream Theater is proggish. Symphony X is a combination of power and prog. Blind Guardian is power metal. But I don't like having to classify the bands because it does a disservice to the music. I feel it's safer just to call this kind of stuff "melodic metal".
     
  6. Guitardeth

    Guitardeth Drick bärs nu för faan!

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    Power metal is (used to be) the european thrash in the 80's. Bands like Helloween and Blind Guardian started the genre power metal. It's raw guitars, heavy influenced by bay area (the cradle of thrash) bands like Testament, Metallica and Megadeth but much more melodic due to the new wave of brittish heavy metal bands like Judas Priest, Saxon and Iron Maiden that of course also influenced the power metal bands.
    However, nowadays most people connect Rhapsody to be power metal, and there are some similarites, but all the orchestrations and classic influences makes them just partly power meta.

    You spoke of Blind Guardian. Lately, their music has turned to be more complex and advanced, but it's not really progressive metal and I don't think they prefer to be known as prog aswell. They started as power metal but nowadays it's.. just Blind Guardian.

    And to be honest, I don't really think it matters which kind of metal the music is. In the end, most bands has way to much influences to be geniune. SymX is just such a phenomena it would be hybris to define it to some simple genre. The same with Dream Theater.
     
  7. Rose Immortal

    Rose Immortal Spirit of Hope

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    So you made your own genre. :p
     
  8. Yngvai X

    Yngvai X Dark Emperor

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    Very good point. I've seen Helloween classified as a thrash band (in old 80s magazines, before there was a term "powermetal") and two of my favorite powermetal bands, Rage and Grave Digger, started out as thrash metal but got gradually more melodic as their careers went on (while still retaining thrash elements). To me, Rage is the pinnacle of the genre. The balance between melody and aggression is a perfect one, they continue to evolve and grow, the musicianship of the current lineup is on par with bands like SymX and Dream Theater, and they've remained virtually cheese free (I say virtually because metal, by default, is always gonna be a little cheesy no matter what genre it is). Not to mention they are the single most consistent band I've ever heard. How many other bands have existed for 20 years, released 17 albums and not one of them is a dud, and their last 2 albums have been 2 of their best? They were also the first metal band to play live and tour with an orchestra, and were one of the first to use D standard tuning exclusively.
     
  9. dargormudshark

    dargormudshark Senior Member

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    I don't know one one hand the prog metal bands like SX and DT are my faves, but there is a greater number of power metal bands I like. Kind of like a quantity verses quality
     
  10. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    well arglebargle, personally i have 2 genres:

    good music

    bad music


    but since Rose asked, i did my best to define what most people think those words mean. :tickled:
     
  11. arglebargle

    arglebargle Member

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    Yeah, those are my two genres, too.
     
  12. wayne the goblin/robot

    wayne the goblin/robot Im done with this *****

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    alright, let me put it this way, when your listening to prog metal, you feel sophisticated, but when you're listening to power metal your attitude is somewhat like............................I WANNA ROCK!!!!!!!! ROCK!!!!!!! :headbang:
    <twisted sister song in backround>
     
  13. mistymountaingrlrocks

    mistymountaingrlrocks Unjustified!!!

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    :D he he--I want to rock! :headbang: Sophisticated=confusing sometimes. I don't want to think too hard about rockin out. :erk: Life has enough stuff to think about!
     
  14. Liquid Shadow

    Liquid Shadow Member

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    You're right. Music that challenges the mind is for sissies. I'm gonna go listen to some techno...
     
  15. ElPredicador

    ElPredicador Yeah... Whatever

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    I think you can debate a lot on what is power, and what is prog. I prefer a simple definition: power metal is more straightforward than prog.
    I partly agree with anglebargle, but I don't think genres are evil. I heard once an analogy that I find quite applying: If you go visit the countryside, you need a map to guide yourself. The fact that you need the map shouldn't interfere with the fact that you came to see the country, not the map.
     
  16. OfSinsAndShred

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    Power metal is about being powerful. Progressive metal is about progressing. :D

    Odds are, if it's in 4/4 and 6/8, almost every chorus sounds like an anthem of some sort, they do "the gallop" beat, and it makes you want to put your foot on a monitor, raise a fist, and triumphantly sing the lyrics... it's power metal. That's how I like to think of it! It's pretty stereotypical, I know, but who doesn't love stereotypical power metal?
     
  17. wayne the goblin/robot

    wayne the goblin/robot Im done with this *****

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    prog in general is also about not being confined within the usual forms of music, its also about liking Dream Theater so much that you name yourself after one of their albums and start arguing with sx fans about who sings better.

    dont look at me like that i did not mention names.................

    heh heh...........suckers............... :cool:
     
  18. Yngvai X

    Yngvai X Dark Emperor

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    me. Its the stereotypical bands that make a genre boring, power metal or otherwise. The only times when stereotypical bands are good are when they do it *so well* that you can't help but like it (in the case of powermetal, Edguy and Dream Evil are good examples).
     
  19. wayne the goblin/robot

    wayne the goblin/robot Im done with this *****

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    whoa man, talk about captian bringdown here(in a hippies voice)
     
  20. Yngvai X

    Yngvai X Dark Emperor

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    whats that supposed to mean?
     

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