(Bear with me, first post. I will grudgingly accept post criticisms.)
This is a musical genre I’ve really enjoyed for the last 5 years or so. Wikipedia describes it as heavy metal with symphonic elements. I prefer the ones with female vocalists with a classical sound, near operatic sometimes.
It started with a haunting ballad from the soundtrack of Daredevil (of all places) and I just fell in love with Amy Lee’s voice. Then a driving duet on the same album, a combination of heaven and hell, with pounding guitars,Â angry rap-like lyrics, and Amy’s angelic sound wrapping it up. I was hooked. Since then, I’ve sought out more like it. I find that I’m drawn to the sheer energy of the music as well as the smooth vocals. I tend to steer clear of the growly, “Cookie Monster” vocals, although I’ll make exceptions. Here are some of the bands that have captured my fancy.
Beautiful Sin – (Norway? Belgium?) I don’t much about this band – the wiki is sparse, tooÂ – but this is one where I like the instruments more than the vocals. This works
out fine for me, since they have long instrumental sections.
Delain – (Netherlands) Founded by a member of Within Temptation. I discovered them (or they discovered me!) when I started following Amy Lee on Twitter
@AmyLeeEV and Delain followed me. Some songs do feature the growly vocals, but I can get past it. Seems they’ve collaborated with a lot of the other bands on
my list here (Nightwish, Leaves’ Eyes, Epica) The singer’s voice is lovely.
SeverÂ (features a chanting choir)Â Â Delain – Sever (Live)
Edenbridge – (Austria) 7 albums so far. They have some of those funky harp soundsÂ in the background.
Shine (this song makes me think of Europe – The Final Countdown) Shine
Solitaire – I think this one is too new (July 2010) to have youtube videos. Has some great frantic drums, all the right pieces.
Evanescence – (Little Rock, AR) Of course, they’ve enjoyed mainstream success where no one else really has. I’ve seen them live twice – they put on a decent show. Amy Lee is really the
heart of the band, other members have changed up quite a bit over just 2 (TWO!) studio albums. The piano and Lee’s vocals are really what set them apart for me.
My Immortal just wrenches my heart.
Whisper – There’s a version of this song with a crescending (crescendoing?) choir at the beginning, but doesn’t have the chant at the end. My Dream: If I could splice the beginning of “Whisper 2000″ onto the studio version Fan-made video
Lacrymosa -Â (music set to Final Fantasy VIII movie)
Lacuna Coil - (Italy) This was the first band I found after Evanescence. They seem unusual in this genre in that most songs have both male and female vocals. The male part is often
angry-sounding, but not actually growly. Cristina’s vocals are also very nice. They have at least 2 songs as DLC on Rock Band, and my wife hates playing them
because of the weird rhythms.
Leaves’ Eyes – (Norway/Germany) These folks have an almost medieval sound.
Senses Capture (is that a bass drum?)
Nightwish – (Finland) – Wikipedia is saying this is Finland’s most successful band with 5 million album sales. Can that be right? There was a bit of controversy in that they essentially fired the lead singer and got a new one.
The original one was trained in opera, the newest one has only been on the latest studio album. (I really like the new one, but the old stuff is good, too.)
Amaranth - this is my song du jour, at least a couple times a day. No idea what the song’s about, just like the sound.
Within Temptation – (Netherlands) – I would be tempted to say that they are a more angry sounding group, but that may be unfair. No growly vocals, and I feel like the band as a whole is very talented. (The ballads are not angry, by the way.)
What Have You Done (I can not get enough of this song, it’s a great driving song)
Our Farewell – a ballad, more piano *swoon*
Xandria – (Germany) These songs really exemplify the genre, IMO, although I’d probably classify the guitar parts as more hard rock than metal. It’s a very polished sound.
Save My Life – Video
Sisters of the Light – (has a belly dance vibe)
I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner, but I just set up a Symphonic Metal station on Pandora, adding all these groups into it. Oh, so nice. Please, though, share your favorites with me!Â (Sorry, Susan M, Opeth rocks, but I need the female vocals.)