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Power & Prog Metal

Power metal is characterized by a more uplifting sound. Power metal bands usually have anthem-like songs with fantasy-based subject matter and strong choruses, thus creating a theatrical, dramatic and emotionally "powerful" sound.

Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen made a significant impact on many future power metal guitarists, with his accurate and fast neo-classical style. American band Manowar's mythological sword and sorcery lyrics influenced a number of power metal bands. In 1987 Helloween released their second album, Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1, the definitive album that influenced a new whole generation of bands.

Power metal music is highly focused on the vocalist, with "clean" vocals being much more prevalent than the growling vocals. Inspired by Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, Geoff Tate, power metal vocals are often in a high register, and the singers vocal range is usually wide.

Many power metal bands such as Florida's Kamelot, Finnish groups Nightwish, Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica, Italy's Rhapsody of Fire, and Russia's Catharsis feature a keyboard-based "symphonic" sound, sometimes employing orchestras and opera singers. Power metal has built a strong fanbase in Japan and South America, where bands like Brazil's Angra and Argentina's Rata Blanca are popular.

Closely related to power metal is Progressive metal that often utilizes the conceptual themes associated with progressive rock. Whilst the genre emerged towards the late-1980s, it was not until the 1990s that progressive metal achieved commercial success. Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Fates Warning are a few examples of progressive metal bands who achieved commercial success. The mix of the progressive and power metal sounds is typified by New Jersey's Symphony X, whose guitarist Michael Romeo is among the most recognized of latter-day shredders.

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