The Link-Up Spell: 2017’s True Magic Power Metal

842
40
Share:
the best power metal of 2017

Today, we are revisiting the best of the best in power metal during 2017!

While it was not that prolific as 2016, last year dispensed a nice batch of power metal releases. The “happy subgenre” of metal had a healthy lineup in the form of old and new bands doing what they do best: compacting melodies at the speed of light.

Today, my acolytes, I am going to direct your journey inside the power metal constellations, in order to reach the best clusters of metallic albums released of this peculiar cosmic corner.

Prog Power

Unlimited guitar pyrotechnics and volatile rhythm changes, some of these progressive influenced albums will probably drag you down to a supernova!

I think the best exponent of this style last year was Arjen Lucassen beloved child, Ayreon. Under this banner, the Dutch science maniac mixed his favorite chemicals and created The Source. As usual, Lucassen hired the mercenary voices of some of the greatest voices in the genre to play with them in a new high quality opera rock product.

Stay tuned for the first track, “The Day that the World Breaks Down”, for a kicking ass Floor Jansen, another nice Morse code chant, Guthrie Govan solos and the Legend himself: Hansi Kürsch. The whole record is long, but it has plenty of hooks, choral intricacies a la Queen and wonderful riffing to keep you entertained. If you are not following my lead, check out what my pal Moshito thinks of it, he is a reliable source of everything prog!

“The Source is a delectable power/prog extravaganza that seems to go by swiftly despite its double-disc running time”

For more of this style, be sure to search last releases from the Labÿrinth, Witherfall, MindMaze, Trial and the highly acclaimed Lör.

Heavy, trad and USPM

One of the most active styles during all this year was the harsher side of power metal, produced in great numbers around immense mythical realms. The grittier sound and the mythical accent to the music clash with the proud sense of this style, which established a loyal underground fan base during these days.

Direct from Germany, Lunar Shadow enchanted many wizards with their honest homage to the Altar of Metal. In Far From Light, the band achieved to mix dangerous spells from many different schools of magic: NWOBHM, USPM, old school progressive and even some light melodic black metal influences converge in this retro produced album.

Expect riffs for days, ripping solos and mountains of harmonized guitars. Check out “Cimmeria” as an appetizer for Far From Light, selected by my friend Simon Phoenix as his favorite record of 2017!

Lunar Shadow decided to weave fantastical narratives and create a particular mood with their songs instead of the usual odes to metal. Away from Light is a different flavor than their Triumphator EP and very different than almost every other trad metal band out there; sounding nearly as bleak and cold as a second wave BM album.

Man, I do not know how to resume you this, but check out some of these records to catch my drift. 2017 was a great year for Powerful Heavy Metal (and this list goes on!):

Europower

The European style always entertains thanks to highly melodic phrasing, grandiloquent moments and pop sensibilities. Popularized by big names like Helloween, Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica, Europower is, perhaps, the most known branch of power metal, but it still carries the lighting power of the genre!

There were some heavy names this year releasing well written and compact albums. For instance, the speed maniacs of DragonForce published Reaching into Infinity and the epic warriors of Unleash the Archers released Apex, two records that became personal favorites, subsequently handpicked to my Top 10.

Since I have praised the British too much this year, my main pick today will be an Europower album made by a not-Europower band. I am talking about Seven Kingdoms last offering, Decennium.

This USPM threw the house through the window with this album, working hard during four years to release it. A slick retell of G.R.R. Martin mythos and other fantasy worlds seasoned with fast melodies, great choruses and hooks professionally vocalized by the charismatic Lady Sabrina Valentine.

In the same line, guitarists Camden Cruz and Kevin Byrd trades harmonies, solos and riffing in each song of the record. These guys sounds amazing together and even reminded me of the sacred duo of André Olbrich and Marcus Siepen, of Blind Guardian fame.

Listen to “The Tale of Deathface Ginny”, a track wrote with lyrics by their ex-vocalist, Bryan Edwards!

If you are still willing to get a chance with more Europower, be sure to find albums from Ancestral, Power Quest, Blazon Stone, Victorious, Kaledon and Elvenking.


This marks the end of this week’s The Link-Up Spell. Which other power metal albums did I miss? Shoot out your 2017 favorite albums of this genre around the comments and join us in the discussion!


The Link-Up Spell is a weekly Toilet ov Hell column about music, movies, books, retro video games and guaranteed Elfic nonsense. If you want to contact the author to send your material, mail us at toiletovhell [at] gmail.com with the subject “The Link-Up Spell” or message him on social media.

Did you dig this? Take a second to support Toilet ov Hell on Patreon!
  • Joaquin Stick

    Me connecting with a PM band is a rare occurrence, but I’d be lying if I said that Seven Kingdoms album didn’t dominate my Spotify account for a solid two weeks when I first heard it.

    • The album has plenty of hooks to dominate. Really liked it!

  • tigeraid

    New Burning Shadows ruled. New Manilla Road ruled. New Seven Kingdoms is great.

    HAIL LINK! HAIL *POWER*!

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Instrumentally speaking I quite dig that Lunar Shadow. Not completely sold on the vocals tho.

    As far as power metal goes, balls-out-heavy go-fuck-yourself-before-I-chop-you-up US-style power metal with actual POWER is what Frank wants to get in his ears most of the time!

    BUTTERFLIES AND UNICORNS ARE FROM A DIFFERENT AGE, SO FUCK THE SIGNS OF PEACE AND LOVE, ALL HAIL THE BATTLE RAGE!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNDXoo2bTsU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftztaIOW-5I

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwI7YGjSTF8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn9weZmN3LI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAN7p32u9Bw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVpQWOmtBDI

    • There may be a couple of records for you in those links, Frank! Happy hunting and may the POWER REIGNS SUPREME!

    • Señor Jefe El Rossover

      Is Friction in Mass a perfect song? Yes. Yes it is.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    Yay, Manilla Road and Jag Panzer!

  • SEPULKRUSTACEAN

    No love for LoveBites, Galneryus, Ancient Empire, Bleeding, Vulvagun, Sin Isomer, Hyperion, Stallion, Wrathblade, Emblem, Typhon’s Doom?

    • That’s the point of the article! Share our picks! 😉

      Favorite power metal songs? Which was your favorite records?

      • Th’load&th’road

        Link, glad to see you’re writing! I was afraid from that one article that you may not post much anymore due to your move and circumstances. Hope all is well for you! Full Metal Hipster did a best power metal of 2017 podcast that had some kewl stuff too. I’m still kinda stuck on Grand Magus’ “Hammer of the North” from 8 years ago as far as power metal, so I’ll check these out!

    • Howard Dean

      I’m sure their mothers all love them.

    • tigeraid

      Emblem flew under the radar.

    • Nukenado

      LoveBites and Galneryus because Japanese cheese is best cheese.

  • Jack Bauer

    Of this list I really enjoyed Seven Kingdoms and Night Demon. Also I always think of mass effect when I see that seven kingdoms art.

  • dat Blaze Bayley video is pretty goofy.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Saw him in August. He can go live. He even signed my copy of The X Factor.

      • that’s awesome. is he a noice d00d?

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          Very.

    • Indeed! But the record is pretty solid, to be fair!

      • i believe it, even though that video has Mr. Robb Flynn in it.
        the siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiign of the croooooooooooooooooooss

        • REPENT OF YOUR SINS, BAYLEY!!!!!

          • Mr. Linkbro, i listened to dat Manilla Road album yesterday. it was p good! if you tell me their best album, i’d like to give it a shot too.

          • Crystal Logic is the fan favorite. But, I honestly prefer Open the Gates! That’s my favorite!

          • i gave ’em a shot, man. that’s some interesting stuff! somehow it managed to fly under my radar for my entire life (though i often hear Bossthe Ross talk about them)

          • So glad you liked, Mañulti! <3 Welcome aboard!!! Now into Cirith Ungol!

          • i’m halfway through Kingdom of the Dead, and it’s cool too! there’s a ton of classic rock (or Dad Rock, jajaja) influence on here!

  • RJA

    Sorry Simon – I and yours musical tastes are quite different so I must not have paid to much attention to your list – but – this Lunar Shadow is pretty damn enjoyable. Thanks Link.

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    This is a good.

    HAIL!

  • Nukenado

    The new Alestorm album might be their weakest but still worth a 70% mark.
    Not including it is criminal. I’m completely serious.
    But if you feel you can’t take them seriously, check out Sunset On The Golden Age. Songs go from 2-min hardcore blasts talking about samurai to 10-minute epics about the need for space colonization in the inevitable event of the red giant transformation of the sun.

    • Aaaaah! I had it noted on my #LinkNotebook. I really enjoyed it, very light and fun! Sorry for the omission!

  • GrumpDumpus
  • GoatForest

    This is some pretty good medieval power metal.
    https://youtu.be/AOWv8ATb6BE

    • Man, the first album of this band is Top Tier!

      • GoatForest

        I completely agree.