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Maiden33
08-08-2010, 09:42 PM
Hey, in the other thread for Essential Metal Albums, I asked if there was any interest in me creating this list, and got a fair amount of response, so I decided to undertake it.

Artists are only allowed one album unless I picked a pair of albums that conceptually belong together (two parts of one story), or in one or two cases, a band actually manage to make two albums that I think are great and impacting enough to both make this list.

The list is in two parts, designated by the dominant quality in the band's music. There are many bands that are technically what I would consider cross-over artists, but I classified them by what I feel is the more obvious quality in their music.

Also, there are a couple of artists that my general lack of interest (or simply lack of exposure) with has left them without an album on this list. So I apologize to fans of Rhapsody, Nightwish (old), Pain of Salvation, Amorphis, and a few other random bands. I feel these artists probably should all have albums on these lists, but I'm just not in the position to choose wisely.

Finally, I tried to make this a list of what I truly consider influential and essential listening overall, and not just a list of favorites (hence the exclusion of artists like Dungeon, Vanishing Point, and Cornerstone), but I did select a few albums that I just think are too god damn good to ignore, regardless of anything else.

Power Metal:
Angra - Angels Cry (1993), Rebirth (2001)
Avantasia - The Metal Opera I (2001), The Metal Opera II (2002)
Blind Guardian - Imaginations From the Other Side (1995)
Edguy - Hellfire Club (2004)
Gamma Ray - Land of the Free (1995)
Hammerfall -Legacy of Kings (1998)
Helloween - Keeper of the 7 Keys Part 1 (1987) and Part 2 (1988)
Hibria - Defying the Rules (2004)
Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes (1998)
Jag Panzer - Thane to the Throne (2000)
Kamelot - Epica (2003), The Black Halo (2005)
Labyrinth - Return to Heaven Denied (1998)
Masterplan - Masterplan (2003)
Nocturnal Rites - Grand Illusion (2005)
Primal Fear - Seven Seals (2005)
Riot - Thundersteel (1988)
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica (1999)
Stratovarius - Visions (1997)
Tad Morose - Modus Vivendi (2003)
Twilightning - Delerium Veil (2003)

Progressive Metal:
Ark - Burn the Sun (2001)
Ayreon - The Human Equation (2004)
Circus Maximus - Isolate (2007)
Crimson Glory - Transcendence (1988)
Dominici - 03: A Trilogy Part 2 (2007), and Part 3 (2008)
Dream Theater - Images and Words (1992)
Evergrey - Recreation Day (2003)
Fates Warning - Parallels (1991)
Mercenary - The Hours That Remain (2006)
Pagan's Mind - Celestial Entrance (2002)
Queensryche - Operation : Mindcrime (1988)
Redemption - The Fullness of Time (2005)
Royal Hunt - Paradox (1997)
Savatage - Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)
Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls (2008)
Shadow Gallery - Tyranny (1998)
Symphony X - The Divine Wings of Tragedy (1997)
Threshold - Hypothetical (2001)
Vanden Plas - Christ 0 (2006)

Blitzkrieg Witchcraft
08-08-2010, 09:53 PM
It's missing Fates Warning's Perfect Symmetry and Pagan's Mind's Enigmatic: Calling.

Maiden33
08-08-2010, 09:59 PM
It's missing Fates Warning's Perfect Symmetry and Pagan's Mind's Enigmatic: Calling.

Ahem....

Artists are only allowed one album unless I picked a pair of albums that conceptually belong together (two parts of one story), or in one or two cases, a band actually manage to make two albums that I think are great and impacting enough to both make this list.

I like each of those albums JUST a hair less than the album that did make this list. And I think for someone new to Fates, Parallels is definitely the album to start with. The Pagan's Mind thing is a toss-up though, I think both are equally great.

mankvill
08-08-2010, 10:55 PM
Blind Guardian - Imaginations From the Other Side (1995)

You are my Imaginations bro. :fist:

TonyD
08-08-2010, 11:18 PM
I'm pretty sure most of those filed under "progressive metal" are progressive power metal records. I hate to be a genre Nazi but putting out a list of essential prog metal records without including Leviathan, Destroy Erase Improve, or one of the last 3 Death records is... not right.

NecroRob
08-08-2010, 11:47 PM
I'm pretty sure most of those filed under "progressive metal" are progressive power metal records. I hate to be a genre Nazi but putting out a list of essential prog metal records without including Leviathan, Destroy Erase Improve, or one of the last 3 Death records is... not right.

Agreed.

makethemsuffer12
08-09-2010, 06:42 AM
I'm pretty sure most of those filed under "progressive metal" are progressive power metal records. I hate to be a genre Nazi but putting out a list of essential prog metal records without including Leviathan, Destroy Erase Improve, or one of the last 3 Death records is... not right.

Or Opeth.

Blitzkrieg Witchcraft
08-09-2010, 07:59 AM
Ahem....



I like each of those albums JUST a hair less than the album that did make this list. And I think for someone new to Fates, Parallels is definitely the album to start with. The Pagan's Mind thing is a toss-up though, I think both are equally great.

Sorry, I kinda just skipped to the list. The two albums I mentioned were the albums that got me hooked on each band. I agree that Parallels is the album I'd recommend to someone new to Fates Warning, but I think Enigmatic: Calling is PM's masterpiece.

youngandaspiring
08-09-2010, 09:23 AM
Virgin Steele - Invictus

Maiden33
08-09-2010, 10:42 AM
Or Opeth.

I'll give you that one. This definitely falls under my banner of "I'm simply not a fan, so I can't really begin to pick an album out", even though I'm not about to argue that they don't belong there.

I don't feel like arguing beyond that though, because it's just not going to go anywhere good. Difference of opinion really.

Crionics
08-09-2010, 11:11 AM
Will use this list as a guide into power/prog metal.

TonyD
08-09-2010, 12:19 PM
I don't feel like arguing beyond that though, because it's just not going to go anywhere good. Difference of opinion really.

Ok, if Leviathan and DEI aren't progressive metal in your opinion...

SomewhereInTime72
08-09-2010, 01:02 PM
I'm pretty sure most of those filed under "progressive metal" are progressive power metal records. I hate to be a genre Nazi but putting out a list of essential prog metal records without including Leviathan, Destroy Erase Improve, or one of the last 3 Death records is... not right.

At least 10 of the albums on the prog list have not much in common with power metal at all, save for the lack of extreme vocals.

And while I love those albums (save for messhuggah who i just cannot get into) it is somewhat arguable that those albums are not progressive in themselves, but just have progressive elements. Even TSOP to me sounds like Death Metal... with heavy prog influences. But yeah I guess if Symphony X can get on the list, Death should too. (speaking of which Jeff, nice choice of SX album, DWOT is definitely the best imo).
Pain of Salvation
Also I'm pretty surprised you're not into this band, or at least a couple of their albums.

Akumu
08-09-2010, 01:06 PM
I was going to do a huge multi-quote, but decided against it, so:

1. Imaginations is, by far, my favorite BG album.
2. Personal favorites and all that, but Mercenary looks sort of odd there? I know they played ProgPower a few times, but I've always associated them with melodeath like Scar Symmetry rather than prog/power metal.
3. Symphony X is awesome because you can use pretty much any of their albums post-Damnation Game and it would work.
4. Ark, Kamelot, and Masterplan... but no Conception? :snivel:
5. Orphaned Land.

I tried listening to Grand Illusion to prep for ProgPower - some of the songs are awesome (Cuts Like a Knife and I'm Still Alive ftw), but the production is treble-heavy to the point of being painful for me to listen to. Is there an album before GI should I try instead?

Whining aside, this is really cool - there's a ton of bands there that I keep meaning to check out but never get around to, particularly Pagan's Mind and Redemption. Thanks!

ravenheart
08-09-2010, 01:35 PM
Power Metal:
Angra - Angels Cry (1993), Rebirth (2001)
Avantasia - The Metal Opera I (2001), The Metal Opera II (2002)
Blind Guardian - Imaginations From the Other Side (1995)
Edguy - Hellfire Club (2004)
Gamma Ray - Land of the Free (1995)
Hammerfall -Legacy of Kings (1998)
Helloween - Keeper of the 7 Keys Part 1 (1987) and Part 2 (1988)
Hibria - Defying the Rules (2004)
Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes (1998)
Jag Panzer - Thane to the Throne (2000)
Kamelot - Epica (2003), The Black Halo (2005)
Labyrinth - Return to Heaven Denied (1998)
Masterplan - Masterplan (2003)
Nocturnal Rites - Grand Illusion (2005)
Primal Fear - Seven Seals (2005)
Riot - Thundersteel (1988)
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica (1999)
Stratovarius - Visions (1997)
Tad Morose - Modus Vivendi (2003)
Twilightning - Delerium Veil (2003)

I like almost every album here, but oddly in the context of this list I only agree with about three.

Progressive Metal:
Ark - Burn the Sun (2001)
Ayreon - The Human Equation (2004)
Circus Maximus - Isolate (2007)
Crimson Glory - Transcendence (1988)
Dominici - 03: A Trilogy Part 2 (2007), and Part 3 (2008)
Dream Theater - Images and Words (1992)
Evergrey - Recreation Day (2003)
Fates Warning - Parallels (1991)
Mercenary - The Hours That Remain (2006)
Pagan's Mind - Celestial Entrance (2002)
Queensryche - Operation : Mindcrime (1988)
Redemption - The Fullness of Time (2005)
Royal Hunt - Paradox (1997)
Savatage - Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)
Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls (2008)
Shadow Gallery - Tyranny (1998)
Symphony X - The Divine Wings of Tragedy (1997)
Threshold - Hypothetical (2001)
Vanden Plas - Christ 0 (2006)

This is almost perfect. And kudos for not only being the only American I know to even pick a Threshold album for a list such as this, but to pick the right one ;) Even if it has my second favourite of their singers.

On the subject of Pain of Salvation, 'Remedy Lane' all day long. And I think Dead Soul Tribe deserve a mention. My list would also include Nation Beyond's 'The Aftermath Odyssey' and for certain, quite near the top, Arena's 'Immortal'.

Maiden33
08-09-2010, 02:28 PM
I was going to do a huge multi-quote, but decided against it, so:

1. Imaginations is, by far, my favorite BG album.
2. Personal favorites and all that, but Mercenary looks sort of odd there? I know they played ProgPower a few times, but I've always associated them with melodeath like Scar Symmetry rather than prog/power metal.
3. Symphony X is awesome because you can use pretty much any of their albums post-Damnation Game and it would work.
4. Ark, Kamelot, and Masterplan... but no Conception? :snivel:
5. Orphaned Land.

I tried listening to Grand Illusion to prep for ProgPower - some of the songs are awesome (Cuts Like a Knife and I'm Still Alive ftw), but the production is treble-heavy to the point of being painful for me to listen to. Is there an album before GI should I try instead?

Whining aside, this is really cool - there's a ton of bands there that I keep meaning to check out but never get around to, particularly Pagan's Mind and Redemption. Thanks!

-On the subject of Nocturnal Rites: Try "Shadowland".

-Fair point on Conception. I heavily considered "Parallel Minds", but wound up excluding it. Maybe I should've put it on.

-Overall I really agree with you on Mercenary, but I think on The Hours That Remain they definitely crossed over enough into Progressive Metal from Melodic Death Metal to be considered for the last. There is a song or two with no growls at all, and they are used much less overall.

And thanks to the folks who gave compliments! I realize it's not a perfect list, this was sort of a first draft.

The_jman
08-10-2010, 04:45 PM
Opeth: I would choose blackwater Park if it were me.

as to Amorphis. Elegy is their first album that strayed into the progressive, not just melotic death. However my personal favorites are the last 3 albums, Eclipse, Silent Waters, and Skyforger, but as to which of those 4 belong on that list? I'm not surereally. I think if someone wanted to get into Amorphis having never heard them before I might recommend Silent Waters Its the one I got into first. As to defining their part in the progressive Genre Probably Elegy, but I can't get into it as much as the last 3 records, the vocalist isn't as good IMO.

Nightwish... I would personally choose Wishmaster, but that's just me.

Butcher of Birth
08-10-2010, 07:14 PM
We are friends at the very least just because you chose the RIGHT Blind Guardian album. Yes....

treghet
08-10-2010, 07:46 PM
Thanks for making this list!

Will use this list as a guide into power/prog metal.

Same here. I've been getting more into both genres recently.

daimonos
08-10-2010, 07:51 PM
Opeth: I would choose blackwater Park if it were me.


I would say either Blackwater Park or Still Life. But more people would probably say Blackwater Park.

We are friends at the very least just because you chose the RIGHT Blind Guardian album. Yes....

It amazes me every time I listen to it, which isn't that often, to be fair. I love it though, but I have never heard Nightfall in Middle Earth, so it's not a tough decision to say pick that one!

The_jman
08-11-2010, 10:29 AM
I would say either Blackwater Park or Still Life. But more people would probably say Blackwater Park.



It amazes me every time I listen to it, which isn't that often, to be fair. I love it though, but I have never heard Nightfall in Middle Earth, so it's not a tough decision to say pick that one!
true, but isn't BWP even more progressive than Still life? I wasn't sure myself so that's why I ask.

Butcher of Birth
08-11-2010, 10:01 PM
but I have never heard Nightfall in Middle Earth, so it's not a tough decision to say pick that one!

Wait... WHAT?! Come on man... You need to go out and buy Middle Earth, Night at The Opera, and A Twist in The Myth right now. A Twist In The Myth is such a good album for being a "newer" album. You would expect them to slow down but they are still ripping!

youngandaspiring
08-12-2010, 01:54 AM
Also, Maiden's SSOASS should be on the list for progressive. Argue all about whether or not it is a truly prog album, but it is absolutely definite that it is one of the most influential albums of all time.

maidenpriest
08-12-2010, 02:53 AM
Wait... WHAT?! Come on man... You need to go out and buy Middle Earth, Night at The Opera, and A Twist in The Myth right now. A Twist In The Myth is such a good album for being a "newer" album. You would expect them to slow down but they are still ripping!


agreed...honestly u should go get every album theyve put out since 1990 (and if u want get the first 2 as well, those seem to be hit and miss for some people).

but it is absolutely definite that it is one of the most influential albums of all time.

u can say that about a lot of 80s Maiden albums lol

daimonos
08-12-2010, 08:53 AM
Wait... WHAT?! Come on man... You need to go out and buy Middle Earth, Night at The Opera, and A Twist in The Myth right now. A Twist In The Myth is such a good album for being a "newer" album. You would expect them to slow down but they are still ripping!

I actually have A Twist in the Myth too, and I love it. I've just never been able to find any of the other ones in stores. I'm going to pick up the new one whenever it comes out though.

SomewhereInTime72
08-12-2010, 10:08 AM
Also, Maiden's SSOASS should be on the list for progressive. Argue all about whether or not it is a truly prog album, but it is absolutely definite that it is one of the most influential albums of all time.

no

Maiden33
08-12-2010, 11:02 AM
There's no way any Blind Guardian fan should prioritize owning A Twist in the Myth before Tales From the Twilight World. Also, don't ignore the new one, it's fantastic.

daimonos
08-12-2010, 11:34 AM
There's no way any Blind Guardian fan should prioritize owning A Twist in the Myth before Tales From the Twilight World. Also, don't ignore the new one, it's fantastic.

I used to have Tales From the Twilight World, and it didn't appeal to me as much as Imaginations and Twist have. I remember there being some pretty good songs on it though, but overall it just didn't do too much for me.

The_jman
08-12-2010, 03:31 PM
I personally prefer mandrake by edguy, but hellfire club is good too.

Wizzbang11
08-12-2010, 03:51 PM
Also, Maiden's SSOASS should be on the list for progressive. Argue all about whether or not it is a truly prog album, but it is absolutely definite that it is one of the most influential albums of all time.

It's my favorite Maiden record, but there is no fucking way it's their most influential, or even that influential at all.

maidenpriest
08-12-2010, 03:57 PM
I personally prefer mandrake by edguy, but hellfire club is good too.

i would rather have Theater of Salvation or Vain Glory Opera instead. but yes Hellfire Club is awesome.

Maiden33
08-12-2010, 03:59 PM
I've long considered Hellfire Club to be Edguy's crowning achievement and one of the best power metal records ever made. But in the context of general opinion, I probably should've included Mandrake instead.

InPatient5100
08-13-2010, 04:29 AM
I'm new to this genre, what band should I start with?

Maiden33
08-13-2010, 05:47 AM
I'm new to this genre, what band should I start with?

Hard to say, both of the two subgenres have a few bands that I think well represent the different styles.

For power metal, try these:

Edguy
Stratovarius
Helloween
Gamma Ray
Blind Guardian

For progressive metal, try these:

Dream Theater
Queensryche
Fates Warning
Symphony X
Evergrey

For specific albums, see my recommendations in the original post.

youngandaspiring
08-13-2010, 06:18 AM
I'm new to this genre, what band should I start with?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XdduPuHhBk

rjturtle9
08-13-2010, 11:33 AM
Edguy
Stratovarius
Helloween
Gamma Ray
Blind Guardian
Hammerfall

For progressive metal, try these:

Dream Theater
Queensryche
Fates Warning
Symphony X
Evergrey




Perfect.

maidenpriest
08-13-2010, 01:38 PM
something that i just noticed, are we not considering Iced Earth to be power metal in this thread? cus i know some ppl dont think they are and others do blah blah. i would say they are, just a different sound from every other power metal band up there.

Maiden33
08-13-2010, 04:49 PM
Perfect.

Nah, Hammerfall is pretty gay. Pretty likely to scare off someone new to the genre unless they really like cheese.

something that i just noticed, are we not considering Iced Earth to be power metal in this thread? cus i know some ppl dont think they are and others do blah blah. i would say they are, just a different sound from every other power metal band up there.

I don't really consider Iced Earth power metal, but for the purpose of this list I did - Something Wicked made the cut.

The_jman
08-14-2010, 11:16 AM
I've long considered Hellfire Club to be Edguy's crowning achievement and one of the best power metal records ever made. But in the context of general opinion, I probably should've included Mandrake instead.
when you originally recommended edguy to me a whole long time ago you listed both hellfire club and mandrake. so its thanks to you I like either album.

JuuKun
08-15-2010, 01:35 PM
A bunch of unorganized thoughts regarding the list:


Mandrake is definitely, IMO, the essential Edguy album.

Good call on choosing one Angra album for each vocalist. I probably would have chosen Holy Land over Angels Cry, though, and I would have chosen a different Primal Fear album (either Black Sun or Nuclear Fire).

I find myself agreeing with most of the album choices, though. I think I prefer Infinity Divine just a bit over Celestial Entrance as far as Pagan's Mind albums go, but CE was the album that got me into metal when it was released, so, it's a fine choice.

My favorite Gamma Ray album is No World Order, but I definitely think Land of the Free is the album that belongs here.

The only solid disagreement I have is Nocturnal Rites. I think I'd actually choose either Tales of Mystery and Imagination or Shadowland.

Props for listing Dominici on a list like this, I don't see them mentioned often.

I can really only think of three bands missing:
Conception - Flow
Freak Kitchen - Organic
Manticora - Hyperion

One last thing: Oh god yes, Christ.0 and Burn the Sun SO belong on this list. :party:

Fe Maiden
08-18-2010, 07:55 AM
Enigmatic: Calling is PM's masterpiece.I think he got it right with Celestial Entrance. I would put V The Mythology Suite for Symphony X though over Divine Wings.

Maiden33
08-18-2010, 10:02 PM
I think he got it right with Celestial Entrance. I would put V The Mythology Suite for Symphony X though over Divine Wings.

I prefer V to Divine Wings, but I think Divine Wings is overall favored better and a better introduction album.

xStructualDefect
08-18-2010, 10:13 PM
I prefer V to Divine Wings, but I think Divine Wings is overall favored better and a better introduction album.

this.

jhdeity
08-18-2010, 10:16 PM
2 words... The Warning

Maiden33
08-18-2010, 10:28 PM
2 words... The Warning

Easily would've made the list if not for my "One album per band unless its a two-part thing". Without a doubt my second favorite Queensryche album.

maidenpriest
08-19-2010, 11:57 AM
for me Divine Wings is a little more consistent of an album than V. i never liked the interludes in that album plus Absence of Light was more of a meh song for me.

InPatient5100
08-22-2010, 03:00 AM
Opeth - Blackwater Park I particularly enjoy.