100 Greatest Symphonic Metal Bands

The aesthetic energy and colossal musical structure encompassed in classical elements makes Symphonic metal a unique subgenre in heavy metal. This article brings to life an epic list of the best symphonic metal bands.
100 Greatest Symphonic Metal Bands
Source - https://pixabay.com/en/metal-music-heavy-musical-sound-709692/

Symphonic Metal is a heavy metal subgenre that is characterized with elements of complex time signatures of guitar, drums, bass and keyboards. Varied elements of orchestral classical music are incorporated in song structure.

The Symphonic Metal Sound and Classically Trained Female Singers

Vocalists in symphonic metal are known for their wide vocal range. A number of symphonic metal bands feature operatic vocals that have become an integral part of symphonic musical structure. The complex musical structure of symphonic metal is rooted in classical music. Over the years a number of symphonic bands have emerged with classically trained female singers. With the trend

of classically trained vocalists emerging, symphonic metal has also branched forms such as operatic metal or opera metal. Female singers associated with Symphonic metal and operatic metal are listed below.

  • Tarja Turunen
  • Floor Jansen
  • Simone Simmons
  • Lori Lewis
  • Sharon den Adel
  • Vibeke Stene
  • Liv Kristine
  • Dianne van Giersbergen
  • Ailyn
  • Melissa Ferlaak
  • Heidi Parviainen
  • Manuela Kraller
  • Anette Olzon
  • Lisa Middelhauve
  • Alissa White- Gluz
  • Charlotte Wessels
  • Elisa Martin
  • Amanda Somerville

How Symphonic Metal Came into Being

The roots of symphonic metal are traced in the 80s, when few bands in the gothic metal genre and early death metal genre started experimenting with sectional changes in metal compositions. This breakdown of a long song structure in small parts to develop into a concept or theme paved the way for symphonic metal to come into its own.

The band Therion is credited to having laid the foundation for symphonic metal by incorporating classical compositional techniques and live orchestral elements in their music. Believer a thrash metal band from the United States came up with a song called ‘Dies Irae’. This song which appeared on the Sanity Obscure album is considered one of the earliest symphonic metal songs. A number of symphonic metal bands influenced by power metal and progressive metal came to light by the mid 90s. Post 2000, operatic vocals of classically trained female singers has become a staple in symphonic metal bands.

Symphonic Metal Influences and Themes

Symphonic metal is influenced greatly by early gothic metal and power metal. The song structure of songs in symphonic metal is often built around orchestral composition. Intricate keyboard passages, double bass drum parts, complex guitar solos, solid bass and wide range vocals form the identity of symphonic metal bands.

Furthermore, it’s the lyrical themes in symphonic metal that take the listener on a journey of mythical fantasies and mythological dreamscapes. A lot of progressive elements form the focal point of symphonic metal songs. Like in progressive metal, symphonic metal too brings conceptual imagery in musical parts. The musical structure of certain symphonic metal bands has been often described as ‘epic’

Operatic Voices in Symphonic Metal

A number of symphonic metal bands fronted by female vocalists showcase operatic vocals in songs. Bands that feature operatic voices or perform metal operas are associated with ‘operatic symphonic metal’. While high pitched voices are a common feature in symphonic metal, it is not surprising to come across vocalists that perform signature death growls. Symphonic metal bands are known for being musically diverse without divulging from melodic structure of songs. The element of dirge and romanticism is aesthetically encompassed in ballads that feature operatic vocals accompanied with acoustic instruments. Symphonic metal songs are known for their theatrical buildup in accordance with musical structure forming thematic lyrical interpretations.

Crossover Symphonic Metal

Over the years the term ‘symphonic metal’ is used as an umbrella term to describe any metal band doing songs with orchestral or symphonic elements. A number of progressive metal bands and power metal bands that have symphonic or orchestral elements in their music are associated with symphonic metal.

Generically the term is used with a number of crossover metal bands that have incorporated

diverse orchestral soundscapes in their music. In the late 90s, several Avant-garde metal bands were associated with symphonic metal because of their classical musical structure in compositions. Symphonic metal has evolved a great deal, and the days ahead will see this metal subgenre emerge in new light, perhaps in mainstream

The space below showcases a list of the best symphonic metal bands. The list includes symphonic black metal, symphonic power metal and symphonic progressive metal bands.

If you are a symphonic metal buff, you will have something to say. Feel free to have your say in the comments section.

100 Greatest Symphonic Metal Bands

  1. Therion
  2. Symphony X
  3. Believer
  4. Xandria
  5. Dark Moor
  6. Haggard
  7. Kamelot
  8. Nightwish
  9. Avantasia
  10. Evanescence
  11. Sonata Arctica
  12. Rhapsody of Fire
  13. Epica
  14. Within Temptation
  15. Leaves’ Eyes
  16. Edenbridge
  17. Tristania
  18. Septicflesh
  19. Ayreon
  20. Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  21. Blind Guardian
  22. Wintersun
  23. After Forever
  24. Lacuna Coil
  25. Pathfinder
  26. Serenity
  27. Dol Ammad
  28. Fleshgod Apocalypse
  29. Sirenia
  30. Visions of Atlantis
  31. Lacrimosa
  32. Fairyland
  33. Bal-Sagoth
  34. Delain
  35. Amberian Dawn
  36. Eternal Tears of Sorrow
  37. Krypteria
  38. Ancient Bards
  39. Symfonia
  40. Dimmu Bogir
  41. Adagio
  42. Stravaganzza
  43. Angtoria
  44. Stratovarious
  45. Hollenthon
  46. Serenity
  47. ReVamp
  48. Turisas
  49. Sons of Seasons
  50. Phoenix Rising
  51. Waltari
  52. Twilight Force
  53. Daibulus in Musica
  54. Anorexia Nervosa
  55. Thy Majestie
  56. Lunatica
  57. Dragonland
  58. Carach Angren
  59. Dreamtale
  60. Kerion
  61. Stream of Passion
  62. Versailles
  63. Shade Empire
  64. Virgin Steele
  65. Almora
  66. HB
  67. Coronatus
  68. Divinefire
  69. Kingfisher Sky
  70. Indica
  71. Enslavement of Beauty
  72. Hecate Enthroned
  73. Veni Domine
  74. Trail of Tears
  75. X Japan
  76. Luca Turilli Band
  77. Graveworm
  78. Secret Sphere
  79. Vesperian Sorrow
  80. Mechanical Poets
  81. Hanging Doll
  82. Vesania
  83. ReinXeed
  84. Katra
  85. Nemesea
  86. Amaranthe
  87. Opera 9
  88. Virgin Black
  89. Summoning
  90. Lyriel
  91. Welicoruss
  92. Savior Machine
  93. Imperia
  94. Pythia
  95. Limbonic Art
  96. Suspyre
  97. Nightfall
  98. Winds of Plague
  99. Valkyre
  100. Beyond The Black

Please login to comment on this post.
  • vpaulose  14-09-2017
    I appreciate this post sharing knowledge on music and metal bands. Thank you.
    reply 0
    • realityspeaks  14-09-2017
      Thank you. I'm happy you enjoyed my post on symphonic metal.
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