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Power Metal is one of those very much European metal subgenres, mainly through it's influences through norse mythology, European folklore and European classical music.

Which is great and all, but I have often thought to myself: Wouldn't it be great to get more Power Metal with thematical and instrumental influences from other cultures?
I know that some bands occassionally like to dabble in the area of Arabian Nights, but I feel there is so much potential here for bands to actually specialise in this stuff.

So, does anybody know any Power Metal bands - or even Folk Metal bands, come to think of it - that are a bit more "exotic" that way?

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Power Metal is one of those very much European metal subgenres, mainly through it's influences through norse mythology, European folklore and European classical music.
Which is great and all, but I have often thought to myself: Wouldn't it be great to get more Power Metal with thematical and instrumental influences from other cultures?
I know that some bands occassionally like to dabble in the area of Arabian Nights, but I feel there is so much potential here for bands to actually specialise in this stuff.
So, does anybody know any Power Metal bands - or even Folk Metal bands, come to think of it - that are a bit more "exotic" that way?
Power metal began as mostly an American genre, but it has been dominated by Europe since the 90's (and has stagnated as a result, but that's neither here nor there). For the most part, it has always kind of stuck to the conventional and less adventurous side of things. You might have some success with folk metal coming from countries outside of the regular spectrum, it seems like there are a few Asian bands popping up these days that might fit the bill.

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18 hours ago, Balor said:

My recommendation would be to go to Encyclopedia Metallum and start playing around with the advanced search feature.

I will do that!

 

14 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said:

Power metal began as mostly an American genre, but it has been dominated by Europe since the 90's (and has stagnated as a result, but that's neither here nor there). For the most part, it has always kind of stuck to the conventional and less adventurous side of things.

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I am not really here to discuss these things, I can only judge things from the best of my own knowledge. And aside from Manowar (who I do not listen to) I don't actually know any popular powermetal bands that aren't European but I might be biased based on being European myself. ;)

Well, I have heard a few South American bands, but they don't really seem to incorporate any of their own cultures into their music, which is a shame (it's always just dragons, fighting with swords and all that jazz). Would love to hear some stuff based on South American mythologies.

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I am not really here to discuss these things, I can only judge things from the best of my own knowledge. And aside from Manowar (who I do not listen to) I don't actually know any popular powermetal bands that aren't European but I might be biased based on being European myself. 
Well, I have heard a few South American bands, but they don't really seem to incorporate any of their own cultures into their music, which is a shame (it's always just dragons, fighting with swords and all that jazz). Would love to hear some stuff based on South American mythologies.
Manowar isn't really power metal, despite influencing it a great deal. I do love their early stuff though. There are a lot of heavy/power metal recommendations in the "great albums" thread pinned to the top of the Power Metal genre section in this site, so you can check out a lot of the American bands that pioneered the power metal sound there if you feel so inclined. Stuff like early Savatage, Jag Panzer, Helstar, Vicious Rumors, Liege Lord, Crimson Glory, etc... are some of my favorites in the genre and are worth at least hearing once. I can't say that I hate the European sound, I just wish modern bands had a bit more teeth like Running Wild and Blind Guardian.

I'm not certain of the reason, but power metal just doesn't seem that inclined to incorporate native elements as other metal genres do. Other than folk metal bands, black and death metal groups seem to be the most adventurous in this way. I'm sure that it could be cool in power metal if it was well done, maybe some bands are doing this now and just aren't on many people's radar.

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3 hours ago, Buttercheese said:

Well, I have heard a few South American bands, but they don't really seem to incorporate any of their own cultures into their music, which is a shame (it's always just dragons, fighting with swords and all that jazz). Would love to hear some stuff based on South American mythologies.

Isn't dragons and fantasy the core theme of power metal though?  Power metal seems to be much more focused thematically than other subgenres.  If you want to hear reflections of different cultures in metal music, you might have better luck with black metal.

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Isn't dragons and fantasy the core theme of power metal though?  Power metal seems to be much more focused thematically than other subgenres.  If you want to hear reflections of different cultures in metal music, you might have better luck with black metal.
As the genre became one-dimensional, so did the tropes and themes associated with it. In other words, it wasn't always this way, but it has really narrowed it's focus.

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19 minutes ago, BlutAusNerd said:

As the genre became one-dimensional, so did the tropes and themes associated with it. In other words, it wasn't always this way, but it has really narrowed it's focus.

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That's too bad.  Perhaps this narrowing of focus will inspire someone to break away and create something new.

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Well, Orden Ogan's been doing their own themes, some more dark steam/gothic punk (Easton Hope), post-apocalyptic winter (To the End) and western (Gunmen). So the potential really is there. And one could argue (and Wikipedia supports this, at the very least) that Alestorm and Running Wild are both Power Metal, and we all know what their songs tend to be about :P 

Imo one of the most defining parts of the subgenre - aside from the sound - is that it's about taking the listener to strange worlds, to tell them a story of the fantastic and forgotten. It's just that most bands seem to think that this only includes whatever standard Lord of the Rings inspired fantasy is about, because that's where way back in the day Dio started. I'd just personally like to see more diverse settings.

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Well, Orden Ogan's been doing their own themes, some more dark steam/gothic punk (Easton Hope), post-apocalyptic winter (To the End) and western (Gunmen). So the potential really is there. And one could argue (and Wikipedia supports this, at the very least) that Alestorm and Running Wild are both Power Metal, and we all know what their songs tend to be about  
Imo one of the most defining parts of the subgenre - aside from the sound - is that it's about taking the listener to strange worlds, to tell them a story of the fantastic and forgotten. It's just that most bands seem to think that this only includes whatever standard Lord of the Rings inspired fantasy is about, because that's where way back in the day Dio started. I'd just personally like to see more diverse settings.
Running Wild and Alestorm are definitely power metal (power/folk metal in Alestorm's case), since "pirate metal" isn't a genre.

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10 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said:

Running Wild and Alestorm are definitely power metal (power/folk metal in Alestorm's case), since "pirate metal" isn't a genre. emoji16.png

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@True Belief loves Running Wild. He can't get enough of them. 

As for Alestorm being power metal, I can sort of see it if I squint.

Ok, pirate metal may not be a genre, but I think you're right in referencing folk metal in connection to them. They're much more folk than they are power. All their best songs have folk metal jigs and jaunts. 'Fucked With an Anchor' is a classic. If they were any more Scottish they'd be haggis. 

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