Originally Posted by Jibrille
Check out Seventh Wonder. Great progressive metal band featuring the new lead singer of Kamelot.
Earlier Sonata Arctica
And if you're willing to check out progressive with some death grunts check out Orphaned Land and Opeth
The cool thing about metal, is there's alot of it and it is all over the map.
I'll second Orhapned Land. I very much enjoy 2010 Never Ending Way of Orwarrior...although it may suffer from "everything but the kitchen sink" itus. Pretty darn ambitious.
I'm going to post here some of my favorite-over the top, throw in everything but the kitchen sink epic symphonic recommends. When I think of power metal, there is also some cross over into symphonic metal. I'm going to address this style. If you have no interest, just skip this post.
Power metal sometimes morphs into symphonic metal which sometimes morphs into goth metal. It's too bad, because when people read the word goth, they think of HS kids with make up and black nail polish. But, there are some pretty good bands-mostly European as it seems to be a European style that is fading into the sunset.
So, without further adieu, if you want to look into symphonic metal in general which sometimes has a power metal similarity, there are some good operatic metal bands.
I think Therion is worth checking out especially if you have any interest in arcane mythology. Particularly their 2004 double disc Lemuria/Sirius B is breathtaking IMO. Allmusic states, 21-track explosion of classical, choral, and heavy metal excess. When I first heard it I fell in love w/ this group because they were so unique sounding to me. But, let's just say they over the top to put it mildly. Gothic Kaballah and Secret of Runes (which is entirely based on Norse mythology) are good too. Yes, there is a dork factor here, but if you are in the mood for sweeping Epic stuff-It's highly recommended.
If you like these kinds of ambitious epic music events, Tristania perfected a kind of goth metal that used to be referred to as "beauty and the beast" vocals with alternating gorgeous female vocals alternating with DM growls and sometimes clean male baritone vocals. 1999's Beyond the Veil is sort of a classic-lush with lots of strings, etc. It's not power metal, but I think their is a kind of cross over-we're talking epic sounding orchestrated metal. World of Glass continues the theme and is quite strong for this style. I also like Ashes which brings in some BM influences and then Illumination is mostly female vocals but quite classy sounding. They dump the metal styling here, and it is basically a goth hard rock sound, but very well done.
And for something different, the heavy metal blog BNR metal pages has turned me on to a variety of experimentalish bands or at least bands that I probably wouldn't have heard of.
Also in the operatic realm (a style I would never have guessed I would like having absolutely NO interest in opera otherwise) I really like an Australian band called Virgin Black.
In 2007-8, they released two albums. It was actually supposed to be a trilogy. But, I've only found two parts. One was equal parts metal and opera the other more metal and less opera. The more opera version Requiem: Mezzo forte. I really like it, but the first time I heard it I was puzzled-it is a lot of classical and opera mixed in with dynamic doomish/gothish metal. They hired a symphony and hired professional opera singers and the vocalist studied under an operatic coach. The second disc, Requiem: Fortissimo, the band switches gears into primarily doom death with operatic overtures. Sort of old school doom death with classical opera touches. Sounds weird as hell-but I'm telling you-it is quite a listen.
OK and getting my full dork operatic power metal thing on here, I think Nightwish's 2004 release Century Child is excellent.
I'll just close by saying, I get into these metal phases. These are styles that I've largely grown out of. But, I'm sure I'll revisit these albums again.