"Symphonic metal combines music from opposite ends of spectrum" by: Jessica Shepard

  Even though I like nearly all genres of music, there’s one that is nearer and dearer to my heart than most – Symphonic Metal. 
   Now, the basic definition of “symphonic metal” is that it’s a type of rock music featuring heavy metal, classical, symphonic and sometimes even operatic elements. 
   The technical definition says that it’s subgenre of heavy metal music which combines the heavy drums and guitars of metal with different elements of orchestral classical music, such as symphonic instruments, choirs, keyboards and sometimes a full orchestra. 
   So, it not only speaks to my love of rock music but the choir nerd in me as well. 
   Granted, I haven’t been in a choral group for years, but, some of the teachings still ring true and linger. 
   I guess that’s why I’m not terribly fond of auto-tuned pop music. 
   Digitally synthesized and tuned voices just make me cringe! 
   But, I get that some people can’t handle the background growls and screams that just sort of fade into the background of symphonic metal songs for me. 
   I’m here for the actual lyrics and singing, most often the female-fronted bands are the best. 
   Either way, it makes for some of the best background working music for me. 
   What’s also interesting is the amount of TV series and movies using symphonic metal in their soundtracks, too. 
   Even though those versions are largely wordless and aren’t nearly as long as other songs they’re still there. 
   For example most of the soundtrack music for “Pacific Rim,” “Warcraft,” and “300.” 
   And to tell the truth, I listen to symphonic metal when driving, cooking, and cleaning or doing nearly anything and everything. 
   With heavy metal drumming and a distinct melody, it just seems to flow better for me. 
   Plus, if I manage to hear a favored song, I’m prone to sing along. 
   Now, symphonic metal was largely a feature of European bands for many years but has recently gotten stronger stateside. 
   But bands like Symphony X, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Kamelot have roots in the U.S. and have been known about for decades, at least in the metal scene. 
   I do have to say, if you haven’t seen Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert, you’re missing out on an amazing experience! 
   Still, I’ve got plenty of albums by more mainstream international artists Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Apocalyptica and Within Temptation. 
   It’s hard to say which country or region generates the most symphonic metal bands, but I’m thinking it’s more prevalent in places like Germany, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. 
   Which is, coincidentally, where a lot of other normal heavy metal bands come from. 
   Regardless, I’m an avid fan of symphonic metal because it combines music from opposite ends of the spectrum and manages to provide music to fit any mood.  


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