Power metal (Eng. Power metal, from Eng. Power chord - a chord of sounds in a fifth and an octave) - one of the areas of metal that developed in the second half of the 80s of the XX century.
Power metal is characterized by a higher execution speed than the "classic" heavy metal, and more melodic than speed metal and thrash metal. The main attributes of the genre are speed, complexity and melody of guitar parts, clean high vocals (sometimes with screaming inserts) and backing vocals. Compared to many other types of rock music, power metal is quite peppy and optimistic music (sometimes it is jokingly called “happy metal” - “funny metal”). The texts are usually devoted to fiction and the Middle Ages (fantasy). This genre is most widespread in Europe, especially in Germany and Finland.
Lyrics are more optimistic than most of the lyrics in metal in general. Most bands working in power metal gravitate towards the plot unity of created albums, recording peculiar metal operas, often based on literary works.
Vocals in power metal are usually “clean”, as opposed to vocals in death and black metal, so the vocal parts are performed by fairly trained singers. Following the traditions of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, power metal vocalists tend to sing in high voices and often even falsetto. Singers such as Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch often use vocal polyphony when recording albums, dating back to Queen. Some groups for recording or live performances attract choirs. Often used female opera vocals (usually soprano). However, many groups of this genre, along with clear vocals, still use screaming inserts. Typically, these are performers who have not completely moved away from speed metal roots (the same Blind Guardian, late Sonata Arctica, etc.).
Many groups also use keyboards, which, however, are not the dominant tool. They only create a certain background in the music. But still, some groups, for example, the Italian Rhapsody, constantly use keyboard and symphonic elements in their recordings. Therefore, Rhapsody is often called "Hollywood Metal" for its pompous sound.
Some groups use separate classical instruments (mostly stringed) or entire orchestras when recording or at concerts. The stage solution of live performances is often characterized by dynamism and theatricality, the presence of a large number of costumes and show elements.
Power metal is very popular as a style in Europe, Japan, some countries of South America, and is also becoming more and more popular in North America.