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OTHER GREAT BANDS

Iron Maiden is a brilliant band, but is not the only great one on the Metal scene. These are a few examples of other bands worth listening to, although the list is far from being exhaustive. The ones listed here are bands I personally like and that I am familiar with. If you notice that a band you like is missing from the list, it may be that I don't know them well enough to put them there yet, or simply that I feel that they don't deserve to appear here. The album ratings are given by me and equally subjective. The great bands I selected are the following:

Want to know something about a Metal band? Check out the link below!
The BNR Metal Pages

 

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Bæleron's Introduction

Iron Maiden fans often ask me if I know of any other bands that sound like Maiden. I completely understand this desire for more great music, because even the best albums eventually get stale and the need for fresh new music becomes strong. Unfortunately, Iron Maiden is completely unique – I've never heard any other band that produces original material who sounds like Iron Maiden, with maybe the exception of Tierra Santa. However, there are some excellent bands who incorporate some of the elements that make Iron Maiden great, while retaining their own sound and style. Some of these important elements are:

MUSICIANSHIP    

This is an extremely important aspect of any type of music. I love a good guitar solo or a ripping metal riff, and although music need not be overly complex to be powerful I prefer musicians who are experts at what they do. (This pretty much automatically disqualifies all alternative/grunge music).

 
MUSICAL
DEPTH

This one is harder to define since much of it relies on somewhat intangible qualities. But in some sense it's music that has some stylistic variation and non-standard song structure. I especially like songs containing long instrumental sections, and I also tend to prefer music that takes awhile to sink in and fully appreciate. If music is too quickly accessible, it also tends to grow old and boring quickly.

 
INTELLIGENT
LYRICS

This is the downfall of many bands that otherwise would be quite good. If the lyrics are stupid or boring then the greatest musicianship in the world won't be enough to save the music. I particularly detest mindless "party" lyrics, and most romantic music is lame as well. Also, I will not listen to music that is racist, sexist, or otherwise offends my philosophical views.

Needless to say, these elements are not easy to achieve and there are not many bands that can measure up. Searching for such music can be a frustrating and expensive experience. So in the hope maybe helping a few Iron Maiden fans to find other excellent music, I'll list a few of my favourite bands here. The list isn't complete because I am also continuing to search and explore new bands. But these represent my currently favourite non-Maiden music which might best appeal to Iron Maiden fans.

Bæleron

 

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Angra – Official Website

This Brazilian band is probably the best known worldwide, along with their compatriots from Sepultura. Led by guitarists Kiko Loureiro and Rafael Bittencourt, their fame was acquired in the 1990s with brilliant vocalist Andre Matos, who sadly left the band to form Shaman, leading many to believe that the band was dead. However, with the equally brilliant singer Eduardo Falaschi and a fantastic new rhythm section composed of Felipe Andreoli and Aquiles Priester – respectively on the bass and drums – the band got a second lease of life and performed magnificently both on their studio albums and live on stage. Their Power/Melodic Metal orientation should please many Iron Maiden fans.

    Discography:
1993 Angels Cry
1994 Evil Warning E.P.
1996 Holy Land
1996 Freedom Call E.P.
1997 Holy Live E.P.
1998 Fireworks
2001 Rebirth
2002 Hunters And Prey E.P.
2002 Rebirth World Tour – Live In Sao Paulo
2004 Temple Of Shadows
 

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Astral Doors – Official Website

For those who are into Black Sabbath of the post-Ozzy period, this band will be a treat. Not only do those Swedes write songs that are as brilliant as any Sabbath classics, but the singer, namely Mr. Nils Patrik Johansson, has probably one of the best voices that ever were in the Heavy Metal genre. They are great to listen to on your hifi, formidable on stage, and very nice people to meet after the concert. Their musical talent is only equalled by the humility they show when you chat with them. No Rock Star attitude there, but the really down-to-earth behaviour of those who do a great job and who know that, regardless of the talent deployed, life is also about having as much fun as you can.

    Discography:
2003 Of The Son And The Father
2005 Evil Is Forever
 

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Ayreon – Official Website

Ayreon is a series of rock operas featuring many international guest-musicians – including Bruce Dickinson on one of the albums! It is Arjen Lucassen's main project, although he also works on various side-projects, such as Star One to name but this one.

Although this is not strictly-speaking Metal, but more Progressive Rock, most metallers – and indeed Iron Maiden fans! – appreciate this music. Many of the singers who participated to the project in fact come from Metal bands, and the music itself has sometimes a hard metallic edge that cannot be found in other "Prog" bands. All albums are very good, although I'd recommend to start with either Universal Migrator Parts 1 & 2 (2004 re-release) or Into The Electric Castle (also the 2004 re-issue).

    Discography:
1995 The Final Experiment
1996 Actual Fantasy
1998 Into The Electric Castle
2000 The Dream Sequencer
2000 Flight of the Migrator
2000 Ayreonauts Only
2001 Fate of a Dreamer (Ambeon)
2002 Space Metal (Star One)
2003 Live on Earth (Star One)
2004 The Human Equation
2004 Into the Electric Castle (re-issue)
2004 Universal Migrator pt. 1 & 2 (re-issue)
2004 Actual Fantasy: Revisited
 

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Black Sabbath – Official Website

It is impossible to ignore these grand-daddies of Metal, as they have influenced virtually every band that went into the genre. Whether you're a fan of the early days with Ozzy or an afficionado of the later years, with fantastic singers like Ronnie James Dio or Tony Martin, every Sabbath album has got something for you. When Metal didn't exist, Sabbath invented it.

    Discography:
1970 Black Sabbath
1970 Paranoid
1971 Master Of Reality
1972 Vol. 4
1973 Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
1975 Sabotage
1975 We Sold Our Souls For Rock'n'Roll
1977 Technical Ecstasy
1978 Never Say Die
1980 Heaven And Hell
1981 Mob Rules
1983 Live Evil
1983 Born Again
1986 Seventh Star
1987 The Eternal Idol
1989 Headless Cross
1990 Tyr
1992 Dehumanizer
1994 Cross Purposes
1995 Cross Purposes Live
1995 Forbidden
1996 The Sabbath Stones
1998 Reunion
 

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Blaze – Official Website

Are there any Maiden fans who don't know who Blaze is? Former Wolfsbane frontman Blaze Bayley – real name Bayley Cook – joined Iron Maiden after Bruce Dickinson left, back in 1993. His tenure within 'Arry's band gave birth to two albums they should all be proud of: the magnificent X Factor and the "not-so-good-but-still-pretty-decent" Virtual XI. During his time with Maiden, from 1995 to 1998, Blaze was quite unjustly reviled by some so-called "real" fans and his courage has to be acknowledged for putting up with some pr**ks who were bashing him during the concerts. This particular period of his life is now over and done with, and the singer has moved on to pastures new where he can present effectively his talent to the world.

His new band, B L A Z E, is nowadays one of the best bands of the Metal scene. Musically, they are all talented artists who deliver an efficient and sophisticated Metal, and the lyrical content of the songs has a depth that has rarely been seen. Whoever likes Metal will love any of the releases they have made. The live album is strongly recommended to start with, as it gives a good sample of the songs as well as a very good impression of the energy the band deploys on stage. The live rendition of 'Sign Of The Cross' is particularly impressive and even buries the one that can be found on Maiden's Rock In Rio album!

Blaze himself is very close to his fans and does not hesitate to go for a drink or two with them after his gigs. His stage presence is only equalled by the kindness he demonstrates when you talk to him. Don't miss any gig near you, talent and kindness are such a rare combination these days that they really need to be appreciated!

    Discography:
2000 Silicon Messiah
2002 Tenth Dimension
2003 As Live As It Gets
2004 Blood & Belief
 

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Blind Guardian – Official Website

Blind Guardian is a German band that's been around since the mid-80s and who released their first album, Battalions Of Fear in 1988. Their unique combination of speed-metal rhythm, harmonic lead and choruses, and intelligent lyrics creates the perfect mood for their fantasy-based themes. Blind Guardian's greatest album, Nightfall In Middle Earth, is a brilliantly crafted concept album based on J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece novel The Silmarillion. It is a little less speed-metal oriented than their earlier albums, and I recommend it as a first album for Iron Maiden fans who haven't heard Blind Guardian before.

    Discography:
1988 Battalions Of Fear
1989 Follow The Blind
1990 Tales From The Twilight World
1992 Somewhere Far Beyond
1993 Tokyo Tales
1995 Imaginations From The Other Side
1996 The Forgotten Tales
1998 Nightfall In Middle-Earth
2002 A Night At The Opera
2003 Live
 

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Brainstorm – Official Website

Brainstorm is yet another German Power Metal band like the country produces thirteen a dozen every year. However, this band really stands out in comparison to the others and their music – inspired by various other similar bands – is improving with every new release. It shouldn't therefore be considered just another copycat, but an independent band that produces its own style of music while taking its roots in the "traditional" Teutonic Power Metal.

    Discography:
1997 Hungry
1998 Unholy
2000 Ambiguity
2001 Metus Mortis
2003 Soul Temptation
 

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Bruce Dickinson – Official Website

It is difficult to imagine any Maiden fan not knowing who Bruce Dickinson is, but there are probably quite a few who haven't yet tried his solo albums. Some of the earlier albums are a mixed bag, especially Skunkworks. which is more like what is called nowadays "Nu-Metal", and therefore less appreciated by the purists for Metal. But Accident Of Birth and The Chemical Wedding are two of the most brilliant and impressive albums of the Metal realm, and there is also a fantastic live recording available called Scream For Me Brazil. Not coincidentally, all of these feature none other than Adrian Smith and Roy Z on guitar, and the sound is probably as close to Iron Maiden as you'll ever find. Bruce's exceptionally deep subject matter is matched by the music's complexity of emotion and power, making these albums a necessity for every Maiden fan. If you haven't heard these two albums, Accident Of Birth and The Chemical Wedding, do not eat or sleep until you own them!

    Discography:
1990 Tatooed Millionaire
1994 Balls To Picasso
1995 Alive In Studio A
1996 Skunkworks
1997 Accident Of Birth
1998 The Chemical Wedding
1999 Scream For Me Brazil
2001 Best Of...
2005 Tyranny Of Souls
 

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Children Of Bodom – Official Website

To many fans of Iron Maiden, the music of Children of Bodom might seem slightly unpalatable. The harsh black metal style vocals are not everyone’s cup of tea, but mixed with the fast instrumentation reminiscent of power metal and an aggressive dose of heaviness, the result is a very energetic and powerful sound, which keeps an excellent ear for melody throughout. Superb guitar and keyboard riffs really hold the sound together, and add a unique quality to this brilliant Finnish band. Whether the vocals are to everyone’s tastes, they complement the music perfectly, and this band creates music which is not only extreme and uplifting but also irresistibly catchy. Definitely worth exploring, whatever your tastes!

    Discography:
1997 Something Wild
1999 Hatebreeder
1999 Tokyo Warhearts
2000 Follow The Reaper
2003 Hatecrew Deathroll
 

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Cradle Of Filth – Offical Website

The use of keyboards and female vocals, on top of the more mainstream status of Cradle of Filth has caused many black metal purists to condemn them, but these elitist views aside, Cradle of Filth are a very talented and interesting band. The subject matter of their music includes vampires and erotica, and this is well conveyed by the band’s sound. A mix of atmospheric elements and energetic musicianship creates an epic and haunting sound on which the versatile vocals of Dani Filth are able to add a lot to the band – much improved by the quality of the lyrics, which are poetic and very impressively written. While the musical style is perhaps unfavourable among many Maiden fans, Cradle of Filth are undoubtedly a skilled and original band, and well deserving of recognition!

Here is a brief example of their lyrics:

    Raped of faith, She now embraced
    The narcissistic unrest frozen on the mirror's face
    With this disdain, inside these veins
    (Highborn wanton that She was) she sought to keep what age would claim
    Her soul was sold and for this toll
    Reeking pyres ever smouldered on the whims of one so in control
    Elizabeth, mysterious.
    Cruelty brought thee orchids from the bowels of the abyss

    – From 'Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids', 1998

It is recommended to start with Cruelty And The Beast or Nymphetamine and then work your way backwards through the earlier albums.

    Discography:
1994 The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh
1996 V Empire
1996 Dusk... And Her Embrace
1998 Cruelty And The Beast
1999 From The Cradle To Enslave
2000 Midian
2001 Bitter Suites To Succubi
2002 Lovecraft & Witch Hearts
2002 Live Bait For The Dead
2003 Damnation and a Day
2004 Nymphetamine
 

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Dark Tranquillity – Official Website

This band has defined the Gothenburg Melodic/Death Metal sound. Many have compared them to their compatriots of In Flames or to the Danes of Withering Surface, but their style is fairly unique. Like them or loathe them, they are still at the edge of the Metal evolution they started to define. The best album to start with is probably Damage Done, or maybe Projector if you're into music that's both melancholic and powerful.

    Discography:
1993 Skydancer
1995 The Gallery
1997 The Mind's I
1999 Projector
2000 Haven
2002 Damage Done
2005 Character
 

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Ronnie James Dio – Official Website

Ronnie James Dio cannot be described as anything other than a heavy metal legend, with a career spanning three decades. He first came to prominence as the vocalist for Rainbow, and then joined Black Sabbath and helped them create possibly the most inspired albums of their careers, Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules. Then Dio went solo and, in the early 80s, produced some of the most classic heavy metal albums of all time. Holy Diver, The Last In Line, Sacred Heart, and Dream Evil – these are the legendary albums of Dio's solo career. It's not speed metal at all, but instead tends to be quite slow, heavy, and full of emotion. Dio's instantly recognisable voice and fantasy-based songs make him a metal icon who will always have a place in Metal's hall of fame.

1972 Elf Elf
1974 L.A./59 Elf
1974 Carolina County Ball Elf
1975 Trying To Burn The Sun Elf
1975 Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow Rainbow
1976 Rainbow Rising Rainbow
1977 Rainbow On Stage Rainbow
1978 Long Live Rock'n'Roll Rainbow
1980 Heaven And Hell Black Sabbath
1981 Mob Rules Black Sabbath
1981 Chase The Rainbow Rainbow
1981 The Best Of Rainbow Rainbow
1983 Live Evil Black Sabbath
1983 Holy Diver Dio
1984 The Last In Line Dio
1985 Sacred Heart Dio
1986 Finyl Vinyl Rainbow
1986 Intermission Dio
1987 Dream Evil Dio
1990 Lock Up The Wolves Dio
1992 Dehumanizer Black Sabbath
1994 Strange Highways Dio
1996 Angry Machines Dio
1998 Inferno / Last In Live Dio
2000 Magica Dio
2002 Killing The Dragon Dio
2004 Master Of The Moon Dio
 

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Dream Theater – Official Website

When people talk about "Prog Metal", the first name that comes to mind is that of Dream Theater. The amazing technical skills of the musicians have defined the style itself – sometimes to boredom, some may add! However, this band is incredibly relaxing to listen to, from their more aggressive beginnings to their rather intricate later productions. They are also Iron Maiden fans and proved it by covering The Number Of The Beast album on stage in its entirety.

    Discography:
1989 When Dream And Day Unite
1992 Images And Words
1993 Live At The Marquee
1994 Awake
1995 A Change Of Seasons
1997 Falling Into Infinity
1998 Once In A LiveTime
1999 Scenes From A Memory
2001 Live Scenes From New York
2002 Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
2003 Train Of Thought
 

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Helloween – Official Website

Helloween is a German band that tends to be very popular with Iron Maiden fans. Although they are often said to sound similar to Maiden, I haven't been able to agree. They have a unique combination of speed-metal rhythm, melodic leads, and harmonic choruses that is quite unlike Iron Maiden's sound, yet somehow similar in power and energy. The albums Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I and Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II are arguably their best, and on these albums the powerful vocal range of Michael Kiske is in the same league with Bruce Dickinson and Geoff Tate. Although Helloween can be considered somewhat more upbeat than many other metal bands, but they are definitely worth exploring if you're into fast melodic power-metal.

    Discography:
1985 Walls Of Jericho
1987 Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Part I
1988 Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Part II
1989 Live In The UK
1989 Pumpkin Tracks
1991 Pink Bubbles Go Ape
1991 The Best – The Rest – The Rare
1993 Chameleon
1994 Master Of The Rings
1996 The Time Of The Oath
1996 High Live
1998 Better Than Raw
1999 Metal Jukebox
2000 The Dark Ride
2002 Treasure Chest
2003 Rabbit Don't Come Easy
 

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Iced Earth – Official Homepage

Iced Earth have been called the saviors of American metal, and they probably deserve it. They originate in the speed-metal explosion of the late 1980s and have proven to be one of the most talented and versatile metal bands of the 1990s. The creative force of Iced Earth is rhythm guitarist and composer Jon Schaffer, who can be compared with Steve Harris in songwriting skill and pure creativity. Iced Earth's earlier albums tend to be faster and more speed-oriented, while their most recent albums, The Dark Saga, Something Wicked This Way Comes and Horror Show, are somewhat slower with more harmonies. But all of Iced Earth's albums are powerful, intelligent, spellbinding, and heartily recommended! For Iron Maiden fans, I would recommend starting with the live album Alive In Athens. This is truly one of the best live albums ever recorded, completely on par with Maiden's Live After Death, and it gives a great sampling of materal from each of Iced Earth's albums.

    Discography:
1991 Iced Earth
1992 Night of the Stormrider
1995 Burnt Offerings
1996 The Dark Saga
1997 Days of Purgatory
1998 Something Wicked This Way Comes
1999 Melancholy E.P. (Limited edition)
1999 Alive In Athens
2001 Melancholy E.P. (Re-edition)
2001 Horror Show
2003 The Reckoning E.P.
2004 The Glorious Burden
2004 The Blessed and the Damned
 

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Judas Priest – Official Website

These dinosaurs of Metal are one of the most influencial bands of the genre – actually, 80s Metal sound owes a lot to them and many riffs of that era have this recognisable "Priest" touch to them. The history of Judas Priest and that of Iron Maiden are also intertwined, and the "Great Old Ones" gave a then brand new little band a chance to open for them in the early 80s. Without Priest, Maiden would have had to wait a bit longer before achieving the fame that we all know. Although their discography has its ups and downs, this band still deserves to appear in an "other great bands" listing.

    Discography:
1974 Rocka Rolla
1976 Sad Wings Of Destiny
1977 Sin After Sin
1978 Stained Class
1978 Hell Bent For Leather
1979 Unleashed In The East
1980 British Steel
1981 Point Of Entry
1982 Screaming For Vengeance
1984 Defenders Of The Faith
1986 Turbo
1987 Priest ... Live!
1988 Ram It Down
1990 Painkiller
1993 Metal Works 73–93 (Compilation)
1997 Jugulator
1998 98 Live Meltdown
2001 Demolition
2003 Live In London
2005 Angel Of Retribution
 

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Manigance – Official Website

Like many other great bands that could (should?) have made it really big, the fact that the songs are in their mother-tongue – French as is happens – prevented this band to reach an international audience. Nevertheless, their music is extremely powerful and showcases Heavy Metal at its best. The lyrics are deep and intelligent, but non-French-speakers may fail to recognise it. Just let the music carry you, as Manigance plays the best Heavy Metal that was ever engineered in France since Trust.

    Discography:
1997 Signe De Vie
2002 Ange Ou Démon
2004 D'un Autre Sang
2005 Mémoires... live
 

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Megadeth – Official Website

Founded by former Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine, Megadeth has gone through many line-up changes and has evolved from sheer Thrash aggression to more intricate Metal throughout their career. Mustaine never hid his admiration for Iron Maiden (he even appears in the Number Of The Beast "Making Of" video) and, although very different from Harris's band, some influence from Maiden can be felt here or there. The quality of the albums is fairly uneven, but tribute must be paid to this band – this man? – who had a vision and did their best to make it real.

    Discography:
1985 Killing Is My Business
1986 Peace Sells, But Who's Buying?
1988 So Far, So Good, So What
1990 Rust In Peace
1992 Countdown To Extinction
1994 Youthanasia
1995 Hidden Treasures
1997 Cryptic Writings
1999 Risk
2000 Capitol Punishment (Compilation)
2001 The World Needs A Hero
2002 Rude Awakening
2002 Still Alive... And Well?
2004 The System Has Failed
 

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Metallica – Official Website

Surely every rock fan in the world has heard of Metallica and knows what they currently sound like. But it's possible that some younger fans might not be familiar with Metallica's classic earlier material. During the 1980s, Metallica produced some of the most powerful and creative albums of the metal genre – Kill'em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, and ...And Justice For All. These albums contain strong speed-metal elements (Metallica helped pioneer the genre), and the sound is quite different from that of Iron Maiden, yet similar in the depth and breadth of material. It's also very different from Metallica's current sound. If you haven't yet explored Metallica's 80s albums, then you're in for a treat.

    Discography:
1983 Kill'em All
1984 Ride The Lightning
1986 Master Of Puppets
1987 Garage Days Re-Revisited
1988 ...And Justice For All
1991 Metallica (also known as The Black Album)
1996 Load
1997 ReLoad
1998 Garage Inc.
1999 S & M
2003 St. Anger
 

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Motörhead – Official Website

This is probably the "meanest, dirtiest, fastest and loudest band in the world". If you're into fast and greasy down-to-earth Heavy Rock, Lemmy's crew is the very best there is. They are Motörhead. Need I say more?

    Discography:
1976 On Parole
1977 Motörhead
1979 Overkill
1979 Bomber
1980 Ace Of Spades
1981 No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith
1982 Iron Fist
1983 Another Perfect Day
1984 No Remorse
1985 The Birthday Party
1986 Orgasmatron
1987 Rock 'n' Roll
1990 No Sleep At All
1991 1916
1992 March Or Die
1993 Bastards
1995 Sacrifice
1996 Overnight Sensation
1998 Snake Bite Love
1999 Everything Louder Than Everyone Else
2000 We Are Motörhead
2000 The Best Of Motörhead
2002 Hammered
2003 Live At Brixton Academy – The Complete Concert
2004 Inferno
 

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Queensryche – Official Website

Before they started to change their style, Queensrÿche created some of the most creative and brilliant albums of the 1980s. Geoff Tate's voice was one of the most powerful and dynamic in rock, equalled perhaps only by Bruce Dickinson and Michael Kiske. Superb songwriting and musicianship coupled with deep and intelligent lyrics make 80s Queensrÿche unforgettable. Although they nowadays sound quite different, they still have produced good records.in the 90s. They only became disappointing with Hear In The Now Frontier and their subsequent studio releases.

Anyway, especially notable are their 1988 masterpiece, Operation: Mindcrime, and the great 1994 album (in a different syle), Promised Land, these two being in my opinion among the best concept-albums ever made.

    Discography:
1983 Queensrÿche E.P.
1984 The Warning
1986 Rage For Order
1988 Operation: Mindcrime
1990 Empire
1992 Operation: Livecrime
1994 Promised Land
1997 Hear In The Now Frontier
1999 Q2k
2000 Greatest Hits
2001 Operation: Livecrime (Re-release)
2001 Live Evolution
2001 Classic Masters
2003 Tribe
2004 The Art Of Live
2006 Operation: Mindcrime II
 

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Rage – Official Website

Releasing their first album and E.P. under the moniker of Avenger in the mid-eighties, Rage only acquired their distinctive sound and style a few years later. Their association with an orchestra on the albums Lingua Mortis and XIII was particularly well done and successful, but their later albums returned to their raw Power Metal origins – also very successfully! To discover the band, I would recommend either of their "orchestral" albums, or those with the current line-up (Wagner/Smolski/Terrana), like Unity or Soundchaser.

    Discography:
1985 Prayer Of Steel
1985 Depraved To Black (E.P.)
1986 Reign Of Fear
1987 Execution Guaranteed
1988 Perfect Man
1989 Invisible Horizons (E.P.)
1989 Secrets In A Weird World
1990 Reflections Of A Shadow
1991 Extended Power (E.P.)
1992 Trapped!
1992 Beyond The Wall (E.P.)
1993 The Missing Link
1994 Refuge (E.P.)
1994 Power Of Metal
1994 Ten Years In Rage (Compilation)
1995 Black In Mind
1996 Lingua Mortis
1997 End Of All Days
1997 Higher Than The Sky (E.P.)
1997 Live From The Vault
1998 XIII
1998 The Best From The Noise Years (Compilation)
1998 In Vain "Rage In Acoustic"
1998 In Vain I – III
1999 Ghosts
2001 Welcome To The Other Side
2001 Best Of – All G.U.N. Years (Compilation)
2002 Unity
2003 Soundchaser
 

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Savatage – Official Website

This band has been one of the best in its genre for the past 20 years or so. Their sound evolved from excellent rough Metal to something more intricate and almost progressive. Despite many line-up changes (and the sad loss of brilliant guitarist Criss Oliva in a car crash in 1993), they have managed to produce the finest music in Metal, and many of their musicians have also been involved in solos projects, either while still in the band or after they left, and all of them are great. If you get into Savatage, don't forget to check out Chris Caffery's solo works, Zak Stevens's Circle II Circle and mostly Jon Oliva's Pain.

    Discography:
1983 Sirens
1985 Power Of The Night
1985 The Dungeons Are Calling (E.P.)
1986 Fight For The Rock
1987 In The Hall Of The Mountain King
1989 Gutter Ballet
1991 Streets: A Rock Opera
1993 Edge Of Thorns
1994 Handful Of Rain
1995 Dead Winter Dead
1996 Final Bell
1996 From The Gutter To The Stage (Compilation)
1997 The Wake Of Magellan
2001 Poets And Madmen
 

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Spiritual Beggars – Official Website

A mix of 70s music reminiscent of a speeded-up version of Black Sabbath, Spiritual Beggars are without doubt the leaders of what is called "Stoner Metal". Those who saw them opening for Iron Maiden back in 2000 will understand what I mean. If you have to own but one album, start with Ad Astra. Quite brilliant!

    Discography:
1994 Spiritual Beggars
1996 Another Way To Shine
1998 Mantra III
2000 Ad Astra
2002 On Fire
2005 Demons
 

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Symphony X – Official Website

Although there are many bands playing Progressive Metal, Symphony X, along with Dream Theater, stands out as the most creative and enjoyable. The fantastic voice of Russel Allen – who also appears on the live Star One album of Arjen Lucassen – contributes greatly to the band and complements perfectly the other musicians' talent and professionalism.

    Discography:
1994 Symphony X
1995 The Damnation Game
1996 The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
1998 Twilight In Olympus
1999 Prelude To The Millennium (Compilation)
2000 V
2001 Live On The Edge Of Forever
2002 The Odyssey
 

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Tad Morose – Official Website

Leaving their progressive style of the 1990s behind, Tad Morose started the new century with more traditional Melodic Metal and a more aggressive edge to their music. With brilliant vocals and complex melodies, this is one of the best bands around. Start with Modus Vivendi and work your way backwards, you won't regret it!

    Discography:
1993 Leaving The Past Behind
1994 Sender Of Thoughts
1995 Paradigma
1996 A Mended Rhyme
2000 Reflections (Compilation)
2000 Undead
2002 Matters Of The Dark
2003 Modus Vivendi
 

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Therion – Official Website

From their beginning as a rather average Death Metal outfit, Therion have evolved into a fantastic Operatic Metal band. This is the best example of "Classical meets Metal" if you consider their work from the mid-nineties onward. If you're into great classical stuff, you'll love what Therion do, their double album Sirius B/Lemuria being a real masterpiece.

    Discography:
1991 Of Darkness...
1992 Beyond Sanctorum
1993 Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas
1995 The Beauty In Black (E.P.)
1995 Lepaca Kliffoth
1996 Theli
1997 A'Arab Zaraq – Lucid Dreaming
1998 Vovin
1999 The Crowning Of Atlantis
2000 Deggial
2001 Secret Of The Runes
2002 Live In Midgard
2004 Sirius B / Lemuria
 

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Tierra Santa – Official Website

Have you ever heard Iron Maiden with Spanish lyrics? If not, I suggest that you give this band a listen. The music is obviously very inspired by the East End gang and is very enjoyable to listen to, even if you don't necessarily understand what they sing about (Rhapsody-like themes of fantasy, apparently). Every Maiden fan should enjoy this excellent Spanish band that has kept alive the tradition of 80s Metal.

    Discography:
1997 Medieval
1999 Legendario
2001 Tierras De Leyenda
2002 Sangre De Reyes
2003 Indomable
 

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Vanden Plas – Official Website

Often accused of being a Dream Theater copycat, Vanden Plas have shown that their own talent and creativity went far beyond the status of a mere clone. These Germans make one of the best Progressive Metal music, and their singer's solo project, Abydos, provides one of the finest music in the genre.

    Discography:
1994 Colour Temple
1996 AcCult (E.P.)
1997 The God Thing
1999 Far Off Grace
2000 Spirit Of Live
2002 Beyond Daylight
 

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Voivod – Official Website

This is a good example of a Thrash Metal band that turned to something more progressive while retaining their aggressive roots. While the first albums can be ignored if you're not into absolute chaotic pandemonium, their later works have a definite unique sound that is most enjoyable. The latest addition to the line-up is none other than ex-Metallica Jason Newsted, providing an excellent rhythmic to an already excellent band.

    Discography:
1984 War And Pain
1986 Rrroooaaarrr
1987 Killing Technology
1988 Dimension Hatross
1989 Nothingface
1991 Angel Rat
1993 The Outer Limits
1995 Negatron
1997 Phobos
1998 Kronik
2000 Voivod Lives
2003 Voivod
 

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