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Symphonic metal is a subgenre of metal that tends to use elements normally found in symphonies or classical music. That's the basic description of the genre, but its actual implementation can vary widely. The symphonic part can be an entire symphony, a keyboardist, or violin and cello player. The usage of the symphonic elements can vary from trying to create a classical feel, to simply adding thickness to the music. As such, it's position on the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness can vary considerably. On the softer end are bands where female vocals are frequently used (with bands often featuring female lead vocalists), and acoustic guitars may be included. On the harder end are bands who's style more closely matches Black Metal or another type of Extreme Metal. A band might specialize in Symphonic Metal, or might play a song or album in the style.
Bands of the genre frequently combine symphonic metal with another genre, in most cases either Black Metal, Power Metal, Gothic Metal, or Progressive Metal. In fact, a "pure" symphonic metal band is very hard to find.
Can involve Heavy Mithril.
Bands that perform in this style:
- Abigail Williams
- After Forever
- Antestor (Christian symphonic black metal. Better Than It Sounds)
- Apocalyptica (four guys on cellos that started out doing Metallica covers and later their own songs)
- Cradle of Filth
- Dimmu Borgir
- Emperor (Trope Maker, and possible Ur Example, of symphonic black metal)
- E.S. Posthumus
- Eternal Tears of Sorrow (their later albums)
- Fleshgod Apocalypse
- Hollenthon (one of the few Symphonic Death Metal bands; also has a fair amount of Folk Metal influence)
- Keep Of Kalessin (Symphonic Black Metal)
- The Kovenant (originally Symphonic Black Metal, added electronics in future albums but kept a symphonic approach)
- Leaves' Eyes
- Christopher Lee
- Magni Animi Viri (an Italian project headed by classical maestros; the metal component is barely there, but present nonetheless)
- Metallica (on their album S&M)
- Nightwish (Trope Codifier of symphonic power metal)
- Rhapsody of Fire
- Septic Flesh
- Sonata Arctica
- Sound Horizon (Though they're not against playing Baroque Pop either)
- Therion (Pretty much the Trope Makers.)
- Tristania (Trope Codifier of symphonic gothic metal)
- Versailles (Symphonic Power Metal)
- Winds of Plague (Fused symphonic metal with Deathcore)
- Within Temptation
Tropes that apply to the genre:
- Christian Rock - Antestor.
- Epic Rocking - Quite common.
- Heavy Mithril - The lyrical theme of most of the bands in the genre.
- Soprano and Gravel - Most symphonic metal bands feature this technique.
- Trope Codifier - Nightwish
- Trope Maker - Probably Therion, overall. The Trope Maker for symphonic black metal is most likely Emperor.