Some of the bands that have helped to forge this genre of music.
After Forever was a Dutch symphonic metal band with strong progressive metal influences. The band relied on the use of both soprano vocals and death grunts. In February 2009 it was announced that After Forever had disbanded.
Ayreon's musical style derives mostly from heavy metal and progressive rock, but combines them with genres like folk, classical and electronica to form what some call a completely new style of music. The majority of Ayreon's albums are dubbed "rock operas" because the albums contain complex story lines featuring a host of characters, each represented by a unique vocalist. Blind Guardian
The band's lyrics, written by vocalist Hansi Kürsch, are inspired by the fiction of fantasy authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Stephen King, and Michael Moorcock, as well as traditional legends and epics Delain
Delain is a Dutch symphonic metal band. The band was founded by the ex-keyboardist of Within Temptation, Martijn Westerholt. Epica
Epica is a Dutch symphonic metal band founded by guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen subsequent to his departure from After Forever. Epica performs a blend of progressive metal and symphonic metal. Vocalist Simone Simons has expressed a preference for the group to be described as symphonic metal. The music of Epica is aggressive, bombastic while many of the songs are "epic, grand and majestic" and others "more subdued and introspective." Haggard
Haggard is a German symphonic metal musical group founded in 1991. The group combines classical music and early music with doom metal. Mägo de Oz
Mägo de Oz ("Wizard of Oz" with a heavy metal umlaut), is a progressive folk metal band from Spain. Formed in mid-1988 by drummer Txus. Around 1996 the band's definitive line up began to emerge. That same year, they began recording the rock opera CD "Jesús de Chamberí", produced by Alberto Plaza and Mägo de Oz. The CD was released in 1996. The band is well known for the strong Celtic feel to their music, strengthened through their usage of a violinist and flautist. The name for this band was chosen, according to founding member Txus, because "Life is a yellow brick road on which we walk in the company of others, searching for our dreams." Nightwish
Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland, formed in 1996 by songwriter/keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and former vocalist Tarja Turunen. Nightwish's current line-up has five members, although Tarja has been replaced by Anette Olzon and the original bassist, Sami Vänskä, has been replaced by Marco Hietala, who also took over the male vocalist part; previously male vocal-parts were done by Tuomas or guest singers. Rhapsody of Fire
Rhapsody of Fire (formerly known Rhapsody) is an Italian symphonic power metal band led by Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli. Since forming in 1993, the band has released eight studio albums, one live album, one EP, and a live DVD. Savatage
Savatage is an American heavy metal band founded by the brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1978 at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The band was inactive since the release of their most recent album in 2001, but have since performed live together in 2008, with more tour dates scheduled for 2011 but have concentrated on the more commercially successful side project, Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Sonata Arctica
Sonata Arctica are a Finnish metal band from the town of Kemi, originally assembled in 1995. Their later works (most notably The Days of Grays, Unia and a few tracks on Reckoning Night) contain elements typical of progressive metal. Therion
Therion is a Swedish heavy metal band founded by Christofer Johnsson in 1987. Beginning as a death metal band, they later turned to combining orchestral elements with their metal music, employing heavy use of choirs and classical musicians, not only as additions to but also as integral parts of the composition. Therion is the first metal band with fully live orchestra featured. It is also the band which originated, popularised and influenced the symphonic metal genre. Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (often abbreviated as TSO) is an orchestra founded in 1996 by Paul O'Neill, who brought together long-time friends Jon Oliva, Robert Kinkel, and Al Pitrelli. The band's musical style incorporates neoclassical, symphonic and progressive sorts of hard rock/metal.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra has recorded and performed renditions of traditional Christmas songs, and these have been among their most popular works. They are also known for their elaborate concerts, complete with a full light show and dozens of pyrotechnics that are synchronized with their performance. Within Temptation
Within Temptation is a Dutch metal/rock band founded in 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt. Their music is described as symphonic metal and gothic metal. In an interview, Den Adel said "we consider ourselves more a symphonic rock band ... we are in my opinion no gothic band".