Symphonic Metal Day is celebrated every year on November 13. This is a day set aside to celebrate the combination of classical orchestral arrangements and heavy metal music that has grown in popularity over the last few decades. Symphonic metal, also known as opera metal or operatic metal originated in Scandinavia and the Netherlands. This genre of music is one of the many subsets of heavy metal music. Symphonic metal bands frequently feature classically trained musicians, because of the heavy influence of classical music on the genre.
History of Symphonic Metal Day
Symphonic Metal Day is demarcated to celebrate the genre-crossing and innovative nature of symphonic metal music, a subset of heavy metal music.
Heavy metal is itself a genre of rock music that has its roots in blues rock, acid rock, and psychedelic rock. The characteristics of heavy metal include loudness, emphatic sounds, distortions, heavy beats, and extended guitar solos. The most famous pioneers of heavy metal are Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple.
Heavy metal continued to evolve over the decades as it picked up and discarded influences from different kinds of music depending on where the sub-genre originated. Among these sub-genres was glam metal which originated with Bon Jovi in New Jersey, and thrash metal with Los Angeles bands like Metallica and Megadeth.
Among these many sub-genres was symphonic metal, a genre that combines symphonic or classical arrangements with the standard arrangements of heavy metal. This might include symphonic instruments of all kinds — winds, strings, brass, and percussion. It might also be a full orchestra with elements incorporated into the composition and arrangement.
This music originated in Finnish and Scandinavian culture, with the most popular bands being Therion, Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica. These bands do not use orchestras or symphonic elements live but tend to have those elements pre-recorded or entirely used on the keyboard. The sound is usually very atmospheric unlike other metal bands, but the performances are just as theatrical.
Symphonic Metal Day timeline
The genre of heavy metal evolves and is largely developed in the U.K. and the U.S.
With bands like Judas Priest leading the way, heavy metal drops some of its influences like the blues, while a more punk sensibility comes into the genre.
Crossover thrash, thrash metal, power metal, and black metal are among the many sub-genres that developed during this time.
Incorporating orchestral and classical music, symphonic metal grew out of the other sub-genres of heavy metal like death metal and gothic metal.
Symphonic Metal Day FAQs
Is symphonic metal real metal?
Yes, the genre evolved from gothic, death, and black metal.
Who is the Queen of symphonic metal?
Tarja Turunen, an opera-trained singer and former frontwoman of Nightwish is known as the Queen of symphonic metal.
Is symphonic metal gothic?
Symphonic metal can be gothic but isn’t necessarily always gothic metal.
Symphonic Metal Day Activities
Find a symphonic metal concert
A great way to celebrate this genre is to attend a live concert. Find a concert by popular bands like Nightwish, Therion, or Within Temptation and enjoy!
Host a listening party
Host a listening party for all your metal-loving friends at home. Get some snacks and drinks, kick back, and queue up your symphonic metal playlist for a great evening.
Find some new music
Symphonic metal is always evolving. Use this opportunity to look for new symphonic metal bands and give their songs a listen!
5 Important Facts About Symphonic Metal
The first song was by Believer
'Dies Irae' by American thrash metal band, Believer is rumored to be one of the first symphonic metal songs.
Celtic Frost Inspired Therion’s Name
The band’s album "To Mega Therion" was the inspiration for the name of the band, Therion.
Three symphonic metal bands released albums together
Nightwish, Rhapsody of Fire, and Within Temptation all released albums together in 1997.
New bands appeared in the 2000s
New symphonic metal bands appeared and grew in popularity in the mid-2000s, such as After Forever and Epica.
The term refers to songs as well
Since no symphonic metal band is ever fully symphonic, the term is primarily referred to songs that fit the genre’s characteristics.
Why We Love Symphonic Metal Day
It’s our favorite genre
Nightwish and Within Temptation were prominently featured in the ‘90s and we love the way we can get caught up in all the stories within such a vast collection of music. We also love that there’s a day set aside to enjoy the sounds of symphonic metal.
We want to find the latest songs
A lot of symphonic metal has come out recently and we haven’t had a chance to listen. We think Symphonic Metal Day is a great day to listen to some fantastic music!
We want to see it evolve
Like all metal music, symphonic metal is always evolving. We can’t wait to see what happens next! Who do you think will be the next chart-topper?
Symphonic Metal Day dates