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Top 10 Epic Symphonic Metal Tracks

Symphonic metal is well known for its epic songs, and rightly so. There aren't many music genres where 10 minute long songs with orchestration and heavy guitars are common. Sometimes a song that feels epic may not even be that long, but just one that really resonates with you and gives you the shivers when your favourite part kicks in.

I've picked my personal top 10 of these tracks to share with you, with the only rule being that I could only choose one from each band. Here goes...

10. Wings of Madness - Serenity

Serenity - Wings of Madness (Official Video)

It's the opening of this song that really gets me. Clémentine's vocals are atmospheric and Georg's are so powerful. The video is well-done too, and tells the story of the infamous Elizabeth Bathory.

9. Crimson Deep - Tarja

Tarja - Crimson Deep (Live)

Although Tarja is perhaps best known for her Nightwish work, her solo career has definitely produced a few gems, and this is my favourite. It's a little darker and heavier than a lot of her songs, and the high notes between about 6:01 and 6:38 are stunning.

8. Sons of Winter and Stars - Wintersun

Wintersun (When Time Fades Away + Sons of Winter and Stars)

To get the full impact of this song, it's a good idea to listen to the into track When Time Fades Away first, so the video I've linked above includes both. Composer Jari Mäenpää combines folk and symphonic metal with oriental-inspired music for a truly monumental experience. Plus it's really, really hard not to sing along with the chorus...

7. A Prophecy of Worlds To Fall - Xandria
As a Xandria fan, I didn't know what to expect when I first picked up Neverworld's End, the band's album with then new singer Manuela Kraller. But after this opening track, I knew that it was going to be a favourite. As openers go, it's a tough one to beat. "I was given the seal and the key, and I... will keep it... until... I die!"

6. Dreamflight - After Forever

After Forever - Dreamflight

This progressive song from After Forever's final album is their longest and perhaps most ambitious. Floor Jansen shows off her vocal technique to great effect in this dream-like musical journey.

5. Stille Kom Døden - Sirenia

Sirenia - Stille Kom Døden

From the gothic side of things, we have this fan favourite from Sirenia's latest album. Again, this is an unusually long track from the band but it, certainly proves that they can pull it off. It's an interesting mix with the heavier parts from Morten Veland and the haunting sadness whenever Ailyn's vocals come in.

4. Frøya's Theme - Leaves' Eyes

Leaves' Eyes - Frøya's Theme

This classic Leaves' Eyes track is an ode to the Norse goddess of love. I really like how it starts off understated and gradually builds - and it's great live, too. Plus Liv's voice is truly divine!

3. The Truth Beneath The Rose - Within Temptation

Within Temptation - The Truth Beneath The Rose (Live)

This song showcases just what WT can really do with symphonic metal. For me the most intense parts are the brilliant lead-in to the guitar solo starting at (in the video above) 5:27, and the huge conclusion starting at 6:14.

2. Kingdom of Heaven - Epica

Epica - Kingdom of Heaven

It's actually quite hard to find an Epica song that isn't epic - in fact it would be rather false advertising if it wasn't. So this was a tough choice, but in the end Kingdom of Heaven won out. This song is the longest on my list (not counting the Wintersun one which is two tracks), and it really feels like all of the band get room to show off their talents.

1.  Ghost Love Score - Nightwish

Nightwish - Ghost Love Score (Live)

This top 10 would not be complete without what is probably one of the genre's most famous songs. An absolute classic from Nightwish's Once album with Tarja on vocals, it has had new life breathed into it by Floor Jansen's incredible performance. The video linked above really shows you the intense love that the fans feel for this song, and just how much the band enjoy performing it. For me, you cannot beat the orchestration in this song - it's absolutely spine-tingling.

And now my list is ended... Which epic songs would you add?


I saw the title of this article and immediately knew that Ghost Love Score was on the list. I liked Nightwish when I heard their earlier albums, but Once really made me love them.
Your enthusiasm for symphonic metal is usually quite apparent, but it's downright contagious with this list. It's delightful to read.
Also, I hope the poll goes back up soon. As a fledgling software engineer, I can't imagine the sheer terror of a bug that takes over a month to fix.


Heheh, well, I hope I infect some more people with my enthusiasm... Cheers! And yeah, I really wish I knew what was going on with the polls... I've asked again but Google's representative just keeps saying that they're working on it. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.


My (slightly shorter) list would look like this:

5. Sonata Arctica - White Pearl, Black Oceans...
An epic ballad about a lighthouse keeper. Truly a storytelling song arranged around the tale.

4. The Gathering - On Most Surfaces
One of my favorite tracks of all time, so what can i say ... perfect intro, Anneke rules, smahing metal. Notice the icy wind gusts at 1:50 or 5:30. Mindblowing.

3. Within Temptation - The Promise
Classic WT. For me, with this song earned WT its place among the gratest bands in the genre. Brilliant. You just have to love the Dark Sharon as "she make them bleed down at her feet".

2. The Gathering - Sand and Mercury
At first i thought this should be two separate tracks - the first instrumental part and the second part with Anneke. Now i would call that a blastomy :P - for me it's a one-of-a-kind masterpiece about the struggling and the unavoidable "accident".

1. Nightwish - Ghost Love Score
Surprise, surprise :) ... the de facto anthem of the genre showing the very essence of the symphonic metal.


Thanks for sharing! You've picked some awesome tracks there. I really love The Promise as well, it definitely has that epic feeling about it.


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