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Power metal -- an aggressive and hard-driving, yet melodic style of heavy metal that is associated with headbangers like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Helloween, King Diamond, and Queensrÿche -- started in the '70s and reached its commercial peak in the '80s. Nonetheless, new power metal bands continued to be formed in the '90s and 2000s -- especially in Europe, although post-'80s power metallers have also come from the United States and Latin America. Like Rhapsody, Evergrey, Symphony X, and Iron Savior, Morifade are a post-'80s power metal band who are totally unaffected by the alternative metal trends of the '90s and 2000s. Morifade were formed in Sweden in 1992, but their primary influences are bands that came along in the '70s and early '80s; the Scandinavian outfit shows no awareness of hip-hop, industrial music, techno, grunge, or any other styles that have influenced alternative metal. Their headbanger influences include, among others, Judas Priest, Queensrÿche, King Diamond, Iron Maiden, and the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) explosion of the late '70s and early '80s -- and Morifade have also been affected by '70s progressive rock favorites such as Rush, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, and Yes. And Morifade, like many other power metal acts, realize that aggression and musicality are not mutually exclusive; their work is loud, forceful, and intense, but it's also melodic and intricate. Along the way, Morifade have had their share of lineup changes. Originally known as Gothic, Morifade started out with a four-man lineup consisting of Fredrik Johansson (lead vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar), Jesper Johansson (electric guitar, acoustic guitar), Henrik Weimedal (bass), and Kim Arnell (drums, percussion). In 1996, the band gained a fifth member when Christian Stinga-Borg took over the lead vocals; Fredrik Johansson, the band's original lead singer, remained as an electric and acoustic guitarist. Stinga-Born's three-year-stay in Morifade ended in 1999, when Stefan Petersson became the band's new lead singer. It was also in 1999 that keyboardist Fredrik "Frippe" Eriksson (formerly of the band Tad Morose), and ex-Nephenzy guitarist Adrian Kanebäck came on board; Fredrik Johansson left in 1999. When Kanebäck took off in 2001, he was replaced by Kim Arnell's younger brother, Robin Arnell. Although Morifade has been around since 1992, the headbangers didn't have any recordings out until the late '90s. Their debut EP, Across the Starlit Sky, was recorded in 1997 and 1998, and their first full-length album, Possession of Power, came out in 1999. Those discs were followed by the release of the EP Cast a Spell in 2000, and Imaginarium (their second full-length album) in 2002. Then, in 2003, the Swedes recorded their third full-length album, Domination, a highly conceptual, science-fiction-influenced effort that is loosely based on two novels: Aldous Huxley's: Brave New World and George Orwell's 1984. After a few delays, Domination was released on Candlelight in the United States in March 2004. ~ Alex Henderson

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