I like symphonic metal but their big and sometimes gargantuan problem is that their orchestrations sound VERY cheesy and cheap most of the time. The last two Within Temptation albums were a huge step forward in terms orchestration and sample quality (I think they still don't use real instruments and rely on sample libraries). Even Nightwish back when Tarja was the lead singer had awful arrangements at times. Their last album was better, too bad she's not a part of it. She was soooo much better than their current singer.
Speaking of Within Temptation....it's time for some Sharon!
...I was introduced to Metal in somewhere in 1982 with Run To The Hills... I listened to a lot of bands back then, from Wasp to Helloween via Twisted Sister, Manowar, and many others actually. Metallica quickly became my favorite band (Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets are still undisputable masterpieces imo). Being a musician I listen to a lot of different stuff, but Metal is often where I feel the most at home (except for Muse or Depeche Mode who are still kicking and fresh as ever in 2013, I don't think the musical scene is very creative these days - but that's for another discussion). I was never a fan of high-pitched voices, so even Bruce Dickinson quickly got on my nerves
My favorite metal band these days is Amon Amarth, these guys are just crazy and amazing! ...Even if deep down, I can't hate Metallica even at their weakest
...Seeing them live quickly reminds me that they still got it, and I'm still looking forward to their next album. Also, and I'm not sure it can be considered true "metal" since they're more gothic than "heavy", I love Lacrimosa. It takes time to get used to the sometimes weird-sounding voice of singer Tilo Wolf, but musically they're among the best. The band is also made of singer and babe Anne Nurmi
...people forget too easily than metal bands are often the most skilled musicians! it had to be said goddammit