If you're reading this article, you might be thinking: "How can classical music influence metal music, since they are two completely different genres?". My answer would be: "Why don't you try to listen to some symphonic or neoclassical metal? If you know at least the basics of music, you'll see how big the classical influence can be in some metal subgenres!".
When you hear the words "symphonic metal" and "neoclassical metal", don't they remind you of classical music? Yes, of course they do.
Let's choose, for example, the band Nigtwish. Everyone knows that Nightwish is a symphonic power metal band. Again, we hear the word "symphonic".
Nightwish is probably the best example of how classical music (especially opera) can be present in metal, giving it an unique, wonderful sound that comes from mixing orchestral, classical sounds with powerful and distorted guitars. Taja Turunen, former singer of the band, has an opera-style singing, and she gave Nightwish that great classical mark that many ones loved. Try to ask some Nightwish fans, most of them will tell you that what made Nightwish unique was Tarja's singing style.
But what about the music? Nightwish creates a perfect union of orchestral instruments and guitars, bass, drums, power making their music clearly symphonic and wonderful to listen to, while keeping that aggressive, powerful sound that we find in metal.
Again, orchestra comes from classical music. It's evident how classical music plays an important role in every symphonic metal band.
Let's go on and analyze neoclassical music. Once again, neo-CLASSICAL.
It's more evident here, isn't it?
Neoclassical metal is the subgenre that is most influenced by classical music. In fact, neoclassical metal musicians are inspired by great composers of the past, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and many others. But how can those classical composers influnce metal musicians? The answer is simple: neoclassical metal musicians compose their own music by adding that classical taste and sound that they take from those composers, making their music full of virtuosism (a feature of many classical composers such as Liszt and Paganini, for example), guitar shredding, fast piano playing, violins, cellos and other instruments. The results of the union of metal and classical music are: great technique, virtuosism, unique sound.
A perfect mix for a perfect sound.
Try to listen to Yngwe Malmsteen, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Cacophony, Symphony X, Adagio, Michael Angelo Batio and many others.
As you can see, these two metal subgenres (symphonic and neoclassical metal) are entirely based on classical music. Here is the great importance and influence of classical music. Listen to those subgenres, and you will get the meaning of this article.