Please recommend some albums! (yes, I read the metal recommendation thread)

#1
So I haven't been listening to metal for very long at all, but I really like (you purists will cringe at this) Avenged Sevenfold, Between the Buried and Me, Iced Earth, etc. I think they are good bands (even A7X) but I would love to be proven wrong with some recommendations.

I would say the types of bands I like (not just the ones above) classify as thrash metal, power metal, or gothic metal. I just read the metal recommendation thread and it's very well put together, but I hope you will understand the impossibility of picking just four or five albums from hundreds.

What I enjoy most about metal is just how epic it can be, with the songs ranging usually from five to fifteen minutes, the talented guitarists, and the inclusion of complex drumming or an orchestra. I like bands that have melodic guitar solos mixed in with the heavier stuff, preferably not just "Look at me sweep pick and play arpeggios fast!" As far as vocals go, I like singing, screaming (a normal scream, no death growls) or, I don't know, 3 Inches of Blood-style singing. I also like when they incorporate other styles of music.

But I hate death metal, metalcore, and grindcore. That's to be expected from most people though, right? When people think of metal they think of these three genres (or maybe Metallica) and they're missing out.

So what are the best albums (that are popular or at least have a cult following) that you would suggest, based on what I like?

I might buy Between the buried and me's Alaska, a Symphony X album, and a few others. From what I've heard of the bands listed in the recommendation thread, I like gothic metal's overall sound, but I don't like the intentionally demonic sounding vocals from the bands listed. So a good gothic metal album where they sing or scream normally would be nice.

So what do you guys recommend?