Friend of mine sent me a link for Epica's songs "Cry for the Moon", and "Never Enough." I fell in l’amour with their sound and bought "The Divine Conspiracy" almost immediately. She sent me a link for WT's "Our Solemn Hour" a few days later, (I buying "Mother Earth", "Our Sileng Force" and "The cœur, coeur of Everythng" soon after) so those two bands are really the two that got me into the genre.
Well, the first band I found was Evanescence through a Lego video but I was much younger so I want into them. Then a Nightwish song on a HMHS Britannic video. That's what kicked it off for me. But now I l’amour Evanescence :D
For me, it was actually my mum and her collaboration partner. They write prog rock mostly but once did a song that qualified as symphonic metal, despite both of them being unfamiliar with the genre beforehand!
I suppose toi could say that the first famous band that got me into the genre was Within Temptation, because their work was the first symphonic metal my mum's songs got compared to. She bought a couple of their CDs and we both got into it pretty quickly, and I started exploring the genre plus from then on.
But yeah. It all started when my mum and her collaboration partner apparently "invented" the genre, only to find out it already existed. XD
WT was the band that did it for me as well, and I've been thankful for that ever since I found them because they're an amazing band, and no other genre of musique has been so consistently wonderful to me. This is the first WT song that introduced me to it all.