|Mainstream popularity||Europe since the early 2000s|
|Celtic metal - Oriental metal - Mittelalter metal|
|Germany − Ireland - Scandinavia|
|List of folk metal bands|
Folk metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music that developed in Europe during the 1990s. Folk music can have a number of different meanings including Traditional music: The original meaning of the term "folk music" was synonymous The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. An electric guitar is a type of Guitar that uses pickups to convert the vibration of its steel-cored strings into an electrical current which is made louder The electric bass guitar (also called electric bass, or simply bass; ˈbeɪs as in "base" is a Stringed instrument played primarily with the A drum kit (also drum set or trap set) is a collection of Drums Cymbals and sometimes other Percussion instruments such as cowbells Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, which is often contrasted with Speech. A folk instrument is an instrument that developed among common people and usually doesn't have a known Inventor. Celtic metal is a subgenre of Folk metal that developed in the 1990s in Ireland. Oriental metal is a subgenre of Folk metal that combines Heavy metal music with elements of traditional Middle Eastern music. Mittelalter rock or Mittelalter metal ( Medieval rock or Medieval metal) is a German subgenre of Folk metal that blends hard rock or heavy metal Viking metal is a subgenre of Heavy metal music characterised by its galloping pace keyboard-rich anthemic sound bleakness and dramatic emphasis on Norse mythology This is a list of folk metal bands. The genre of Folk metal is a fusion of Heavy metal music with Folk music. As the name suggests, the genre is a fusion of heavy metal with folk music. Folk music can have a number of different meanings including Traditional music: The original meaning of the term "folk music" was synonymous This includes the widespread use of folk instruments and, to a lesser extent, traditional singing styles. A folk instrument is an instrument that developed among common people and usually doesn't have a known Inventor.
The earliest exponent of folk metal was the English band Skyclad. Skyclad are a British Heavy metal band with heavy Folk influences in their music Their debut album The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth was released in 1990 and for a few years, they were the only known folk metal band in existence. The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth is the first album by British Folk metal group Skyclad, and is thus probably the first ever It was not until 1994 and 1995 that other early contributors in the genre began to emerge from different regions of Europe as well as in Israel. Significant among these were the bands Cruachan, Orphaned Land and Subway to Sally, each creating a different regional variation that over time became known as Celtic metal, oriental metal and mittelalter rock respectively. Cruachan is a Celtic metal band from Dublin Ireland formed in 1992 and reformed in 1999 accredited with being one of the founders of the genre - Folk Metal Orphaned Land is a Progressive metal band from Petah Tikva, Israel whose music contains Middle-Eastern influences Subway to Sally was founded in Potsdam, Germany, in the early 1990s Celtic metal is a subgenre of Folk metal that developed in the 1990s in Ireland. Oriental metal is a subgenre of Folk metal that combines Heavy metal music with elements of traditional Middle Eastern music. Mittelalter rock or Mittelalter metal ( Medieval rock or Medieval metal) is a German subgenre of Folk metal that blends hard rock or heavy metal Despite their contributions, folk metal remained little known with few representatives during the 1990s. It was not until the early 2000s when the genre exploded into prominence, particularly in Finland with the efforts of such groups as Finntroll, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani and Moonsorrow. Finntroll is a Folk metal band from Finland. They combine elements of Black metal with Finnish Polka, called Humppa Ensiferum (Latin ensĭfĕrum (neuter adjective meaning "sword bearing" is a heavy metal Korpiklaani is a Folk metal band from Finland who are formerly known as Shaman. Moonsorrow is a folk / Pagan metal band formed in Helsinki, Finland, in 1995.
The music of folk metal is characterised by its diversity with bands known to perform different styles of both heavy metal music and folk music. A large variety of folk instruments are used in the genre with many bands consequently featuring six or more members in their regular line-ups. A few bands are also known to rely on keyboards to simulate the sound of folk instruments. A keyboard instrument is any musical instrument played using a Musical keyboard. Lyrics in the genre commonly deal with paganism, nature, fantasy, mythology and history. Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller rustic" is a word used to refer to various religions and religious beliefs from across the world Nature, in the broadest sense is equivalent to the natural world, physical universe, material world or material universe. Fantasy is a Genre that uses magic and other Supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" History is the study of the past particularly the written record Those who study history as a Profession are called Historians Etymology
|“||It was always my heartfelt dream to see the energy of Metal music mixed with elements from more traditional styles.||”|
—Martin Walkyier, former vocalist for Skyclad
The English band Skyclad was formed in 1990 after vocalist Martin Walkyier left his previous band, Sabbat. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Skyclad are a British Heavy metal band with heavy Folk influences in their music Martin Walkyier is an English singer who began his career with Heavy metal band Sabbat in the late 1980s releasing two albums For the Japanese band see Sabbat (Japanese band. Sabbat are a Pagan Thrash metal band from Nottingham, England  Skyclad began as a thrash metal band but added violins from session musician Mike Evans on several tracks from their debut album, The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth, an effort described by Ed Rivadavia of Allmusic as "ambitious" and "groundbreaking. Thrash metal (sometimes referred to simply as thrash) is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal that is characterized by its fast tempo and aggression allmusic (previously All Music Guide) is a Metadata database about music owned by All Media Guide. " The song "The Widdershins Jig" from the debut album has been acclaimed as "particularly significant" and "a certain first in the realms of Metal".  With a full time fiddle player in their lineup, the band's second album feature a "now legendary folky jig style" and "more prominent inclusion of the fiddle playing lead lines and melodies normally associated with the lead guitar parts of most other rock bands. " Skyclad has since been credited as the originators and pioneers of the genre with Keith Fay of the band Cruachan recognising Skyclad as "the creators of folk metal. Cruachan is a Celtic metal band from Dublin Ireland formed in 1992 and reformed in 1999 accredited with being one of the founders of the genre - Folk Metal "
Even with the departure of Martin Walkyier in 2001, Skyclad remains an active folk metal group today after nearly two decades since their formation.  In contrast, the Portuguese band Moonspell had a brief tenure in the genre. Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. Moonspell is a Portuguese Black metal / Gothic metal band with Death/doom metal elements formed in 1989 as Morbid God Their first release was the 1994 Under the Moonspell EP with music that featured folk and Middle Eastern influences. Under the Moonspell is a mini album released by Moonspell in 1994 The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East.  With the release of their debut album Wolfheart in the following year, the band made a transition into gothic metal and within a matter of years "quickly evolved into one of the major players of the European goth-metal scene. "
Another early contributor to folk metal is the Finnish group Amorphis. Finland, officially the Republic of Finland ( is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. Amorphis is a Finnish metal band started by Jan Rechberger Tomi Koivusaari and Esa Holopainen in 1990 They formed in 1990 with their debut album, The Karelian Isthmus, following two years later. The Karelian Isthmus is the debut album by Amorphis. Although The Karelian Isthmus took its name from a historic Finnish battleground Karelian  Their sophomore effort Tales from the Thousand Lakes was released in 1994 with "plenty of fascinating melodies and song structures that drew heavily from the traditional folk music of their native country. Tales from the Thousand Lakes is the second full-length Album by heavy metal band Amorphis. " The album received a favorable reception from fans with "its content quickly being exalted across the Metal underground as perhaps the very pinnacle of atmospheric Death Metal achievement. Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It typically employs fast tempos heavily distorted guitars deep growling vocals morbid lyrics "
In the years 1994 and 1995, three distinct variations on folk metal emerged from different regions.
The progressive metal outfit Orphaned Land was formed in 1991 in Israel with their first and only demo The Beloved's Cry released in 1993, "immediately creating a media stir" that "quickly drew attention to their unorthodox style. Progressive metal (often referred to simply as prog metal) is a sub-genre of Heavy metal music which blends the powerful guitar-driven sound of metal with the complex Orphaned Land is a Progressive metal band from Petah Tikva, Israel whose music contains Middle-Eastern influences " Members of the group were still teenagers when they released their debut album Sahara in 1994. Sahara is the first full-length Studio album by the Israeli metal band Orphaned Land, released on November 25, 1994  The music of Orphaned Land "borrow heavily from Middle Eastern music styles" with traditional elements coming from both Jewish and Arabic folk music.  Acclaimed as "one of the world's most unique and trailblazing heavy metal bands," Orphaned Land's style of music has since been dubbed oriental metal. Oriental metal is a subgenre of Folk metal that combines Heavy metal music with elements of traditional Middle Eastern music. 
The year 1993 saw the formation of Melechesh in Jerusalem, "undoubtedly the first overtly anti-Christian band to exist in one of the holiest cities in the world. Melechesh is a Blackened death metal band that originated in Jerusalem, Israel. Jerusalem (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, he-Latn Yerushaláyim; Arabic: ar القُدس, ar-Latn al-Quds) is the " Melechesh began as a straightforward black metal act with their first foray into folk metal occurring on the title track of their 1996 EP The Siege of Lachish. Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It often employs fast tempos shrieked vocals highly distorted guitars played with Tremolo picking, The Siege of Lachish is a EP from Melechesh. The album was limited to a hand-numbered of 666 copies black vinyl needing a large-hole 45 adapter  Their subsequent albums saw the group straddling the boundaries between black, death, and thrash metal, with "impressive, tastefully rendered epics chock-full of superb riffs, Middle Eastern melodies, and vocal exchanges varying from a throaty midrange screech to chanting. " Other oriental metal acts emerged thereafter with the band Distorted notably forming in 1996 as the first female-fronted metal act from Israel. Distorted is a progressive Death/doom metal band from Bat-Yam in Israel 
The East German band Subway to Sally was formed in 1992 as a folk rock band, singing in English and incorporating Irish and Scottish influences in their music. Subway to Sally was founded in Potsdam, Germany, in the early 1990s Folk rock is a musical genre combining elements of Folk music and rock music.  With their second album MCMXCV released in 1995, the band adopted a "more traditional approach" and started singing in German.  Taking Skyclad as an influence, Subway to Sally performs a blend of hard rock and heavy metal "enriched with medieval melodies enmeshed in the songs via bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, lute, mandoline, shalm [sic] , fiddle and flute" and combined with "romantic-symbolic German-speaking poetry" in their lyrics. Hard rock (also referred to as heavy rock) is a variation of Rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage and Psychedelic rock Bagpipes are a class of Musical instrument, Aerophones using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag A hurdy gurdy (also known as a wheel fiddle) is a stringed Musical instrument in which the strings are sounded by means of a Rosined wheel which the strings Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck (either Fretted or unfretted and a deep round back or more specifically to an instrument from A mandolin is a musical instrument in the Lute family (plucked or strummed The shawm was a Medieval and Renaissance Musical instrument of the Woodwind family made in Europe from the late 13th century until Sic is a Latin word meaning "thus" "so" "as such" or "just as that" The flute is a Musical instrument of the Woodwind family Unlike other woodwind instruments a flute is a Reedless wind instrument that produces its  With chart success in their native Germany, they have since been credited as the band "that set off the wave of what is known as medieval rock. Mittelalter rock or Mittelalter metal ( Medieval rock or Medieval metal) is a German subgenre of Folk metal that blends hard rock or heavy metal "
This distinctly German phenomenon has been continued and expanded further by subsequent bands. Formed in 1996, the Berlin based In Extremo has also found chart success with their "medieval style stage garb and unashamed usage of such bizarre, sometimes hand made, instruments as the Scottish bagpipes. Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. " In Extremo " (Latin "at the edge" or "in the extreme" is a German Folk metal band originating from Berlin. " Another band that has experienced commercial success in Germany is the Bavarian outfit Schandmaul. Bavaria ( German:, with an area of 70553 Km² (27241 square miles and almost 12 Schandmaul is a German Mittelalter rock group from Munich. The band often includes instruments typically used in Medieval folk songs such as the  Describing themselves as the "minstrels of today," the band employs a musical arsenal that includes the bagpipes, barrel organ, shawm, violin and mandolin. A barrel organ (or roller organ) is a mechanical musical instrument consisting of Bellows and one or more ranks of pipes housed in a case usually 
The Irish band Cruachan was formed in 1992 by guitarist Keith Fay with their first demo recording distributed in 1993. Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world Cruachan is a Celtic metal band from Dublin Ireland formed in 1992 and reformed in 1999 accredited with being one of the founders of the genre - Folk Metal A demo version or demo of a song (shortened from the word "demonstration" is one recorded for reference rather than for release  Drawing inspiration from Skyclad's first album, Fay set out to combine black metal with the folk music of Ireland. Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It often employs fast tempos shrieked vocals highly distorted guitars played with Tremolo picking, The folk music of Ireland (also known as Irish traditional music, Irish trad, Irish folk music, and other variants is the generic term for music that has  Their debut album Tuatha Na Gael was released in 1995 and the band has since been acclaimed as having "gone the greatest lengths of anyone in their attempts to expand" the genre of folk metal.  Cruachan combination of Celtic music and heavy metal is known today as Celtic metal. Celtic music is a term utilised by artists record companies music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of Musical genres that evolved out of the Folk Celtic metal is a subgenre of Folk metal that developed in the 1990s in Ireland. 
Parallel to Cruachan, the black metal act Primordial also released a demo recording in 1993 and "found themselves heralded as frontrunners in the burgeoning second-wave black metal movement. Primordial is a Blackened Doom Metal band formed in 1991 in Skerries, Ireland, by Pól MacAmlaigh (bass and Ciáran MacUiliam (guitars Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It often employs fast tempos shrieked vocals highly distorted guitars played with Tremolo picking, " Irish music plays "a very big role" in Primordial but in "a dark and subtle way" through the chords and timings. This article describes musical chords in traditional Western styles Timing in music refers to the concept of adjusting the timing of Notes or beats in certain subtle ways  The band has since "established themselves as one of the most unique sounding bands in the folk-meets-black metal field. " Other early representatives of Celtic metal include the bands Geasa and Waylander with both groups releasing a demo recording in 1995. Waylander is a Northern Irish band influential in the realms of Celtic Folk metal. 
From the middle of the 1990s, other bands gradually emerged to combine heavy metal with folk music. Storm was a short lived Norwegian supergroup with Fenriz, Sigurd Wongraven and Kari Rueslåtten from the black metal groups Darkthrone, Satyricon and the doom metal band The 3rd and the Mortal respectively. Storm was a Norwegian Folk metal band that originally included Fenriz of Darkthrone and Satyr of Satyricon. Norway ( Norwegian: Norge ( Bokmål) or Noreg ( Nynorsk) officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Constitutional Fenriz (born Leif Nagell on November 28, 1971 and later known as Gylve Fenris Nagell) is best known as the drummer and lyricist of the two-piece Satyr (born Sigurd Wongraven on November 28, 1975) is the vocalist lead and rhythm guitarist bassist and keyboardist for the Norwegian DarkThrone is a Massive Online Text Based Game developed by Lazarus Software Satyricon is a Norwegian Black metal band formerly known as Eczema Doom metal is a form of Heavy metal music that typically employs very slow Tempos low-tuned guitars and a much 'thicker' or 'heavier' sound than other metal The 3rd and the Mortal (alternative spelling The Third and the Mortal) were a Norwegian experimental metal -band founded in the city of Trondheim  Their only album Nordavind was released in 1995 with the use of keyboards to imitate the sound of folk instruments. Nordavind is the debut album and only album by the Norwegian viking / Folk metal supergroup Storm.  The Germans Empyrium also relied on synthesizers and guitars to deliver their "dark folklore" black metal music with the release of their 1996 debut album A Wintersunset. Empyrium started as German symphonic folk / Doom metal and later Neofolk band founded in 1994 by Markus Stock (mostly A Wintersunset is the first album by the German band Empyrium. 
The year 1996 also saw the debut album of the "one-man black metal project of multi-instrumentalist Vratyas Vakyas" from Germany known as Falkenbach. Falkenbach is a Viking metal one-man project from Germany that is currently signed to Napalm Records.  With epic music that was "rife with keyboards, Viking themes, and folk music tendencies," Falkenbach was effectively a merge of Viking metal with folk metal. Viking metal is a subgenre of Heavy metal music characterised by its galloping pace keyboard-rich anthemic sound bleakness and dramatic emphasis on Norse mythology  They were joined in the next two years by other bands combining the two genres including Windir, Månegarm and Thyrfing. Windir ( Warrior in English) was a folkloric Black metal band from Sogndal, Norway. Månegarm is a Swedish Viking / Black metal band from Norrtälje. This page refers to the metal band Thyrfing For the mythological sword see Tyrfing Thyrfing is a Viking metal band from Sweden 
Predating most folk metal groups, the Spanish band Mägo de Oz was formed as far back as 1989 with a self-titled debut album, released in 1994. Mägo de Oz (" Wizard of Oz " with a Heavy-metal umlaut) (also known as simply Mägo) is a Folk Rock and Heavy Metal Mägo de Oz was Mägo de Oz 's debut album released in 1994. It was edited and re-released in 1999.  With nine members in their lineup, including a violinist and flutist, the band has evolved over the years into a combination of power metal and Celtic flavored folk metal. Power metal is a style of Heavy metal music combining characteristics of traditional metal with Thrash metal or Speed metal, often within  They have experienced strong chart success in their native Spain as well as in South America.  The Lord Weird Slough Feg from Pennsylvania, United States also had an early formation dating back to 1990. The Lord Weird Slough Feg (currently Slough Feg) is a Folk metal / Heavy metal band that formed in Pennsylvania in the early 1990s and is currently The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern The United States of America —commonly referred to as the  Their self-title debut album was released in 1996 and the band has pursued a "unique style of combining traditional/power metal with folk metal. The Lord Weird Slough Feg is the first full-length Album by the American folk / Heavy metal band The Lord Weird Slough Feg "
The Moravian band Silent Stream of Godless Elegy had formed in 1995 as a doom metal band "laced with Pagan imagery and adventurous enough to include violins and cellos alongside the expected modern day arsenal. Moravia (Morava; Morawy Moravie Moravia is a historical region in central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, one of the former Czech lands. Silent Stream of Godless Elegy is a Moravian Folk metal band from the Czech Republic that was formed in 1995 Doom metal is a form of Heavy metal music that typically employs very slow Tempos low-tuned guitars and a much 'thicker' or 'heavier' sound than other metal " With the release of their second album Behind the Shadows in 1998, the band began to use "folklore influences" in their music. Behind the Shadows is an Album by Moravian Folk metal band Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy, originally released in 1998 by 
|“||During the nineties and even at the end of the nineties, there were very few bands. We had Waylander from Ireland. And one or two in Europe, but it was very rare to get a real folk metal band. Nowadays it is a bit of an explosion all over the place.||”|
—Keith Fay of Cruachan in 2006
The folk metal genre has dramatically expanded with the turn of the new millennium. At the forefront of this explosion, with a "revolutionary clash of tradition and amplification that set them apart", is a group from Finland known as Finntroll. Finland, officially the Republic of Finland ( is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. Finntroll is a Folk metal band from Finland. They combine elements of Black metal with Finnish Polka, called Humppa  The band was formed in 1997 with a demo recorded the following year and a debut album Midnattens Widunder released in 1999. Midnattens Widunder ( English: The Beast(s of Midnight) is a Folk metal Album by the Finnish band Finntroll  They have since developed a reputation for being "obsessed with all things trollish. A troll is a fearsome member of a race of creatures from Norse mythology. " Their lyrics are sung exclusively in Swedish instead of the Finnish language "apparently because this language was better to evoke the trollish spirit. Swedish ( is a North Germanic language spoken by more than nine million people predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along the Finnish ( or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland (92% As of 2006) and by ethnic Finns outside " The music of Finntroll features a "real innovation" in the marriage of black metal music with a style of Finnish polka called humppa. The polka is a fast lively Central European Dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas Humppa is a type of Music from Finland. It is related to Jazz and very fast foxtrot, played two beats to a bar.  Specifically, the band took from humppa "the alternate picking bass lines accompanied with the drumbeat, and the use of accordion. " This unlikely mix of polka and extreme metal has received a mixed reception from critics. Andy Hinds of All Music Guide laments the polka influence as undermining "the intended threat of a death metal band" while his colleague Alex Henderson praises the band for their "solid, consistently likable effort," declaring that Finntroll has set themselves apart from their peers "because of their emphasis on Finnish humppa" and "the humor and irony they bring to the table. "
Finntroll's second album Jaktens Tid was released in 2001 and became a chart success in their native Finland. Jaktens Tid (The Time of the Hunt is a Folk metal Album by the Finnish band Finntroll.  Some of the songs on the album feature vocals performed by Jonne Järvelä of Korpiklaani, another band from Finland. Jonne Järvelä (born June 3rd 1974 is the vocalist/guitarist of the Finnish band Korpiklaani and of former project Shaman. Korpiklaani is a Folk metal band from Finland who are formerly known as Shaman.  While other folk metal bands began with metal before adding folk music, Korpiklaani started with folk music before turning metal.  The roots of Korpiklaani can be traced back to a Sami folk music group under the name of Shamaani Duo, an "in house restaurant band" created in 1993. The Sami people are the Indigenous people of northern Europe inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway  An album of folk music was released under this name before Jonne Järvelä relocated and formed a new band Shaman. Shaman was a Finnish Folk metal band formed in 1993 which is notable for the heavy use of original native Sámic music elements  The folk metal act Shaman was based on the folk music of Shamaani Duo.  Two albums were released in 1999 and 2001 before Shaman changed their name to Korpiklaani.  The change in name was accompanied by a change in the music. The traditional yoik vocals and the use of the Sámi language were dropped while the synthesizer was replaced with real folk instruments. Sami or Saami is a general name for a group of Finnic languages spoken by the Sami people in parts of northern Finland, Norway  Jonne Järvelä credits his work with Finntroll as the catalyst for the shift in emphasis from folk to metal. 
While Korpiklaani used an assortment of traditional instruments to deliver their folk metal, Finntroll relies on keyboards for Finnish folk melodies played in the humppa style.  The keyboards in Finntroll are performed by Henri Sorvali who also performs in Moonsorrow, another folk metal band from Finland that he formed with his cousin Ville Sorvali in 1995. Henri Sorvali, born October 19, 1978, in Finland, is the guitarist and keyboard player of the Folk metal band Moonsorrow, and Moonsorrow is a folk / Pagan metal band formed in Helsinki, Finland, in 1995. Ville Sorvali (b April 13 1980 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish musician and music journalist  They released two demos, the first in 1997 and another in 1999, before the 2001 debut album Suden Uni. Suden Uni ( Wolf's Dream) is the first full-length Album by Finnish Folk metal band Moonsorrow.  Moonsorrow blends folk metal with Viking metal by incorporating "Finland's traditional folk music forms into elaborate symphonic arrangements typical of Viking metal outfits such as Bathory and Enslaved. Bathory was a Swedish heavy metal band formed by Quorthon in 1983 Enslaved is a progressive Black metal band formed in 1991 in Haugesund, Norway, and currently based out of Bergen " The adoption of folk elements was "becoming all the rage" in Finland by this point and other folk metal bands from Finland that began to emerge in the early 2000s included Cadacross, Ensiferum and later on Turisas and Wintersun. Cadacross are a Finnish heavy metal band formed in 1997 They went through a major line-up change after their debut album So Pale Is the Light Ensiferum (Latin ensĭfĕrum (neuter adjective meaning "sword bearing" is a heavy metal Turisas are a Finnish Viking metal band from Hämeenlinna. They were founded in 1997 by Mathias Nygård and Jussi Wickström Wintersun is a Finnish metal band founded by ex- Ensiferum frontman Jari Mäenpää.  Ensiferum notably found themselves at the top of the Finnish charts with their 2007 single "One More Magic Potion. " One More Magic Potion " is the second single of the viking / Folk metal band Ensiferum. "
Folk metal acts are not uncommon in the other Scandinavian countries. Bands from Sweden include the aforementioned Thyrfing and Månegarm along with other acts such as Otyg and Vintersorg. Otyg is a Folk music / Viking metal band from Sweden, featuring Andreas Hedlund, the frontman for Vintersorg. Vintersorg (pronounced 'sɔrj; "Winter Sorrow" in English is a Swedish folk / viking Black metal band from Skellefteå  Norway has produced the aforementioned Storm and Windir as well as more recent groups such as Kampfar, Lumsk, and Trollfest. Kampfar is a pagan Lumsk is a Folk metal band from Trondheim, Norway. It combines traditional Norwegian folk music and Folklore with rock Trollfest (sometimes written TrollfesT) are a Norwegian Folk metal band  Folk metal bands from Denmark include Wuthering Heights, Svartsot, and the Faroe Islanders Týr. Wuthering Heights is a Danish heavy metal band with a somewhat eclectic musical style which falls in somewhere between progressive, folk Svartsot is a Danish Folk metal band formed in 2005 in Randers. The Faroe Islands or Faeroe Islands or simply Faroe(s or Faeroes (Føroyar meaning " Sheep Islands" Færøerne Old Norse Týr (tʰʊɪːɹ is a band from the Faroe Islands which plays a combination of heavy metal and Folk music, with strong Progressive metal elements 
Outside Scandinavia, other European nations have contributed to the growing genre. Groups from the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania includes Metsatöll, Raud-Ants, Obtest and Skyforger while representatives from Russia include Alkonost, Arkona and Butterfly Temple. The Baltic states (Balti riigid Baltijas valstis Baltijos valstybės or Baltic countries are three countries in Northern Europe, all members of the Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia ( Eesti or Eesti Vabariik) is a Country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region Latvia ( Latvija officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republika is a Country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region. Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika is a Country in Eastern often referred to as Northern Europe or in the Metsatöll is an Estonian Folk metal bandThe Raud-Ants is an Estonian Folk metal band from Viljandi that was formed in 2002 Obtest is a folk Black metal band from Vilnius, Lithuania. They started playing in 1992 as brutal Death metal act Skyforger is a heavy metal band from Latvia which was formed in 1995 out of the remains of Doom metal band Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending Alkonost is a Russian Folk metal band formed in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan, Russia in 1995 __FORCETOC__ Arkona (Аркона is a Russian pagan metal band. Butterfly Temple is a Russian Folk metal band that was formed in 1995  More isolated examples across Europe include Balkandji from Bulgaria, Elvenking from Italy and Eluveitie from Switzerland. Balkandji is a Folk metal band from Bulgaria. They freely mix traditional Bulgarian music with Hard rock and heavy metal. The state of Bulgaria (България transliterated bg-Latn ''Balgaria'' The country preserves the traditions (in ethnic name language and alphabet of the First Bulgarian Elvenking is a folk / Power metal band from Italy. Biography Elvenking was formed in October 1997 by two Guitarist friends Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Eluveitie (pronounced el-vey-ti) is a Folk metal band from Switzerland. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation  Folkearth is an international folk metal project with members from several different European countries. Folkearth is an international music project created by musicians playing folk and Viking metal. At its inception, the project consisted of 14 musicians from separate backgrounds in folk and metal music.  With their second album By the Sword of My Father released in 2006, the project boasted the participation of 31 musicians. By the Sword of My Father is the second studio album of the musical project Folkearth. 
Beyond the European continent, folk metal is relatively rare with only a few known acts including the aforementioned The Lord Weird Slough Feg and their fellow Americans Agalloch. Agalloch is an American neofolk / black / Doom metal band formed in 1995 in Portland, Oregon. The latter's music "made for a stark geographical anomaly, since its eclectic, avant-garde folk-metal was the sort of thing one would expect to emerge from Scandinavia -- not Portland, Oregon. Portland is a city located in the Northwestern United States, near the Confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers " Tuatha de Danann is another geographical anomaly with their Celtic metal from Brazil. Tuatha de Danann is a Folk metal band from Varginha / MG Brazil known for the merryful celtic dance rhythms Flute melodies |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld 
The music of folk metal is a diverse collection with bands pursuing different subgenres of heavy metal music. While bands like Primordial, Melechesh and Finntroll perform black metal, other groups such as The Lord Weird Slough Feg and Mägo de Oz ply their trade with a more traditional or power metal base. The German-Norwegian group Midnattsol blends the genre with gothic metal. Midnattsol is a Symphonic metal and Folk metal band from Germany and Norway.  Progressive tendencies can be found among some bands including Elvenking Lumsk and Týr.  Some bands are known to adopt more than one different styles of heavy metal. Orphaned Land combines folk metal with progressive and doom/death metal while Ensiferum mix folk music on top of a power and death metal hybrid. Death/doom (also known as deathdoom and doomdeath) is an extreme heavy metal subgenre  A few groups are also known to incorporate the styles of other music genres outside of heavy metal. Examples include the punk rock in the Norwegian act Glittertind and the neofolk and post-rock tendencies of Agalloch. Glittertind is a Norwegian Folk metal and Viking metal project which started in 2001 Neofolk is a form of Folk music -inspired experimental music that emerged from post-industrial music circles Post-rock is a genre of Alternative rock characterized by the use of Musical instruments commonly associated with Rock music, but using Rhythms Agalloch is an American neofolk / black / Doom metal band formed in 1995 in Portland, Oregon. 
The folk elements in the genre often reflect the ethnic background of the musicians as is the case for the Scandinavian folk music in Finntroll and Korpiklaani, the Baltic folk music in Metsatöll and Skyforger or the Middle Eastern background of Orphaned Land and Melechesh.  Celtic music can be found among such Irish groups as Cruachan and Waylander as well as bands outside Ireland like Eluveitie and Tuatha de Danann.  Folk music from multiple regions are employed by some groups like Elvenking and Ensiferum
The genre also offers a variety of atmosphere and moods. A fun and cheerful nature is characteristic of groups like Finntroll and Korpiklaani.  Both bands are also noted for playing music that one can dance to.  In contrast, other acts such as Thyrfing and Primordial are known for their contemplative atmosphere.  Lumsk offers a more mellow style while Agalloch are known for their "depressive ambient" sound. 
An epic atmosphere is characteristic of some folk metal bands like Primordial, Moonsorrow, Turisas and the music project Folkearth.  Groups like Ensiferum and Wintersun are known to have a melodious side while bands that favor a more blistering or brutal approach can be found in groups like Finntroll, Månegarm and Melechesh. 
Folk metal feature the same typical instruments found in heavy metal music: guitars, bass, drums and vocalist. While a few folk metal groups like Tharaphita discard "any notion of utilising folk instrumentation" and "rely solely on traditional metal instruments," bands in the genre generally rely on folk instruments that range from the common to the exotic.  Numerous folk metal acts include a dedicated violinist in their line up. The violin is a bowed String instrument with four strings usually tuned in Perfect fifths It is the smallest and highest-pitched member This includes Skyclad, Subway to Sally, Schandmaul, Mägo de Oz, Silent Stream of Godless Elegy, Korpiklaani, Lumsk, Elvenking, Eluveitie and Tuatha de Danann.  The tin whistle and flute can be found in such Celtic metal bands as Cruachan, Waylander and Eluveitie. The tin whistle, also called the tinwhistle, whistle, pennywhistle or Irish whistle, is a simple six-holed Woodwind instrument The flute is a Musical instrument of the Woodwind family Unlike other woodwind instruments a flute is a Reedless wind instrument that produces its  The flute can also be found in other bands such as Metsatöll, Schandmaul and Morgenstern. Morgenstern is a German Mittelalter rock band which formed in 1998.  Some bands are also known to highlight more exotic instruments from their ethnic background or country, including Skyforger's use of the Latvian kokle, Metsatöll's use of the Estonian torupill, Korpiklaani's use of the Finnish kantele and Orphaned Land's use of the oud and saz. Skyforger is a heavy metal band from Latvia which was formed in 1995 out of the remains of Doom metal band Traditional Latvian Music is often set to traditional poetry called dainas ' featuring pre-Christian themes and legends drone vocal Metsatöll is an Estonian Folk metal bandThe The torupill (literally 'pipe instrument' also known as kitsepill, lootspill, kotepill) is a type of bagpipe from Estonia Kantele (other names kannel, sormikantele) is a Finnish traditional Plucked string instrument. The oud ( عود ʿūd, plural أعواد, a‘wād; kaban; Persian: بربط barbat; ud The saz (from Persian:) is a family of Plucked string instruments popular in Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the 
In the absence of folk instruments, other bands in the genre resort to using keyboards to replicate the sound of folk instruments. A keyboard instrument is any musical instrument played using a Musical keyboard. This includes the aforementioned Storm, Empyrium and Finntroll as well as other acts like Midnattsol.  Bands that supplement a folk instrument like the violin with keyboards include Skyclad, Mägo de Oz, Tuatha de Danann, and Turisas. 
The large number of instruments that some bands rely on in recording their studio albums can be a hindrance for live performances. While Orphaned Land are able to perform onstage with twenty musicians in their homeland of Israel, they have to rely on a computer to replicate the roles of the guest musicians for concerts elsewhere.  Some folk metal acts confine themselves to studio recordings and are not known to perform any live concerts. This includes Folkearth, Falkenbach and Summoning. For other uses of the word "summoning" see Summoning (disambiguation.  Other folk metal bands expand their regular roster to include more musicians and consequently, it is not uncommon to find bands in the genre featuring six or more members in their line-up. Some of the sextets in the genre are Schandmaul, Cruachan, Korpiklaani, Turisas, and Midnattsol, while septets include Subway to Sally, In Extremo, and Lumsk.  Both Silent Stream of Godless Elegy and Eluveitie boast eight members each while the line up of Mägo de Oz totals nine performers.  Even when a band includes members dedicated to folk instruments, they might still rely on guest musicians to further enhance their sound. As an example, Lumsk added thirteen guest musicians to the band's seven members on their debut album Åsmund Frægdegjevar. Åsmund Frægdegjevar is the first full-length album by the Norwegian Folk metal band Lumsk.  At times, guest musicians are known to become full fledged members of the band as was the case in Skyforger and Turisas. 
The diverse range of music styles and instruments are matched by a variety of vocal styles in the genre. From the "spine-chilling death shrieks" in Finntroll to the black metal rasps of Skyforger or Moonsorrow, there is no shortage of extreme vocals in folk metal. cf Death rattle, a sound sometimes made by the dying A death growl, also known as death metal vocals, gutteral vocals Other bands to feature extreme vocals include Cadacross, Ensiferum and Equilibrium. Equilibrium is a Viking metal band from Germany. The band contains various elements of folk and Symphonic black metal, combining instruments  In contrast, bands like Mägo de Oz and Metsatöll are known to feature "clean" singing in line with their more traditional metal approach. Numerous other bands in the genre are known to feature both extreme vocals and clean singing. This includes Primordial, Turisas, Windir and Wintersun. 
Traditional folk singing can also be found among some folk metal bands. The yoik vocals of Jonne Järvelä have been featured in varying degrees in the music of Shaman, Finntroll and Korpiklaani. Yoik, Joik or juoiggus is a traditional Sami form of Song. Originally yoik referred to only one of several Sami singing styles but in  Folk singing or folk-inspired singing can also be heard in the music of Equilibrium, Metsatöll, Skyforger and Orphaned Land.  The music of Orphaned Land also feature the use of chants and choirs, commonly featured in the genre of folk metal. Bands that are known to use a choir includes Arkona, Turisas Lumsk and Eluveitie while chants can be found in the music of Melechesh, Folkearth, Týr and Windir.  Some bands like Falconer and Thyrfing are also known to feature "yo-ho-ho folk melodies" in their vocals to suit their Viking metal style. 
Orphaned Land mostly uses English lyrics, but they are known to feature other languages as they "go well with the music and also sound more exotic and unique. " Týr has also been known to use multiple languages in their music.  Other bands in the genre are known to sing exclusively or almost entirely in their native language, including Mägo de Oz in Spanish, Moonsorrow in Finnish, Metsatöll in Estonian and Lumsk in Norwegian. Finnish ( or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland (92% As of 2006) and by ethnic Finns outside Estonian (; ˈeːsti ˈkeːl is the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1 Norwegian ( norsk) is a North Germanic Language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is an official language  Bands in the mittelalter rock subgenre also tend to sing largely or entirely in their German language, including Subway to Sally, Morgenstern and Letzte Instanz. The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. Morgenstern is a German Mittelalter rock band which formed in 1998. Letzte Instanz, founded in Dresden Germany in 1996, is a German Mittelalter rock band particularly noted for their use of the Violin 
Lead female singers are not uncommon in the genre and can be found in Distorted, Cruachan, Otyg, Lumsk, Arkona and Midnattsol.  Other groups like Orphaned Land and Elvenking have employed guest female vocalists in their music. 
Popular subjects in folk metal include paganism, nature, fantasy, mythology and history. Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller rustic" is a word used to refer to various religions and religious beliefs from across the world Nature, in the broadest sense is equivalent to the natural world, physical universe, material world or material universe. Fantasy is a Genre that uses magic and other Supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" History is the study of the past particularly the written record Those who study history as a Profession are called Historians Etymology
Folk metal has been associated with paganism ever since its inception, when Martin Walkyier left his former band Sabbat to form Skyclad, in part because the band "wasn't going to go far enough down the pagan, British way that we wanted to do it. " Consequently, the lyrics of Skyclad have been known to deal with pagan matters.  The band Cruachan was also founded by a self-described pagan, Keith Fay.  For Ville Sorvali of Moonsorrow, the label "pagan metal" is preferred "because that describes the ideological points in the music, but doesn’t say anything about the music itself. " Other bands that also prefer to use the term "pagan metal" as a self-description include Cruachan, Eluveitie, Obtest and Skyforger. 
Nature is a strong influence to many folk metal bands.  Groups such as Korpiklaani, Elvenking, Midnattsol and Vintersorg have all based lyrics on the subject. For the band Agalloch, nature is an embraced theme "because we are siding with what is essentially the victim in a relationship where humankind is a disease. " All the members of Skyclad are supporters of "organisations like Greenpeace and others, for those are the ones who stand up and take on the battle" between "people who want to save the planet, and people who want to destroy it. "
The pioneers of the genre Skyclad avoided fantasy lyrics because "there was already enough fantasy in the world, told to us by our politicians every day. " Nonetheless, other folk metal bands have been known to feature fantasy themes in their lyrics including Ensiferum, Midnattsol and Cruachan.  For Elvenking, fantasy themes are used "as a metaphor to cover deeper meanings. " Similarly, the fantasy themes in Turisas belie the coverage of issues "that are deeper and have greater significance. "
The Celtic metal subgenre is known to feature lyrics based on Celtic mythology. Celtic mythology is the Mythology of Celtic polytheism, apparently the Religion of the Iron Age Celts Like other Iron Age  The history of the Celts is another popular source for the lyrics of Celtic metal bands like Cruachan, Eluveitie, Primordial and Mael Mórdha. Celts (ˈkɛlts or /ˈsɛlts/, see Names of the Celts Mael Mórdha is a Doom metal band from Ireland. Its name can also be written in traditional Irish typography and as their former logo displays as  Norse mythology can be found in the lyrics of such Scandinavian bands as Falkenbach, Týr, Finntroll and Mithotyn. Norse mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and Legends of the Scandinavian peoples including those who settled on Iceland Mithotyn was a Viking metal / Folk metal band from Mjölby, Sweden.  Skyforger is known for featuring lyrics based on both the history and mythology of their Latvian culture.  Melechesh also deals with myths and history, drawing inspiration from Ancient Mesopotamia for their Middle Eastern sounds. Mesopotamia (from the Greek meaning "land between the rivers" is an area geographically located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers largely corresponding  Other bands that have treated history to song include Falconer, Arafel and Slechtvalk. Arafel: A Hebrew word (ערפל meaning 'fog' generally used in reference to the Apocalypse. Slechtvalk is a Dark metal band from Hague, The Netherlands, formed in 2000 
A few National Socialist black metal (NSBM) bands like the Ukrainians Nokturnal Mortum, Temnozor and Kroda have been known to cross over into folk metal, a circumstance that Ciaran O'Hagan, the vocalist of Waylander, views as "an insult to people like myself who don’t hold with fascist ideals at all. National Socialist black metal (also known as NSBM or Nazi black metal) is a term used for Black metal artists who promote National Socialist Ukraine (Україна Ukrayina, /ukrɑˈjinɑ/ is a country in Eastern Europe. Nokturnal Mortum is a Black metal band from Ukraine. History Previously known as Suppuration, then Crystalline Darkness Temnozor ( Темнозорь) is a band formed in 1996 in Obninsk, Russia, to express the pride of its members being Slavic. " He further suggests that the NSBM bands are playing folk metal "for all the wrong reasons. " Due to the misappropriation of pagan symbols by Neo-Nazism, several folk metal bands have also been mistaken for being part of the NSBM scene. As there were many different manifestations of Fascism, especially during the interwar years there were also many different symbols of Fascist movements. The term neo-Nazism refers to post- World War II Political movements Social movements and ideologies seeking to revive Nazism, Consequently, such bands as Cruachan, Skyforger, Moonsorrow, Månegarm and Týr have had to disassociate themselves with Nazism, fascism or racism. Skyforger went as far as to add the words 'No Nazi Stuff Here!' on the back of their album covers.  Richard Lederer of Summoning has also publicly denounced National Socialism in a self-penned essay on his band's website.  In April 2008, performers on the folk metal festival Paganfest were subject to accusations of being Nazis, racists and fascists from the German Antifa. Militant anti-fascism is a form of Anti-fascism that advocates the use of Violence against Fascism. Ville Sorvali of Moonsorrow and Heri Joensen of Týr issued a joint video statement to refute these accusations, noting that "one of the biggest issues seems to be that we use ancient Scandinavian symbols in our imagery like the S in the Moonsorrow logo and the T in the Týr logo [even though] that is how the S and the T runes have been written for thousands of years. Heri Joensen (born February 21, 1973 in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands to the parents Joen Anker Bruun Joensen and Anna Johild Joensen (born as Jacobsen Sig is the name given by Guido von List for the Sigel or s Rune of the Armanen Futharkh, and is also used by Karl Maria Wiligut The t - Rune is named after Tyr, and was identified with this god " Moonsorrow has also issued a written statement in response to the controversy while Týr notes on their official website that they "got the idea for the rune logo" from the Black Sabbath album of the same name. Tyr is the fifteenth studio album by heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in 1990 by I 
The original folk metal band Skyclad was also known to deal with serious political subjects but through lyrics that were littered with puns and humor.  Other bands have continued to feature fun and humorous lyrics. This includes Finntroll with their obsession on trolls.  The lyrics of Korpiklaani also "focused on having a good time, drinking [and] partying. " In a review of Turisas' The Varangian Way album, James Christopher Monger of Allmusic commented that some listeners might be put off by "the concept of grown men in pelts" singing such lyrics as "come with us to the south, write your name on our roll. The Varangian Way is the second full-length album from Finnish Folk metal band Turisas and was released in Europe in June 2007 " Heri Joensen of Týr contends that a listener needs to be confident in their masculinity to listen to such lyrics as their own "young lads, happy lads, step upon the floor, dance merrily. "