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Viking metal

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Viking metal

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Viking metal is a cross-genre reference usually used to describe the lyrical and thematic elements of bands rather than the music itself. The bands that are associated with viking metal cover a broad range of musical genres and influences, such as folk metal, death metal, black metal, and in some cases power metal.

The origin of Viking Metal can be traced to the Swedish metal band Bathory, with the release of their fourth album in 1988, entitled Blood Fire Death. The album blended the aesthetics of black metal, with an atmosphere rich in imagery of war and Norse mythology. Quorthon (The mastermind of Bathory) explains some of the philosophy behind the musical and lyrical changes from black metal to viking metal in Bathory for the official website [1].

Bathory would continue on to innovate the genre further with their next release in 1990, titled Hammerheart. The album further explored the romantic elements of the previous album, and experimented with Scandinavian folk instruments and musical form. Along with Skyclad’s The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth, Hammerheart helped form the metal subgenre folk metal. The album is regarded by many as an important and influential release in viking metal’s history.

While viking metal cannot technically be categorised as a specific sub-genre with unique musical aspects, it does share similar themes and values. Common among all viking metal is a reverence for pagan Germanic, or Viking culture, as well as a rejection of contemporary Christianity, and disdain of the Christianisation of Northern Europe in favour of a pre-Christian, Pagan world. Thus, most viking metal bands are native Scandinavians and Germans, and often associate themselves with pagan and Ásatrú belief. The music is often highly romanticised and epic in composition similar to Norse folklore itself, and creates an atmosphere rich both in Germanic heroic and metal music tradition.

Some prominent viking metal bands include: Enslaved, midperiod Bathory, Moonsorrow, Ensiferum, Einherjer, Amon Amarth, Falkenbach, early Borknagar, early Vintersorg, Thyrfing, Týr, and Windir.


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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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