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The Best Folk Metal Bands

The Best Folk Metal Bands

Do you love heavy metal music but also long for something with a bit more poetic flare? If so, folk metal may be the perfect genre for you. Folk metal brings together some of the most intense and ear-shattering sounds of classic heavy metal records with traditional folk instruments from around the world. These unique mixes make for an eclectic blend of melodic rhythms that appeal to both modern day extreme music fans as well as those who appreciate folklore and storytelling in their songs. If you’re looking to explore this distinct sound, then get ready because we’ve listed some great bands below who encapsulate everything there is to love about folk metal!

What Is Folk Metal?

By fusing metal music with classic folk tunes from the Middle Ages and Renaissance era, Folk metal is born. It often has elements of power metal, with its driving rhythms, aggressive vocals and riffs. Folk metal usually has lyrics that focus on topics related to mythology, history, fantasy and medieval life. The instrumentation for folk metal bands often includes traditional instruments like bagpipes, flutes and drums as well as electric guitar and bass. While the genre originated in Europe, there are now popular bands from all over the world playing this type of music. [1]

What Is Folk Metal?

Best Folk Metal Bands


This Swedish band is made up of five members and they specialize in traditional Scandinavian folk music. They have been around since 2004 and have released four albums so far, including “Tagen Av Stormen” (Taken by the Storm) and their latest release, “Nagelring” (The Nail Ring). Fejd has toured extensively throughout Europe, playing at popular festivals like Wacken Open Air.


Hailing from a small village in Sweden, Vintersorg have been around since 1996. Their music is heavily influenced by their love for folk and nature. They have released eight albums so far, including “Fornaldarsagor” (Stories of Ancient Times) and “Visions from the Spiral Generator”. The band has toured all around Europe, playing at major festivals like Summer Breeze Open Air.


One of the most influential bands in folk metal, Finntroll has been around since 1997. By harmoniously combining the traditional sounds of Finnish folk music with the edginess of black metal, they have created an unprecedented sound that both enthusiasts and newcomers to this genre can appreciate. They have released six full-length albums so far, including their most recent album, “Blodsvept” (Blood Tribute). The band has toured extensively throughout Europe and even gone on several international tours.


Formed in 2002, Equilibrium is one of the most popular folk metal bands from Germany. They have released five albums so far, including their latest release “Armageddon” which was released in 2018. The band combines traditional German folk music with black metal elements to create a unique sound that many fans can appreciate. Equilibrium has also toured widely around Europe and even gone on two North American tours. [2]


Turisas is a Finnish folk metal band, formed in 1997. They are known for their unique blend of heavy metal and traditional folk music, often featuring the use of flutes, violins and acoustic guitars in their songs. Their most popular albums include Stand Up and Fight (2010) and The Varangian Way (2007). With passionate vocals from frontman Mathias Nygård, head-banging rhythms from guitarist Olli Vänskä, and hauntingly beautiful melodies from violinist Netta Skog, this band has established itself as one of the leading forces of folk metal today.


In Extremo

In Extremo is a German folk metal band, formed in 1995. With their unique blend of power metal and traditional medieval music, they have become a staple of the genre. Their most famous album is Sängerkrieg (2004), which features an eclectic mix of acoustic guitars, bagpipes and powerful vocal performances from frontman Michael Rhein. They are also well known for their live shows, where they often perform in full medieval costumes and with large amounts of pyrotechnics to match.


Falconer is a Swedish folk metal band, formed in 1999. Characterized by their use of keyboards and acoustic guitars, as well as their powerful vocal melodies from frontman Mathias Blad, Falconer has become one of the most successful bands in the genre. Their albums include The Sceptre of Deception (2003) and Armod (2011). They have also been praised for their infectious choruses and vibrant energy that keeps listeners captivated throughout each song.


Korpiklaani is a Finnish folk metal band, formed in 2003. With their unique blend of traditional Finnish music and heavy metal, they have become one of the most popular bands in this genre. Their albums include Voice of Wilderness (2007), Manala (2012) and Kulkija (2018). They are also renowned for their high energy live shows, where they often feature dancers dressed in traditional Finnish costumes. [3]


Karna is a Ukrainian folk metal band, formed in 1997. Known for their passionate blend of symphonic metal and traditional Ukrainian music, Karna has become one of the most beloved bands in the genre. Their song Party на Прикарпатті, is the iconic anthem of the genre, embraced by fans around the world. With soaring melodies from vocalist Oleksiy Yarosh, heavy riffs from guitarists Vladyslav Yarun and Viktor Vdovych, and energizing beat from drummer Mykola Chervonetskyi, Karna is a force to be reckoned with in folk metal today.


Thyrfing is a Swedish folk metal band, formed in 1995. With their unique blend of death metal and traditional Viking music, they have become one of the leading bands in the genre. Their albums include Vansinnesvisor (2000) and Farsotstider (2007). Characterized by their complex song structures and aggressive riffs, Thyrfing has been praised for its ability to combine dark lyrics with melodic instrumentation.


The Hu

It is a Mongolian folk metal band that has become an international sensation by blending traditional Mongolian throat singing with heavy guitar riffs. Their debut album, The Gereg, released in 2019, was met with critical acclaim and even earned them a nomination for ‘Best Album of the Year’ at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. They’ve since gone on to tour America multiple times and release several more albums. [4]

Alien Weaponry

This New Zealand-based band has taken the folk metal genre to a new level. Combining traditional Maori folk music and thrash metal, they have created an intense sound that is sure to excite any fan of heavy music. Their 2018 debut album Tū garnered a nomination for Best Rock Album at the 2019 New Zealand Music Awards and their follow-up Ahi was released in 2020.


A relatively new act in the folk metal scene, this Indian group has made quite a splash since their 2018 debut album Raj Against the Machine. Combining traditional folk music from their homeland with modern metal elements, they have created an incredibly unique sound that is sure to please fans of all kinds of metal. They’ve toured Europe and Canada multiple times and even released a live album featuring guest appearances from some of the biggest names in metal.


This Scottish band has been one of the most consistent acts in folk metal for over a decade. Combining traditional Celtic sounds with crushing riffs and memorable melodies, their music is sure to delight any fan of heavy music. They’ve released several critically acclaimed albums and have toured Europe multiple times. [5]


This Scottish band has been a mainstay in the folk metal scene since their formation in 2004. Their unique blend of heavy metal and traditional Celtic music has earned them legions of fans across the globe. With albums such as Curse of the Crystal Coconut and Curse of the Black Wind, Alestorm have established themselves as one of the top folk metal bands around. Their energetic live shows, captivating lyrics and powerful instrumentation make for an unforgettable experience that should not be missed!


It is another fantastic group that blends melodic death metal with traditional Finnish folklore themes. The band was formed back in 1995, and they have gone on to become one of the most respected acts in their genre. From majestic epics like ‘Jumalten Kaupunki’ to rousing anthems like ‘Suden Uni’, Moonsorrow have created a truly unique sound that is both melodic and aggressive. Their live shows are incredibly powerful and a must for any fan of folk metal.



This German band has been making music since 1994, and they have become one of the most recognizable acts in their genre. With extraordinary technicality, thunderous drums and captivating atmosphere, Suidakra have crafted some incredible albums such as Finsterforst and Emprise To Avalon. They blend traditional Celtic instruments with heavy metal to create something truly unique; a perfect example of what makes folk metal so special. [6]

Who Will Like Folk Metal Music?

Folk metal music is a genre that has elements of both traditional folk music and heavy metal. It usually utilizes acoustic instruments, like violins and bagpipes, along with electric guitars, drums, and bass. The combination results in a sound that is both raw and powerful.

This type of music appeals to fans of both styles of music – those who enjoy traditional folk melodies as well as those who prefer the heavier sounds of metal. 

People who are interested in world cultures or looking for something different than what’s heard on mainstream radio will likely find folk metal appealing. The lyrics may be about history, mythology, fantasy, or nature—all topics popular within the genre.

The growing popularity of folk metal has led to some of the genre’s most influential bands being featured at major festivals. So, if you’re interested in exploring this unique blend of music, check out some of the best folk metal bands from around the world we mentioned above. You’re sure to find something that appeals to your tastes!

Types of Folk Metal

Folk metal is a style of heavy metal music that combines traditional folk instrumentation with heavy metal riffs and vocals. It’s been around since the 1990s, but has become increasingly popular in recent years. There are several different types of folk metal, each with its own unique sound and style.

Celtic Metal is one type of folk metal that takes its inspiration from Celtic music and culture. Bands like Cruachan, Eluveitie, and Skyclad have incorporated traditional Irish jigs into their songs or used themes from Gaelic mythology in their lyrics. Another subgenre is Viking Metal, which draws on Norse mythology for lyrical content and often includes chants or references to Nordic gods such as Odin or Thor. Bands like Amon Amarth, Týr, and Ensiferum are all great examples of Viking metal.

Folk metal can also be found in Eastern Europe, with bands such as Karna in Ukraine, incorporating Slavic influences into their sound. In addition, there is Pagan Metal that draws heavily on ancient religions for its lyrics and themes. Finntroll, Heidevolk, and Metsatöll have written songs about shamanism or old pagan folklore stories.

No matter the type of folk metal you prefer, one thing is for sure: it’s a genre full of intricate music and vibrant culture that will keep your ears ringing long after each song is over!

Types of Folk Metal

Why Do People Like Folk Metal?

Folk metal is a unique blend of heavy metal and traditional folk music that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The combination of intense guitar riffs, pounding drums, and earthy folk melodies make for an unforgettable musical experience. People are drawn to this style of music because it offers something different from more mainstream genres like rock and pop.

Its combination of hard-hitting metal and traditional folk instruments adds a powerful layer of emotion to the music, allowing listeners to enjoy both the energy of metal and the beauty of ancient sounds.

Folk metal songs often tell stories or explore mythology, giving them a strong narrative element as well as captivating musicality. This genre is perfect for fans who want to experience something both familiar and exciting—it’s a blend of two genres that have been around for centuries, but still manages to feel fresh and modern.

Folk metal can also provide an emotional release, letting listeners enjoy the intensity of metal while still feeling connected to the earth and its history. The combination of elements from both genres gives the music a unique depth and power—something that is often missing in more conventional musical styles.

Overall, folk metal is an incredibly diverse genre that appeals to people from a wide variety of backgrounds and tastes. Its mix of hard-hitting riffs, traditional melodies, and narrative storytelling make it an exciting addition to any music collection. [7]

Why Do People Like Folk Metal?

Are There Any Other Musical Genres Akin to Folk Metal?

Folk metal is a genre of heavy metal music that incorporates traditional folk instruments and traditional singing styles into the sound. At its core, it’s a fusion of rock and metal riffs with acoustic textures, choruses and melodies inspired by regional or world music traditions. However, there are some other musical genres which have similar aesthetics to folk metal.

For example, folk-rock combines various musical aspects from both folk and rock music. The style typically features acoustic instruments such as the guitar, banjo, mandolin and dulcimer alongside electric guitars, basses and drums to create an amalgamation of the two sounds. This genre was popularized in the 1960s by bands such as Crosby Stills & Nash and Bob Dylan, who combined traditional folk instruments with electric guitar riffs and a 12-bar blues structure.

Another genre that has similar qualities to folk metal is symphonic metal. This style adds the sweeping sound of an orchestra to the heavy guitar riffs and intense rhythms of power metal. Symphonic metal bands such as Nightwish, Epica and Therion are known for their grandiose compositions which feature classical instruments alongside distorted guitars and powerful vocals.

Finally, progressive metal is another genre which shares some similarities with folk metal. Progressive metal bands often use unconventional musical structures, time signatures and song lengths to create innovative sonic explorations. Dream Theater, Opeth and Mastodon are examples of progressive metal bands that incorporate various elements of folk music into their sound.

In conclusion, there are several other musical genres which share some similarities with folk metal. These include folk-rock, symphonic metal and progressive metal, all of which employ unique combinations of traditional instruments and modern sonic textures to create vibrant new sounds. Fans of folk metal may find these styles equally as intriguing!


What are folk metal bands?

Folk metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that combines traditional folk music and instrumentation with the genre’s trademark distorted guitars, harsh vocals, and double-kick drumming. It developed in the mid-1980s as a fusion of death and black metal with traditional ethnic music from around the world, such as Celtic music and Scandinavian folk tunes. The term “folk metal” was coined by a British magazine in 1994 to describe bands like Skyclad who combined elements of heavy metal and folk rock into their sound.

What are folk metal bands?

Who are some popular folk metal bands?

Some of the most popular folk metal bands include Skyclad, Finntroll, Eluveitie, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani, Heidevolk, Turisas, Týr, Moonsorrow and Karna.

What are the defining characteristics of folk metal?

The distinguishing feature of folk metal is its combination of traditional folk instruments like bagpipes, hurdy-gurdies and flutes with heavy metal conventions such as distorted guitars and harsh vocals. Many bands will also incorporate elements from other music genres such as classical or electronic music to add variety to the sound. Lyrics often reference mythology, folklore and ancient history for a more authentic feel. Finally, many folk metal bands use extensive stage props and engaging theatrics in their live shows to create an immersive experience for fans.

Is there any crossover between folk metal and other genres?

Yes, many other metal subgenres have taken influence from folk metal such as melodic death metal, power metal, and blackened folk metal. There is also crossover between folk metal and other genres like post-rock, progressive rock, gothic rock and even industrial music. Many bands will blend elements of these styles into their sound to achieve a unique blend of traditional and modern influences.

Is there any message in folk metal?

The messages in folk metal vary depending on the band. Some bands focus on political issues while others use fantasy themes to explore deeper topics like mortality or morality. Many bands also draw upon folklore and mythology for inspiration which can be used to convey powerful messages about life and nature. Ultimately, it is up to the individual band and listener to interpret the lyrics in their own way.

What makes folk metal so appealing?

Folk metal is appealing because of its wide range of influences, making it an incredibly versatile genre. Its mix of traditional instruments and modern sounds creates a unique sound that appeals to fans across different genres. Additionally, folk metal often has powerful messages embedded in its lyrical content which resonates with many listeners. The live shows are also very engaging, with bands often using props such as swords, shields and banners on stage for theatrical effect. Finally, the vibrant community surrounding this genre helps fans feel connected to like-minded people through shared musical interests.

Who is the best thrash metal band in the world?

The answer to this question depends largely on personal preference and opinion. However, some of the most popular bands in the genre include Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax and Sepultura. Ultimately, it is up to fans to decide which band they think is “the best”.

Are there other genres that are similar to folk metal?

Yes, there are many subgenres of heavy metal that draw upon folk influences such as melodic death metal, power metal, pagan metal and Viking metal. Additionally, various styles of rock such as prog rock and post-rock often have some fusion with folk music. Furthermore, Celtic punk has become increasingly popular over recent years due to its energetic combination of Celtic folk music and punk rock. Finally, there are also many folk-influenced genres outside of heavy metal such as bluegrass, Americana and Celtic fusion.

Who was the first folk metal band?

The first folk metal band is widely considered to be the Dutch band Heidevolk, who were formed in 1997. Heidevolk combines traditional instruments such as bagpipes with heavy metal conventions and explores themes from ancient history and mythology. They are still active today, having released eight studio albums since their formation.

What is the oldest folk song?

The oldest known folk song is usually thought to be “Sumer Is Icumen In,” which dates back to the 13th century. The song originated in England and was written in Middle English, a language commonly used in the time period. It is believed to have been used as a popular dance tune at banquets during the Middle Ages. Additionally, it has been described as being “a highly enjoyable example of medieval music” for its upbeat tempo and catchy lyrics. The original lyrics of the song are still intact today, allowing modern listeners to appreciate its beautiful melody and unique history. Today, this classic folk tune can still be heard performed by contemporary bands and singers of all genres, from classical orchestras to heavy metal groups.

Why do people like folk music?

People love folk music for its unique mix of traditional and modern sounds. It has the ability to transport listeners back in time, with archaic instruments such as fiddles, accordions and banjos being used alongside more contemporary styles like electric guitars. Folk music often contains meaningful lyrics that tell stories about a person’s life or culture, which can be incredibly moving for many people. Additionally, many folk songs remain relevant even after centuries due to their timeless messages about love, loss and hope. In short, folk music is full of emotion and history – no wonder it continues to capture our hearts today!

What country has the most folk music?

Ireland is widely considered to have the most folk music, with traditional Irish songs dating back centuries. Ireland has produced a number of iconic folk singers, such as Christy Moore and Enya, who continue to be popular today. The country’s rich history and culture can be heard in these classic tunes, which range from lighthearted jigs to mournful ballads that are still sung at festivals and pubs across the country. Additionally, many modern groups have become inspired by Irish musicians and use their influence in their own music – further proof of how beloved Irish folk music is around the world.

Useful Video: Top 10 FOLK METAL Bands


Folk metal is a unique genre that blends traditional folk music with heavy metal, creating a powerful and captivating sound. The bands mentioned above are some of the best examples of this genre, offering their own unique takes on folk metal. Whether you’re looking for melodic melodies or crushing riffs, these bands will have something to satisfy your needs. So be sure to check them out and discover your new favorite folk metal band!


  1. https://www.loudersound.com/features/the-10-best-folk-metal-bands
  2. https://metalheadcommunity.com/10-folk-metal-bands-that-should-be-in-your-library-in-2022/
  3. https://www.last.fm/tag/folk+metal/artists
  4. https://www.thetoptens.com/metal/best-folk-metal-bands/
  5. https://www.metalkingdom.net/best-folk-metal-bands/
  6. https://www.villagevoice.com/2013/12/18/the-10-best-folk-metal-bands/
  7. https://metalstorm.net/bands/albums_top.php?album_style=Folk