Good morning, it’s time to metal. Here’s some news you might have missed from yesterday:
Let’s lead off with something that should make our Literati Overlord quite happy: Peter Tagtgren’s industrial project Pain has announced its first-ever North American tour. However, it’s not a very big one — just nine dates in all, supporting Orphaned Land.
Big week here on the new metal front, and of course, your boy’s nursing a bit of a hangover from last night’s Noisey showcase at Saint Vitus. Big ups to all the bands that played, and big downs to the amount of alcohol that was consumed coming back to bite me in the ass. Oh well. I guess this is what happens when Dan tries to concert on a weeknight…
Anyway, what’s dropping today? All kinds of stuff. We’ve got new full-lengths from Aaron Turner and Sumac, as well as from Boston’s Astronoid and San Diego’s Ghoulgotha. Plus, if you feel like getting #MetalTwitter’s panties in a knot, there’s also a physical reissue of Ghost Bath‘s Moonlover, which originally dropped last year. A bunch more in the works, so let’s jump into it — here’s what’s on tap for this week: Continue reading →
Another week, another subgenre. Arguably the best thing about a Monday. This week, the Horns Up blog brings you the wide-ranging sounds of Folk Metal.
Let’s tap into Wikipedia for a little bit of a description:
Folk metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music that developed in Europe during the 1990s, a fusion of heavy metal and traditional folk music. This includes the widespread use of folk instruments and, to a lesser extent, traditional singing styles…
Ok, so that’s pretty damn broad. But the fact is, the genre itself is rather far-reaching. The implementation of folk instruments such as flutes, bagpipes, and violins along with traditional metal instruments allows for the diverse characteristic that folk metal is known for. For example, it’s tough to compare the somber, ambient sounds of Agalloch and put them together with, say, the melodious and technical Ensiferum. It is not uncommon for a group to have upwards of six, seven, or eight members due to the inclusion of the folk instruments. This brings sounds that can be tied back to black metal, power metal, thrash metal, death metal… you know name it and there’s a band that will give it to you. But this diversity it what makes the genre so enjoyable.
How about some history? It wasn’t until more recently that the genre really expanded upon itself in sound and popularity. In the early 1990s, it was primarily just English bands Golgotha and Skyclad that brought us folk metal as we know it. Once the 2000s kicked in, folk metal really grew. This was most significant in Finland with bands Finntroll, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani, and Moonsorrow. The genre stayed prominent through the decade in Finland bringing us the likes of Wintersun and Turisas later on. While the genre really took root in Scandinavia, contributions also emerged throughout Europe thanks to the likes of Switzerland’s Eluveitie, Italy’s Elvenking, and Russia’s Arkona. The United States can be thanked (profusely) for bringing us Agalloch, but aside from the Portland, Oregon based group, folk metal is considerably more rare in this area of the world.
Anyway, enough of that. It would take a lot of time and a lot of pages to fully go through the depths of this subgenre (and don’t threaten me with a good time…this is a genre I very much enjoy). So instead of having me spell it out, why don’t we just give it a listen?
Agalloch – “I am the Wooden Doors”
Wintersun – “Sleeping Stars”
Eluveitie – “Neverland”
Turisas – “Stand Up and Fight”
Skyforger – “Oh Fog, Oh Dew”
Primodial – “Heathen Tribes”
Arkona – “Na strazhe novyh let”
Equilibrium – “Unbesiegt”
Finntroll – “Födosagan”
Orphaned Land – “The Path Part 1 – Treading Through Darkness”
Orphaned Land – “The Path Part 2 – The Pilgrimage to Or Shalem”