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Old 03-07-2013, 11:15 AM   #1
swampert948
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What band is the definition of folk metal?

I am writing an essay for University where I have to discuss how an artist implements two different genres within their music. Then show how two genres are used and then merged together. But one of the examples I was given was to discuss folk metal, so I was like why the **** not? The first band that came to my head was Moonsorrow, but then I thought if I'm gonna to do this genre, I should talk about it full on. So who is the band who defines folk metal? I don't listen to the genre much but I know of quite a few bands. I'm sure you guys could suggest me someone who would be awesome to justify what I have to talk about.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
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I would say take this to the folk metal thread, but given it's in relation to studies your probably ok.

For me Odroerir, Темнозорь (Temnozor) and Old Corpse Road proabbly best represent folk metal for different reasons.
Old Corpse Road aren't musically a folk metal band, though there are minor folk elements, but their lyrics are pure folklore and folk tales, and really gets to the heart of what folk metal is about, a passing on of tales and stories of old via the medium of music.

Odroerir are for me the quintessential 'band that writes folk and adds metal' (rather than the all to common vice versa), so I think they are worthy of praise.

And Temnozor I feel are the band who get the exactly the right balance in sound between the two genres.

Moonsorrow whilst being phenomenal, really don't have a lot to offer when it comes to fusing or merging genres. You'd be hard to find folk in their sound other than minor aesthetic elements.

Hope that's of some use.

Last edited by AnnihiSlateR : 03-07-2013 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnihiSlateR
I would say take this to the folk metal thread, but given it's in relation to studies your probably ok.

For me Odroerir, Темнозорь (Temnozor) and Old Corpse Road proabbly best represent folk metal for different reasons.
Old Corpse Road aren't musically a folk metal band, though there are minor folk elements, but their lyrics are pure folklore and folk tales, and really gets to the heart of what folk metal is about, a passing on of tales and stories of old via the medium of music.

Odroerir are for me the quintessential 'band that writes folk and adds metal' (rather than the all to common vice versa), so I think they are worthy of praise.

And Temnozor I feel are the band who get the exactly the right balance in sound between the two genres.

Moonsorrow whilst being phenomenal, really don't have a lot to offer when it comes to fusing or merging genres. You'd be hard to find folk in their sound other than minor aesthetic elements.

Hope that's of some use.


Yeah, this basically; though I disagree in that I think Moonsorrow draw a bit more on the folk aspects than the credit given;

Temnozor, Kroda, Storm (Nor), early Drudkh (essentially the first two releases), Nokturnal Mortum, maybe even Negura Bunget and Dordeduh to a point.

In particular I'm pointing out these bands because they didn't simply play heavy folk music and added the metal part as an afterthought, "because golly, we must have metal here", but all are equal parts of the composition, and weaved together into an inseparable whole, to not only give a folk character, atmosphere and imagery, but also the savagery, aggression and darkness that metal can provide, especially drawing from the black metal vocabulary.

Poor sentence construction there but there's a point to be made.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnihiSlateR
Moonsorrow whilst being phenomenal, really don't have a lot to offer when it comes to fusing or merging genres. You'd be hard to find folk in their sound other than minor aesthetic elements.
You are mistaken here. Their lyrics are definitely appropriate. While the themes in their songs aren't always in tune with Finnish heritage, their poetic approach to the lyrics is very much similar to the national poets of yore, like Eino Leino or Aleksis Kivi. Of course, there are far less archaisms.

This, for example, very much reads and sounds like a Finnish folk song, though presented in a slightly superfluous manner.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:00 PM   #6
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kepulix
You are mistaken here. Their lyrics are definitely appropriate. While the themes in their songs aren't always in tune with Finnish heritage, their poetic approach to the lyrics is very much similar to the national poets of yore, like Eino Leino or Aleksis Kivi. Of course, there are far less archaisms.

This, for example, very much reads and sounds like a Finnish folk song, though presented in a slightly superfluous manner.

Matkan lopussa is an interpretation of a Russian folk song isn't it?

I guess I don't really understand a lot of the lyrics, but the one's I do seem a bit based in fiction, with Hävitetty and Varjoina being essentially a double concept album about an apocalyptic event and the sort of post apocalyptic tale, and Tulimyrsky being a sort of Viking raid on a small town type story. But I'm guessing when it comes to finnish things, your the authority so I'll take your word on it.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AnnihiSlateR
Matkan lopussa is an interpretation of a Russian folk song isn't it?

I guess I don't really understand a lot of the lyrics, but the one's I do seem a bit based in fiction, with Hävitetty and Varjoina being essentially a double concept album about an apocalyptic event and the sort of post apocalyptic tale, and Tulimyrsky being a sort of Viking raid on a small town type story. But I'm guessing when it comes to finnish things, your the authority so I'll take your word on it.

It says this on Metal-Archive about the Matkan Lopussa: "Track 6 is a traditional Finnish song with new lyrics."

I guess that makes sense.


In all fairness, I've never listened to Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa or Tulimyrsky. V: Hävitetty I've heard probably twice, so I can't really comment on those ones. Suden Uni has plenty of references to Kalevala and Finland's past. After that their lyrics became much more viking-oriented, but even then there's moments that echo the landscapes and traditions of Finland.

In the end, much of it comes down to the style in which they write, choices of words etc. Very few Finnish artists have had such traditional poetic quality to their lyrics. I'm well aware this gets lost in translation, though.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #9
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Ah, it was the music that was russian.
http://moonsorrowbio-en.blogspot.co...an-lopussa.html
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kepulix

In the end, much of it comes down to the style in which they write, choices of words etc. Very few Finnish artists have had such traditional poetic quality to their lyrics. I'm well aware this gets lost in translation, though.


Temnozor, Blazebirth Hall bands (not folk metal, obviously, but very much Pagan/Folk in the spirit and intent) and Nokturnal Mortum suffer from the same thing. I'd say people are missing out on about half of the experience because of the language barrier, even with translations available. BBH for example use traditional skaldic verse structure in some of their work, that isn't apparent in the English texts.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:49 PM   #11
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I take folk metal to be the blending of two distinct traditions in music, namely, folk music which seems to simply suggest using traditional (whatever that means) melodies and tropes in your music; and metal which is a really broad term and covers anything from death to black or doom metal. I think Folk metal should try to express the history of the band's native region, or some region the band is interested in. For bands, I think Tyr (Faroese Islands) does a good job, especially on Ragnarok. Temnozor seems like a good answer too, although I don't know much about Russian culture. Please, for my sake, do not characterize something as folk metal just because the band uses acoustic instruments, or flutes, or some other "non-traditional" instrument in a metal context.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:25 PM   #12
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Korpiklaani? Nokturnal Mortum? Windir?

All pretty different types of folk metal. Makes it hard to narrow down the genre.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
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Ensiferum or Korpiklaani, neither are my favorite but I think they sum up the genre
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ExDementia
Korpiklaani? Nokturnal Mortum? Windir?

All pretty different types of folk metal. Makes it hard to narrow down the genre.


Essentially it's what Virtuoso said though - it boils down to the metal and folk component being equally weighed and developed parts of the compositions, with both aiming to embody and translate the spirit, culture and musical/historical/verbal tradition of the people to whom that particular branch of folk music belongs. Though I'd also add from myself that usually this will also mean at least an opposition to Christian values in one shape or another, and more often than not either must be the type of folk music where the band is from, or otherwise an allusion to common archetypes.

The particular sub genre of metal from which the "heavy" part is drawn is not really important, - though I suppose black, power or doom would be the most suiting, I can't see particular preference, as it's a hybrid style from the beginning, in a sense, built on other foundations.

Furthermore, this must include both the brighter and darker elements. Ensiferum, Korpiklaani and Fintroll for me are nothing more than masquerading clowns, because the camp polka-happy sing along stuff is just shallow surface regurgitation of the cultural scope.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:51 AM   #15
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I'd say Eluveitie, they incorporate the use of many folk instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy and their lyrics are inspired by many traditional Finnish tales and folklore.
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