#1
So there is a long history of incorporating non-traditional instruments (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, vocals) in metal. Folk metal bands have always included fiddles, flutes, pipes, accordion, and all kinds of other more exotic stuff from their country, such as Chthonic using erhu. Some progressive bands like The Ocean have featured all kinds of sax and other winds and Ne Obliviscaris uses violin and there are many examples of course.

I suppose you could count keys as non-traditional when used in place of having somebody actually playing the traditional folk instruments as used by many black/folk metal bands (rather than the standard piano/organ/synth string sounds that older metal bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow brought into the genre).

So what are some of your favorite uses of these folk and orchestral instruments in metal?

I like the use of flutes by Temnozor. I also am a big fan of all types of bagpipes, and so I enjoy hearing them used by Skyforger.

With my one black metal band, I tend to record all of the songs and mix two versions, one with all of the folk instruments and keyboards and one without them, with usually a bit of difference in overall production sound. My joke black metal band is recording using entirely heavily distorted acoustic string instruments.
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#2
Basically the first 3 bands you mentioned, but also the likes of Eluveitie who use gaulic/celtic stuff like fiddles, hurdy gurdys and the good ol' penny whistle.

Tenggar cavalry takes the Chthonic vibe a bit further and does full on Mongolian throat singing and drumming:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qNbbhLOSPw

I love the sitar/indian drum combo for this album intro, which blends into the first track very nicely:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsO8LmTioGk

Myrath uses many northern african/middle eastern instruments in their stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMvqMHST2Is

Thats all I can think of atm.
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#3
i'm not really a fan of specific folk instruments, but they're nice when used just to color a song. for example, i enjoy how Finntroll used the accordion sound on some of their songs, but i don't like it as much when it's used as a main instrument, like with Korpiklaani.

i am a fan of sax in metal though, it's good at giving a mad, out-there sound.
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#4
Always liked Bong's sitar and zither use. It's typically kept low in the mix but it adds a lot imo
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#6
Rule of thumb is if they have been properly written into a composition, then I'll most likely enjoy them. If they're simply slapped on top of a metal song to give a 'folk feel' or if the overabundance of folk instrumentation and phrasing makes it a 'heavy folk song' rather than a metal song, I lose interest.

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#7
Quote by EpiExplorer
Tenggar cavalry takes the Chthonic vibe a bit further and does full on Mongolian throat singing and drumming:


Every Mongolian band does that though, whether it's rock, jazz, rap, pop, whatever.
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#9
Quote by idg221
I love the use of violin in epica's songs, besides, most simponic\folk metal bands use "traditional" instruments..
anyway, the mix between classical music and metal is beatiful


I agree that there are a lot of great symphonic metal bands out there.

But it also bugs me, because symphonic metal very rarely

a) has anything to do with symphonies
b) has anything to do with classical music in general
c) uses orchestral instruments in a meaningful way
d) musically benefits at all from "classical influence" and orchestral instruments

But I still like some symphonic power and black metal bands. But I wouldn't say that I'm particularly impressed by how most bands use their orchestral synth samples.
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#10
Quote by Kevätuhri
I agree that there are a lot of great symphonic metal bands out there.

But it also bugs me, because symphonic metal very rarely

a) has anything to do with symphonies
b) has anything to do with classical music in general
c) uses orchestral instruments in a meaningful way
d) musically benefits at all from "classical influence" and orchestral instruments

But I still like some symphonic power and black metal bands. But I wouldn't say that I'm particularly impressed by how most bands use their orchestral synth samples.



you wouldn't them to be classical like bach to mozrat, right? thet are still *metal* bands. i agree that they are rarely play symphonys in it's original meaning of it, but those bands are still fun to hear when you are not in very heavy (black metal style) mode..

and i almost forgot the great band (one of my favorite), orphand land, Oriental metal band with Mediterranean music influences (also in their instruments)
#11
Quote by idg221
you wouldn't them to be classical like bach to mozrat, right?

No, but instead of listening to these bands, I would just listen to Bach or Mozart.
#12
Quote by Ironic Maiden
No, but instead of listening to these bands, I would just listen to Bach or Mozart.


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#13
Is it Molested that uses a flute on some of their songs? Or is it some other band

Whatever band it is, that was pretty rad.
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#16
Quote by pinheadslts75
Bluegrass is Appalachian folk after all.


That's sort of not really true, but that's another discussion.
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#18
Check out these amazing Euro metal bands:

Nightwish - Symphonic Metal
In Extremo - Medieval Metal
Within Temptation - Symphonic Metal
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#19
Quote by Hawt400A
Check out these amazing Euro metal bands:

Nightwish - Symphonic Metal
In Extremo - Medieval Metal
Within Temptation - Symphonic Metal


no.

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"- I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.”
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#23
Quote by Kytokinesis
No, let's hear it.


Well, bluegrass itself is not Appalachian folk music but rather a modern [1] style of music that takes influence from a wide variety of genres and styles. Obviously there is influence from traditional Appalachian string music, retrospectively referred to as old time music, particularly when used to refer to modern music played in the 19th century style (since there are obviously not recordings of early Appalachian folk music), which itself was largely influenced by the folk traditions of England, Ireland, and Scotland due to large numbers of immigrants from those countries.







However, there are distinct differences between bluegrass and old time music, largely due to the influence of other genres, with blues, ragtime, jazz, etc being early influences and rock, folk revival, electric country, classical, and jam band music becoming a major influence in the late 60s and early 70s. In the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, popular music, popular country, indie rock, modern folk revival, punk, etc became a major influence on bluegrass.









There is a pretty noticeable difference between the first set videos and those. One of the most notable differences is that bluegrass is a much tighter, technically complex genre featuring far more syncopation, particularly on the banjo. Also I'd like to note that, even though that second video does have a bass player, bass was not used in Appalachian folk music. Low end instruments were often absent, though cello was sometimes used.

Another major difference is that old time Appalachian music, much like Irish music, is largely homophonic, ie all the melody instruments carry the melody at the same time, usually in unison or octaves rather than harmonizing, as opposed to bluegrass, which is largely heterophonic, with only one instrument carrying the melody, with the exception of banjo and vocals as well as elaborate vocals harmonies during the chorus of the song.


[1] Modern is relative term and varies depending on genre, etc, but we'll call anything post-World War 2 as being "modern" for general music for the sake of establishing a working definition.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Jan 29, 2016,
#27
Quote by theogonia777
Well, bluegrass itself is not Appalachian folk music but rather

Thank you. I was in the mood to take things way off topic. That is a very informative write-up though. I listened to all the videos and I can tell the difference, even though that's waaay not my area of expertise.
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Last edited by Kytokinesis at Jan 30, 2016,
#28
If you only take one thing away from those videos, hopefully it's how ugly Béla Fleck was back when he was younger.younger . He looks like a normal person these days, but in the 80s he was a disaster. And in the 70s he was even worse.


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#29
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#31
Quote by CherokeShredder
What about bagpipes with fire and cow bells?

Einstein's second theory of rock 'n' roll: Metal + Bagpipes = Medieval Metal!
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#33
Quote by idg221
what makes happy, I love them all..


I agree. I like classical compositions like Bach and Telemann and I luv black metal bands like Dimmu Borgi that incorporate classical instruments like oboes and violins too.

ron666
#35
My dying bride had some great violin parts. There was a metal band that got some press for having a prominent banjo a number of years ago, but my memory falls me