Definition: Folk metal
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 (for example, Dutch Heidevolk, Danish Sylvatica and Spanish Stone of Erech).
The earliest folk metal band was Skyclad from England. Their debut album The Wayward
Sons of Mother Earth was released in 1990. It was not until 1994 and 1995 that other
early contributors in the genre began to emerge from different regions of Europe
as well as in Israel. Among these early groups, the Irish band Cruachan and the
German band Subway to Sally each spearheaded a different regional variation
that over time became known as Celtic metal and medieval metal respectively.
Despite their contributions, folk metal remained little known with few representatives
during the 1990s. It was not until the early 2000s when the genre exploded into prominence,
particularly in Finland with the efforts of such groups as Finntroll, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani,
Turisas, and Moonsorrow.