The Best Folk / Pagan / Viking Metal Album

1.  Orphaned Land - All Is One 288
2.  Finntroll - Blodsvept 270
3.  Falkenbach - Asa 166
4.  Thrawsunblat - Thrawsunblat II: Wanderer On The Continent Of Saplings 99
5.  Thyrfing - De Ödeslösa 67
6.  Saor - Roots 56
7.  Ereb Altor - Fire Meets Ice 50
8.  Gwydion - Veteran 27
  Bucovina - Sub Stele (write-in vote) 27
10.  Darkestrah - Manas 25
11.  Aether Realm - One Chosen By The Gods (write-in vote) 11
12.  Irminsul - Fäder (write-in vote) 9
13.  Sorg Uten Tårer - In Death's Sweet Dreams 7
Total votes:
1145




Darkestrah - Manas

Manas, or Манас, sees Darkestrah assume a far more folk-oriented style of pagan black metal, focusing more on clean chants and traditional Kyrgyzstani instrumentation than tremolo riffs and grim atmospheres. Lengthy instrumental sections take on more responsibility than ever before, with a special focus given to creating a grandiose vibe. The extreme metal aggression is scaled back in favor of some wonderful synth-heavy mid-paced folk music, among the best of its kind to come out of Central Asia.

Official Website



Ereb Altor - Fire Meets Ice

Epic. When Fire Meets Ice, Viking black metal meets doom metal and in this album Ereb Altor, a band made up of members of Isole, have surely put out one of the genre's yearly highlights. This is an epic metal tome which is powerful, moving and destined to become a fan favourite as it presents a new exploration of the Norse mythological themes of the genre.

Bandcamp

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Falkenbach - Asa

Everything about Asa is epic. While the marching black metal pace of some songs makes us think of ferocious confrontation and the heat of battle, the atmospheric overtones and majestic acoustic folk sounds accompanied by wistful clean vocals are the icing on the cake. The poetic yearning and vulnerability of the songs in Asa can only be achieved by visionaries. One-man entity Falkenbach has forged another hymn worthy of high honours.

YouTube



Finntroll - Blodsvept

If you want to have merry, drink-sloshing, drunken times with tunes, Finntroll should always be near the top of your playlist. Been that way for years now, no different with this release here.

Soundcloud



Gwydion - Veteran

Portuguese metallers Gwydion hit the nail on the head with Veteran. Their combative and bellic Viking/folk metal is heavy in this new album; the piercing growls are perfect for a warrior in battle, and they keep things interesting with orchestral-like arrangements, choirs and glorious melodies throughout the journey.

ReverbNation



Orphaned Land - All Is One

Orphaned Land return with a very direct approach in the hopes of getting their honourable message across to all that might hear. All Is One bears a clear cry for peace and is a simpler addition to their discography as these progressive folk metal tracks are designed for ease of access. Offering an immediately appreciable sound with universal appeal, All Is One is well layered in the band's defining orchestral and traditional folk instrumentation.

Official Website

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Saor - Roots

Bandcamp music player
If you've never been to Scotland before, Saor offers you a one-way ticket to the highlands. Three long melodic passages of atmospheric folk metal and one short windswept piece, with the addition of bagpipes, are to be found here, which subtly imbue the folk instrumentation and never overstate or exaggerate their use. The album entices you into a thoroughly convincing climate and culture, the ideal outcome that folk metal aspires to have. This is a rare achievement from this one man band.

Bandcamp



Sorg Uten Tårer - In Death's Sweet Dreams

In Death's Sweet Dreams is an uplifting and beautiful album comprised of enchanting melodies and catchy folk elements, but don't let that fool you. Sorg Uten Tårer aren't afraid of incorporating more extreme elements into their sound, including harsh vocals and an organic production to bring balance to their sound, which should appease fans of extreme and melodic metal alike.

YouTube



Thrawsunblat - Thrawsunblat II: Wanderer On The Continent Of Saplings

Thrawsunblat are part of a new movement in folk metal; carving out a place for North American sagas and folk tales in metal music. Musically, this debut wastes no time in letting you know immediately what kind of album this is. When melodic folk and black metal collide, the stage is set for the musical variety present on this disc. Some tunes are more folk inspired metal with rhythms and moods reminiscent of the best Viking metal bands (yet with their own atmosphere that sets them apart); other tunes focus more on the dark, blackened side of the music. Quite exhilarating.

Bandcamp

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Thyrfing - De Ödeslösa

Thyrfing makes another venture with their Viking black metal after a five year silence. De Ödeslösa features cutting guitar melodies driven by authentic vocals and lyrics and backed by the sounds of orchestra. With their strident rhythm section the band strike forth once again in strong form.

YouTube

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