List of Viking metal bands

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Enslaved performing live at Roadburn Festival, April 2015

This is a list of Viking metal bands. Viking metal is a style of heavy metal music with origins in black metal and Nordic folk music, characterized by a common lyrical and thematic focus on Norse mythology, Norse paganism, and the Viking Age. Viking metal is quite diverse as a musical style, to the point where some scholars consider it more of a term than a genre, but it is typically manifested as black metal with influences from Nordic folk music. Some common traits include a slow paced and heavy riffing style, anthemic choruses, use of both clean and harsh vocals, a frequent reliance on folk instrumentation, and, often, the use of keyboards for atmospheric effect. Viking metal developed in the 1980s through the mid-1990s as a rejection of Satanism and the occult, instead embracing the Vikings and paganism as the leaders of opposition to Christianity. It is similar, in lyrics, sound, and thematic imagery, to pagan metal, but pagan metal has a broader mythological focus and utilizes folk instrumentation more extensively. Most Viking metal bands originate from the Nordic countries, and nearly all bands claim that their members descend, directly or indirectly, from Vikings.

Though artists such as Led Zeppelin, Yngwie Malmsteen, Heavy Load, and Manowar had previously dealt with Viking themes, Bathory, from Sweden, is generally credited with pioneering the style with its albums Blood Fire Death (1988) and Hammerheart (1990), which launched a renewed interest in the Viking age among heavy metal musicians. Enslaved, from Norway, followed up on this burgeoning Viking trend with the EP Hordanes Land (1993) and full-length Vikingligr Veldi (1994). Burzum, Emperor, Einherjer, and Helheim, among others, helped further develop the genre in the early through mid-1990s. Through the work of artists such as the German project Falkenbach, Viking metal soon spread from the Nordic countries to other nations with Viking history or an even broader Germanic heritage, and has since influenced musicians across the globe. The Death metal bands Unleashed and Amon Amarth, which emerged during the early 1990s, also adopted Viking themes, broadening the style from its primarily black metal origin.

Band Formed Origin Notes
Amon Amarth 1992 Sweden [1][2][3]
Ted Lundström of Amon Amarth
Ancient Rites 1988 Belgium [4]
Ásmegin 1998 Norway [5][6]
Bathory 1983 Sweden [7]
Borknagar 1995 Norway [8][9]
Burzum 1988 Norway [10]
Varg Vikernes of Burzum
Darkwoods My Betrothed 1992 Finland [11]
Destroy Destroy Destroy 2003 United States [12]
Drottnar 1996 Norway [13][14]
Sven-Erik Lind of Drottnar
Einherjer 1993 Norway [2]
Einherjer
Elexorien 2004 Netherlands [15]
Emperor 1991 Norway [16]
Ensiferum 1995 Finland [17]
Markus Toivonen of Ensiferum
Enslaved 1991 Norway [2][18]
Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved
Equilibrium 2001 Germany [19][20]
Jen Majura of Equilibrium
Falkenbach 1989 Germany [21][22]
Finsterforst 2004 Germany [23]
Finsterforst
Folkearth 2003 International [24]
Forefather 1997 England [25]
Glittertind 2001 Norway [26]
Torbjørn Sandvik of Glittertind
Grand Magus 1996 Sweden [27]
Janne Christoffersson of Grand Magus
Hel 1999 Sweden [28]
Heidevolk 2002 Netherlands [29]
Heidevolk
Helheim 1992 Norway [30][31]
Helrunar 2001 Germany [32]
Holy Blood 1999 Ukraine [33]
Kampfar 1994 Norway [34]
Kampfar
Kivimetsän Druidi 2002 Finland [35]
Korpiklaani 2003 Finland [34]
Tuomas Rounakari of Korpiklaani
Leaves' Eyes 2003 Germany/Norway [36]
Liv Kristine of Leaves' Eyes
Lumsk 1999 Norway [37]
Månegarm 1995 Sweden [38][39][40]
Månegarm
Mithotyn 1993 Sweden [41]
Moonsorrow 1995 Finland [42][43]
Henri Sorvali of Moonsorrow
Obscurity 1997 Germany [44]
Agalaz of Obscurity
Primordial 1987 Ireland [45]
Sabaton 1999 Sweden [46]
Joakim Brodén
Solefald 1995 Norway [47]
Skálmöld 2009 Iceland [48]
Björgvin Sigurðsson of Skálmöld
Skeletonwitch 2003 United States [49]
Scott Hendrick of Skeletonwitch
Storm 1994 Norway [50]
Slechtvalk 1999 Netherlands [33][51]
Slechtvalk
Svartsot 2005 Denmark [52][53]
Svartsot
The Sword 2003 United States [54]
J. D. Cronise of The Sword
Thyrfing 1995 Sweden [55][56][57][58]
Trollech 1999 Czech Republic [59]
Turisas 1997 Finland [60][61]
Warlord Nygård of Turisas
Týr 1998 Faroe Islands [62][63]
Heri Joensen of Týr
Unleashed 1989 Sweden [1][2][64]
Johnny Hedlund of Unleashed
Windir 1994 Norway [65]
Wolfchant 2003 Germany [66]
Gvern of Wolfchant

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kahn-Harris 2007, pp. 106
  2. ^ a b c d von Helden, Imke (2010). Rosemary Hill and Karl Spracklen, ed. "Scandinavian Metal Attack: The Power of Northern Europe in Extreme Metal" (PDF). Inter-Disciplinary Press: 34. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Amon Amarth interview". About.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  4. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry; Born, R. "Ancient Rites". MusicMight. Retrieved May 8, 2015. 
  5. ^ Matthijssens, Vera (April–May 2015). "Asmegin - Arv". Lords of Metal (Horst Vonberg) (157). Retrieved May 8, 2015. 
  6. ^ Van Horn, Jr., Ray. "Asmegin - 'Arv'". About.com. IAC. Retrieved May 8, 2015. 
  7. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Blood Fire Death review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  8. ^ Weinstein, pg. 60.
  9. ^ Freeborn 2010, pg. 846.
  10. ^ Huey, Steve. "Burzum". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Harris, Craig. "Darkwoods My Betrothed". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Kurosu, Jason (January 9, 2009). "Tennessee metalheads Destroy to the third power". Highlander Newspaper. College Publisher. Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  13. ^ Cranson, David (February 1, 2001). "Drottnar - Spiritual Battles". Cross Rhythms Magazine No. 61. Cross Rhythms Radio. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Drottnar". MusicMight. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  15. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Elexorien". MusicMight. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  16. ^ Huey, Steve. "Emperor". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  17. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Victory Songs review". About.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  18. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (2007-11-08). "On the Road to Spread the Word of Good, Old-Fashioned Evil". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  19. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Equilibrium". About.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  20. ^ "EQUILIBRIUM Confirmed for Germany's UP FROM THE GROUND Festival". Blabbermouth.net. 2007-01-01. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  21. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Heralding: The Fireblade review". About.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  22. ^ "FALKENBACH to Release New Album in November". Blabbermouth.net. 2005-10-02. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  23. ^ Jervis, Marcus. "Finsterforst - Rastlos Review". About.com. IAC. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  24. ^ "FOLKEARTH Preparing to Release 'Father of Victory'". Blabbermouth.net. 2008-02-03. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  25. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Forefather". MusicMight. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  26. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Glittertind". MusicMight. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  27. ^ Prato, Greg. "Iron Will". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  28. ^ "Hel". MusicMight. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  29. ^ Zed, Natalie. "Heidevolk - Batavi Review". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  30. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Helheim". MusicMight. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  31. ^ "Viking Metal Band HELHEIM to Perform at Norwegian Kindergarten". Blabbermouth.net. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  32. ^ Born, R. "Helrunar". MusicMight. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  33. ^ a b Beck, Chris. "The Patriot review". HM. Archived from the original on 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  "Compared to their first two albums, The Patriot is slightly heavier and has a stronger Viking metal influence a la Slechtvalk."
  34. ^ a b Bowar, Chad. "Kvass review". About.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  35. ^ Hoad 2013, pg. 64.
  36. ^ Freeman, Phil. "Njord". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  37. ^ Born, R. "Lumsk". MusicMight. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  38. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Månegarm". MusicMight. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  39. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Manegarm". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  40. ^ "MÅNEGARM Signs with REGAIN RECORDS". Blabbermouth.net. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  41. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Falconer". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  42. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Moonsorrow - Viides Luku: Hävitetty review". About.com. Retrieved June 2010. 
  43. ^ "Moonsorrow". About.com. Retrieved June 2010. 
  44. ^ Observer (24 December 2010). "Obscurity - Tenkterra". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  45. ^ Palmerston, Sean (January 26, 2008). "Primordial - To The Nameless Dead". Exclaim!. Ian Danzig. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  46. ^ Gränshagen, Ola. "Sabaton - The art of war". Melodic.net. Pär Winberg and Johan Wippsson. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 
  47. ^ Taylor, Laura Wiebe (February 27, 2007). "Solefald - Black for Death: An Icelandic Odyssey Part II". Exclaim!. Ian Danzig. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  48. ^ Zed, Natalie. "Skalmold - Baldur Review". About.com. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  49. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Skeletonwitch". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  50. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Storm". MusicMight. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  51. ^ Van Pelt, Doug (August 2010). "Top 100 Christian metal albums of all time" (PDF). HM Magazine: 25. ISSN -. 
  52. ^ "SVARTSOT Seeks New Musicians". Blabbermouth.net. 2008-12-24. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  53. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Svartsot". MusicMight. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  54. ^ Kiser, Matt (January–February 2008). "The Sword is Mightier than the Pen". CMJ New Music Monthly (CMJ Network) (153): 23. ISSN 1074-6978. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  55. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Thyrfing". MusicMight. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  56. ^ Serba, John. "Vansinnesvisor review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  57. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Hels Vite review". About.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  58. ^ "THYRFING: New Album Release Date Announced". Blabbermouth.net. 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  59. ^ Born, R. "Trollech". MusicMight. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  60. ^ Bowar, Chad. "The Varangian Way review". About.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  61. ^ "TURISAS Announces London Headlining Show". Blabbermouth.net. 2007-01-19. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  62. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Týr". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  63. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Eric the Red review". About.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  64. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Hammer Battalion review". About.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  65. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Windir". MusicMight. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  66. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "A Pagan Storm". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 5 March 2012.