Country of origin: China
Genre: Mongolian, Folk Death Metal
Themes: Tengrism, Shamanism, Mythology
In Mongolian shamanism, Tengger (also spelt Tengeri) is the sky-father, lord of the celestial sphere.
I’ve posted a song from this band before, and now I’m posting another because that’s just how good these guys are. Tengger Calvary’s music evokes the raw power of ancient armies on horseback riding across the vast Manchurian Steppe. The band links their music to a traditional Mongolian sound by their use of throat singing – a unique type of vocals in which two different pitches are produced at the same time. This style of singing was developed by the Mongolian people as part of an animistic belief set. Animism is the belief that objects of nature have their own spiritual power. Throat singing takes this a step further by imitating the sounds of nature itself.
In addition to achieving the ambiance and feeling of Mongolian Shamanism, the band’s musicians also implement their own death metal technicality, in terms of powerful guitar solos and heavy drums. Tengger Calvary successfully combines elements of Folk and Death metal in a way that doesn’t feel forced or synthetic. If Genghis Khan and his armies rose from the dead and started playing metal – this is pretty much what it would sound like.
Of course there is also the obvious fact that there are not that many folk metal bands in the world that write songs about Mongolian Spirituality and Myth, so these guys are truly a gem.
TENGGER CALVARY LINKS
WANT TO LEARN ABOUT MONGOLIAN SHAMANISM?
Týr refers to the Germanic God of courage, strength, justice, victory, defense, and battle.
Genre: Progressive Folk Metal
Themes: Norse Mythology/Paganism
Band Location: Faroe Islands (an archipelago and autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark)
Lyrics: Click Here
Any Heathen metal head or Folk Metal enthusiast is familiar with the band Týr. A Folk Metaller without Týr in their playlist is like a warrior without a sword, a witch without her broom or me without a secret stash of chocolate in the house. It just doesn’t happen.
This band has been going strong for about 16 years now with 7 full length albums to their name. While they may experiment with their style a good bit, the heart of their music lies in heroic themes of warrior battles, Norse glory, and in general just having a fucking fun time. The song I posted above has to be one of my favorites and is pretty characteristic of their sound.
As mentioned above, their name is connected to the Germanic God of justice, Týr. The most famous story about Týr is how he sacrificed his hand to the wolf Fenris in order to bind him.
Týr also was originally known as Tiwaz. The Tiwaz rune is named after him and symbolizes fighting for truth and one’s beliefs, as well as standing for dedication and valour in combat.
Tiwaz rune pictured above. Image Source
This is a playlist of folk metal songs similar to Falkenbach’s Gjallar. Enjoy! I liked almost all of the songs on this list, and even heard a few new songs that I had never encountered before.
“We stand united. We are the sons of war!”
Band’s Country of Origin: Sweden
Genre: Viking/Black/Folk Metal
A pumping folk metal video of warrior dudes doing warrior things. The word Månegarm itself refers to a wolf that lives on the blood of dying humans and at Ragnarök hunts down and swallows the moon – I can think of no name more metal for a Norse Folk Metal Band. One of Månegarm’s signature qualities is that they have had traditional instruments from the start. Their songs have a professional quality violin sound in the background along with the occasional flute as well. I find this particular song a little bit repetitive (a lot of folk metal is honestly), but the power driven melody and chords make up for this repetition. The vocalist also has skill in flawlessly exchanging growls for the occasional clean vocal. It is certainly a song I would put on my playlist – if I needed a playlist for riding a steed into battle followed by some quality drunken shenanigans.
SAOR means “Free” in Scottish and Irish Gaelic
Band Location: Glasgow Scotland
Genre: Scottish Folk, Atmospheric Black Metal, Post-Rock
Members: Andy Marshall (Can you believe this is a one man band?)
Themes: Scottish Heritage, Highland Nature/Landscapes, Sorrow
Imagine if the Folk Metal band Belenos had a baby with the progressive rock group Pelican. The baby would be Saor: a band that has the power and mystery of Folk Metal, but the creative melodies of Prog Rock. Saor brings the traditional Celtic sound to the music with instruments such as the tin whistle, bodhrán and bagpipes.The music itself is emblematic of the stunning Scottish landscape. If you go to the band’s facebook, you can see some amazing images of Scotland. It’s pretty impressive that one artist, Andy Marshall, was capable of putting this all together.
“Children of The Myst” is the opening track for the album Aura, which will be released June 6th 2014. Saor may be a very new band, it was formed in 2012, but already its music is going to the top of Folk Metal Playlists. If you would like to hear more of their work, check out their facebook:
One and All, Together for Home comes out May 23rd 2014
In an effort spearheaded by the Ukrainian band Drudkh, eight different Folk Metal bands have come together to produce a compilation album. I’ve included a list of the eight bands below:
- Drudkh (Ukraine)
- Ava Inferi (Portugal)
- Primordial (Ireland)
- KAMPFAR official (Norway)
- Winterfylleth (England)
- Häive (Finland)
- HIMINBJORG OFFICIAL (France)
- Mondvolland (Netherlands)
Each band listed above has used music as way to link the listener back to their culture’s respective folk traditions and history. In this album, you’ll find that these bands have created their own unique way to represent traditional folk songs as well as the melodies from their musical heritage.
The Irish band Primordial has recently released a preview of their Dark Horse on The Wind on Metal Hammer (a song that will appear on the One and All, Together For Home album). Dark Horse on The Wind is a folk classic that is an ode to the pain of Ireland’s Civil War. Enjoy!
For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts on Eliwagar, they are a Pagan Folk group in Norway. This video definitely tops all their other videos in capturing the epic beauty of the Norwegian landscape and spirit. Enjoy the view of the fjords as well as a mid-video sword fight.