Welcome to the Underground! From subcultures to music, RottingInPeace is a directory of all things outside the mainstream.
Folk metal is a subgenre of heavy metal developed mainly in Europe since 1990. As the name suggests, this genre is a fusion of the different aspects of heavy metal with traditional folk music, therefore it includes a wide use of instruments and traditional songs. In essence, any metal group that uses traditional music in their compositions can be considered as an exponent of folk metal, although there is a wide range of bands under this heading, so in some cases it is a difficult classification. There are power metal bands that make use of folk elements, such as Tuatha De Danaan, Elvenking and Alestorm, others mix them with traditional heavy metal like Skyclad or Celtic Legacy, and a large number of bands mix traditional music with black metal like Aes Dana or Arafel.
The term is often related to pagan metal or viking metal, but although some bands can be considered as viking / folk or pagan / folk, these should not be confused as the same genre.