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"Exotic" Folk Metal?


Buttercheese
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Power Metal is one of those very much European metal subgenres, mainly through it's influences through norse mythology, European folklore and European classical music.

Which is great and all, but I have often thought to myself: Wouldn't it be great to get more Power Metal with thematical and instrumental influences from other cultures?
I know that some bands occassionally like to dabble in the area of Arabian Nights, but I feel there is so much potential here for bands to actually specialise in this stuff.

So, does anybody know any Power Metal bands - or even Folk Metal bands, come to think of it - that are a bit more "exotic" that way?

PS: Like the idiot I am, I complete mixed up folk and power at first (in my defense, a lot of bands I like do both at the same time, so it's hard to tell where which starts and where which ends). What I meant was folk metal, not power metal. Though of course I do prefer the mix of the two subgenres.

Edited by Buttercheese
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Power Metal is one of those very much European metal subgenres, mainly through it's influences through norse mythology, European folklore and European classical music.
Which is great and all, but I have often thought to myself: Wouldn't it be great to get more Power Metal with thematical and instrumental influences from other cultures?
I know that some bands occassionally like to dabble in the area of Arabian Nights, but I feel there is so much potential here for bands to actually specialise in this stuff.
So, does anybody know any Power Metal bands - or even Folk Metal bands, come to think of it - that are a bit more "exotic" that way?
Power metal began as mostly an American genre, but it has been dominated by Europe since the 90's (and has stagnated as a result, but that's neither here nor there). For the most part, it has always kind of stuck to the conventional and less adventurous side of things. You might have some success with folk metal coming from countries outside of the regular spectrum, it seems like there are a few Asian bands popping up these days that might fit the bill.

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18 hours ago, Balor said:

My recommendation would be to go to Encyclopedia Metallum and start playing around with the advanced search feature.

I will do that!

 

14 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said:

Power metal began as mostly an American genre, but it has been dominated by Europe since the 90's (and has stagnated as a result, but that's neither here nor there). For the most part, it has always kind of stuck to the conventional and less adventurous side of things.

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I am not really here to discuss these things, I can only judge things from the best of my own knowledge. And aside from Manowar (who I do not listen to) I don't actually know any popular powermetal bands that aren't European but I might be biased based on being European myself. ;)

Well, I have heard a few South American bands, but they don't really seem to incorporate any of their own cultures into their music, which is a shame (it's always just dragons, fighting with swords and all that jazz). Would love to hear some stuff based on South American mythologies.

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1e9.png
I am not really here to discuss these things, I can only judge things from the best of my own knowledge. And aside from Manowar (who I do not listen to) I don't actually know any popular powermetal bands that aren't European but I might be biased based on being European myself. [emoji6]
Well, I have heard a few South American bands, but they don't really seem to incorporate any of their own cultures into their music, which is a shame (it's always just dragons, fighting with swords and all that jazz). Would love to hear some stuff based on South American mythologies.
Manowar isn't really power metal, despite influencing it a great deal. I do love their early stuff though. There are a lot of heavy/power metal recommendations in the "great albums" thread pinned to the top of the Power Metal genre section in this site, so you can check out a lot of the American bands that pioneered the power metal sound there if you feel so inclined. Stuff like early Savatage, Jag Panzer, Helstar, Vicious Rumors, Liege Lord, Crimson Glory, etc... are some of my favorites in the genre and are worth at least hearing once. I can't say that I hate the European sound, I just wish modern bands had a bit more teeth like Running Wild and Blind Guardian.

I'm not certain of the reason, but power metal just doesn't seem that inclined to incorporate native elements as other metal genres do. Other than folk metal bands, black and death metal groups seem to be the most adventurous in this way. I'm sure that it could be cool in power metal if it was well done, maybe some bands are doing this now and just aren't on many people's radar.

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3 hours ago, Buttercheese said:

Well, I have heard a few South American bands, but they don't really seem to incorporate any of their own cultures into their music, which is a shame (it's always just dragons, fighting with swords and all that jazz). Would love to hear some stuff based on South American mythologies.

Isn't dragons and fantasy the core theme of power metal though?  Power metal seems to be much more focused thematically than other subgenres.  If you want to hear reflections of different cultures in metal music, you might have better luck with black metal.

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Isn't dragons and fantasy the core theme of power metal though?  Power metal seems to be much more focused thematically than other subgenres.  If you want to hear reflections of different cultures in metal music, you might have better luck with black metal.
As the genre became one-dimensional, so did the tropes and themes associated with it. In other words, it wasn't always this way, but it has really narrowed it's focus.

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19 minutes ago, BlutAusNerd said:

As the genre became one-dimensional, so did the tropes and themes associated with it. In other words, it wasn't always this way, but it has really narrowed it's focus.

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That's too bad.  Perhaps this narrowing of focus will inspire someone to break away and create something new.

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Well, Orden Ogan's been doing their own themes, some more dark steam/gothic punk (Easton Hope), post-apocalyptic winter (To the End) and western (Gunmen). So the potential really is there. And one could argue (and Wikipedia supports this, at the very least) that Alestorm and Running Wild are both Power Metal, and we all know what their songs tend to be about :P 

Imo one of the most defining parts of the subgenre - aside from the sound - is that it's about taking the listener to strange worlds, to tell them a story of the fantastic and forgotten. It's just that most bands seem to think that this only includes whatever standard Lord of the Rings inspired fantasy is about, because that's where way back in the day Dio started. I'd just personally like to see more diverse settings.

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Well, Orden Ogan's been doing their own themes, some more dark steam/gothic punk (Easton Hope), post-apocalyptic winter (To the End) and western (Gunmen). So the potential really is there. And one could argue (and Wikipedia supports this, at the very least) that Alestorm and Running Wild are both Power Metal, and we all know what their songs tend to be about [emoji14] 
Imo one of the most defining parts of the subgenre - aside from the sound - is that it's about taking the listener to strange worlds, to tell them a story of the fantastic and forgotten. It's just that most bands seem to think that this only includes whatever standard Lord of the Rings inspired fantasy is about, because that's where way back in the day Dio started. I'd just personally like to see more diverse settings.
Running Wild and Alestorm are definitely power metal (power/folk metal in Alestorm's case), since "pirate metal" isn't a genre. [emoji16]

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10 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said:

Running Wild and Alestorm are definitely power metal (power/folk metal in Alestorm's case), since "pirate metal" isn't a genre. emoji16.png

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@True Belief loves Running Wild. He can't get enough of them. 

As for Alestorm being power metal, I can sort of see it if I squint.

Ok, pirate metal may not be a genre, but I think you're right in referencing folk metal in connection to them. They're much more folk than they are power. All their best songs have folk metal jigs and jaunts. 'Fucked With an Anchor' is a classic. If they were any more Scottish they'd be haggis. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Right, so so far I've only been able to find two bands that fit what I've been looking for: Orphaned Land and Tengger Cavalry. Kinda got the whole genre thing mixed up because I am an idiot and I listen to so much music that qualifies as both power and folk, sorry for that >.>

Might make sense to move this to the Folk Metal subforum, maybe.

Anywho, have two examples:

 

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Right, so so far I've only been able to find two bands that fit what I've been looking for: Orphaned Land and Tengger Cavalry. Kinda got the whole genre thing mixed up because I am an idiot and I listen to so much music that qualifies as both power and folk, sorry for that >.>
Might make sense to move this to the Folk Metal subforum, maybe.
Anywho, have two examples:
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Orphaned Land is great. I don't know of much that sounds like them though.

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  • 2 months later...
On 12/01/2018 at 8:16 PM, Requiem said:

@True Belief loves Running Wild. He can't get enough of them. 

As for Alestorm being power metal, I can sort of see it if I squint.

Ok, pirate metal may not be a genre, but I think you're right in referencing folk metal in connection to them. They're much more folk than they are power. All their best songs have folk metal jigs and jaunts. 'Fucked With an Anchor' is a classic. If they were any more Scottish they'd be haggis. 

What am I on about here? Alestorm have way more power metal elements than folk metal. They’re basically polished power metal with some Scottish geezer giving a bad pirate impersonation. 

 

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What am I on about here? Alestorm have way more power metal elements than folk metal. They’re basically polished power metal with some Scottish geezer giving a bad pirate impersonation. 
 
That did seem weird to me when you posted it. I don't like the band and don't have any of their albums, but I did see them play with Tyr and Suidakra once ages ago, and I remembered them being power/folk metal. And yes, the other two bands did make the show worthwhile, as well as the vocalist of Alestorm berated this guy that used to be a customer of mine when I worked at the record store.

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  • 3 years later...

Orphaned Land are my faves as well.

Myrath from Tunisia are superbly oriental, like 1001 night in metal.

Arrayan Path from Cyprus (They spell themselves Arryan Path occasionally or act as Astronomikon.) do have a lot of ancient mythology in their lyrics and a whole lot of folk elements in their music. I would call it Mediterranean Metal if to give a clue for what folk is used.

Alien Weaponry from New Zealand use Maori Elements.

Ignea from Ukraine are labelled as Oriental Metal in several sources. They do have some folks elements but not that much. They are awesome, nonetheless.

Arkan, from France I think, have arab elements as well.

I'd love to find some Power Metal with Indian elements.

 

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11 hours ago, Dinosaurette said:

Alien Weaponry from New Zealand use Maori Elements.

Alien Weaponry is genius as a band concept because they can get a lot of local attention and public funding due to the Maori connection. And they may well be perfectly genuine (despite being a poor man's Gojira). Maori culture is just as valid a band concept as Egyptian stuff is for Nile.

I thoroughly enjoyed the band Te Ruki which is a Polynesian black metal band. Fairly digestible as black metal goes.  

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Does Alien Weaponry actually get funding due to their culture?

I find that interesting. I know there has been quite a number of aboriginal artists in Australia who got government funding to boost their career but most of them were popular music type genres. There has been a few metal acts that got helped along the way by government funds, either with publicity or actual money but they are few and far between.

As far as the rest of this discussion goes, power metal, folk metal, exotic folk, who invented it, where it came from, who does it best. They are all reasons I tend to ignore genres and labels and just listen to what the hell I like the sound of.

 

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9 hours ago, KillaKukumba said:

Does Alien Weaponry actually get funding due to their culture?

It is pure speculation on my part. My guess is that they may get funding at least for music videos. 

Back in the day quite a few kiwi bands got assistance with production of music videos. I have no idea what other grants are available.

I reckon it is genius playing the system to get funding of any type to promote your band. The guitarist in my band once got city council funding to put on an open air concert in Wellington (purely as a promotional vehicle for us). It was a lot of work on his part.  And then, being Wellington, it pissed down solid and the forecast was for stormy weather so we called it off the day before.

All that work with no pay off jaded him from doing it again which was a shame...but it didn't cost us anything.

I agree about the genre label thing. My general policy is that all power metal probably sucks because it has that label.

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I'm not against governments giving money to bands but I'd definitely like to see it fairly distributed. I don't have any evidence of the exact numbers but it's a fairly safe bet given who is on TV here and who is appearing at the gigs that money given to cultural groups is not fairly shared to metal bands.

We've got a good number of indigenous metal bands coming through now days, some aren't great but that happens, however giving them some support, not just financial would be a good thing.

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