A subgenre of death metal
with strong roots in Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Finland. It is similar to folk metal
in the aspect that it heavily utilizes melody combined with instruments such as the accordion, panflute and harp, along with deep operatic backing vocals to achieve a medieval atmosphere. Lyrical content deals with Viking culture and a Norse
outlook - the belief that the only way to gain passage into Valhalla
is to die in a grand battle or adventure. It also shares subject matter with power metal
, in that it deals with legend-esque things like warriors and dragons. Adversely it can be seen as power metal's opposite, as power metal deals with knights and heroes using neo-classical
undertones where the protagonists of viking metal are swarthy and violent, almost barbaric.
Though viking metal is dark and grave in nature much like black metal
, artists and fans of this genre tend to have a positive outlook - unlike screamo and gothicism, it's not themselves they hate, but everyone else.