Celtic/Viking Metal…not the swords and shields

Celtic Metal is often associated with Pagan metal, Pirate metal, and Viking Metal. There are a variety of metal bands that I personally don’t like listening to, but after listening to these, I could see myself listening to them even though I am not a big metal fan. Before looking into these genres I had many bad stereotypes but most of them were proven wrong when I listened to them.

One of the largest stereotypes that I thought about Celtic/Pagan Metal was that it would be about evil beings and like it would be bloody explosions everywhere and it would be like sacrifices and stuff in the music videos. The first thing that I would think when I thought about pagan would be those ancient Viking traditions I learned in high school. That meant burning people alive and doing some really weird things which I thought is what the Celtic bands would sing about which didn’t really appeal to me. I was proven wrong however because in music videos, much of it is centered on nature or a pirate ship. There is nothing about bloody sacrifices that I found in the videos that I watched.

Another stereotype was that it was filled with screaming and that there wasn’t much melody to listen to. Screaming and growling is one of metal’s main characteristics, so I was expecting it to be filled with it. I also thought since it was more a Viking and Celtic metal, the screaming would be more like battle cries or something a Viking would do. Even though screaming/growling is one of the main characteristics of metal, there actually isn’t that much in Celtic metal or pirate metal. Many of the songs actually start with a melody of either piano or bagpipes.

Also, I thought that Vikings metal and Celtic metal would be only men. Whenever I think of Vikings or Celtics, I think of the movie Braveheart. Not all Vikings came from Scandinavia, so that is why I thought of that. The point is, I didn’t imagine that one of the first bands that popped up on YouTube was a band with a lead women singer. This surprised me first because she was a woman instead of a man and second because she wasn’t even trying to look like one. As we have time progresses, metal has also progressed into having a lot more women in metal bands.

Overall, the many stereotypes were all disproved and I was stand to correct myself. I actually believe that I could listen to it because it sounds very familiar to songs I have heard before. If you take out all the lyrics, it sounds like music from video games like Halo or Skyrim which all have very big fan bases. Thus, I feel that you should never set your mind into the stereotypes people set because many of the times, they aren’t very true.


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