Viking Metal? Do you mean swords?

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 about Celtic Metal or Metal in general. But most of them were proven wrong when I actually took the time to see what the genre was really all about and listened to it.

One of the largest stereotypes in my mind about Celtic/Pagan Metal was that they would sing/growl about evil beings and like it would be bloody explosions everywhere. In music videos I envisioned that there would be sacrifices and stuff about the disgusting rituals in pagan religion. 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 was what the Celtic bands would sing about. Thus, Viking Metal 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, the songs that I listened to actually didn’t contain that much screaming/growling. As I looked at other songs most of the songs actually start with a melody of either piano or bagpipes.

Also, I thought that Vikings metal and Celtic metal was man by manly men. Whenever I think of Vikings or Celtics, I think of the movie Braveheart. Even though those two don’t actually relate, because one group is from Scandinavia / Gaul, the just long beards and hair is what triggers the connection. Though something to note, 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. Now this might be because of marketing, but still, it is surprising there is a women as a lead singer. As time progresses, metal has progressed into having a lot more women in metal bands.

Overall, the many stereotypes I had 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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