Viking metal is a subgenre of black metal characterized by its chaotic and noisy sound, slow pace, use of keyboards, dark and violent imagery, and, primarily, lyrical themes of Norse mythology, Norse paganism, and the Viking Age. A lot of people mistake Viking metal for any metal with lyrical themes about Viking or Finno-Ugric mythology, heathenism etc. However, this is a completely different musical style. The most important bands to the Viking metal genre are Enslaved and Bathory.
Arrangements are usually more complex than the somewhat simple early black metal that originated in Norway in the early 1990s, also inspired by Classical and Opera, and folk metal is often mixed in, though it's not a necessity by any means.
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