There is so much heavy, extreme, and beautiful metal music being conjured all around the world that it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Metal Has No Borders has curated the best of the best of folk metal released this year.
Check out our hand-picked choices below including Indian Nü-Folk, Mongolian Folk, and Moldovan Pagan-Folk Metal. More lists incoming soon including Best Experimental Metal and more!
Folk Metal Album of the Year (Gold Tier)
Bloodywood – Rakshak
I recall years ago, stumbling upon a YouTube channel churning out humorous, but impressive metal covers. The duo of Karan and Jayant dazzled my interest with heavier renditions of The Chainsmokers, Post Malone, and Linkin Park. Years later, the project strengthened with the addition of rapping vocalist Raoul Kerr. Their debut album, Rakshak, is exactly what I was hoping for and more. The unique blend of Indian instrumentation, nü-folk metal, rap, multiple languages, and social change themes propel Bloodywood to be the most likable up-and-coming act in the metal scene. I can foresee this record being the blueprint for an even greater masterpiece in this band’s future; nonetheless, I am floored by how charming and provocative Rakshak is. [Interview]
Rakshak by Bloodywood is awarded Folk Metal Album of the Year (Gold Tier) for 2022
Favorite Songs: “Dana-Dan,” “Gaddaar,” “Jee Veerey”
For Fans Of: Alien Weaponry, Sepultura, Linkin Park…
Folk Metal Album of the Year (Silver Tier)
The Hu – Rumble of Thunder
Released via Better Noise Musice
Immediately, this record had me entranced. I honestly did not find their debut album, The Gereg, to be particularly special, however this follow-up completely sold me on the potential of Mongolian folk metal. The Hu‘s songwriting is superb here, flexing range, dynamics, and stamina. An hour-long, Rumble of Thunder never rests as every piece is coated in drama and musical strength. I can’t recall how many times I returned to the delightful alternative folk moods in “Triangle,” empowering chants driving “Upright Destined Mongolian,” or earth-moving energy of “Black Thunder.” There are significant moments in the timeline of heavy music innovation; don’t miss this one.
Rumble of Thunder by The Hu is awarded Folk Metal Album of the Year (Silver Tier) for 2022
Favorite Songs: “Triangle,” “Upright Destined Mongol,” “Black Thunder“
For Fans Of: Tennger Cavalry, Nine Treasures, Korpiklaani…
Folk Metal Album of the Year (Bronze Tier)
Harmasar – Păcatu’
Released via Coteț Records
While I often don’t expect a folk metal project to convey such extreme heaviness balanced with their unorthodox and regional instrumentation, Harmasar present the unexpected. The 3-track EP of Păcatu’ dons blackened metallic chainmail upon earthy woodwind melodies, painting a dark, yet whimsical world. Each song here is commanding, dramatic, and wholly dynamic. I hadn’t been initiated on this group previously, but consider me now a converted fan.
Păcatu’ by Harmasar is awarded Folk Metal Album of the Year (Bronze Tier) for 2022
Favorite Songs: “I Strîga,” “II Ciuda,” “III Osu'”
For Fans Of: Amorphis, Shadow of Intent, Ensiferum