The folk and power metal scene in the UK is getting bigger every year, and I am fortunate enough to know and in some cases be friends with the members of several of these bands. There will almost certainly be a part 2 (and maybe more) to the UK version too, but these are a few of my favourites currently active on the UK scene.
Ostara Orbits the World – United Kingdom (not featuring Isarnos): https://open.spotify.com/user/dawnmae91/playlist/7DfW8t5TwuT5eCvD5CQ2Gm
Isarnos on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/isarnos
I’ve seen Atorc several times and I will be seeing them several more times this year at Warhorns Festival, Power Metal Quest Fest and HRH Vikings. Their folk metal style is great, and although (they admit themselves), their EP Seven Tales of Swords and Ale is not of the best production quality, the tracks show the talent they have. The clean vocals from Hellbard and Boudikath, as well as the violin playing from Huldra make for some excellent tracks. They put on a great live show, and they are currently crowdfunding for their first full-length album Under The Raven Banner.
Buy Atorc music and merch: https://atorcofficial.bandcamp.com/
Like Atorc on Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/AtorcOfficial/
I first heard of Isarnos when they played at Warhorns Festival 2016 (where the video below was filmed). A rare sight for a UK band, they have both a fiddle and hurdy gurdy among their instruments, as well as flutes and pipes played by frontman Ollie. They put on a great live show, as from my reviews for the Jorvik Festival and Grimner show in Nottingham. They have a great energy and enthusiasm on stage, and I look forward to their performances at Warhorns Festival this year, and also at HRH Vikings.
Buy Isarnos music and merch: https://isarnos.bigcartel.com/
Isarnos Webpage: http://www.isarnos.com/
Like Isarnos on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Isarnos/
Sellsword are one of the few up and coming power metal bands I know of in the UK right now, playing their own brand of mercenary metal. They have a brilliant set of vocals in the form of frontman Stuart, and the twin axes of Henry and James to bring amazing melodies, harmonies and solos. Their trademark swordophone always is always a talking point, and the promise of a T-shirt trebuchet at their well deserved debut Bloodstock Festival performance later this year will be a sight to see as they headline the New Blood stage. They are a brilliant live band and should have big things for them coming up in the future. They will also be playing Warhorns Festival and HRH Vikings this year.
Buy Sellsword music and merch: https://sellsword.bandcamp.com/
Sellsword Webpage: http://www.sellsword.co.uk/
Like Sellsword on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mercenarymetal/
The Mighty Wraith
The Mighty Wraith are another band I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a few times. They have some great heavy metal tracks, and Matt Gore’s vocals are absolutely phemonenal. There are not many vocalists out there with the power and control that Matt has over his voice. The band have strong riffs, catchy choruses and never fail to draw in a crowd. Their performance at HRH Metal was so popular that the room was packed and I couldn’t get in to see their set.
Buy The Mighty Wraith music and merch: https://www.themightywraith.com/store
The Mighty Wraith Webpage: https://www.themightywraith.com/
Like The Mighty Wraith on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themightywraith/
Ravenage are a brilliant folk and melodic death metal band formed in Hull in 2007. Their appearances have been sporadic, with their last release out in 2011, but they have been putting in some live performances more recently, and they will be making appearances at both Warhorns Festival (which frontman Glyn is one of the main organisers for), and also at HRH Vikings this year. They are a great band to have a drink and a dance to, and are definitely a band you want to see live if you can.
Like Ravenage on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialravenage/
One of the best pirate metal bands out there, Red Rum have been on the UK circuit for a while, and are soon to start a UK tour along with fellow pirate metallers Iron Seawolf. They will also be closing the next day Power Metal Quest Fest at the end of September in Birmingham. Their happy, jolly folk metal makes you want to dance, jig and drink all night, and their cover of They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengard is always a highlight of any Red Rum performance.
Buy Red Rum music and merch: https://redrumuk.bandcamp.com/releases
Like Red Rum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/redrummetal/