Music, Heavy Metal: Turisas

Turisas is a band that performs a subgenre of power metal called Folk or sometimes Viking metal.  In addition to the standard guitars and drums, they make use of a number of effects not common to metal such as a male choir, the violin, and the accordian.

While not specifically a concept band, 2 entire albums and a few tracks from another album concern a singular historical saga:  The Varangian Guard.  These songs detail the journey of a band of vikings through the river systems of eastern europe, alternately plundering and trading along the way, before reaching Miklagard (lit. The Great City) aka Constantinople.  Once there, these vikings ingratiate themselves to the Eastern Roman Basileus and become his personal guard, engaging in daring escapades of war and slaughter.  Eventually, the most prominent Varangian learns that he has a claim to the throne of Norway, and the Varangians make a daring escape from Constantinople with all the riches they had acquired.

Not only are these songs awesome to listen to, but I can't think of a more ACKsian band of adventurers than the Varangians.  They've got everything: wilderness travel, looting, mercantile ventures, signing up as elite mercenaries, and ultimately taking control of a kingdom.

Turisas - The Varangian Way

Turisas - Stand Up And Fight

(their earlier stuff is good too, probably steer clear of "Turisas2013" though, it's a bit of a stinker)

I’m not a big Turisas fan (more of a Forefather [1][2] guy), but will happily take this opportunity to plug my Varangian class…

I can dig it (both the music and the class).

As long as we're having a metal music thread, I'm a big fan of Sabaton. Killing Ground.  I think one of the things that makes me saddest to be an American is that my country missed out on pikes and swords pretty much entirely so we don't have any historical ACKS songs. 

oh i was ready to do an entire thread for Sabaton!  Carolus Rex might as well be the soundtrack to the Guns of War book.  For the more traditional ACKs, there's at least Coat of Arms about King Leonidas  turns out that's actually about the greco italan war, but there's also Sparta  and, more recently, WHEN THE WINGED HUSSARS ARRIVE!

...I didn't even think about music when I set this forum up, but now it's pretty much all I want ya'll to post.


I am aware of Sabaton by way of a long-time player in my game who's very much into power metal (which I'm not). Blind Guardian was the quasi-official soundtrack to many of our youthful forays into AD&D 2e, but I never much cared for it.

For the most part I trawl the stoner/doom metal subgenre for gaming inspiration. The Sword and Orange Goblin being two of my favorites, with some great stuff by the more famous Mastodon and Kyuss.

The many shades of metal should be used to flavor appropriately depending on the kind of game you're running.

If you're running epic high fantasy, you'll definitely want some power metal or NWOBHM.  Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, Demons & Wizards, Iron Maiden, Dragonforce (DF is a little TOO fast for me), Powerwolf, Iron Savior, Savage Circus.

If some of your players are the Renny type and into fairies, be sure to include some Folk Metal like Scythia, Korpiklaani, kivimetsän druidiElvenking, or Falconer

If you're running a game about war and epic battles you'll of course want Sabaton and Turisas. If there are vikings and you're into death metal vocals you could add bands like Amon Amarth or Equillibrium (technically german folklore). If you're just into death metal vocals, you might enjoy songs about Romulus and Remus by Ex Deo

If you're running something more old-school, low-magic, gritty, and possibly weird horror, you will indeed want to delve into Stoner/Doom.  The Sword is probably the most well known, but also check out Electirc Wizard, Sleep, Acid King, Orchid.  The nature of doom metal is that you can find a metric ton of acts on bandcamp, of which about 60% have names or songs that reference weed.

Of course if you're trying to recapture the truly old-school, you might be better served not limiting yourself to metal and choosing from the classics.  Black Sabbath, of course (preferably Ozzy era, Dio era should be part of the group at the top), but also Rush, Led Zeppelin, and Blue Oyster Cult (BOC even has a song about Elric's black blades).