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Folk metal is a sub-genre of metal music that developed in Europe during the 1990s as a fusion of metal and traditional folk music. This includes the widespread use of folk instruments and, to a lesser extent, traditional singing styles (for example, Dutch Heidevolk, Danish Sylvatica and Spanish Stone of Erech).
The music of folk metal is characterised by its diversity with bands known to perform different styles of both metal music and folk music. A large variety of folk instruments are used in the genre with many bands consequently featuring six or more members in their regular line-ups. A few bands are also known to rely on keyboards to simulate the sound of folk instruments. Lyrics in the genre commonly deal with fantasy, mythology, paganism, history and nature.
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