The vocals on some of the songs on this album were performed by Jonne Jarvela, the vocalist of another famous Finnish band, Korpiklaani. If, basically, folk metal bands started with the performance of metal, only then adding elements of folk music to their music, then Korpiklaani, on the contrary, starting with folk music, switched to folk metal.
The presence of a strong Finnish folk metal scene and the success of its members contributed to the emergence of new bands in the early 2000s, such as Cadacross, Ensiferum, and later Turisas and Wintersun.
Folk metal bands appeared not only in Finland, but also in other Scandinavian countries. For example, Swedish bands that appeared in the 2000s are Otyg and Vintersorg. Kampfar, Lumsk and Trollfest appeared in Norway. In Denmark, Wuthering Heights, Svartsot, and Tyr.
In addition to Scandinavia, other European countries contributed to the growing genre. Metsatoll and Raud-Ants appeared in Estonia, Obtest in Lithuania, Skyforger in Latvia, Balkandji in Bulgaria, Elvenking in Italy, Eluveitie in Switzerland.
The Agalloch group is characterized by proximity to neofolk and post-rock.
Folk elements in the genre often reflect the ethnic background of the musicians, for example Scandinavian music by Finntroll and Korpiklaani, or Baltic folk music by Metsatoll and Skyforger, or Middle Eastern folk music by Orphaned Land and Melechesh. Celtic music can be found in the Irish bands Cruachan and Waylander, as well as in some bands of non-Irish origin, such as Eluveitie or Tuatha de Danann. Folk music from different regions is performed by Elvenking and Ensiferum.
The violinist in the group is Skyclad, Subway to Sally, Schandmaul, Mago de Oz, Silent Stream of Godless Elegy, Korpiklaani, Lumsk, Elvenking, Eluveitie, Turisas and Tuatha de Danann. Whistle or flute is in Cruachan, Waylander, Eluveitie, Metsatöll, Schandmaul and Morgenstern. Some groups highlight more exotic instruments of their ethnic origin or country. For example, Skyforger is played in Latvian Koukla (Eng.), Metsatoll use Estonian Torupill (Eng.), Korpiklaani- Kantele, Orphaned Land-ud and Saz.
The genre uses various styles of vocals. Most bands use extreme vocals such as Finntroll, Skyforger, Moonsorrow. However, there are groups with clean vocals, such as Mago de Oz, Metsatoll. The bands Schandmaul, Primordial, Turisas, Windir and Wintersun use both clean and extreme vocals.
Some groups perform folk texts, translations, myths. In particular, many texts of the Troll oppression spruce group contain mention of trolls, gnomes and other fairy-tale characters, as well as of the Scandinavian gods.
Many folk metal bands sing about nature, such as Korpiklaani, Elvenking, Midnattsol and Vintersorg. For the Agalloch group, nature is the main theme, "because we are adjacent to what is essentially a victim of humanity." All Skyclad members are supporters of "organizations such as Greenpeace and others, as they are one of those who get up and engage in battle with people who want to destroy the planet."
The lyrics of the ensiferum, midnattsol and cruachan groups contain fantasy. Elvenking uses fantasy "as a metaphor for hiding a deeper meaning." In the same way, Turisas' fantasy contradicts the coverage of issues “that are deeper and more important.”
Celtic metal lyrics are based on Celtic mythology. Celtic history is another popular theme for Celtic metal bands such as Cruachan, Eluveitie, Primordial and Mael Mordha. Norse mythology can be found at Falkenbach, Tyr, Finntroll, Mithotyn and Korpiklaani. Skyforger are based on the history and mythology of their native Latvia. Melechesh are inspired by the myths and history of ancient Mesopotamia. Other groups that include historical themes in the lyrics are Falconer, Arafel and Slechtvalk.