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According to Wikipedia, Heilung is classified as "Experimental folk", while some other use the term "Neo Folk". They describe their music as "amplified history from early medieval northern Europe".

None of those genres are really related to metal.

However, Heilung seems to be very close to the metal world:

  • their label is Season of Mist, who is usually focused on metal
  • their logo style is quite close to black metal bands style heilung logo
  • they do performances in metal festivals such as Midgardsblot Metalfestival, or Hellfest
  • This is only my personal experience, but I observe that those who listen Heilung also use to listen metal

If Heilung isn't metal, why are they so related to this genre?

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I think their music is best described as "Folk for Metal fans" (at least to me it sounds more like metal than folk). That would explain why they seem to be aiming at that market segment. There are other bands that go in this direction, "Corvus Corax" for example.

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Genres are not enough to describe music completely. That's why we need sub-genres going deeper and deeper depending on many different characteristics the sound has. Sub-genres define more specific groups of sounds within the genre such as "Metal > Death Metal > Melodic Death Metal".

And then there are aspects such as "post", "ambient", "-core" further describing the sound depending on the artists' choice of the style and the movement they react with. These aspects do not specify a genre by themselves. For example, "ambient" might be either "ambient EDM" or "ambient metal". They can be merged with many different genres.

Now the band you're referring to, Heilung, do not produce metal music as far as I've listened them. Yes, they do Folk music.

But the way they interact with Folk music is similar to how Folk Metal bands do. Their lyrical theme and concept are mostly about Nordic culture (norse mythology, vikings, runes etc.) which is used by Metal bands way too often that Nordic theme in music almost became interlinked with Metal genre.

I know the answer went too broad but I tried my best to explain why they might be related to Metal genre

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It's simply not correct to say that folk has no connection to heavy metal. Heavy metal pioneers Led Zeppelin were very much into European folk music and mythology, and there's an entire genre called "folk metal" that exists at the intersection of the two.

Although there are some notable exceptions, heavy metal tends to be one of the most Eurocentric branches of the rock family, having developed in Britain, and been perhaps embraced most enthusiastically in Scandinavia. It also tends frequently to make use of medieval European imagery. Therefore the phenomenon of a band inspired by medieval European folk, but appealing largely to the same audience as heavy metal, is anything but unexpected.

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