Here are my top 10 picks for the best, non-traditional Celtic, Viking, Folk, etc. songs. By non-traditional, I mean they are not in the traditional vein of that genre of music – in other words, while “Danny Boy” on pipes would be a top pick in Celtic music, it’s a traditional song and delivery of the song, so it’s not on this list. Most of these bands are various forms of rock and metal in the genre. I’ll also explain the song itself in each of these picks so you can get an idea of why it’s here.
1. March of Cambreadth – Heather Alexander – killer bagpipe tune with a woman’s voice singing battle calls. Definitely her best song before she changed.
2. Some Say the Devil is Dead – Cruachan – this is a kick ass pub tune that I’ve heard and sung many times, but this awesome Irish band put it to heavy guitar.
3. Het Bier Zal Weer Vloeien – Heidevolk – “The beer it is flowing”, a great chanty from this excellent Viking Metal band.
4. The Fall of Gondolin – Cruachan – this is a song about the Elves of Tolkien sung in death metal style.
5. Mordred’s Lullaby – Heather Dale – a haunting and beautifully-done song about the bastard son of Arthur. I used it as the backdrop for my Manchurian Lullaby video on YouTube.
6. Sgt. MacKenzie – Joseph Kilna MacKenzie – featured in the Mel Gibson film “We Were Soldiers” (based on great book “We Were Soldiers Once, and Young”), this is a song based on the singer’s great grandfather in WWI, who died in a shell hole protecting his wounded squad.
7. Gravollet – Svartsot – beautifully done mixture of death metal and Celtic pipes.
8. Let’s Drink – Korpiklaani – really fun bar tune mixing fiddle and guitar.
9. The Rede (An it Harm None) – Gaia Consort – a folk band singing a great libertarian tune.
Uchulainn – Cruachan – the story of Cuchulain, the Hound of Ulster (Irish Celt hero) in death metal.
Wodan Heerst – Heidevolk – “Odin Rules” is a great song from this Norwegian band.
Fire in the Sky – Kristoph Klover – great folk tune about the history of flight and space travel.
Alive – Omnia – great folk-style tune with some awesome vocal harmonics.