Pagan metal is pretty much an official metal subgenre nowadays, but Swiss metal band Eluveitie, who meld Celtic folk with their death metal stylings, prefer the term 'folk metal' over 'pagan metal,' since the latter often carries a negative connotation. Vocalist Chrigel Glanzmann told Noisecreep, "Pagan metal is commonly also called folk metal, and that is what we prefer, actually."

Glanzmann broke the hallmarks of the interesting and not-so-easy-to-describe genre down, saying, "Basically it's just mostly extreme metal, such as hard metal music, in the vein of death metal, black metal or epic metal, that is musically also influenced by traditional folk music, or at least includes epic, folkloristic-sounding melodies from certain areas, usually from the area or the country a the band playing that music is originating from."

If the essence of the music is still hard to picture, Glanzman also shines light on how it plays out practically in a band's music. "Sometimes such bands also use folkloristic and mostly acoustic instruments additionally. Lyrically and conceptually, pagan or folk metal bands commonly deal with ancient, pre-Christian cultures and themes that are commonly also from the area, country or culture the band playing that music is originating from." The singer also points out that pagan metal focused more on concepts and lyrics, while folk metal is more musical.

Eluveitie's 'Everything Remains as it Never Was' is out March 9.