Viking metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music characterised by its galloping pace, keyboard-rich anthemic sound, bleakness and dramatic emphasis on Norse mythology, Norse paganism, and the Viking Age. The genre of Viking metal was pioneered by the Swedish band Bathory, who took some of their inspiration and musical style from American heavy metal band Manowar. An epic sound is “a prerequisite for inclusion under the Viking metal banner” and bands in the genre typically adopt a “bombastic, keyboard laden” approach. Viking metal acts are known to be different with influences from death metal, black metal and some power metal. Both clean vocals and death growls can be found in Viking metal and the “speed varies from mid-pace to a fast pace.” Like folk metal bands, Viking metal acts “generally utilize some acoustic and other unusual instruments in addition to the traditional metal instruments.” Examples of Viking metal include Bathory, Enslaved, and Ensiferum.