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Nature Metal

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"Birds and butterflies, rivers and mountains she creates
But you'll never know the next move she'll make
You can try, but it is useless to ask why
Cannot control her
She goes her own way"
— "Mother Earth", Within Temptation

When you think of Nature Music, you'd expect soft, mellow guitars, or woodwinds, or organic music, or with actual sounds in nature like forests, water, and birds, with tracks that last an hour long, right? Think again.

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A lot of metal music features heavy nature-related, sometimes pagan, themes. Popular themes include about Mother Nature, Gaia's Revenge, Noble Wolves, xenofiction, Nature Spirits, and Anthropomorphic Personifications of nature. More often than not, though there are always exceptions, these songs contain a Green Aesop. Many music videos are subsequently set either in forests or on mountain ranges.

Nature-related metal songs are most common in sub-genres such as Gothic Metal, Folk Metal, Symphonic Metal, and Power Metal.

Compare to Heavy Mithril (which nature metal often overlaps with due to fantasy media featuring a lot of nature themes).


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Examples:

Black Metal

  • The black metal/dark ambient band Lustre is primarily instrumental, but nature is a primary motif in their cover art and what few lyrics the band has.
  • As the name might suggest, San Francisco-based avant-garde black metal band Botanist is thematically based on the worship of nature, and most specifically, plants.

Death Metal

Folk Metal

  • ELUVEITIE's "Call of the Mountain" is about thinking of their home, Switzerland in the Swiss Alps.
  • Spanish Folk Metal band Mägo de Oz has many songs (and even Concept Albums, the Gaia trilogy) that have natural themes in their songs, especially referent to Gaia's Lament and Gaia's Vengeance (the latter even it's Title Drop for one one song of them).
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  • Brazilian band Tuatha De Danann combined Nature Metal with Heavy Mithril in the song "Tingaralatinga Dum - The Dwarves' Rebellion," which is about a group of dwarves complaining about the destruction of their forest home, and humans ceasing to believe in dwarves and fairies.
  • Nature is a primary motif of the American folk-metal band Appalachian Winter, who combines melodic black metal, symphonic flourishes, and Appalachian folk music to weave paeans to the Appalachian mountains and its inhabitants.

Heavy Metal

  • Ariya has a song which translates to "Behold!" about environmentalism and pollution.
  • Dave Grohl's heavy metal side project Probot has "Silent Spring", with lyrics and vocals by Kurt Brecht of punk/thrash outfit D.R.I. It's essentially a protest song ("That's not the way that I am / No") against runaway consumerism, pollution, war, and the defilement of a vividly anthropomorphized Mother Earth.
  • Megadeth: the titular track of the 1992 album Countdown To Extinction is about hunting and its effects on wildlife. The bridge of the song even has a line stating, clearly and in no uncertain terms, that a species goes extinct every hour and that the rate of extinction is accelerating.

Power Metal

  • Sonata Arctica
    • "In My Eyes You're a Giant" is about the relationship between a wolf and his owner, told from the perspective of the wolf.
    • Several of their songs are told from the perspective of wolves, such as "It Won't Fade" and "The Cage".
  • Gamma Ray has "To Mother Earth" from Land of the Free 2. It's an environmentalist-themed song.
Hey, this world's a dying planet
nothing matters, nothing's won
I have come to seek revenge
for all that you have done
Hate and fear, eternal sadness
nothing matters, no one cares
I am here to stop the madness
free you from despair
crushed under debris
  • Helloween has two environmental songs: "Paint a New World" from Gambling with the Devil and "If a Mountain Could Talk" from 7 Sinners.
  • Swiss band Excelsis recorded "In the Highlands" for their debut album Anduin The River. It's a song in praise of the beauty of the Scottish highlands in summer and autumn.
  • Stratovarius' "Paradise" from Visions and "Mother Gaia" from Infinite are both about the destruction of the environment and the extinction of the lifeforms of the earth.

Progressive Metal

  • San Francisco-based Hammers of Misfortune recorded their debut "The Bastard", which is a dark fantasy tale about an orphan who murders a tyrant king, and allows the beasts, plants, and creatures of the forest to destroy all civilization in the surrounding area. In the end, he learned that he is really a forest sapling that was turned into a human, and little more than a pawn in a Dragon's scheme to get rid of the humans.

Symphonic Metal

  • Within Temptation:
    • "Ice Queen" anthropomorphizes winter. It's about how dangerous yet majestic snow is.
    • "Mother Earth" is about how beautiful and unpredictable nature and the weather can be.
    • "Aquarius" is about someone who loves the ocean, despite knowing of its dangers.
    • "In Perfect Harmony" mixes this with Heavy Mithril. It's about a boy who was born and raised alone in a forest.
    • "Forsaken" has a Green Aesop about global warming.
    • "Never Ending Story" has a great focus on the start and eventual end of nature.
  • Nightwish:
    • Endless Forms Most Beautiful was inspired by the writings of Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins on evolution and natural science, and includes several songs extolling the beauty of nature and ultimately advising mankind to care for it.
    • Several songs on Human. :II: Nature, including the entirety of disc 2, but special mention goes to "Procession", which is written from the perspective of the animal kingdom talking to humanity. The video also lists off a number of endangered species during the bridge of the song.
  • Wintersun: This is the theme of the Concept Album "The Four Seasons".
  • Epica's song "Deep Water Horizon" was inspired by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused when the oil rig Deepwater Horizon caught fire and sank. The song is also more broadly about climate change caused by the consumption of fossil fuels.

Thrash Metal

  • "Blackened" by Metallica is a prominent example of a pro-environment, anti-pollution song; it's about how humanity is destroying the world (and itself) by squandering and destroying the Earth and its resources.
  • In the same vein, Exodus's "Chemi-Kill" is about pollution caused by greedy businessmen and politicians.

Fictional Examples:

Western Animation

  • The Hex Girls from Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost describe themselves as an "eco-goth" band, though thus far "Earth, Wind, Water, and Air" has been the only nature-related song they've sung on-screen.
  • In Metalocalypse, Dethklok releases an entire album intended for animals to listen to. Offdensen wins a court case by pointing out a warning label on the album saying it's not intended for human listening after a fan was hospitalized for nearly drowning himself. The album's headliner song "Go Into the Water" starts by calling out to the animals of the sea to rise and reclaim the lands and says that mankind will devolve back into the ocean depths.
    We call out to the beasts of the sea to join us. This night is yours, because one day we will all be with you in the blackened deep. One day, we will all go into the water.
    Go into the water. Live. There. Die. There. Live. There. Die. There.
    We reject our earthly fires. Gone are days of land empires.
    Lungs transform to take in water. Gills, and scales, we swim, and swim MORE.
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