Epic metal is a term used to refer to metal bands that involve fantasy, history and mythology in their lyrics. Musically, epic metal bands create a bombastic, triumphant atmosphere. However, Epic metal is not a genre and more of a movement or umbrella term.
Epic metal bands usually play power metal, heavy metal, epic doom metal or epic black metal, but symphonic, progressive and folk metal bands are not uncommon. Nevertheless, there are elements that common for epic metal releases from different sub-genres. Usual arrangements include symphonic orchestrations, choirs, use of traditional and/or classical melodies, that are used to inspire "epic feeling". Many bands that were described as "epic metal" tend to record concept albums featuring an epic storyline behind it. Alternate terms for epic metal include "fantasy metal", "battle metal" and "barbarian metal".
Heavy/power metal band Manilla Road was one of the first to describe their music as "epic metal". Other epic power metal and heavy metal examples are Rhapsody, Blind Guardian, Manowar, HammerFall and Avantasia, among others.
Battlelore, Summoning and Bal-Sagoth may be examples of extreme epic metal. .