For centuries the Arctic has served as a stage of imagination and has inspired countless artists in different ways. Also the music genre of heavy metal frequently utilises the ‘north’ and the Arctic. This paper briefly explores how two heavy metal subgenres, black metal and Viking metal, approach and utilise narratives associated with the ‘north’. By using lyrics of black and Viking metal bands, different forms of utilisation come to the fore, ranging from narratives of death to the raging Northman. Also polar exploration finds musical expression and is a source for generating extreme conceptual settings.