N°95 Finnish heavy metalNú Ninja Helga Mjöll
If you love heavy metal, where should you go on vacation? Finland might be the right destination. Finns have a lot of metal bands and fans. In Fact they have more than 50 metal bands for every 100,000 citizens, making Finland, perhaps, the heaviest of all metal places in the world. They enjoy huge festivals with thousands and even millions of fans all over the country. Heavy metal is one of the most popular types of music over there, it is even played on mainstream radio stations.
Finnish metal is considerably different from the music of other countries. It emerged as a national phenomenon in the late 80s. People have speculated that exaggerated metal sounds go well with the climate in Finland, which is characterised by cold winters and relatively warm summers, and that has contributed to the population’s disproportionately high interest in heavier forms of rock. But, it is hard to say where this enormous interest really comes from.
Known Finnish heavy metal bands are, for example, HIM, the Rasmus, Lordi and Nightwish.
Both HIM and The Rasmus have topped album charts in several European countries with their most popular albums and HIM also got a gold record in the USA in 2006. The international success of HIM and The Rasmus during the current decade is wider than any Finnish group has gotten before.
Lordi were the winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, the first heavy metal band to enter the competition. Lordi won with their Hard Rock Hallelujah composition, sporting elaborate costumes. Since then, they have found success across Europe and limited publicity outside of the continent.
Nightwish have sold more than eight million records worldwide – a huge achievement for a band in a genre that struggles to get mainstream media coverage.