04. And so, Finland Became a Heavy Metal Nation


To represent the developments of Finnish heavy metal exports from the 1980s to the breakthrough years of the new Millennium, nine exemplary songs are selected below.


1. Stone, “No Commands”

Live in Tampere, Finland, 1988 (YLE broadcast).
From the album Stone.



In the 1980s, the global heavy metal wave surged to Finland, but only a few local bands gained a foothold in domestic circles. Stone was perhaps the most influential band, sparking a burgeoning world-conquering spirit in the domestic press. Their export activities however withered right after the initial steps.


2. Havana Black, “Lone Wolf”

Official music video, 1989 (in MTV).
From the album Indian Warrior.



In the hard rock sector, bands like Havana Black took cautious steps behind the border with rather international aesthetics and managed to arouse some light interest in the international media.


3. Amorphis, “Black Winter Day”

Official music video, 1994.
From the album Tales from the Thousand Lakes.



The new wave of the early 90′s gave birth to the first real Finnish metal music scene, with its new bands and events. Pioneers came from the new extreme death and black metal circles, Amorphis representing the peak of the former style in its early recordings.


4. Waltari, “The Stage”

Official music video, released 1995.
From the album Big Bang.



Alongside the extreme metal, Waltari was recognized for their original style and became one of the biggest names of Finnish rock export in the 1990’s.


5. Sentenced, “Noose”

Official music video, released 1997.
From the album Down.



Sentenced gained firm reputation around the turn of the millennium, strongly contributing to the Finnish metal narrative of melancholy, gloom, and misery.


6. Apocalyptica, “Harmageddon”

Official music video, released 1998.
From the album Inquisition Symphony.



In the latter part of the 90’s, many new Finnish bands were enjoying a buoyant buzz, also internationally. Apocalyptica was one of the unique bands gaining reputation by their incomparable concept of playing metal with cellos.


7. HIM, “Join Me (in Death)”

Official music video, released 1999.
From the album Razorblade Romance.



At the beginning of the new Millennium, Finnish mainstream music was rapidly gaining wider international awareness. As the first major breakthrough in the heavier division, HIM reached the top of the charts and conquered the hearts of fans. Singer Ville Valo become perhaps the most recognized Finnish popular musician of all times.


8. Children of Bodom, “Sixpounder”

Official music video, released 2003.
From the album Hate Crew Deathroll.



The youngsters Children of Bodom also made their way into the heavy series of global metal, singer and guitarist Alexi Laiho becoming a regular character also on the metal guitar magazine covers.


9. Nightwish, “Nemo”

Official music video, released 2004.
From the album Once.



During the first decade of the new millennium, Nightwish started its climb to become the biggest phenomenon of Finnish popular music export ever, reaching the appreciation of millions of fans worldwide – album by album, tour by tour.