My Favorite Top Ten Finnish Metal Bands! 10 Metal Bands from Finland

Jan 18, 2010

The Bottom Line Finnish metal rocks! My top ten favorite Finnish metal bands! Top 10 Metal bands from Finland death metal, viking metal, folk metal, symphonic metal, progressive metal!

Many years ago, my grandmother and great aunt came from the cold wintery land known as Finland to the United States.  I grew up with a tradition of sauna and an appreciation for this small country up by the polar circle. Since Jean Sibelius first composed symphonic tone poems like The Kalevela and Finlandia, Finland has been known as a country from which some very beautiful and different music has developed.

Today, I would like to share with you my Top Ten Favorite Finnish Metal Bands.

1. Ensiferum  My favorite viking metal band hails from Helsinki. The name means "sword bearing" On their first albums Jari Maenpaa sang and played guitar, but he went on to form Wintersun (a fine band in its own right). Along came Petri Lindroos of Norther, and he has been with them since.  The band has been described as folk metal, viking metal and melodic death metal. They feature clean and death vocals, guitars, and keyboards. My son and I saw them at the Worcester Palladium last year in December. You can check out their discography yourself Ensiferum Iron Victory Songs and their latest, From Afar. Or check out my review of their concert  Ensiferum Viking Death Metal from Finland Live in Worcester 12/04/2009

2. Nightwish If Andrew Lloyd Weber had grown up listening to Metallica this is the sort of music he may have written! Nightwish combines a heavy metal band with an opera singer to fantastic results.  They formed in 1996. The band's first albums featured Tarja Turunen as the operatic singer, but after personal differences, she left and Anette Olzon replaced her in 2007.  Nightwish has been described as symphonic metal, gothic metal and power metal. Check out Nightwish - End of an Era  My son and I saw Nightwish at the Worcester Palladium back in 2007.

3. Children of Bodom - This melodic death metal band named after unsolved murders at Lake Bodom has really released some awesome stuff. Certified gold on all their albums in Finland, they are beginning to catch on in the US. Children of Bodom is my son's favorite melodic death metal band.  CoB was formed by Alexi Laiho, the lead guitarist and vocalist. The band features keyboards and extravagant melodies in their songs giving them a unique sound. My son and I saw the band in 2009 at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, R.I.  Check out Children of Bodom in concert for yourself Children of Bodom -Chaos Ridden Years - Stockholm Knockout Live or check out the show I saw Children of Bodom Live at Lupos 09/18/09

4. Finntroll  Folk Metal from Helsinki, Finland! Finntroll is an amazing folk metal band that combines traditional folk music with death metal. They even have bits of classical music in there. The band also uses keyboards for a melodic sound. Finntroll sing their songs in Swedish. Lyrics are often about legends and tales of the Troll King and his followers.  Check out a couple albums and see what you think Midnattens Widunder Ur Jordens Djup My son and I are going to see them at the Worcester Palladium in April, 2010.

5. Turisas  Another folk metal or viking metal band from Finland. They were founded in 1997 and named after the Finnish god of war. The band uses electric violins and an accordion as well as traditional guitars, bass and drums.  They sing songs based on Norse Mythology and Viking History. Check out one of their albums  The Varangian Way or check out their live performances from the Finnish Open Air Festival Turisas -A Finnish Summer

6. Korpiklaani "Forest Folk" in Finnish, this folk metal band from Finland was originally a folk group called Shaman. They listened to some Finntroll and added metal to the mix.  Korpilani is a lot of fun to listen to, they even use a violin and an accordion in their sound.  They sing songs based on Finnish folk lore and the occasional drinking song!  My son and I got to see Korpiklaani at the Worcester Palladium a couple weeks ago. Korpiklaani and Tyr rock the Worcester Palladium 01/08/2010

7. Swallow the Sun Doom metal at its finest! Finnish band Swallow the Sun was formed in 2000 by guitarist Juha Raivo and they sing a mix of doom metal / melodic death metal. Although they only have four albums out so far, they are all very good. Check out their latest album New Moon. Better yet come with us to see them at the Worcester Palladium when they play with Finntroll.

8. Amorphis This band was started back in 1990 and has constantly changed its sound over the past 20 years and 9 studio albums. They started as traditional death metal, but evolved into progressive metal and have also been called doom metal, folk metal and gothic metal. The band uses guitars, bass drums and keyboards to form their sound. It is hard to put a label on Amorphis's sound, but it is always good. The band frequently bases their songs on the Finnish epic poem collection The Kalevela.   Check out one of the band's first progressive metal albums Tales from the Thousand Lakes/ Black Winter Day It includes one full length album and a bonus EP of 4 songs

9. Moonsorrow Although the band calls themselves "epic heathen metal" I think of them as progressive metal. Moonsorrow has also been called pagan metal, folk metal and black metal. It is rare to find a Moonsorrow song less than 8 minutes long, many of their four albums feature long involved epic compositions.  The songs of Moonsorrow are based in Finnish mythology and poetry.  They sing in Finnish and use guitars, bass, keyboards and drums.  I am looking forward to seeing the band at the Worcester Palladium with Swallow the Sun and headliner Finntroll.

10. Apocalyptica - This is a Finnish metal band from Helsinki that plays heavy metal music on CELLOS!  Their 1996 debut album was a huge success, the band covered several Metallica songs. The band has expanded since, adding drums and covering songs by Pantera, Rammstein and Slayer as well as doing original metal compositions.

Some other metal bands to check out from the land of a thousand lakes

Wintersun - A progressive metal album by former Ensiferum singer, guitarist Jari Maenpaa. Great Stuff

Norther  The Finnish melodic death metal band that guitarist singer Petri Lindroos was with before he joined Ensiferum. Good stuff!

Stratovarius - a Finnish power metal band with a bit of symphonic metal thrown in.  I reviewed one of their later albums Polaris

Sonata Arctica - Another Finnish Power metal band, formed in 1995. I may see them, they are coming to the Worcester Palladium in a couple months.

Keep your ears open for music from the midnight sun! It's pretty awesome stuff.

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