As President Obama recently noticed, Finland may be the country in the world with the most metal bands per capita. This means that the metal genre is responsible for most of Finland’s music export, which seems very much plausible due to prominent bands such as Nightwish, Children of Bodom, Amorphis, HIM and many more. However, since there is such a large amount of rock and metal bands in Finland, a great deal of them remain in the shadows of the giants. Thus, I believe it is only fair that I here present a list of ten really cool songs by ten not so famous bands. Also, lists are fun. I try to compile quite a versatile list of songs so there would be something for everyone.
Private Line – 1-800-Out-of-Nowhere (2004)
Let us start with something more towards rock than metal. I discovered Private Line sometime in my early youth at the dawn of times when 1-800-Out-of-Nowhere appeared on MTV’s show Up North. I immediately took a fancy to the song and I still think it is a good rock track. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Private Line was described as Finland’s own Mötley Crüe. That is not really true. Private Line is actually pretty good. Check out their debut album 21st Century Pirates if you like this track. Feel free not to watch the video, it is quite terrible.
Rapture – To Forget (1999)
I cannot say that Rapture is a band that I have listened to a lot. In fact, I recently found this song, but it is a cool track. It appears on the band’s debut album Futile and it is quite a straightforward melodic death/doom song. It is melancholic and emotional and thus appropriately depressive.
Waltari – Below Zero (2009)
Waltari was probably the band that got me into metal in the first place, even though a great deal of the band’s material could be categorized as something other than that. The album Space Avenue (1997) is still the best in my opinion, while more recent albums have not impressed me so much. However, the title track on the album Below Zero is a great song that shows the band’s potential. I saw Waltari live for the first time some years ago at Leipätehdas in Vaasa. It was a very distressing experience since we were about 20 people in the audience. That is not okay for such a cool band as Waltari. Just listen to this.
Bloodred Hourglass – Bastard’s Seed (2015)
Now let us jump to last year to another melodic death metal song. I saw Bloodred Hourglass live a couple of years ago at Nummirock and I really enjoyed their performance. Bastard’s Seed is an eight-minute track with some really cool riffs and melodies. The song is from the album Where the Oceans Burn, which is the band’s second full length record. I could not find this song in its solitude on Youtube, so here is the whole album. It should start from Bastard’s Seed when you hit play if I have done this right.
Bloodpit – Platitude (2005)
Let us continue with something a little slower. Bloodpit sounds like something brutal, but it is actually really a hard rock band. Those of you who have played NHL 07 have heard this song before, but you may very well have forgotten about it. A very memorable chorus, peculiar low tempo verses and the intriguing voice of singer/guitarist Matthau Mikojan makes a really interesting song. It is from the band’s debut album Mental Circus, but it seems that Bloodpit is not around anymore these days. That is a shame since I think these guys were on to something.
Catamenia – Kuolon Tanssi (2003)
And now it is time for the mandatory kick in the balls, so let us turn up the tempo. Kuolon Tanssi is the first track of Catamenia’s Chaos Born, and this is also a song I found recently. I usually do not listen much to any kind of black metal but this rather melodic song just hits me hard. Brutal but yet beautiful in its own way, this song gets the party started.
Zero Nine – Banging on Drums (1986)
Now we turn on our heels like a diehard fan of nothing else than ‘true’ metal does when confronted with progressive and more complex music. I am going 80’s on you now. Banging on Drums is found on Zero Nine’s fifth studio album called Intrigue. Singer Keijo “Kepa” Salmirinne’s voice is indeed both unique and intriguing, which are the main reasons to the greatness of this song. It awakes childhood memories in me since I was only a little snotty-nosed kid when I heard this track back in the 90’s. It was awesome back then and, I’ll be darned, it is still awesome now.
Tracedawn – Without Walls (2008)
I saw Tracedawn live a hundred years ago at Sauna Open Air in Tampere, and I remember that I listened to this song from their debut album before the festival to know what kind of band it was. To be honest, I had forgotten about Without Walls for a long time, but when I found it again I realized how great it is. I am also realizing now that this list is turning out to be some kind of a trip down memory lane for me. Oh, age. Why are you imposing your earthly burden upon me?
Thunderstone – Holding on to My Pain (2007)
We need a plain heavy metal track as well. Holding on to My Pain is one of Thunderstone’s best songs. I believe few would agree with me, but the album Evolution 4.0 is in my opinion their strongest release since it is their most creative one. By the way, Thunderstone just released their new album Apocalypse Again, so be sure to check that out since singer Pasi Rantanen is back after being absent from the band’s 2009 release Dirt Metal. But for now, let us hold on to our pain.
October Falls – A Collapse of Faith Part II (2010)
Let us wrap this up with an almost 18-minute epic doom/folk/black/ambient metal song by October Falls. The album A Collapse of Faith consists of three parts, so this second part is slightly taken out of its context here. Still, it is a great track and it is without a doubt a grower for me. The atmosphere that this creates is something that really gets to me. Furthermore, the immensely beautiful piano ending is a great way to finish this list.
So there it is then. I hope you found at least something you liked that you have not heard before. If some of you have actually heard all of these songs, you are highly educated and you shall have my eternal respect.