31 Best Rock Bands From Finland

The greatest rockers from the land of the thousand lakes...

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31 Best Rock Bands From Finland
27

Torille!

Finland is a Nordic country situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia, which also includes Scandinavia. It's a very special place - and it gave birth to many unique musicians - for example, famous composers Jean Sibelius, Erik Bergman and Magnus Lindberg, as well as such pop/electronic musicians as Bomfunk MC's, Darude (author of infamous "Sandstorm") and Olivia Merilahti (half of The Dø duo) all are Finnish.

So we prepared a list of 31 famous rock bands which are from Finland. It was REALLY hard to choose only 31, because Finland has A LOT OF unique music talents.

So before starting here's the (really lengthy) list of honorable mentions (the list is incomplete of course - and we put it in an alphabetical order for your comfort) - you can skip it just by scrolling down if you want:

  • ...and Oceans
  • Aarni
  • Aavikko
  • Abduktio
  • Abyssion
  • Aeoga
  • Airut
  • Ajattara
  • Alghazanth
  • Amberian Dawn
  • Amoral
  • Appendix
  • Apulanta
  • Archgoat
  • Arktau Eos
  • Arthemesia
  • Atomikylä
  • Azaghal
  • Barathrum
  • Barren Earth
  • Battle Beast
  • Battlelore
  • Baxter Stockman
  • Before The Dawn
  • Beherit
  • Behexen
  • Black Sun Aeon
  • Blood Red Fog
  • Cadacross
  • Cain's Offering
  • Callisto
  • Candy Cane
  • Catamenia
  • Cats on Fire
  • Celesty
  • Charon
  • Circle
  • Circle of Contempt
  • Circle of Ouroborus
  • Clandestine Blaze
  • CMX
  • Colosseum
  • Cryhavoc
  • D.O.M.
  • Dasputnik
  • Dawn of Relic
  • Dawn of Solace
  • Demilich
  • Diablo
  • Diaboli
  • Disco Ensemble
  • Don Huonot
  • Dreamtale
  • Driller Killer
  • Eläkeläiset
  • Endstand
  • Enochian Crescent
  • Entwine
  • Eppu Normaali
  • Eternal Tears of Sorrow
  • Eye of Solitude
  • Five Fifteen
  • Fleshpress
  • For My Pain...
  • Forkboy
  • Fun
  • Ghost Brigade
  • Giant Robot
  • Gloomy Grim
  • Goatmoon
  • Halo Manash
  • Haloo Helsinki!
  • Hanging Garden
  • Happoradio
  • Havoc Unit
  • Hebosagil
  • Hevisaurus
  • Hexvessel
  • Hidria Spacefolk
  • Horna
  • Husky Rescue
  • Ikuinen Kaamos
  • Immortal Souls
  • Imperanon
  • Indica
  • Jeavestone
  • Jess and the Ancient Ones
  • Jumalhämärä
  • Kiana
  • Kingston Wall
  • Klamydia
  • Kotiteollisuus
  • Kylahullut
  • Laika & The Cosmonauts
  • Lapko
  • Leevi and the Leavings
  • Leningrad Cowboys
  • Loinen
  • Loituma
  • Lost Society
  • Lovex
  • Lunar Path
  • Maj Karma
  • Minotauri
  • Mokoma
  • Mother Susurrus
  • Mörkö
  • Mr. Peter Hayden
  • MyGrain
  • Negative
  • Nest
  • Noenum
  • Northern Kings
  • Noumena
  • NYOS
  • October Falls
  • Pan Sonic
  • Peer Günt
  • PMPP
  • Poisonblack
  • Rapture
  • Reckless Love
  • Reflexion
  • Reverend Bizarre
  • Rotten Sound
  • Ruoska
  • Sargeist
  • Satanic Warmaster
  • Saturnian Mist
  • Sentenced
  • Shade Empire
  • ShamRain
  • Silentium
  • Sinamore
  • Sink
  • Sleiveen Hostess
  • Spiritus Mortis
  • Stam1na
  • Stone
  • Subaudition
  • Suburban Tribe
  • Sunrise Avenue
  • Swallowed
  • Synergy
  • Tarot
  • Tasavallan Presidentti
  • Teksti-TV 666
  • Tenhi
  • Teräsbetoni
  • Terveet Kädet
  • The Skreppers
  • The Valkyrians
  • Thergothon
  • Throat
  • Throes of Dawn
  • Thunderstone
  • Thy Serpent
  • Thyrane
  • To/Die/For
  • Torsofuck
  • Torture Killer
  • Tracedawn
  • Trio Pussit
  • Turmion Kätilöt
  • Twilight Ophera
  • Two Witches
  • Ultra Bra
  • Unholy
  • Uniklubi
  • Unkind
  • Värttinä
  • Velcra
  • Viikate
  • Warmen
  • Wolfheart
  • Wormphlegm
  • Wyrd
  • Yearning
  • YUP
  • Zen Café

And here's the actual list:

31. Waltari

One of the most unique bands from Finland, Waltari are known for their diversity and combination of music styles, frequently combining alternative metal, progressive metal, death metal, hard rock, hip-hop, industrial, pop, punk, symphonic metal, techno and more. They are also known as one of the first artists who use rap in Finland. Waltari also were the first band who combined metal with symphonic music, recording their innovative opera "Yeah! Yeah! Die! Die!: Death Metal Symphony in Deep C" in 1996.

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30. KYPCK

KYPCK are a Finnish conceptual doom metal band singing in Russian language. The band's name is a pseudo-Cyrillic imitation of Курск (Kursk), which is a city in Russia. The band's vocalist Erkki Seppänen speaks fluent Russian after his years at Oxford University and working in the embassy in Moscow.

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29. Oranssi Pazuzu

Oranssi Pazuzu are a unique psychedelic black metal band, formed in 2007. The name is Finnish for "Orange Pazuzu," which refers to a Babylonian demon. Stylistically they blend black metal with psychedelic rock, krautrock and avant-garde influences.

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28. Dark Buddha Rising

Dark Buddha Rising are playing their own blend of occult sludge metal, doom metal, drone and psychedelic rock. Each of their live performances is a ritual.

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27. Impaled Nazarene

Impaled Nazarene are an eccentric extreme metal band, that started as black metal but have incorporated grindcore elements and later mixed it with other genres such as punk rock, crust, heavy metal, thrash metal and more. They even have a 1996 EP called "Motörpenis," where their style is very close to Motörhead's.

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26. Kalmah

So called "swamp metal" band from Oulu, Kalmah are playing their own type of melodic death metal, combined with elements of power metal and thrash metal. The word "kalmah" is Karelian and could be translated as "to the grave" or "to the death."

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25. Skepticism

Skepticism is a funeral doom metal band from Riihimäki, Finland. Formed in 1991, they are regarded as one of the pioneers of the genre. Besides the music, Skepticism purposefully create a mysterious and abstract atmosphere, in terms of lyrics, artwork, contact with the outside world, and live performances.

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24. Moonsorrow

Moonsorrow are a pagan metal band formed in Helsinki in 1995. Musically, the band incorporates elements of black metal and folk metal in their sound. The band call their sound "epic heathen metal" and try to distance themselves from the term "Viking metal." They have distanced themselves from other folk metal bands, emphasizing that their music is pagan and spiritual and is challenging for its listeners, rather than happy or danceable.

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23. Shape of Despair

Helsinki based funeral doom metal band Shape of Despair are known for their own atmosphere, combining slow and heavy riffs with male and female vocals.

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22. Ensiferum

Ensiferum are a Finnish folk metal band from Helsinki. The members of the band label themselves as "melodic folk metal." The lyrical themes of their music most often relate to fantastical, archaic, or historic stories that can most often be grouped in with Nordic concepts, usually with heroic sentiment.

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21. Wintersun

Wintersun are known for playing their own genre, combining melodic death metal, power metal, folk metal and even progressive metal. Wintersun were originally created by guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, songwriter and vocalist Jari Mäenpää as a side project to Ensiferum for whom he was lead singer and guitarist.

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20. The Rasmus

The Rasmus, known for their hits "In the Shadows," "First Day of My Life," "Guilty," etc, were formed in 1994 in while the band members were still in upper comprehensive school. The Rasmus has sold 4 million albums worldwide, 310,000 copies in their native Finland alone. Lesser known fact, but before their breakthrough album "Dead Letters," centered around the "love metal" genre, they released 4 studio albums, originally combining alternative rock with funk rock, pop punk and even ska.

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19. Omnium Gatherum

Omnium Gatherum, a six-piece melodic death metal band from Finland, were formed in 1996. Although the band mainly follows the path of the melodic death metal genre, much of their work shows strong influences from progressive death metal, especially their later albums.

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18. Insomnium

Another great melodic death metal from Finland, Insomnium were formed in Joensuu in 1997. Although they are primarily a melodic death metal band, their tracks could be seen as reminiscent of doom metal, progressive metal and black metal.

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17. The 69 Eyes

A multi-platinum selling band, The 69 Eyes are often described as "goth 'n' roll," mixing the gloominess of gothic rock with guitar-powered rock 'n' roll. Lesser known fact, The 69 Eyes originally started as a glam metal band.

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16. Turisas

Turisas, Finnish folk metal band from Hämeenlinna, were founded in 1997 and named after an ancient Finnish god of war. Turisas combine elements of folk metal and power metal, with strong influences from symphonic metal as well. The album title "Battle Metal" has given rise to the term "battle metal" being used as a description of folk metal.

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15. Norther

Norther were a melodic death metal band from Espoo, Finland. On 24th of July 2012 the band announced on their website that the members have decided to quit Norther because of time issues.

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14. Swallow the Sun

Swallow the Sun, melodic death/doom metal band from Jyväskylä, were formed in early 2000. Their style is rooted in doom metal and death metal and emphasizes melody and atmosphere.

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13. Mors Principium Est

Another great example of Finnish melodic death metal, Mors Principium Est were formed in Pori in 1999. Mors Principium Est means "death is the beginning" in Latin.

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12. Lordi

Lordi, hard rock/heavy metal band, formed in 1992, are also known for wearing monster masks and using horror elements with pyrotechnics during concerts and music videos. Lordi rose to fame in 2002 with their hit single, "Would You Love a Monsterman?" The band made history in 2006 by becoming the first, and still today the only, hard rock act and Finnish artist to win the Eurovision Song Contest, with the song "Hard Rock Hallelujah."

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11. Poets of the Fall

Poets of the Fall, a rock band formed in 2003 in Helsinki, are composed of singer Marko Saaresto ("Mark"), guitarist Olli Tukiainen ("Ollie") and keyboardist Markus Kaarlonen ("Captain"). They gained their first fame by recording the title theme of "Max Payne 2," "Late Goodbye." In June 2004 it was later released as a single and followed by "Lift" in September, which turned out to be a big hit. Their two first albums, "Signs of Life" and " Carnival of Rust," have reached platinum status in Finland.

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10. Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks were a Finnish glam rock band formed in 1979. In the '80s, Hanoi Rocks were the most successful Finnish band internationally and are still popular in the United States, Japan, and the UK. They were also one of the first rock bands to tour in Asia, and were the first western rock band to play in Delhi.

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9. Finntroll

Finntroll are a folk metal band from Helsinki, Finland. They combine elements of black metal and folk metal. The band's lyrics are mostly in Swedish. Finntroll's first singer Katla decided to use Swedish over Finnish since he was part of a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland and the sound of the language seemed to better suit the band's "trollish" outfit. Despite several vocalist changes, this tradition has continued.

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8. Stratovarius

Stratovarius were formed in Helsinki in 1984. Along with German bands Helloween, Blind Guardian, and Gamma Ray, Stratovarius are considered one of the leading and most influential groups of the power metal genre.

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7. Korpiklaani

Korpiklaani, a folk metal band from Lahti, Finland formed in 2003. Korpiklaani is the new name of the band previously called Shaman, that was formed in 1993 by Jonne Järvelä who still remains the mastermind of Korpiklaani. Whilst Shaman recorded songs in the original Saami language, Korpiklaani recorded most songs in English at first, and mostly Finnish lyrics on their most recent albums. The name Korpiklaani means "Forest Clan" in the Finnish language.

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6. Sonata Arctica

Sonata Arctica are one of the most known power metal bands, were formed in Kemi, Finland. Created as a hard rock band named Tricky Beans, they later changed to Tricky Means and finally to Sonata Arctica, when they shifted to power metal with progressive influences.

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5. Apocalyptica

Apocalyptica, so-called cello metal band, were formed in 1993 in Helsinki. The band is composed of classically trained cellists. Originally a Metallica classical tribute band, the band eventually adopted a neoclassical metal style without the use of conventional guitars.

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4. Amorphis

Amorphis were formed in Helsinki, Finland in 1990. They absorbed and incorporated influences from many metal genres. Initially, the band was a death metal act, but with time they have evolved into making music that is more classifiable as doom metal with folk influences, and, more recently, progressive metal and melodic hard rock, utilizing increasingly complex arrangements and a less brutal sound. Amorphis are also well known for their use of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, as a source for their lyrics.

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3. HIM

Formed in 1991 under the name His Infernal Majesty, HIM invented their own genre called "love metal" and inspired a lot of bands to play music in a similar style. HIM is internationally one of the most commercially successful Finnish bands of all time, with seven platinum and over ten gold albums, and sales of over six million records. Also, with their fifth studio album "Dark Light," HIM also became the first Finnish group to receive a gold album in the United States.

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2. Children of Bodom

Children of Bodom were formed in 1993 the city of Espoo, near Helsinki. The name of the band comes from one of the most famous Finnish murder cases of all time (the murdering of three teenagers one night at Lake Bodom back in the '60s). Early Children of Bodom albums are inspired by classical music and death metal, and later albums are more inspired by a thrash metal, losing some of its earlier melodic style. The band's third studio album, "Follow the Reaper," was their first album to receive a Gold certification in Finland, and since then, all seven of the band's studio albums have acquired the same status. The band has incorporated many different musical styles, leading critics and fans to label their work as melodic death metal, "extreme power metal," thrash metal, symphonic black metal, and neoclassical metal. They are one of Finland's best selling artists of all time with more than 250,000 records sold there alone.

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1. Nightwish

Nightwish are undeniably one of the most well-known bands from Finland, combining symphonic metal, power metal and gothic metal in their music. Nightwish inspired a lot of female-fronted symphonic/gothic metal bands. And even after the lead singer Tarja Turunen's departure in 2005 (she was replaced by Anette Olzon and later by Floor Jansen), Nightwish remain the most successful Finnish band worldwide, selling more than 8 million records and receiving more than 60 gold and platinum awards, having released five Number 1 albums and thirteen Number 1 singles.

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Know more bands from Finland? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

66 comments sorted by best / new / date

    pillarocka
    HIM!  So underrated.
    DantePhoenix
    Agreed. Guys in the metal community are pre disposed to hate melodic music coming from a good looking dude with romantic lyrics, but the reality is they have a body of work that speaks for itself.
    r0ckmaker
    I agree, such an underrated band, especially the metal community likes to talk so much shit about them just because of the nature of their lyrics. First 4 albums are absolutely brilliant, quality did go a bit down after that but still lots of great material. HIM is breaking up after this year's farewell tour unfortunately. Fun fact, HIM's guitarist Linde is dating Tony Iommi's daughter for a few years now. He is basically dating his biggest guitar idol's daughter. Lots of Sabbathy riffs in HIM's music.
    theoliraptor
    Great to see some love for HIM, they're one of my absolute favorite bands. Very underrated indeed. Their album Venus Doom is brilliant beginning to end.
    HugoPan
    I was one of those guys who hated on him because the good looks of the singer. one day I surrendered and finally 'came out' as a him fan hahaha. they are one of my favourite bands now.
    SandKatChappy58
    I could look at Scandinavians all day long.  They are the best looking people on the planet. The women - tall beautiful and blonde. What's not to like?
    DissonantTimbre
    One of the best covers ever.
    r0ckmaker
    This is my personally favorite HIM song after listening to them for over 10 years. One of the most simple HIM songs ever made but yet so powerful. It really has that gloomy, doomy feeling. It's that combination of simple synth lead, heavy guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals.
    Spinnerweb
    True. Not underrated really though, it just looks that way because of keyboard warriors on metal websites. People who actually listen to them usually like them. I like that I share my birthday with Ville Valo
    salim.casab24
    Woooow I'm so happy to find so much love for HIM on this comment section. They are my favorite band of all time and have being for wuite a while now. I'm so used to dealing with people judging me for loving this band and people being really mean to me for that. This is refreshing!!! Thanks so much
    deggs37
    To a 14 year old just getting his first guitar, Follow the Reaper by Children of Bodom was mind-blowing.
    eatfresh1736
    Finland is my favorite country, musically. So many great bands with their own flavors. The new Mors Principium Est album is incredible.
    timoel
    You forgot FIVE FIFTEEN!  It's not well known outside Finland, but it's world class 70s rock. Death of a clown, Psychedelic singalongs for stadiums and Six dimensions of the electric camembert are great albums. Kingston Wall is a treasure.
    HavokStrife
    How is Amorphis number 4, and Sentenced isn't even on the actual list.. have you ever listened to their Crimson album? The only band on this list I'd put ahead of them is Bodom..
    Guns N' Chains
    "Crimson" is fucking badass! So glad someone mentioned it. And so is "The Cold White Light". I fucking love both of those albums and they have been lifesavers to me over the last few months. Just saw Amorphis too. They were kickass. Just started getting into them recently. Amazing band. And Sonata Arctica...what can I say? Saw them recently too and this is a band that has practically saved my life. Finland produces GREAT music. Solid list here.
    DrCOOL
    3 of my favorite bands in the top 3, nice. I remember when I first heard "Everytime I Die" off of "Follow the Reaper." I was hooked, had to go out and by the CD that weekend. And then a friend turned me on to Nightwish soon after, I just ate that stuff up. Some seriously fucking amazing music.
    w77yyz
    Leningrad Cowboys deserve more mention than just one line. Suomi's answer to Spinal Tap with their own movies and beer... and a great catalog of covers and originals. A mash up of polka and metal.
    karschnyphilip
    Really nice to see people giving Waltari some love. Rarely see them on any lists.
    N-D
    Yeah, when I first heard them I thought it was sort of Finnish answer to Mr. Bungle - but actually Waltari are much cooler than just that!
    jhaneline
    Going through this I was getting nervous that I hadn't seen Amorphis but when I did I felt great relief.  
    kidrockerl33
    Would of like to see Velcra get a mention..even if it was the  honorable mentions list.. some of there stuff was pretty unique.
    HugoPan
    Finlland is really a special place for music. they manage to get a distinct flavor in every style of rock/metal. Many of the bands that I love the most are in this list. many of them even made me like rock/metal. great list indeed.
    jonah946
    No Teksti-TV 666 even mentioned? They're one of the best bands in Finland right now.
    Peres.T.Peanut
    Holy shit, Oranssi Pazuzu are fucking fantastic.
    N-D
    Absolutely! Definitely check their discography  - they're really unique!.. And yes, they are even more amazing live!..
    Peres.T.Peanut
    I meant to go through their dicog but got stuck on that latest album. Can't stop listening to that shit, so mesmerizing and weird.
    haifisch234
    Viikate is absolutely top for me. Great music and incredible live gigs. Saw them in Helsinki last year, the best sound I've ever heard at a live show from any band.
    grantjames
    Good to see Sonata Arctica making the top 10! It's a shame they get labelled as Power Metal because I bet it puts a lot of people off them. If this was my own personal list I'd be putting them at number one!
    MrKRB64
    Fucking Lordi the Eurovision cunts that use backing tracks higher on the list than Wintersun & Ensiferum? Wot m8. Jari Mäenpää is extremely underrated. At least Imperanon got an  honorable mention. 
    rocky0
    Jari and Wintersun is generally WAY overrated than they should be. Everywhere I go and see a discussion of Wintersun there is always praising going on and people saying Jari is next to god.
    MrKRB64
    I know what you mean that certain metalheads say that but I was mainly referring to his early Ensiferum stuff. 
    levaris
    Kidding me? Diablo or Eläkeläiset didn't make it but sonata arctice did? 
    N-D
    Personally I really like Eläkeläiset - they introduce the beautiful world of humppa to me! Diablo are great too! But you know it's impossible to include all of these bands to the main list...
    OriginOfFeces
    Nightwish does not deserve to be on one... Floor is not even Finnish so fuck off and go listen to some Slayer! Bodom deserves that first place! Very happy to see HIM on 3rd and Poets of the Fall on 11th (they also deserve a higher place. Awesome live band!)
    Kornholic
    Floor Jansen being Dutch is irrelevant because Tuomas Holopainen is the frontman of Nightwish.
    skyturnedred
    Huora, Kivesveto Go-Go, Tryer, Pää Kii etc. not good enough for honourable mentions, but Indica is? Okay...
    Spacemonkey9700
    Such a massive list (honourable mentions included) and I still feel like some of our best bands were excluded. At least this article gives readers some perspective on how expansive the Finnish music scene is.
    JoaoReis
    When you're about to trash this list because no Graveyard but remember their swedish and this whole rely is pointless