The cold is settling in. Winterblot is at the Triple Rock on Saturday and Surly’s new facility opens today, so it would feel out of place today to feature anything but heavy metal from northern climates. Conveniently, Scandinavia is full of metal bands past and present, as illustrated by this map that made the internet rounds a couple years ago. With so many bands spread across many nuanced styles of metal, choosing just five was a tall task. I realize I’m only scratching the surface. Here are some of my faves:
Candlemass (Sweden) – Bewitched
My favorite unintentionally hilarious video. Ridiculous by today’s standards, but about what you’d expect from a limited budget in 1987.
Highlight: guitar “solo” while wearing a cast
Bathory (Sweden) – Home of Once Brave
From the album “Hammerheart” which, if you weren’t already aware, is the namesake of Lino Lakes’ own HammerHeart Brewing. Pretty much epitomizes epic, poetic viking metal.
At The Gates (Sweden) – Slaughter of the Soul
Man, this sound was 90’s metal. Listening to stuff like this I’m instantly whisked away to age twelve in my friend’s basement, playing Sega Genesis and acting like I knew what all three buttons did.
Amon Amarth (Sweden) – Twilight of the God of Thunder
Crisp, calculated shredding with a savvy frontman who seamlessly jumps between self-aware banter and a menacing death growl; it’s easy to understand why these guys are so popular.
Finintroll (Finland) – Under Bergets Rot
Self-described “trollish hoedown metal”? Sold.