Finland has a highly varied musical tradition, with folk, classical, and heavy rock all popular genres here. Which of the country’s artists have had the most success in their homeland and internationally?
Nightwish Is Their Most International Band
This symphonic metal band started out in the mid-1990s in Kitee, which is known as the moonshine city of Finland. Their first album was 1997’s Angels Fall First and subsequent albums saw them gradually build up a strong fan base.
Their international reputation grew with the release of 2004’s Once, which sold over a million copies and gained them a lot of fans in the US and elsewhere. Many of their songs are in English, while songs like Kuolema Tekee Taitelijan let us hear the Finnish language. There have been claims that they hope to produce an entirely Finnish album at one point.
Founding members Tuomas Holopainen and Emppu Vuorinen remain at the heart of the group, although bassist Marco Hietala left in January this year. Nightwish is classed as Finland’s most internationally successful band, with over nine million records sold worldwide.
Matti ja Teppo Are Still Popular
The next popular Finnish band is a folk duo. Brothers Matti Tapio Ruohonen and Teppo Ilmari Ruohonen have played together ever since growing up in the country’s oldest city, Turku. Their first album was also called Matti ja Teppo and came out in 1972.
Among their best-known songs are Et voi tulla rajan taa, Ensimmäinen, and Kaiken takana on nainen. They are listed by some sources as being the second-best-selling musical group in Finnish history, with a string of successful records behind them. They show no signs of slowing down any time soon, with 2019’s Enemmän their latest release.
Listening to music like this is a fine way of exploring the country’s musical heritage, language, and culture. Finnish TV shows such as All the Sins and Bordertown also let us see another side of Finland. An online casino like Kalevala is another option for anyone curious about Finland. Games based on Nordic methodology are mixed in with internationally popular slots and table games.
Eppu Normaali Is the Best-Selling Artist in Finland
Another band with a long history of releasing popular music, Eppu Normaali have been making records since forming in Ylöjärvi in the 1970s. They have racked up certified sales of almost two million records since then, making them Finland’s best-selling artists at home.
Their use of the Finnish language in their songs makes Eppu Normaali a good place for rock fans to start exploring this language. It is also worth noting that their name comes from a character in the Young Frankenstein movie, translated from the English original of Abby Normal.
The group is still largely built around the founding members, including brothers Martti and Mikko Syrjä. Their enduring popularity can be seen in the fact that their greatest hits compilation named Repullinen hittejä stayed in the charts for more than two years following its 1996 release.
While the bands we have looked at have achieved success over several decades, there are other Finnish bands to keep an eye on. Among them are Oranssi Pazuzu, Lost Society, and Wolfheart. With a strong emphasis on heavy metal riffs and dark lyrics, Finnish music should carry on gaining fans both at home and abroad.