Fun fact: With 70 metal bands for every 100,000 residents, Finland is by some stretch the most hard-rocking nation on the face of the Earth. Small wonder it also hosts the annual Air Guitar World Championships. To see for yourself why this frosty country of forests and saunas earns such a mighty reputation, dive into these – the Finnish capital’s best heavy metal hangouts.

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KVLT – an indie record store for metal fans / Image: Tuomas Tahvanainen

KVLT

A proudly independent record store and renowned purveyor of ‘extreme, underground’ sounds, KVLT glories in a heavy metal-friendly gory goth aesthetic, but staff are actually total  sweethearts.   

Morticia

Can your vibe be fairly summed up as ‘skull fetish  pentagram vampire’? Do you creak a bit when you walk from all that leather? Then fill your boots at satanic metal boutique Morticia, named – obvs – after the Addams Family matriarch.  

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Groom Rock is the barbers for beardy metal heads

Groom Rock

Every self-respecting metal head knows your beard must be sharp and your mane headbanging-ready. Groom Rock is the  moshers’ choice – its logo, no joke, is  late Motörhead  lead singer Lemmy’s  face. Yes, really.   

The Riff

This is, without doubt, Helsinki’s go-to metal hangout. It was founded by the drummer of 69 Eyes, the band behind the 'Goth ’N’ Roll' album. Metal bigwigs regularly hang at its hardcore-sounding VIP-only Hate Lounge. Hardcore enough for you?  

Katajanokka

Worshippers of the void need a decent night’s kip too, so Satanists in need of a bit of shut-eye should book into  Katajanokka, a stylish city-centre retreat set in a – renovated, to be clear – former prison.  

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