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.
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.
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.
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.
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?