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Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Preview the Finnish Metal Issue

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Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…

Scandinavia has given much, much more than its fair share to extreme music. Norway will forever be notorious for the second wave of black metal. The Boss HM-2 pedal made Swedish death metal a global phenomenon. You know this. Your buddies know this. People with the most cursory understanding of extreme music know this. Countless oral histories, biographies and even movies have told the story again and again.

Finland—now, that’s a bit harder to pin down. But we tried our damndest with December’s Finnish Metal Issue.

That’s why there are three bands on the cover, representing melodeath (Children of Bodom), prog-tinged death-doom (Amorphis) and insanely ambitious melodic doom (Swallow the Sun). Finland has long had its hooks in all shapes and sizes of metal; they never settled for one subgenre. It’s why Scott Koerber penned a sprawling history of Finnish funeral doom. And Nick Green commemorated proudly trad doomsters Reverend Bizarre in the Hall of Fame. And melodeath lifer Tuomas Saukonnen’s newest project Wolfheart tears it up in the Flexi Series. And it’s even why J. Bennett probably fulfilled a totally bizarre but still gnarly lifelong dream by conducting a Q&A with the fucking guy from Hanoi Rocks (Michael Monroe). Folk metal (Korpiklaani), crust (Unkind) and post-punk (Grave Pleasures) all get props, too.

What ties it all together? The weather? The isolation? You’ll just have to read Chris Dick’s painstakingly researched cover story to find out why Finland is the most metal country on the planet.

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