President Obama Is Familiar With Finland's Heavy Metal Scene. Are You? Obama commended the country's prolific metal scene while speaking with European Nordic leaders. "Finland is making the weirdest heavy metal imaginable," Decibel editor-in-chief Albert Mudrian says.

President Obama Is Familiar With Finland's Heavy Metal Scene. Are You?

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At White House state dinners, it's customary for a president to nod to the strength and contributions of guest countries. And when hosting Nordic nations on Friday, President Obama paid tribute to a little-known Finnish export.


BARACK OBAMA: I do want to point out that Finland has perhaps the most heavy metal bands in the world per capita and also ranks high on good governance. I don't know that there's any correlation there.


ALBERT MUDRIAN: The metal underground got pretty excited about the president of the United States referencing the Finnish metal scene.


That's Albert Mudrian. He's editor-in-chief of the heavy metal-loving Decibel Magazine. He says Finland has one of the biggest, most vibrant metal scenes in the world. It's estimated the country has 54 metal bands for every 100,000 fans.

MUDRIAN: I'm sure that 200 hundred days of a bone-crushing winter have something to do with it - and perpetual darkness.

CORNISH: He might be onto something. Finland does share that climate with its neighboring Scandinavian countries, and metal is a flourishing genre all over the region.

SHAPIRO: While Sweden is known for its death metal bands...

CORNISH: And Norway is famous for black metal.

SHAPIRO: ...Mudrian says the Finns are less homogeneous.

MUDRIAN: There's so many different types of bands. But the one thing, to me, that kind of unites them is that they all have kind of a difficult sound. And Finland is making the weirdest heavy metal imaginable.

SHAPIRO: Speaking of difficult sounds and weird heavy metal, we'll leave you with the Finnish metal band Nightwish. This is their track "I Want My Tears Back."


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