“Promised Land of Heavy Metal” – A Finnish Metal Documentary
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
The film is narrated and documented by Sarcofagus guitarist and filmmaker Kimmo Kuusniemi, and focuses on the past, present, and future of Finnish Metal. Lately the Finnish Metal Scene has been blowing up in the United States. Bands like HIM, Nightwish, Lordi, Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, and The 69 Eyes have all broken out and are having major success.
I am very fortunate that I had the opportunity to spend SIX WONDERFUL DAYS in Finland just over a year ago when I went on my own “Heavy Metal Adventure” throughout Europe. (Please see link below.)
I have even been to several places documented in this film, including the Tavastia Club, where I saw Hanoi Rocks play one of their last shows ever! They also showed the Heavy Corner, which is a Heavy Metal Karaoke bar that I can personally say that I rocked a Ramones song at! And, they showed the coolest music store that I have ever seen….Music Hunter. It is literally three entire rooms, stocked from floor to ceiling with music and memorabilia. (After three hours in there, I left with a big stack of CD’s, and a ton of Lordi schwag.)
One interesting surprise was the “Heavy Metal Church.” Yes, you heard it right. They have Metal Mass there every week! The crazy part about this church is that I actually stumbled upon it by accident when I was Finland. This entire dome-shaped church is built into ROCK! I thought it was totally cool, and walked around, and took some pics. Turns out, that this is a Heavy Metal Church, and that Mr. Lordi himself even wrote “Hard Rock Hallelujah” about the Temppeliaukio Church.
It was great to see live footage and interview clips from the bands that I already know and love. But, it was also a great opportunity to discover some new Finnish bands as well. At this point, I would like to learn more about Stratovarious, Zero Nine, Tarot, Thunderstone, and Korpiklaani.
An interesting fact that I learned is the correct pronunciation of Lordi and Dimmu Borgir. I know these are always up for debate “here in the States.”
Lordi = Lord-E (Not Lord-Eye)
Dimmu Borgir = Dee Moo Bor Gear
On the negative side, I have two comments. One, the entire movie had subtitles, whether English or Finnish was spoken, and the translation was extremely poor. I admit I am a grammar perfectionist, but it was really bad. I just wish they would have hired me to transcribe, and taken me to Finland with them! Two, they did not mention Hanoi Rocks or the 69 Eyes. I understand that Hanoi Rocks is not “Finnish Metal.” However, the movie starts with the 80’s and glam, and SHOULD have mentioned Finnish glam originators….HANOI ROCKS! But, it is surprising that they didn’t mention the 69 Eyes. Especially since they have been around since 1989 and have ten studio releases. I’m thinking there must be some ‘bad blood’ somewhere…
Aside from that, I was thoroughly impressed, and would love nothing more than to go back to Finland right now. They state in the movie that “Finland is the most Heavy Metal Place on the planet,” and that “Metal is the mainstream in Finland.” At one point, they even talk to the PRESIDENT of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen, who is HAPPY that metal is mainstream and she likes LORDI.
It doesn’t get any cooler than that. I just wish the States would wake up, get over this whole hip-hop-rap-crap thing and realize that Finland knows what they are talking about!
If you’re in L.A., head out to the Heavy Metal Music Fest this weekend!
Here’s the link where you can order this DVD:
For my “Metal Babe Goes to Europe” Article: