50 best Finnish death metal bands

Just as the metal bands per capita map indicates, Finland is the home of a crapload of good metal bands. These are my 50 favorites. I’m going to exclude some gateway metal essentials like Children of Bodom and Nightwish, simply because I don’t personally enjoy them anymore . I’m also not that into traditional heavy metal and power metal. This list will be heavy on the doom metal and melodic death metal though.

I hope you can find some new cool Finnish metal bands. Please comment if there are some great finnish metal bands missing on the list and I will check them out!

Playlist with Finnish metal bands

If you’re too bored to read the list, you can just check out my Finnish metal bands playlists. There’s one on YouTube and one on Spotify, featuring all the bands from this article.

YouTube playlist

Spotify playlist


Abhorrence

Genre(s): Death metal
Recommended album: “Abhorrence” (1990, EP)

The list starts off with a classic pre-Amorphis death metal band. Abhorrence has quite a unique sound; truly twisted and cataclysmic to the core. I consider their early songs “Caught in a Vortex” and “Vulgar Necrolatry” absolute old school death metal classics.


Amoral

Genre(s): Melodic death metal, progressive metal
Recommended album: “Decrowning” (2005)

“Decrowning” is one of the most underrated Finnish metal albums; catchy, technical and with a youthful aggressive edge. Amoral had so much energy on the album and it’s a big highlight for me. Sadly, the band lost its appeal for me after turning power metal.


Amorphis

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, progressive metal, progressive rock, melodic death metal
Recommended album: “Tales from the Thousand Lakes” (1994)

It’s impossible to a list of the best Finnish metal bands without mentioning Amorphis. No matter which genre your taste originate from, there is something in the band’s discography. I enjoy everything they’ve done to some extent.

My list of the 20 best Amorphis songs ->


Barren Earth

Genre(s): Progressive metal, melodic death metal
Recommended album: “On Lonely Towers” (2015)

I always enjoyed Barren Earth’s Amorphis-influenced progressive metal, but I feel that the band really came into its own when Faroese vocalist Jon Aldara joined the band. Kickass mix of progressive, melodic and folk metal.


Before the Dawn

Genre(s): Melodic death metal
Recommended album: “The Ghost” (2006)

Before disbanding all his projects and starting Wolfheart, Tuomas Saukkonen had an array of bands. Before the Dawn was the most melodeath sounding and a quality take on the style, despite not being one of my favorites


Black Sun Aeon

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, melodic death metal
Recommended album: “Darkness Walks Beside Me” (2009)

Speaking of Tuomas Saukkonen projects, here is my favorite. Black Sun Aeon’s debut is a dark take on melodic death/doom metal with fantastic clean vocals by Mikko Heikkilä. The rest of the albums are also quality Finnish metal music.


Convulse

Genre(s): Death metal
Recommended album: “World Without God” (1991)

Classic early 90’s death metal band that made a comeback effort recently. Very murky and unconventional, like much of the Finnish death metal from the time period.


Counting Hours

Genre(s): Doom metal
Recommended album: “Demo” (2016)

Fairly unknown band with a mix of death/doom metal and lighter doom metal that should please fans of Katatonia.


Dawn of Solace

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, melodic death metal
Recommended album: “The Darkness” (2006)

Saukkonen project #3 is another doomy one, similar to Black Sun Aeon. It’s not as good as that project, but 2006’s “The Darkness” is still a quality death/doom album worth checking out.


Decaying

Genre(s): Death metal
Recommended album: “Encirclement” (2012)

Finland’s answer to Bolt Thrower and Asphyx release quality war-themed death metal albums quite frequently. Certainly an anomaly on this list, but wotth checking out if you enjoy the music style.


Demigod

Genre(s): Death metal
Recommended album: “The Slumber of Sullen Eyes” (1992)

It’s hard to ignore this band’s debut album when talking about Finnish death metal. Highly regarded and packed with interesting guitarwork.


Demilich

Genre(s): Death metal
Recommended album: “Nespithe” (1993)

Another mandatory death metal band featuring technical guitars and unique vocals described as “frog sounding”, which isn’t really all that off.


Desecresy

Genre(s): Death metal
Recommended album: “The Doom Skeptron” (2012)

Fairly new music undeniably influenced by old school Finnish death metal. Quality stuff.


Desolate Shrine

Genre(s): Death metal
Recommended album: “Heart of the Netherworld” (2015)

Desolate Shrine is mercilessly dark and ominous-sounding, bordering on death/doom at their slowest.


End of Aeon

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, gothic metal
Recommended album: “Through Infant Eyes” (2016)

Death/doom metal that also features gothic female vocals. Undeniably Finnish-sounding with quality songwriting.


Ghost Brigade

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, progressive metal, atmospheric sludge metal
Recommended album: “Guided by Fire” (2007)

One of my favorite Finnish metal bands. Ghost Brigade combines atmospheric sludge metal aesthetics with songwriting and melodies from new era Katatonia, doom metal and melodic death to create a very appealing sound. Fantastic songwriters.


Hallatar

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, progressive metal
Recommended album: “No Stars Upon The Bridge” (2017)

All-star doom metal project featuring members of Swallow the Sun, Amorphis and HIM. Solid songwriting and a distinct enough to style to separate Hallatar from countless other Finnish bands in the same genre.


Hanging Garden

Genre(s): Doom metal, progressive metal, progressive rock
Recommended album: “Blackout Whiteout” (2015)

A kickass contemporary metal band that doesn’t mind mixing its influences up. I especially enjoy the last two albums. Highly underrated and diverse band.


Hooded Menace

Genre(s): Death/doom metal
Recommended album: “Never Cross the Dead” (2010)

Mercilessly dark death/doom metal band with a long, solid discography. Combines murky Finnish death metal and traditional doom metal tendencies.


Ikuinen Kaamos

Genre(s): Progressive death metal, progressive black metal
Recommended album: “The Forlorn” (2006)

As close to Opeth as you can get in Finnish metal music. Combines atmospheric-sounding death and black metal with familiar progressive songwriting.


Insomnium

Genre(s): Melodic death metal, death/doom metal
Recommended album: “Across the Dark” (2009)

It’s impossible to talk about melodic death metal from Finland without mentioning Insomnium. The band has put out a shitload of above average albums, and the best ones are extremely good.


Soliloquium - Swedish doom metal

Soliloquium – Swedish doom metal

Not Finnish, but my progressive death/doom metal band Soliloquium might interest you if you’re into Finnish style metal, especially of the doomy variety. Please check out the song “Catharsis” below. All Soliloquium music can be streamed and downloaded on the Soliloquium Bandcamp page.


Kaunis Kuolematon

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, melodic death metal
Recommended album: “Kylmä Kaunis Maailma” (2014)

Probably the most underrated Finnish metal band. Kaunis Kuolematon plays a really cool style of death/doom metal that combines extreme death metal tendencies with beautiful melodic passages and emotional clean vocals.

Read my “Kylmä Kaunis Maailma” review ->
Read my “Vapaus” review ->


Kuolemanlaakso

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, gothic metal
Recommended album: “Tulijoutsen” (2014)

From one doomy “kuole” band to another. 2014’s “Tulijoutsen” is a pretty crazy album, mixing morbid Triptykon influences with classic Finnish death/doom stylings.


Marianas Rest

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, melodic death metal
Recommended album: “Horror Vacui” (2016)

Quality melodic death/doom metal that sounds undeniably Finnish. Really dark, moody stuff with solid songwriting.

Read my review of “Horror Vacui” ->


Mors Principium Est

Genre(s): Melodic death metal
Recommended album: “Embers of a Dying World” (2017)

A highly appreciated melodic death metal band with a solid discography. Mandatory listening for fans of Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum.


Moonsorrow

Genre(s): Atmospheric black metal, pagan metal
Recommended album: “Jumalten Aika” (2016)

Not completely my music style, but I can appreciate the quality of Moonsorrow’s long, consistent discography.


October Falls

Genre(s): Atmospheric black metal, dark folk
Recommended album: “Marras” (2005)

Played various dark styles, everything from black metal to folk. I especially enjoy the super-atmospheric song “Boiling Heart of the North”, featuring Amorphis vocalist Tomi Joutsen.


Omnium Gatherum

Genre(s): Melodic death metal
Recommended album: “Grey Heavens” (2016)

I’m not the biggest Omnium Gatherum fan and I mostly tend to think of them as a lesser Insomnium. They’ve still managed to put some quality melodic death metal over the years, especially the song “Frontiers” which I really dig.


Oranssi Pazuzu

Genre(s): Atmospheric black metal. psychedelic rock
Recommended album: “Värähtelijä” (2016)

It’s fun when a band goes completely apeshit and still makes it sound good. Oranssi Pazuzu’s “Värähtelijä” was one of the most unexpected 2016 highlights for me. The band’s mix of free-form psychedelic rock and black is something else completely.


Paara

Genre(s): Atmospheric black metal
Recommended album: “Riitti” (2018)

This band came out of nowhere and impressed me a lot. A very creative form of atmospheric black metal with a lot of, well.. atmosphere! “Riitti” is one of the most unexpected finds of 2018 for me. Totally worth checking out.


Pressure Points

Genre(s): Progressive metal, progressive rock
Recommended album: “Remorses to Remember” (2010)

Progressive metal influenced by Opeth and Pink Floyd isn’t exactly what I first associate with Finnish metal. Pressure Points do a solid take on the style, however. Totally worth checking out for fans of the style.


Rapture

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, melodic death metal
Recommended album: “Futile” (1999)

Put Katatonia’s “Brave Murder Day” and catchy Finnish death metal in a blender. Rapture is pretty much what comes out. All three Rapture albums are filled Scandinavian darkness and superb songwriting. One of the best bands on this list and debut “Futile” is a given on my list of 10 essential death/doom metal albums.


Red Moon Architect

Genre(s): Death/doom metal
Recommended album: “Return of the Black Butterflies” (2017)

Quality death/doom metal band in a familiar Finnish style.


Rippikoulo

Genre(s): Old school death metal
Recommended album: “Musta Seremonia” (1993)

Early Finnish death metal that’s quite charming, just because it sounds so very raw. There’s definitely something special about Finnish death metal from this period.


Rotten Sound

Genre(s): Grindcore
Recommended album: “Murderworks” (2002)

The kings of Finnish grindcore is a given band on this list. I’m not a huge fan, but Rotten Sound has a solid discography.


RoutaSielu

Genre(s): Melodic death metal
Recommended album: “Pimeys” (2011)

Another quality pre-Wolfheart Toumas Saukkonen project. I don’t know how the man manages to write so much good music.


Scent of Flesh

Genre(s): Brutal death metal
Recommended album: “Deform in Torture” (2007)

Very underrated band! Scent of Flesh’s 2007 album “Deform in Torture” is one of those death metal albums I never hear people talking about. It’s a very enjoyable slab of brutal death metal with catchy hooks and neat guitarplaying.


Desolator - Swedish old school death metal

Desolator – Swedish death metal

Another musical project of mine that you might like if you’re into Scandinavian Metal. Desolator is an old school death metal band influenced by Immolation, Blood Red Throne, Morbid Angel and Vader. Please check out the song “Illusions of Grandeur” below if it sounds interesting. All Desolator music is available at the Desolator Bandcamp page.


Sentenced

Genre(s): Gothic metal, death metal
Recommended album: “Crimson” (2000)

Sentenced went from nasty death metal to contemporary gothic metal, and most of the music is above par. “Crimson” is my jam, but I like the early death metal material too.


Shade Empire

Genre(s): Melodic death metal, symphonic metal
Recommended album: “Poetry of the Ill-Minded” (2017)

Solid symphonic take on melodic death metal. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I can see why this band’s popularity is growing.


Shamrain

Genre(s): Gothic metal
Recommended album: “Goodbye to All That” (2007)

Super-bleak gothic metal complete with simple, effective hooks almost engineered for Katatonia fans.


Shape of Despair

Genre(s): Funeral doom metal, death/doom metal
Recommended album: “Illusion’s Play” (2004)

Funeral doom metal is not really my genre of choice, but Shape of Despair is one of the best bands.


Skepticism

Genre(s): Funeral doom metal
Recommended album: “Alloy” (2008)

Another good Finnish funeral doom metal band. Skepticism takes the funeral factor to the extreme with big organ sounds and massive song structures.


Sinamore

Genre(s): Gothic metal
Recommended album: “A New Day” (2005)

Early 2000’s gothic metal project that feels a bit underappreciated today. I really like the 2005 album “A New Day”; catchy gothic metal fueled by Mikko Heikkilä’s sorrowful vocal delivery.


Swallow the Sun

Genre(s): Death/doom metal, melodic death metal
Recommended album: “The Morning Never Came” (2003)

Swallow the Sun is a mandatory addition to a list like this. I’m not as big of fan of Swallow the Sun as most doom fans, but I still really dig the debut album and some other songs. “The Justice of Suffering”, featuring Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse on guest vocals, is a favorite of mine.


The Ghost I’ve Become

Genre(s): Death/doom metal
Recommended album: “Hollow” (2016, EP)

Very fresh and unknown band that continues the tradition of quality Finnish doom metal. I really liked what I heard on debut EP “Hollow”, and I hope there’s more music to come.


Thence

Genre(s): Progressive metal, progressive rock
Recommended album: “We are Left With a Song” (2016)

Probably the most underrated Finnish band for me. Thence delivered a ridicilously good album in 2016’s “We are Left With a Song”, a progressive metal/rock hybrid with a fantastic level of emotion and great songwriting.

Read my “We are Left With a Song” review ->


Throes of Dawn

Genre(s): Progressive metal, progressive rock
Recommended album: “Our Voices Shall Remain” (2016)

Another underrated gem from the progressive side of things. Throes of Dawn have been playing since pretty much forever and they only seem to get better with every album. Diverse influences like Dead Can Dance and Pink Floyd are combined with melancholic metal to great effect.

Read my “Our Voices Shall Remain” review ->


Tomb of Finland

Genre(s): Death/doom metal
Recommended album: “Below the Green” (2015)

Solid death/doom that lives up to the band name, because this sounds undeniably Finnish.


Winterwolf

Genre(s): Old school death metal
Recommended album: “Cycle of the Werewolf” (2009)

Let’s switch from doom for now, to some almost Swedish-sounding old school death metal.


Wolfheart

Genre(s): Melodic death metal
Recommended album: “Winterborn” (2013)

Read my “Constellation of the Black Light” review ->


Soliloquium Swedish doom metal on Bandcamp

Read more:

10 essential death/doom metal albums ->
Doom metal genre guide ->
50 best melodic death metal bands ->
50 best Swedish death metal bands ->
Soliloquium, Swedish doom metal ->


1 Comment

Nina · November 28, 2018 at 6:08 am

Great list, man bands I don’t know, might have to check some of them out. Some of my favorit Finnish bands are Finntroll, Turisas, Ensiferum.

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