local Stockholm metal gig

Welcome to my Stockholm metal guide. Here you’ll find the best metal things to in Stockholm, Sweden, including metal bars, gig places and stores. I’ll tell you a bit about the state of the Stockholm metal scene in 2020, and give you best local tips to have a nice time visiting the city.

This is certainly the first, and maybe last, travel guide on this page. We will see how it goes down. The Metal Travel Guide is usually the best source for this type info, but I’ll do my best top them with my local knowledge.

About me – deathdoom.com, music and more

Stefan Nordström - metal musician and content creator
  • Stefan Nordström
  • Musician, songwriter, content creator, digital freelancer
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Bands: Desolator, Soliloquium, Ending Quest, Ashes of Life, Trees of Daymare, The Ashen Tree
  • Social: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

How is the Stockholm metal scene in 2023?

Hmm.. I suppose the answer is “good” and “bad”. There is certainly no lack of ambitious musicians or quality bands in Stockholm. If you’re coming here looking for musicians to collaborate with or to hear new bands, you’re in luck. If you’re coming to witness raunchy underground live gigs, you’re probably better off heading to Gothenburg.

A lot of venues have closed down recently due to a mix of neighbor complains and economy. This is especially something that hit the metal underground in Stockholm. Finding gigs with the big touring giants in Stockholm won’t be a problem in 2023. However, an underground metal gig in a small venue isn’t as easy to find as it once was.

Metal gigs and metal bars in Stockholm

The quality (and quantity) of metal bars in Stockholm depends a lot on how extreme your taste in metal is. Sadly, the chances to hearing extreme metal loud on stage or in the bar speakers decreased a lot after Copperfields stopped having local metal nights in 2019. It was the recurring epicenter for the Stockholm metal people and nothing has really replaced it yet.

There is a new live metal project going on out in the Northwest suburb of Jakobsberg called Fredagsmangel. We will see how long it lasts. Hopefully it will be a success, as it once again gives the local extreme metal bands somewhere to play live. 2023 update: Fredagsmangel has been a great success, and now you will find extreme metal gigs there every Friday and Saturday. Great local atmosphere – highly recommended!

The Stockholm metal scene is in a bit of state, at least the underground part, due to a lot of mid-size concert arenas closing down. What are we left with? Well, mostly bars playing heavy metal, power metal and other forms of traditional metal. Some of the most famous (or infamous for some) metal bars in Stockholm are:

Many local people in Stockholm will talk shit about these bars, myself included, but we still find ourselves going there. Sometimes, the shit-talking is ironic, sometimes not so much. Anyway, if you’re on a Stockholm metal trip, they’re good places to find fun company.

Another place that some metalheads enjoy and hang out at is Bröderna Olssons Garlic & Shots. It’s also owned by some famous Swedish metal musicians since 2020. Just like the name suggests, it’s a garlic place where everything has garlic in it, including the drinks. Prices are too steep for my taste, but it’s a fun one-time tourist visit, especially if you like garlic.

If you’re looking to be out very late and pay unreasonable amounts of money, Heaven’s Gate in the fancier parts of town does a nightclub take on metal (not sure if it’s active anymore, as it’s not my part of town).

My band Desolator performing some death metal at the now-defunct Stockholm club Rocks back in 2013.

Where can you find live gigs?

Your best bet for finding Stockholm metal gigs is searching for them on the usual online places like Songkick and Bandsintown. Using Last.fm and changing your location to Stockholm is another smart way to get upcoming gigs matched with your music taste.

The local metal bands in Stockholm are also pretty good at posting flyers around streets and subway stations around the city. It’s worth to keep an eye out, since many of these shows are more underground. Kafé 44, Snövit and Brother Tuck on Södermalm are among the places where these smaller gigs can pop up.

Some of the most common metal live venues (if we’re not talking Metallica or Iron Maiden type bands at national Friends Arena, Avicii Arena or Tele2 Arena) in Stockholm are:

  • Fryshuset (Klubben and Arenan)
  • Debaser Strand
  • Slaktkyrkan
  • Hus 7
  • Nalen (including the smaller Nalen Klubb)
  • Bryggarsalen

As I previously said, many mid-size music venues shut down during 2018 and 2019. I wouldn’t be surprised if even more of these metal venues disappear in 2020 and 2021.

Late 2023 update: Cryptic Concerts now started having live gigs in the Patricia boat, a venue previously more famous for glammy partying. I attended a couple of gigs there, and it’s definitely a nice one. Let’s hope this initiative keeps going throughout 2024!

Also, keep an eye out for metal cruises to Finland and Estonia. These are usually hosted by Tallink Silja and go out for multiple days of metal gigs at sea. If you’re not from Scandinavia, it can also be a pretty crazy culture experience to behold. People tend to go pretty wild. And not only the metalheads.

Recurring Stockholm metal festivals

As a capital city, Stockholm doesn’t have anything going in terms of open air festivals. If you’re looking for that, you’ll need to go a few hours north to attend Gefle Metal Festival. Stockholm Slaughter is (2023 update: was? Website is dead and I’m not sure if it will return) a recurring indoor event dedicated to extreme metal. The first edition of Scandinavia Deathfest was also held in Stockholm in October 2019.

Metal music stores in Stockholm

Sound Pollution in Gamla Stan is your best for finding metal merch in Stockholm. It’s a store that’s been around since about forever and stocks a lot of metal and punk stuff. Sound Pollution is worth a visit even if you don’t intend to buy something, just to take a look at the most famous metal store in Stockholm.

Don’t forget the death metal Entombed cross in Skogskyrkogården

No Stockholm metal tour is complete without the Entombed cross in Skogskyrkogården
Me and my friend in front of the Entombed cross in the early 2010’s

No Stockholm metal tour is complete without hitting up the Entombed cross where the band took the legendary pics for “Left Hand Path” (Katatonia also posed at the same place many years later). It’s easy to get to Skogskyrkogården by subway (green line south towards Farsta Strand), and the UNESCO-awarded cemetery in itself is a beauty to behold. You won’t regret going there.

Also, don’t miss Entombed vocalist L.G. Petrov’s cool-looking headstone (R.I.P.) that’s located in the cemetery. You can also find the grave of Bathory mastermind Tomas Forsberg at neighboring Sandsborgskyrkogården. If you’re a metal tourist in Stockholm, don’t miss out on these sights! If you want to know more about transport or exact locations of the graves, feel free to hit me up on Instagram.

In which areas of Stockholm can you find the most metal people?

I know how easy is it is to get stuck in the central tourist zone when you come to a new country or city. That’s why I wanted to include a highly subjective paragraph like this as well. You’re not likely to find many metalheads in upper-class parts like Östermalm, Vasastan or Gamla Stan (unless you enter Sound Pollution, of course).

I’d recommend heading slightly south to Södermalm, the more alternative part of Stockholm. It’s easy to find interesting bars and original (sometimes crazy) people there, and it has everything from nicer hipster places to some of the most rundown bars central Stockholm has to offer. Try getting off at subway stations like Medborgarplatsen, Skanstull or Mariatorget.

Aside from meeting other interesting people, it’s also the part of Stockholm where you have the best chance of spotting underground musicians.

Final words on the Stockholm metal scene

I know I’m a bit of a downer about the state of the Stockholm metal scene, but sadly it’s an ongoing situation that definitely effects the local bands. Anyway, I hope I provided you with enough cool tips to have a nice Stockholm metal experience. As a tourist, I’m pretty sure you’ll dig it! If you have questions, feel free to hit me up on Instagram.

How about some Stockholm metal music?

The reason I know so much about Stockholm is of course that I am a Stockholm metal musician. Hopefully, you found some valuable info for your visit to Stockholm in this article, and now it’s my time to do my best to pimp my bands. If you like extreme metal, give Soliloquium and Desolator a shot!

Soliloquium, progressive death/doom metal

Soliloquium - Soulsearching, progressive death doom metal, 2022

Progressive death/doom metal for fans of Katatonia, Daylight Dies, Swallow the Sun, October Tide, Anathema, Novembers Doom and more. All music is written by me, and my 4th full-length album “Soulsearching” was released in 2022.

Links: Bandcamp | Spotify | YouTube

Desolator, old school death metal

Desolator at Helliad Fest 2019 by Haunted Dimension Studio

Old school death metal for fans of Immolation, Morbid Angel, Bloodbath, Vader, Blood Red Throne and more. We have released two full-length albums and performed live in Spain and Poland.

Links: Bandcamp | Spotify | YouTube

Read more:

Now I’ve got a guide for Gothenburg too! ->

50 best Swedish death metal bands ->

The ultimate doom metal genre guide ->

In-depth Stockholm metal articles:

How to get to the Entombed cross and why it’s worth it ->

Why Fredagsmangel is the best place for metal gigs in Stockholm ->

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