The More You Know: This Small City in Finland Was Just Named the World’s “Capital of Metal”

After a month-long competition resulting in fierce competition between the many different metal scenes of Finland, the official “Capital of Metal” has been named. Lemi, a small municipality with a population of just over 3000 in rural Southeast Finland, has walked away with the honour based upon them having the most dense metal scene in the world, a stark contrast to what the community was best known for before all of this: a traditional lamb dish named “särä” and an abundance of potato farms.

The official “Capital of Metal” competition consisted of approximately 1,300 bands battling it out with axes of varying strength and size, part of a campaign started by The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, Sony Music Finland and ten Finnish cities. And with Finland known as a whole for being the country with the most metal bands per capita in the world (53.2 bands per 100,000 inhabitants), the fight for supremacy was long, hard and possibly (definitely) bloody. The Eastern Finnish city of Joensuu ran-up with a respectable 177 bands (a ratio of 233.4 bands per 100,000 inhabitants), which would make them the capital as far as absolute figures goes, but no one could stop Lemi from taking the top spot, with a theoretical ratio of 422.6 bands per 100,000 inhabitants based upon 13 bands for their 3000-deep population.

It seems the capital of Finland, Helsinki, was so determined to win the competition they even tried to sneakily latch onto Tallinn’s metal scene via an international request for assistance, forming “Hellinn” to supplement Helsinki’s entry. The Estonian capital agreed, but even then the cooperation between the two neighbouring cities only amounted to 154 bands.

The official Capital of Metal award ceremony will be held at the forthcoming Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in Helsinki, which runs from 29th June to 1st July, so if any history-loving Metal fans are out stalking around Europe at the moment make sure you’re popping by to witness the crown of the world’s new Metal capital.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.