(As I did last year, I invited fireangel — one of the two people behind the Night Elves web site and a walking encyclopedia on Finnish metal — to contribute a year-end list, and once again she graciously agreed. As you’ll see, her list is different from any we’ve published so far in our year-end Listmania series.)
My guilty habit, to which I easily admit, is: I like listening to cover songs or “metalized” versions of great pop music. You might have noticed from some choices in last year’s post, but the true extent of the situation is much more extreme. This habit collides with something that Finnish musicians seem to be world class at: taking a song, adding metal, adding sometimes several vocalists at once, rearranging the whole structure upside down, and ta-dah!: Awesome music. Of course I`m aware that people in warmer climates of the world are possibly capable of that, too. I, however, mainly tune in to Finnish Metal, because it just happens to be my favourite.
What I like especially is the wonderful opportunity to hear the variety of someone’s singing, outside of their usual band setting. Additionally, the arrangements and the metal treatment very often improve the song, in my opinion. An example could be A-HA’s 1980s hit “Take On Me”. A lot of the typical 80s songwriting is top-notch, but I just prefer metal to pop music; so, having a combination of the catchy melody and lots of guitar takes the song much further.
On the other hand, of course, the vocal style someone has and the band this singer usually is in will already influence the direction of the cover song, so it is somewhat an extension of the catalogue – more songs from my favourite artists. Of course, this might work the other way around, too: most often, the vocalists are performing songs which might have influenced them in the past – songs by their own favourite artists.