Audience at the Sweden Rock Festival. Photo: GettyImages
Audience at the Sweden Rock Festival. Photo: GettyImages


35 years of Scandinavian metal

This is how the success of Scandinavian metal took off – from Metallica to Mayhem.

1981: Dane Lars Ulrich meets James Hetfield in California and they form Metallica.

1983: Bathory are formed in Vällingby, Sweden. The group is considered one of the most significant and iconic names in extreme metal.

1984: The Monsters of Rock festival at Råsunda in Stockholm, featuring names such as Mötley Crüe, Van Halen and AC/DC, becomes known as “the holy grail” of hard rock concerts in Scandinavia.

1986: “The Final Countdown” by Europe tops the charts in 25 countries and puts Scandinavian heavy metal on the world map.

1987: Black Death from Kolbotn near Oslo change their name to Darkthrone. The band will become one of the most important names in Scandinavian extreme metal.

1991: At the Gates release their “Gardens of Grief” EP, heralding the launch of the “Gothenburg metal” scene, with others including In Flames and Dark Tranquillity.

1993: Norwegian churches are set on fire and the black metal scene achieves notoriety with the murder of Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth of Mayhem.

2014: Entombed is one of the first names added to the newly-established Swedish Music Hall of Fame.

2016: Ghost win a Grammy. Entombed perform “Clandestine” with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra.

2017: Mayhem continue touring the world, playing De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in its entirety. There are plans to make a movie about Mayhem’s turbulent years in the early 1990s that will be called Lords of Chaos. The director is Jonas Åkerlund, former drummer in Bathory.

Did you find this article inspiring?

Give it a thumbs up!


Book trip


Close map


From the article

Share this tips


Looking for something special?

Filter your search by