Since it seems exceedingly unlikely that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be making any references to bands like Children Of Bodom or Apocalyptica in the next eight years, we should probably savor these last few months of having a sitting president who is at least vaguely familiar with the booming Northern European heavy metal scene. While speaking at the White House during the arrival ceremony before Friday’s Nordic State Dinner, the President noted a very special distinction of our allies in Finland.
“I do want to point out, that Finland has perhaps the most heavy metal bands in the world, per capita,” President Obama told the assembled crowd, “and also ranks high on good governance. I don’t know if there’s any correlation there.” Here’s the full video of the event. Skip ahead to 6:35 to hear the really hardcore part.
According to data collected from the Encyclopaedia Metallum several years ago by a redditor known as “depo_”, Finland had the most metal bands in the world in 2012, with 53 per 100,000 citizens. Given its population of 5.4 million, that’s more than 2,800 growling, thrashing music groups—or, to put it in Finnish terms, an ulosteet kuormitus of metal bands.
Metalheads worldwide apparently took a short break from all their brooding in order to get geeked about the shout-out, according to Albert Mudrian, editor-in-chief of Decibel Magazine. “The metal underground got pretty excited about the President of the United States referencing the Finnish metal scene,” he told NPR.