Today I’d like to share with you some music I recently discovered, a fusion of heavy metal, rock and various folk traditions, primarily Scandinavian. The composer and musician is Antti Martikainen of Finland, who describes himself and his music as follows on his Web site.
I’m an independent composer, producer and entrepreneur from Finland. I compose and produce mostly epic soundtrack music mixed with ethnic, folk, medieval, electronic and metal elements in my home studio. My songs are usually very melodic, strongly harmonic, rhythmic and simple yet very diverse. I aim to compose strong motifs, memorable melodies, epic structures and to offer my listeners and clients unique experiences. My music is a perfect match with various types of video games, trailers, performances, commercials and movies…and just for casual listening.
He’s been composing and performing since 2013, and has built up quite a body of work. You can buy or listen to them on YouTube and various other digital outlets. Having just discovered his music, I intend to go through all of them over time.
I find a lot of similarities between his music and groups like Nightwish – except, of course, that his music is instrumental rather than vocal. That’s something of a relief, actually. My big beef with Nightwish and many of their contemporaries is their open contempt for Christianity and/or their musical dedication to darkness and evil. I’ve no idea where Martikainen stands on such issues, but since he’s not singing about them, I don’t have to endure vocals that are antithetical to my beliefs.
I’ll put up just two of his works for now. Let’s begin with Lords Of Iron, a nine-minute Celtic metal track from his epic album “Northern Steel“, containing almost two hours of music.
The comments to that video on YouTube are often very amusing. Here’s a brief selection.
“I was listening to this while knitting. My needles are now daggers and I’m lvl 10.”
“My younger siblings, ages 4, 6, and 7 love this song. When I first started playing it the 7 yr old looked up and went ‘they can make metal Scottish music??!! So cool!’ Meanwhile, the 4 and 6 yr olds were already headbanging. I love being the big sister.”
“When the bard rolls a natural 20.”“Most glorious toothbrushing i ever did was to this music.”
“Played this for my parakeet. He’s now a dragon. Also, my beard grew a beard.”
Next, from the same album, his 25-minute opus “Kalevala”. YouTube provides the following details:
This song depicts myths and events in the Finnish national epic Kalevala in various folk metal styles. Time stamps for the different parts of the song:
I The Birth 00:00
II An Ode to Kalevala 02:44
III The Northland Trials 06:07
IV Old Man’s Lament 08:56
V The Forger of Horizons 12:22
VI Witch of the Abyss 16:34
VII Battle for the Celestial Sphere 18:31
VIII Restoring the Sun and the Moon 21:05
IX Eternal Bliss 23:04
Rousing music that exploits electronic instruments to the full.