Heavy Metal Music by Country

A new map illustrates which countries enjoy heavy metal music most. This data is drawn from a study which shows a correlation between heavy metal music and wealth, affluence, creativity and entrepreneurialism.

Sweden and America are no doubt hotbeds of heavy metal activity, but what are other countries like?


Heavy metal music has long been popular in Scandinavia, and remains popular today with numerous acclaimed bands. Many of these bands combine elements of traditional folk music with metal to form their unique and powerful style of metal music. Drawing upon Scandinavia’s rich cultural history and heritage as inspiration for its theme of power and violence – an interesting contrast with their otherwise peaceful society that gives this music its intensity and depth – heavy metal has found a home there too!

Scandinavians love metal music for many reasons. One possibility is that it allows them to express their intense emotions; another suggests it serves as a countercultural movement against Scandinavia’s rigid social norms; it may even fit with its cold climate and dark nights!

No doubt about it; Scandinavia is an integral component of the global metal scene. Some of the finest bands, such as At The Gates, Arch Enemy, and Katatonia all hail from this part of Europe – their music not only powerful and emotive but their lyrics profound and thought-provoking as a testament to Swedish metal scene’s creativity and strength.

Metal bands from Sweden are among the best and most talented in the world, but also popular in their home nation. A recent study discovered that Sweden had more metal bands per million people than any other nation worldwide – an astounding statistic which suggests there must be something unique about Scandinavian mentality that makes it ideal for metal music bands to thrive there.

Opeth is one of the best-known Scandinavian metal bands, as pioneers of melodic death metal and considered among history’s great musicians. Their music spans genres and instruments; mixing metal with other styles like folk and even including acoustic instruments into its composition. Their powerful yet beautiful music boasts equally amazing vocalists.

The United States

American metal has an unparalleled legacy. This country has produced some iconic acts like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Saxon, according to our calculations using data from Encyclopaedia Metallum. According to these calculations based on Encyclopaedia Metallum alone, America boasts more Heavy Metal bands per capita than any other nation worldwide.

Heavy Metal may have a reputation for aggression and machismo, yet it also contains an element of mysticism, inspired by blues music’s use of scales heard in songs like Led Zeppelin’s “Helter Skelter” or Jimi Hendrix’s transformation of traditional acoustic guitar arrangements to electric instruments. Heavy Metal’s Western rock roots provide it with a sense of escape-from-reality fantasy with lyrics dealing with war, death or alienation themes often found elsewhere in Western rock songs like Led Zeppelin’s “Helter Skelter”.

Due to these various influences, Metal has evolved into an extremely adaptable genre that can take many different forms and be played in myriad ways, creating an array of musical styles which appeal to different audiences and have broad cultural significance.

United States-based country Metal bands often combine elements from other genres into their sound, including Blues, Hard Rock and Jazz. One notable band in particular is Louisville-based Panopticon who combine post-rock elements with natural surroundings for an atmospheric take on black Metal inspired by local folk music. Meanwhile New Orleans Eyehategod make head-nodding tunes perfect for dazed head nodding while Texas-based Stump Tail Dolly blend Black Metal with country ballads.

Metal has made an inroad into country music in recent years, with country icons like Eric Church embracing metal and performing at Metallica’s Orion Festival. Additionally, artists like Staind frontman Aaron Lewis and Korn guitarist Jonathan Davis have collaborated with country stars. Furthermore, Righteous Vendetta recently released an EP called Country Goes Metal which includes some of their biggest hits reimagined into metalcore versions.

Navigating our interactive map below, or clicking any country name will show the full breakdown of metal’s most-beloved nations, or to gain more knowledge about each one. Hover over any country name to view its total Metal band count and 2021 population figures; click the legend for filtering purposes to narrow your results accordingly.

The United Kingdom

Black Sabbath and Judas Priest began to gain prominence in the late ’60s, yet few could have predicted how significant metal would become over its subsequent half century of popularity. From its blues-influenced origins, metal now commands global appeal with musicians of all sorts inspired by its sound.

As metal has continued its progress, it has also become a more progressive genre. From System of a Down and Rage Against The Machine speaking out on radical politics to individual metal musicians expressing pride for their heritage – metal music continues to push cultural acceptance limits.

Metal has long been popular across a spectrum of cultures and traditions; its appeal lies partly in allowing artists to express themselves freely without social pressure. Scandinavia has been particularly welcoming of metal music; there it has long been appreciated and accepted.

Though many theories have been advanced as explanations, statistics may provide further answers. A 2016 study led by linguist and mathematician Jakub Marian tracked the number of metal bands per country and discovered that Norway and Sweden have more than 428 bands for every million inhabitants – far surpassing America and UK which only have around 69 metal bands per million citizens.

The UK boasts an enduring history of metal music, while still producing many talented acts like Iron Maiden, Bring Me the Horizon, Architects and Cradle of Filth who have become international acts bringing classic heavy metal sounds infused with contemporary styles to more audiences than ever before.

British metal has played an essential role in its history; now its homegrown talents are spearheading its future. From mathcore rabble-rousers Pupil Slicer to Brighton metal collectives like Architects, Britain is an epicenter of creative metal music. Even traditional country acts can incorporate elements of metal into their sound for an exciting cross-cultural crossover of rock and metal music.


Australia was not as prolific when it comes to metal bands during the 1980s as other European nations such as Sweden or Finland were, yet nonetheless there were notable exceptions like Armoured Angel, formed in Canberra in 1984 and released their debut demo record the following year; becoming Australia’s first major death metal act. Although they had initial success supporting acts such as Metallica or Dio, ultimately self-destructed leaving a significant legacy behind for Australian metal fans.

By the early 1990s, a new generation of bands was emerging. Influences from both Sweden and America could be seen through bands such as Hecatomb, Corpse Molestation and Damnatory which formed in Melbourne. Other death metal acts included Scourge, Damaged, Blood Duster as well as Thrash bands Damaged Hecatere Hecatre Psychrist Scourge as well as Grincore groups such as Dwarves from Ballarat Bloodshedder and Psychrist in Brisbane as well as Brutalist from Sydney with Aftermath in Canberra; youth radio station Triple J began airing 3 Hours of Power that featured many of these acts which in turn had an immense influence over future generations of musicians. Youth radio station Triple J began featuring many of these acts with 3 Hours of Power airing each week between 90-91 featuring these acts for an entire decade of radio broadcasting with youth radio station Triple J broadcasting the program 3 Hours of Power that featured many bands that in turn had an influencing new generation through Triple J radio broadcasting programs called 3 Hours of Power which showcased many featured these artists from 1990 onwards that featured many from Melbourne with Melbourne youth radio station Triple J starting its 3-Hour Power program in 1990 featuring many from Melbourne musicians that would influence new generations to this newer from Canberra beginning its 3 Hours of Power program featuring many such bands at once again in 90 featured many through 3 Hours of Power featuring many featured on Triple J’s 3 Hours of Power program featuring many from Australia’s popular youth radio station with them on Triple J radio’s 3 Hours of Power program featuring many of Power featuring many from Melbourne-and many that eventually went onto later featured many bands’s 3 Hours Of Power featured many features many as well a program featuring many through to Sydney Brutalist and Aftermath programs such as well.

Nu Metal (Nue Metal in Australia), first emerging during the late ’90s and early 2000s, saw a return to melodic metal music. Bands such as Alexisonfire and Atreyu blended elements of heavy music with pop and post-hardcore to appeal to a wider audience while remaining true to their roots. High Tension from Melbourne further expanded this genre with their 2015 release Bully; its relentless slow burn is proof of High Tension’s skill at balancing ferocity with catchy hooks as Karina Utomo delivered her guttural vocal delivery.

Make Them Suffer is one of Australia’s most impressive heavy metal exports, having formed in Adelaide in 2013. Their genre-defying blend of grindcore, black metal and psychedelia has won them critical acclaim and an ever-increasing tour schedule since 2013; their latest album “Breakneck” does not disappoint with its shapeshifting fury backed by an aggressive bassline and powerful leads; an album which demands attention!