The sign of the horns carries a Finnish heavy metal fan through a life lived loudly
358 Helsinki creates an ode to Finland's music obsession for a local radio station
Jan 10, 2019
A trio of friends gather to remember one of their own, a die-hard music fan who had heavy metal in his bones. As they thumb through photos of his life, his allegiance to the grinding squeal of electric guitars shows up in each one: he flashes the sign of the horns as a kid, as a teen, at his wedding, at the birth of his child, while embarrassing his own kid--even in utero.
Even the small shrine dedicated to his passing bears a skeletal hand (his own, perhaps?) in that familiar pose. Though the ceremony is somber and reflective, there's a fitting soundtrack--“King for a Day,” an ode to crooked politicians from Finnish metal band Battle Beast.
The 30-second ad is from agency 358 in Helsinki and promotes Radio Rock, a station in Finland that kicked off in 2007 by playing Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.” Radio hosts Klaus Flaming, Kim Sainio and Harri Moisio play the mourners.
Finland’s obsession with heavy metal music was revealed to the world in 2006, when Lordi was the first Finnish band to win the Eurovision contest, with a theatrical performance of “Hard Rock Hallelujah” in full, monstrous costume. Even President Barack Obama acknowledged the country’s love affair at a conference in 2016. “I do want to point out that Finland has perhaps the most heavy metal bands in the world, per capita," he said, "and also ranks high on good governance. I don't know if there's any correlation there."