Tere minu ilusad sõbrad,
This is Saburi Ken and today I would like to embrace this opportunity to introduce Estonian rock and metal music to international students and any curious musical fans out there. As everybody knows, or should know by now from reading a little bit of history that music is part of the Estonian identity because of the significance it played to help them through the dark ages. Numerous folk music and song festivals are held every year to pay homage to the symbolic contribution it has brought to the people.
As a keen listener to rock and metal musical genres, this article will only have the songs that captured my attention and I would not be able to accommodate to everybody’s musical interests and desires. I am sure everybody will be able to find their own cup of tea in Estonian music.
Just before we proceed to the list and to get an idea from where I based my musical preferences, I listen to the rock/metal genres ranging from Classic Rock (For example Deep Purple) to Progressive Death Metal (Opeth, Cynic, etc). On an unrelated topic, I like Jamiroquai a lot too.
Here we go:
Fix – Tsirkus (Classic Rock)
The first time I heard this without knowing what the meaning of the song was, I thought to myself, “this is such a cute rock song,”, and I was pretty much right about it being a cute song. This old-school rock anthem song is about a ringmaster (circus director) who spends his time writing circus documents in the office, being the almighty leader of animals, while guiding their life with a pen in his hand.
Vennaskond – Hundilaul (Rock/Punk/Folk)
Vennaskond was one of the most popular rock groups during the 80’s in Estonia. The song tells a tale of a fearful little wolf pup that was left behind by his troop, and now trying to reach others to find home; peace not to be lost anymore.
J.U.K.U. – tissid (Rock/Blues Rock)
I would call this the most motivating and educating song to pick up the language. A song about breasts and the soulful harmonica play shall not be neglected.
X-Panda – Revelation (Progressive Metal)
This cool Progressive Metal song reminds me of Queensryche. Their other track on YouTube, Flight of Fancy, is worth listening to too. I don’t want to pay money for a boat ride along Tartu emajõe, rocking out on a floating platform with these guys would be awesome.
Zetod – “Toonuška” (Folk/Folk Rock)
Zetod’s songs are sung in an old Estonian Võru dialect that only a few Estonians understand effortlessly. Liking their music that I don’t understand goes to show that their music breaks all language and cultural barriers, and it doesn’t stop me from enjoying their songs. I caught their performance in Viljandi Folk Music Festival 2013 and they were the best act in the folk festival.
Winny Puhh – Meiecundimees üks Korsakov läks eile Lätti (Punk/Rock/Folk Rock/Parody)
Winny Puhh is the epitome of Estonian masculinity. They do what they want to do. Their repertoire consists of extremely humorous songs. As for the song, it is about a man from their area, who was an extraordinarily strong bad-ass dude but he was too strong that he always hurt himself in whatever he was doing, may it be going to Latvia or watching the stars.
Oort – Öised Orjad (Estonian Medieval Viking Metal)
Here’s a formula: Oort = Estonian Medieval Viking Metal. Talented, tight, progressive elements, unique, bad-ass, and masculine. Those folk instruments. The song is about a medieval Estonian slave who always having to serve as a squire but never having anything compared to squires.
Metsatöll – Vaid Vaprust (Folk Metal)
Estonia’s best and most popular Folk Metal band. The song speaks about a brave Viking with a free spirit, but holding onto sentiments from home to keep his focus straight. Never afraid of anything, may it be killer waves or the swords of his enemies.
That is my list of Estonian rock/metal bands that I would introduce to people but of course, I would be very open to listen to your suggestions and recommendations.
The other notable rock/metal bands which I have chanced upon and are worth listening to are Loits, Singer-Vinger, Tanel Padar & The Suns, Elephants From Neptune, Ruja, Raud-Ants, Vanilla Ninja, Herald, In Spe, Pantokraator, Rock Hotel, Velikije Luki, Echosilence, Paean, and SyrCitY.
I hope you have enjoyed my list and will keep exploring Estonian music. There are also 70’s Estonian psychedelic rock music out there but I am not too familiar with that territory so anybody is welcome to leave your recommendations in the comment section below. 🙂
Have a great weekend and enjoy the remaining of the students’ week! 😀
P.S. Further notable bands my friends recommended are Talbot and Estoner. (Re-edit on 17 Oct 2014)
Author: Saburi Ken, Singapore, Business Administration