Summary : The first edition of epic poem Kalevala was published in 1835. After its publication Kalevala has been a huge inspiration for Finnish artists in different genres. Finnish heavy metal bands found the Kalevala in the beginning of 1990’s, and during last fi fteen years there has been an expansion of Kalevala-inspired metal. These bands use either lyrical or musical references to archaic tradition. The two examples of music of Ensiferum and Insomnium show how traditional music is used in heavy metal. Also, the visual appearance of the bands has got infl uences from mythical past of Finns. The images have many references to visual arts : paintings, photographs. There are many reasons for the appearance of Kalevala tradition to the heavy metal scene. One is obviously the international models, references to Middle Ages and Vikings. And the emergence of world music in the middle of 1980’s and the international success of Värttinä have made the atmosphere more acceptable for traditional music. Also some things in Finnish music education have had their impacts. For example the kantele was taken to music education in primary schools, starting in the middle of 1980’s.