Finnish metal band

Waltari is an alternative metal band from Finland. The band was formed in Helsinki in 1986. The original members were Kärtsy Hatakka, Sale Suomalainen and Jariot Lehtinen. Their name is a reference to popular Finish writer Mika Waltari – a favorite author of band’s guitarist Jariot Lethinen.

Waltari in Palac Akropolis, Prague 3, 2010
Waltari in Palac Akropolis, Prague 3, 2010
Background information
GenresAvant-garde metal
Progressive metal
Alternative metal
Years active1986–present
LabelsStupido Records, EMI, Bluelight Records
MembersKärtsy Hatakka
Sami Yli-Sirniö
Janne ImmonenJariot Lehtinen
Ville Vehviläinen

Waltari is more famous in the rest of Europe than in Finland and the band members have very positive relationships to Czech Republic. They’ve collaborated with Czech punk rock band Wohnout and Kärtsy is a good friend of Lenka Dusilová. The band has collaborated with many other artists. They’ve made albums with Finnish ethno band Angelit, they hosted on Apocalyptica’s album and Tarja Turunen from Nightwish was a part of Yeah! Yeah! Die! Die! live performance.

Musicial style change

Waltari's music is well known for it’s destruction of rock and metal genre boundaries. Their heavy sound is often combined with elements of electronic music, pop, rap, disco, funk, grindcore and bits of many other genres and creates a fusion which can be described as avant-garde. The lead singer and bass guitarist, Kärtsy Hattaka, delivers very distinctive vocal part to their music and makes Waltari's sound even more unique and easily recognizable.

Lyrics change

Waltari’s lyrics are as diverse as their music. They’re about various range of topics including everyday misery, personal struggles, science fiction motives, and music industry philosophical questions. They have one thing in common – heavy irony, self-irony and sarcasm.

Albums change

Waltari started their musical career with demo records. The longest one was Monk Punk. This album presents an interesting mixture of punk and funk music, but the first release which provided the band more positive reviews was the album called Torcha! and it was also the first one which combined bits of many musical genres. It also includes the cover of Madonna’s song "Vogue".

Next two albums, So Fine and Big Bang were also very successful. They mainly concentrate on mixing heavy metal with techno, which was something fresh and innovative. Their biggest success among death metal fans yet came with the Yeah! Yeah! Die! Die! album, which is mixture of death metal and classical music. It also has a musical feeling to it, because it’s kind of an epic story from future sung in dialogues of various characters.

Next album Space Avenue is more electronic and it has some pop feeling to it. Another one called Radium Round goes even further in that. It’s almost a pop/disco album with some metal elements. Waltari returned to more rock sound with albums like Rare Species and very successful Blood Sample. Last two albums – Release Date and Below Zero are mainly focused on heavy sound with bits of progressive rock.

  • Monk-Punk - 1991
  • Torcha! - 1992
  • So Fine! - 1994
  • Big Bang - 1995
  • Space Avenue - 1997
  • Radium Round - 1999
  • Rare Species - 2004
  • Blood Sample - 2005
  • Release Date - 2007
  • Below Zero - 2009
  • Covers All - The 25th Anniversary Album - 2011