(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Regional Signal

Death metal in a mining town, Arctic Nest’s Arctic dreams, and industrial uproar: stories from Kainuu


Kainuu, Finland.

With just under 40 thousand people, the town of Kajaani is the biggest town in the sub-arctic region of Kainuu.

Kainuu is renowned for its pristine nature, numerous lakes, and dense forests. Historically tied to the timber and forest industry, Kainuu’s economy also hosts mining, and metalworking technology.

However, many of these industries are soon to be hit with strikes.

The Industrial Union has announced strikes involving approximately 60 thousand workers, a strong message against labour-related cuts proposed by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s government.

Riku Aalto, the President of the Industrial Union, emphasizes the necessity of these strikes: “Hopefully, the strikes will bring the government back down to earth.”

These strikes, coupled with those announced by , reflect a collective stand against labour deterioration.

Jorma Malinen, the Chairman of Ammattiliitto Pro, an allied trade union, urges the government to engage in genuine tripartite negotiations, echoing the sentiments of a workforce unwilling to accept detrimental changes silently.

While the mines of Kainuu may be set to go quiet, in the town of Kajaani, another form of metal will continued to be mined. Death Metal.

There a sonic storm is brewing as Ulterror, a metal quintet, emerges from the mining depths of Kainuu with their debut EP, “Pristine Ruin.”

The underground scene reverberates with the powerful death metal crafted by Iiro Leinonen, Matti Kinnunen, Tuomas Juvonen, Juho Kinnunen, and Ville Hiljanen. With tracks like “Bloodred Abyss” and “Violent Evolution,” Ulterror is not just a band; it’s a seismic force aiming to shake the foundations of the metal world.

“It is the passion of all band members, especially technical death metal,” declares Tuomas Juvonen, the growling voice behind Ulterror.

The journey began with the duo of Juvonen and guitarist Iiro Leinonen joining forces after their military service.

The birth of Ulterror saw guitarist Juho Kinnunen and bassist Ville Hiljanen completing the ensemble. Their debut EP, mixed by Alex Snape of Nomadic Arts in Canada, stands as a testament to the band’s prowess and ambition.

While Ulterror crafts aural landscapes, Michala and Teemu Kyllönen are sculpting experiential realms in Paljakka with Arctic Nest.

Formerly a building belonging to the Finnish Forest Research Institute, the Kyllönens have transformed it into a hub for educational tourism.

The building, renovated at a cost of €800 thousand, houses hotel rooms and innovative ten-person capsule accommodations.

“We always felt the need for comprehensive services,” Teemu Kyllönen explains. The couple hosted their first group of Indonesian education professionals and executives, discovering the challenges of scattered accommodations.

Arctic Nest aims to streamline educational tourism, offering lodging, dining, and teaching facilities under one roof.

As Michala and Teemu anticipate a group from Ghana and Japan in March, their venture stands as a testament to the untapped potential of educational tourism.

Teemu Kyllönen stresses, “Educational tourism could bring hundreds of millions of euros to Finland.”

However, the sales process, as he notes, is “damn long,” reflecting the need for increased awareness of this potential goldmine.

In this symphony of creativity, entrepreneurship, and labour resistance, Kainuu stands at a crossroads.

Ulterror’s growls echo the frustrations of a generation, Arctic Nest’s innovative spirit seeks to educate and inspire, while the industrial strikes resound as a collective roar for workers’ rights.