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The Gothenburg Sound: Turning it up to 11


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Infernal Origins to Worldwide Appeal

Our story starts in Birmingham, in 1969, with a band named Earth. One day at their rehearsal studio, they noticed a queue at the theatre next door. The theatre was showing Black Sabbath, an anthology horror film which starred the great Boris Karloff in the twilight of his career. They came to the realisation that it was "strange that people spend so much money to see scary movies".

Inspired by what they had seen, they decided to make the musical equivalent of a horror film. They used dark lyrics and an ominous, industrial sound, inspired by sounds of industrial Birmingham at the time. They changed their name, released their self-titled debut album Black Sabbath, the first heavy metal album. A new genre of music was given an unholy birth into the world.

Since that monumental album, there have been era defining metal scenes from around the world. From the new wave of British heavy metal in the late 70s, to the thrash metal scene in the Bay Area in the early 80’s, to Florida’s death metal scene in the mid-to-late 80’s.

Fast forward to 2021, 145 out of the world’s 195 countries contain an active metal band. When you look at who the largest producers of metal, according to Encyclopaedia Metallum, you’ll see that the United States is by far No. 1 with 17,557 bands. Their closest rival is Germany with 5,726.

Ranking Country Bands Percentage of Total Bands
1 United States 17,557 21.62%
2 Germany 5,726 7.05%
3 Brazil 4,173 5.14%
4 Italy 3,623 4.46%
5 United Kingdom 3,244 3.99%

However, on a per capita basis, there is one region that seems to love metal more than the rest. No prizes for who guesses correctly, these northern lands are almost infamous for being metal heads.

Ranking Country Metal bands per 100000 people Bands Population
1 Finland 42.613 2,381 5,587,442
2 Iceland 31.900 113 354,234
3 Sweden 22.228 2,281 10,261,767
4 Faroe Islands 21.177 11 51,943
5 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 18.793 1 5,321
6 Norway 18.277 1,007 5,509,591

That’s right, it’s Scandinavia.

Okay, what does this have to do with Football Manager?

Well, I’ve been meaning to start a career and document it for a while. Recently, I’ve also been really diving into metal having watched a criminally underrated series on the history of metal on YouTube. So, I decided to create a Franken-monster of my two interests. The idea is to start a career where the restriction is to only sign players from countries where metal is most prevalent.

A redditor (of course) in 2012 used Encyclopaedia Metallum and the CIA world fact book to find out which countries had the most bands per 100,000 people. The list was updated in 2021.

For the purposes of this save, I’ll only be signing players from the 13 nations with the most metal bands per 100,000 people, with leagues playable out of the box. The list of these countries is as follows:

  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

With these restrictions, I’ll be leaving out metal Meccas like Brazil, Britain, Germany, and the U.S. It’s very unfortunate but it’s the only way I can systematically gauge which countries love face-melting riffs more than others.

The Gothenburg Sound


Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city, situated on the west coast of Sweden, overlooking the Kattegat. It’s a maritime city, with the Gothenburg port being the largest in Scandinavia. It’s also an economic hub, with companies such as Volvo, SKF and AstraZeneca (boo Corona) having headquarters there. It also has a rich sporting history, with the first football match in Sweden being played there. The Gothia Cup hosted annually, which is the largest football tournament in the world by number of participants. The Gothenburg International Film Festival is also the largest in Scandinavia.


More importantly for us, the Gothenburg metal scene from in the early 90s was supremely influential. It was a small, very tightly knit, death metal community with bands playing in basements and youth clubs. Unlike the death metal found in the underground Florida sphere, they produced death metal with a more melodic nature and the world loved it. Gothenburg “became the new Tampa and the genre received a new lease on life.” In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and At The Gates were the big three at the time. The trio released 3 seminal albums within the space of 3 months: The Jester Race, The Gallery and, Slaughter for the Soul, respectively. At The Gates’ album Slaughter for the Soul was particularly significant as it is widely seen as the precursor to metalcore.

Sweet, can we stop talking about metal and get to the bit where you play FM?

Alright, so this is where the fun begins. If it wasn’t clear before, I’ll be managing in Gothenburg, Sweden. There are three professional clubs in Gothenburg:

  • IFK Göteborg
  • GAIS
  • Örgryte IS

The club I’ll be managing is GAIS, due to what apparently looks like a punk rock culture being popular amongst the fans. It’s not metal but a lot of metal took inspiration from hardcore punk.

Göteborgs Atlet- och Idrottssällskap





Edited by AceAvenger
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Blinded by (a lack of scouts)


Had to start this series with the quintesential Gothenburg sound. Peaceful earache is how At The Gates would describe it.


The manager for this save will be Tomas Lindberg, the frontman for At The Gates. Lindberg actually moonlights as a social studies teacher in real life. I guess here he'll be giving that up for the Swedish second division.


The Squad



Nothing special here, Mathias Karlsson will be undisputed first choice.  He also seems like the best choice to be captain with his leadership, although I would prefer an outfielder (but there is nothing to back it up that it's more effective in FM). He's also got decent throwing, maybe I'll try to utilise that to start counters.



Definately needing reinforcements, Only 3 natural centerbacks and 2 are slightly below the standard required. Boris Lumbana is the pick of the bunch, with Hultqvist's jumping reach potentially being very useful.



Got a lot of options here. Andersson and Moenza look like undisputed starters, with their excellent physicals for this level. This will be an area with more than one exit as I try to rebalance the squad.

Central Midfield


Now we see our two key players, Nikola Laden and Adnan Maric. Laden looks like he will be the creative fulcrum in midfield and Maric looks like a real goal threat with his physicals and PPMs.



Yursuvat is really good striker for our level, he might not look like much but his attributes are very balanced in all the key areas; Finishing, First Touch, Anticipation, Composure, Acceleration, Pace. If I can find a good foil for him upfront, someone huge and can hold the ball up, I think he can do really well. One sticking point though, he's got one year on his contract and he doesn't want to renew. I have to make a decision whether to stick to him and potentially lose him for free, or cash in and find a replacement. It all depends if I can find the replacement or not.

Speaking of finding players.


Look at the barren wasteland that is my recuitment team. That is the first thing on the agenda to fix at GAIS.



What an obscenely long pre-season. Well at least I'll have a lot of time to prepare for the new season. The Svenska Cupen group stage matches are sprinked along there too. I'm not too bothered about that. The board just want to reach the group stages and that's already been done. Only the top team qualifies for the quarter final, and I don't think we'll be able to top the best team in Sweden.

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