(Clockwise from above, Lordi (Finland), Terasbetoni (Finland), Eldrine (Georgia) and maNga (Turkey).
Is it a strange phenomenon that is occurring or is it simply a new idea by European music industries to promote their metal music scene?
Ever since Lordi graced the stage of the Eurovision song contest back in 2006 and won it emphatically with their song 'Hard Rock Hallelujah', this was to become the first Heavy Metal entry in Eurovision history and consequently the first one to win the competition. Post-Eurovision the band were congratulated from many alike from the Mayor of Helsinki to the President of Finland at the time, even producing Christmas stamps with the band members masks on them as well as coca-cola delivering a Lordi style product. Their winning song 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' was then released on their sensational album 'The Arockalypse'.
Forward a year and as Lordi opened up again with their winning song succeeding a spine-chilling introduction showing the Finnish part of the article circle (in fact the vocalist Mr. Lordi was born in Rovaniemi, the administrative capital of Lapland - could Santa Claus really be a demonic rocker?) and the band playing on an icy and snowy backdrop which features iconic Finnish cultural symbols, such as the pine trees, the wolves, the frozen landscape and of course Finnish Heavy Metal.
It then was the turn of Finnish Power Metal band Teräsbetoni, whom of which currently is on a hiatus as of 2011, signed to Sakara Records (previously signed to Warner Music Finland) the quartet embraced the cold winter storm of Helsinki's Hartwall Areena and the passionate Finnish Metal scene followers that valiantly waved their national flag along to the music, but what possibly made the band end near last position may rest with the choice of song, 'Missä miehet ratsastaa' which in fact progressed the band to the final in the 2008 edition of the Eurovision, even so it is a fabulous song, full of oomph and gusto, even so the final interval act was even more sensational, the Cello Metal legends that are Apocalyptica
Forwarding a few years to 2010 and it was Turkey's turn to enter a metal band, sure it was not as heavy as the previous bands but it still carried enough riff kudos to land maNga a second place finish in the Final, losing out unfortunately to Germany's Lena; to this day most music fans still claim maNga should have been the winners since their song (and themselves consequently) were unheard of relatively in Europe, whereas Lena and her entry was already massive hit on the European music scene, still maNga put up a damn good performance with their song 'We Could Be The Same', which aptly is a good slogan for the global metal community, we are the same as it would seem. maNga in fact had gained popularity through their song 'Bir Kadın Çizeceksin' as it was featured on the 2006 edition of FIFA and came from their debut s/t album, the album was later re-released as 'maNga+' with additional songs and adapted artwork, still keeping maNga's recognizable creature. Then their second album came out 'Şehr-i Hüzün' in 2009, still keeping the band's trademark sound of Anatolian melodies and Nu Metal. Their latest album is 'e-akustik' and was released last year, overall in my opinion they were the real winners.
Consequently 'We Could Be The Same', the Eurovision entry that maNga went with, was the first ever English song they have done, since then they also released the single 'Fly To Stay Alive'.
Forward on a year and the Nu Metal / Alternative Rock trend carries on, this time it is the Georgian band Eldrine to grace the Eurovision song contest and 2011 was to prove to be another humdinger for metal as the winning song was far from rock or metal. But none the less to see a Georgian Metal band in Eurovision is a shock since the scene itself is relatively minute, with only a handful of bands actually getting known in the Caucasian region, but none the less they brought the Nu Metal sound once more, even with costumes that may even represent traditional values in terms of dress style.
Heavy Metal may need that, just 'One More Day' to reshuffle and deliver another lashing on Eurovision to win the title of the most competitive music song contest on the planet.
So where does this leave the relationship between Heavy Metal and the Eurovision Song Contest? Maybe some day a variation of the contest may be made to suit metal music, maybe Sweden or Norway may send a Black Metal band in, who knows. But what happened in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest did not happen in the final of the competition, during the semi-finals and the voting stages to vote acts to the final, from Switzerland the duo act Sinplus of whom play Post-Punk, New Wave and Alternative Rock music sadly did not get through, nor did the Israeli rock band Izabo, sure it is not metal music, but the latter is just an evident sign that rock is still represented, more so another act not to make it to the final was the Slovakian artist Miroslav Šmajda of whom plays Alternative Rock / Heavy Metal. However on a side note, the French entry Anggun is of Indonesian origin and as I found out when interviewing her, she takes influence from Heavy metal music, yet sings pop music, weird eh? So what will 2013 bring....
As Eurovision Song Contest 2013 rolls onto our screens on the following dates (NB for the UK semi-finals will be on BBC Three and the Final on BBC One - commentators Scott Mills and Ana Matronic, Graham Norton respectively):
Semi-final 1 - 14 May 2013
Semi-final 2 - 16 May 2013
Final date - 18 May 2013
There are a number of rock / electronic music entries that should be watched out for.
Representing Albania is the Rock duo Adrian Lulgjuraj and Bledar Sejko
Representing Armenia is the Rock band Dorians
Representing Italy is the Pop Rock artist Marco Mengoni
Representing Lithuania is the Indie Rock artist Andrius Pojavis
Representing Macedonia is the Pop Rock artist Vlatko Lozanoski
Representing Norway is the Electro / Pop Rock artist Margaret Berger
Representing Spain is the Pop Rock / Celtic Rock band El Sueño de Morfeo
Representing The Netherlands is the Alternative Rock / Pop Rock artist Anouk Teeuwe
Representing The United Kingdom is the Pop Rock artist Bonnie Tyler
The closest musically to metal music would be between the Albanian, Armenian and Spanish entries.
Lets start the show.
Global Metal Apocalypse