The finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 land this Saturday, May 14 in Turin, Italy, which means viewers around the world are bracing themselves for another evening of cheesy performances, awkward presenter banter and, in the case of the UK, the lovingly sarcastic commentary of Graham Norton.
Last year showed that heavy music can very much still make an impact on the Eurovision stage (more on that in a minute), but it was by no means the only time that metal has made itself heard at the world's most brilliantly daft music event.
With that in mind, here are ten times that metal showed up and threw down at Eurovision
Of course this lot were gonna pop up. Måneskin's sexually-charged mixture of stomping glam metal and swaggering rock 'n' roll made them stand out a mile on last year's Eurovision lineup, and their victory in Rotterdam added a rocket booster to a trajectory that was already placing them as one of Europe's most hyped young rock bands. With sold-out dates around the world and appearances at The Brits and the MTV EMAs in their back pockets, the world is very much theirs for the taking.
Blind Channel (2021)
Lest we forget, Måneskin weren't the only band to bring some riffs to Eurovision in 2021, and while Blind Channel's own trajectory isn't quite as impressive as that of their Italian counterparts, it seems like their set on last year's show has still helped their career flourish. The Finnish nu metallers recently hit the UK as part of a big European tour, and it looks like they are nowhere near done with us all yet.
In 2018, Hungary's AWS got through to their National Finals with Viszlát Nyár and represented the country in Lisbon. The metal/post-hardcore band's videos often juxtaposed images of violence with images of celebrity culture in an attempt to underline some of the issues affecting society on a global scale. Sadly, AWS frontman Örs Siklósi passed away in February 2021 from leukemia at the age of just 29. Though he left us too soon, we'll always be grateful to him for helping to bring some heaviness to Eurovision.
Following the legendary 2006 Eurovision Song Contest where Lordi reigned victorious (and we'll come back to that in a bit, don't you worry), the organisers must have realised what its audience really wanted: METAL! So, in 2007, Finland's finest cello-metal masters Apocalyptica featured as an interval act in their homeland. While the band didn't actually compete, it was still great to see metal represented two years running.
Alexander Ryback and Keep Of Kalessin (2009)
Remember Eurovision 2009? Possibly not, but this dude named Alexander Rybak from Norway won the contest with a metal-as-fuck sounding song titled Fairytale. Eurovision loves a sequel, and in 2011 he returned with a rather impressive backing band in the shape of Norwegian metallers Keep Of Kalessin, who had entered the competition themselves a year prior. Eurovision's most bizarre collaboration ever? Maybe, but it was also the heaviest.
Arguably not just metal's most famous showing at Eurovision, but one of the most talked-about Eurovision sets of all time, Lordi won the contest back in 2006 with Hard Rock Hallelujah, making it the first time a heavy metal song had won the big one. The Finns' theatrical mash-up of GWAR and Kiss stole the show in proper rock ‘n’ roll fashion. The Finnish city of Rovaniemi would even name a square after the band in tribute. Legends. They returned to Eurovision the following year to play during an interval.
Wig Wam (2005)
A year prior to Lordi, Norwegian rock 'n' rollers Wig Wam competed with the catchy-as-crabs glam metal banger, In Your Dreams. "We would love to see rock 'n' roll conquer the Eurovision Song Contest," said singer Glam. "This is a contest of glam and who else than us are the best representatives of this kind of music?" Wig Wam would undergo an unlikely renaissance experience this year when their song Do Ya Wanna Taste It was used for the opening credits of James Gunn's Peacemaker.
Iceland techno-punks Hatari mixed Rammstein-esque industrial metal with throbbing dance beats for their entry to 2019's event with Hatrið mun sigra. The performance was easily one of the most memorable of the year, looking more like something you might see while tripping (over) balls at Torture Garden than anything approaching your usual Eurovision fare.
Directly translated, this band’s name means “steel concrete” – you can’t get any harder or heavier than that! This band wowed us with their heroic, galloping performance of Missä Miehet Ratsastaa at the finals in Belgrade in 2008. There must be something in the water in Finland; they’ve churned out more pure metal Eurovision gold than the rest of the continent put together!
This may not have been the finest advert for heavy music Eurovision has seen - quite frankly this 2011 entry from Georgia's Eldrine sounded like they took the rap segment from Evanescence's Bring Me To Life and wrote a far worse song around it in ten minutes - but hey, if you're gonna nick ideas, might as well nick 'em from one of the best, right? Plus, they garnered a very respectful 110 points, so what the fuck do we know?
The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 takes place this Saturday, May 14 in Italy, Turin and will be broadcast live on BBC 1.