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10 Times Rock Ruled At The Eurovision Song Contest 

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[Photos via Eurovision YouTube]

It’s the most wonderful time of year once more. Eurovision is back, and it continues to get bigger and more prominent worldwide. Though it is known as the institution that turned ABBA into superstars and showcases the wildest and weirdest creations that Europe has to offer, there is still room for some rock ‘n’ roll in the ranks. 

Over the years, pop has been the predominant genre in which countries project their entries. Though guitars have been making their way slowly but surely, they sometimes take the whole competition by storm. From masked monsters and nu-metal stalwarts to glam-rock superstars, plenty of headbang fuel can be found within the folds.

So, as the 2024 edition starts to heat up, here are some of the finest picks from over the years who have dipped their toes into the darkness that little bit more…


If you’re going to have a conversation about rock and metal in Eurovision, it needs to have been started by Lordi. They are why the genre even has a foot in the door at the competition.

Mr. Lordi and co. were already 14 years into their monstrous career when they represented Finland in 2006, but all that prep paid off in abundance. First off, they are genuinely grotesque to look at, as the detail of their skin-crawling costumes is so graphic. Yet their songwriting was still able to take center stage, with their blend of classic rock melodies, rough and raw metal storytelling, and shock rock theatre.

Hard Rock Hallelujah,” taken from their third album, The Arockalypse, was the anthem that transformed naysayers into horn-throwing hellraisers when it was performed in Athens. It received 292 points, and even more incredibly, it still stands up as a corrosively catchy banger to this day. 

The band released their EIGHTEENTH album, Scream Writers Guild, in 2023, proving that you can gain worldwide critical acclaim without straying from the blood-stained path you started on.


There are two periods of history in this world. The time before Måneskin was absolutely massive, and so was the time after. First getting their break on the Italian version of The X Factor around 2017, where they were runners-up, time would allow this red-hot quartet to delve deeper into the steamy depths of modern rock and roll. Singing in their native tongue as much adopted English, they channel as much glam rock as they do runway-ready pop-rock, with plenty of space left for freak-out jam sessions and diamond-studded tension.

Their appearance at Eurovision in 2021 was spearheaded by ‘Zitti E Bueoni,’ a ready-made song for arena stages. Injected with as much pomp and theatre as passion and precision, it allowed them to grab a huge 524 points. For some, their party-starting attitude was above and beyond what was expected at the competition. But the truth is that they quite simply love what they do that much. Believe in your art and give no fucks in the face of non-believers. A sentiment from which many should learn something.

Since their victory, they have gone platinum multiple times, set stages across the planet aflame like it’s second nature, and released the infectious full-length RUSH! There is quite simply no stopping them.


Blind Channel set out to show that Finland wasn’t done when producing Eurovision rock sensations, and they achieved gold stars across the board. 

Conjuring shades of everyone from Linkin Park to Papa Roach, these fine young firecrackers set out to bring nu-metal flying into the present. They achieved it with flying colors when they joined the party in 2021. Their entry was “Dark Side,” a potent mix of harsh synths, fierce bars, and plenty of pyro-fuelled chaos.

The energy paid off, and they finished 6th with 301 points. Considering it was the same year Måneskin topped the bill, it served as a changing of the guard in terms of what Europe wanted to hear from its entires. This was Finland’s highest finish at the competition since Lordi swept the board, which is as high as praise gets.

Since then, they have shared two new full-lengths, 2022’s Lifestyles Of The Sick & Dangerous and 2024’s EXIT EMOTIONS. Delivering huge anthems alongside rambunctious behavior, these still feel like the tip of the iceberg regarding just how high they can fly.


Lord Of The Lost is the sort of band that you would expect a country like Germany to have representing them for years. But it took until 2023 for them to move away from soft balladry and centralist pop and take a risk on a genre and a band, which regularly tops their charts.

Like a vibrant combination of HIM, Rob Zombie, and Rammstein, theirs is a brand of metal that belongs on theatre stages. Bold, brash, and brilliantly heavy when the time is right, their songs have a flamboyance and flair that perfectly represent the Eurovision spirit. “Blood & Glitter,” the title track from their 2022 album, was their choice, and between the beautiful melodies and firey riffs, there is so much to indulge in.

Unfortunately, the band finished at the bottom of the leaderboard when the show took place in the UK, scoring just 18 points. However, their spirit was far from dampened. Their appearance represented how taking risks will always pay dividends in the communities you call home. That’s more valuable than any number of points on a board. 


NOW THEN. This is as close to the actual scene as Eurovision may have gotten. Swooping fringes, skinny jeans, and plenty of crabcore-level energy, AWS were a breath of fresh air in 2018. One of Hungary’s most exciting heavy prospects, the band wears their love of post-hardcore on their sleeves, making the stage in Lisbon feel like the Chain Reaction

With the thunderous “Viszlát Nyár,” they delivered guttural vocals, razor-sharp breakdowns, and crushing intent to an audience that probably would never have heard such delights with vigor and violence. The song placed 21st in the final, with 93 points received. Yet by refusing to dull any edges, they showed the world that this music exists and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

Sadly, vocalist Örs Siklósi passed away in 2021. His legacy lives on in being totally unapologetic in a much darker shade than the Eurovision stage usually expects. That’s one hell of a thing to leave behind.


The Rasmus is one of those interesting acts you get in Eurovision that has already achieved worldwide acclaim before appearing. In 2003, the band released their fifth album, Dead Letters, and had a proper hit on their hands with the infectious “In The Shadows.” The song would hit the top of the charts across Europe and gain certification in the UK, Germany, and New Zealand, to name a few. 

The band returned to the big stage in 2022, proudly representing their home country of Finland. Their entry song was “Jezebel,” a hot and heavy piece of hard rock that showcased how the band were far from done when it came to finding innovation within their sound. They would be placed 21st with 38 points to their name. 

The Rasmus will celebrate their 30th year together in 2024, so expect fireworks and plenty of celebrations. Oh, and the small matter of their 11th full-length album getting released. No matter what the future holds, they have achieved some utterly spellbinding things.


You may ask, “idobi, why can Australia compete in Eurovision? They are so far away from Europe! What is going on?” Lucky for you, we’ve got the answer. Quite simply, the Aussies absolutely bloody love Eurovision! After 30 years of frenzied support, they have been allowed to participate and vote since 2015. This is a family, after all.

So they have a lot of catching up to do in terms of showing what music means down under, which is where you get bands like Voyager. Part prog-rock journeymen, part metalcore merchants, and part fantastically flamboyant performers are the sort of collective the competition needs to get the blood pumping. 

2023 was their year, and their song “Promise” is taken from their eighth album, Fearless In Love. It is worth noting here just how incredible it is for artists and bands so deep into their careers to get the chance to play their trade on the world stage like this. In Eurovision, there is always time, especially when the songs are this electric. The continent agreed, with the band finishing in 9th with 151 points. 


How does a bit of Turkish nu-metal sound? maNga, absolutely named after the Japanese comic style, was formed slap bang in the middle of when the genre was taking over the world. Smashing together traditional atmospheres with record-spinning intensity and exhilarating riffs, they cross streams in a special way.

You have to go back to 2010 to see their appearance in Oslo. Their track, “We Could Be The Same,” manages to ensnare the senses while feeling like a motivational anthem to end all anthems. The continent agreed, with them finishing 2nd with 170 points. 

They are still doing their thing to this day. Since taking the competition by storm, they have released four full-lengths, most recently 2021’s Antroposen 001 and 2023’s Antroposen 002. They still have innovation at the forefront of their minds and are still marching to their own beat, which is all you could ever wish for.


There’s something about Eurovision and nu-metal that just works. Attraction to the alternative has always been a benchmark for the competition, allowing the most surprising acts to get their chance. 

That’s where Eldrine comes into the conversation. After Turkey’s success with maNga in 2010, Georgia sent its own innovators a year later. Taking things up a notch, their style of metal sits more on the symphonic side, with wirey synths and stratospheric melodies. 

The song they entered with was “One More Day,” a spine-tinglingly passionate display of heartfelt intent and beautiful unity. They finished in 9th position with 110 points. 

Though they are still active, they haven’t released anything since their 2015 single “Addiction.” Before that was their only full-length, 2014’s Till The End. Who knows, a big, bold comeback may be on the cards soon. 


Now, don’t worry. 2024 is not letting the rock takeover slow down anytime soon. And this time, Ireland is the nation taking a risk on something slightly darker.

That’s coming in the form of Bambie Thug, who brought their own screaming coach to the finals in Sweden to help them get their throat-shredding tone just right. They have spent the last three years developing into a uniquely unhinged voice within the modern alternative scene, cementing a space for horror-tinged pop-rock to run riot. 

Their choice for Eurovision is the incredible “Doomsday Blue,” which was written alongside Wargasm‘s Sam Matlock and Cassyette. A furiously fun piece of cultish noise that ebbs and flows between skin-crawling and head-bopping, it captured the twisted imagination of the Irish public in the qualifying rounds. And when it came to the main event, Bambie delivered on all bases. Dark, devilish, and devastating, it gave Ireland their highest finish in 24 years, placing at 6th. Just goes to show that going against the grain and being your true, unfiltered self goes a long way to connecting with the public.

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