Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Take my Hat off to the Finns

To quote the guy from Metalreviews, "in the vast wasteland of pop music known as the Eurovision Song Contest" Finns are a welcomed singularity. After Lordi in 2006, this year it's the second time Finland has sent a Metal band in the contest, Teräsbetoni, a band playing a very straightforward Heavy Metal in the vein of Manowar but blessed with more of a second degré sense of humor than their American counterpart. Unlike Lordi, who managed to fetch the big prise, Teräsbetoni ("Reinforced concrete" in English") finished only 22nd out of 24. They had everything Lordi lacked, some truly chest exploding riffing enhanced by powerful melodic vocals and they lacked everything Lordi displayed, the mind blowing visuals.

On the overall there is little to be proud of as a Metalhead. After all, what is the point in participating in a musical wasteland contest in the first place and even if you do, what is the point of participating in a contest at all without going there to win, one might ask. Well, the point here is different and there is reason to be proud. The audacity of the Finns deserves big respect (be they the voting public or a selected voting committee). By sending a Metal band in an European music contest they proved they value their Metal artists and Finland - along with Germany, Norway and Sweden - is among the leading European countries in producing worthy Metal acts with worldwide impact on a regular basis (think Children of Bodom, Finntroll, Nightwish, Amorphis, Stratovarius and Apocalyptica just to name a few). Another big step is that - at least in France - upon seeing Teräsbetoni performing live, TV commentators restrained themselves from uttering insulting comments of the like of which Lordi was greeted with two years ago, a sign that even people with stereotyped - not to say adverse - conceptions about Metal can learn to shut up when they have nothing useful to say. Not a very dignifying general observation, but that's the world we live in:)

So without much further ado, enjoy Missä miehet ratsastaa ("Where Men Ride") from Teräsbetoni.