FROM THE SONG FESTIVAL THAT BROUGHT YOU ABBA, BUCKS FIZZ AND CELINE DION COMES.....
Finland is not known for its satanic metal bands, until now.
Lordi is set to be the most controversial Eurovision Song Contest entry in years, and the band are loving every minute of their new found international fame. How could they not? Within days of being announced as the official Finnish entry, the band has been written up in hundreds of newspapers and featured on TV news across the planet. They even made the front page of the International Herald Tribune. The front freaking page! Awesome.
Now all they have to do is win the thing.
Lordi are not unknown to international metalheads, but they are more infamous for their onstage antics than they are for their songs. Costumes that include massive platform heels and eight foot long Satan wings, slabs of meat exploding onstage, blood spouting chainsaws, flame spurting drumkits, detonating baby dolls, entrails aplenty....you know, the usual.
Finland's religious leaders have gone nuts, fearing an outbreak of Satanic worship, which is strange, considering the band are anything but Satan lovers. It's just an act, you know, for the kids.
They hate Satan, apparently, and even have a song called 'The Devil Is A Loser'.
Finland's president Tarja Halonen has already been petitioned to veto the band as the official entry in the contest. Some locals would prefer a traditional Finnish folk singer instead, but Lordi fans are having none of that. They know what they want, and they want to rock, even if it is a bit Satan-ish in appearance.
But lead singer, Mr Lordi himself, wants to set the record straight for the foog-heads who just don't get it.
"Enjoying the music of evil looking creatures isn't the same as condoning evil," he explained. "We have the same aesthetic as horror films. The scarier the film, the more fun it is. And rock music should be all about fun."
It's hardly a new concept. White Zombie rocked the same role in the mid-1990s, and Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and AC/DC occasionally dabbled with the devil for onstage theatrics in the 1970s.
Conspiracy theories about the band, and why they were chosen, are flourishing in Finland. They refuse to take off their masks in public because they are Russian agents attempting to destabilise the country before Russia attempts a coup.....or so one story goes.
Greece is hosting the Eurovision song contest this year and an anti-Lordi movement has sprung up to get the band kicked out of the comp. There are fears Lordi's presence will stop the contest from being taken seriously (!) and the band's antics will somehow bad-name the host country.
Not as much as it will if Greece is successful in getting Lordi banned from the competition.
One Lordi band member told the International Herald Tribune, "Finns nearly choked on their cereal when they realized we were the face Finland would be showing to the world."
More than 600 million television viewers will get the chance to vote on whether Lordi have the Eurovision goods to carry off the contest. They will certainly be the most anticipated. If Lordi doesn't get booted out before the contest begins that is, but this seems unlikely now the band have achieved such a level of infamy, internationally.
Lordi's 'Hard Rock Hallejuah' is the song to watch for when Lordi play the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals on May 18.
Something's got to give for Finland in the Eurovision stakes this year. They've come last in the rankings a record eight times.
Satanic heavy metal may make all the difference.Go here for Lordi's official site. It's definitely worth a look.
Cyprus has announced Lordi's videos are too scary to air on TV!
Google News tracks the ongoing controversy.