The progressive metal band Voyager are representing Australia this year with their song Promise, a riff-shredding pop delight.
I worry that the term ‘metal’ is going to make people think that this song is super heavy and not for them – which it’s not. It’s a catchy, fun pop song with guitars and a bit of screamo and vocal fry. It’s engineered to hit the pleasure centres in the brain – a ‘oa-oh’ chorus here; a keytar there; a synth phrase in the background.
Voyager are smart enough to lean into the fun. Unlike, let’s say, Wild Youth, who are very earnest about their craft, Voyager are focused on playing up the ridiculous:
Having two people thrash on a guitar and a keytar in the middle of a gorgeous expanse in Western Australia? It’s like a still from the Eurovision movie – and that’s high praise.
Hair metal is camp for heterosexuals. It’s a chance to play with big hair and makeup and spandex while singing songs about manly man exploits like a cocaine overdose or spending money on women and wine or sex wrapped up in elaborate metaphors around food. And while Voyager describe themselves as progressive metal rather than hair metal, they’ve clearly embraced the love of theatricality and visuals that is apparent in this style of music, sans the misogynistic lyrics. As such, they’re a perfect fit for Eurovision.
Finally, as a middle-aged woman that suffers from migraines, I love that a middle-aged woman who suffers from migraines and chronic pain is absolutely killing it on the Eurovision stage. It’s not something I think we’ve seen before, and I hope it’s something we’ll see again.