Hungarian Metal Band AWS to Rock its Way to Eurovision 2018

The alternative rock–metal, post-hardcore band AWS has won Hungary’s national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, the Dal 2018 (The Song 2018), with the song Viszlát nyár, and will represent Hungary at this year’s Eurovision in Lisbon, Portugal.

The final took place last Saturday, on 24 February, where the eight entries that qualified from the three heats and the two semi-finals competed for the top slot. The four entries with the highest total scores proceeded to the second round: yesyes with I Let You Run Away, Azt mondtad by Gergely Dánielfy, Viszlát nyár performed by AWS, and Viktor Király with Budapest Girl. In the second round, “Viszlát nyár” was selected as the winner via a public vote.

You can watch the winning performance here:

AWS was formed in 2006 by Bence Brucker, Dániel Kökényes, Örs Siklósi and Áron Veress. Their music is characterized by diversity, powerful performances, and sudden changes, utilizing metal, psychedelic rock, alternative and post-rock styles.

Although they  received a low jury score of 8 points in the final against Gergely Dánielfy’s 36 points, they  won the televote, which means they will represent Hungary at Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon. Australian ESC Daily’s blogger Joshua Mayne wrote about AWS’ music in his live blog about the final performance:

It may have been metal, but it was metal done well. AWS made this genre very accessible, with a chorus that’s an instant ear worm. The energy was off the charts, and the vocals were everything they needed to be (although a little shaky in the verses). The ‘grunting’ at the end may be polarising for some, but ultimately, it was a hit amongst the fans in the arena, and most importantly, popular amongst the televoters.

When the final decision came, even the band was surprised at the outcome; you can watch the announcement below:

Despite making its Eurovision debut in 1994, Hungary has never won the song contest: the closest the country has came was in 1994 and in 2014, when Hungarian acts placed fourth and fifth respectively. Last year, Joci Pápai finished eighth with Origo, which was one of the best results for Hungary in the last few years.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will take place at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, as last year the Portugal Salvador Sobral won the contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. It will consist of two semi-finals on 8 and 10 May, and the final on 12 May 2018. AWS will compete with contenders of 43 countries. This is the first time in the last several years that none of the participating countries have withdrawn from the contest.


featured photo: Noémi Bruzák / MTI