Blind Channel Dark Side Eurovision 2021

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next we turn to Finland where the “violent pop” band Blind Channel has “Dark Side”. Did it make us want to go over to the dark side? Read on to find out!

Blind Channel – “Dark Side”

“Dark Side” reviews

Deban: “Dark Side” is inspired by rebellion rock — the sound that made bands like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Son of Dork insanely popular. Though it sounds somewhat retro for today’s ears, it is a refreshing accompaniment to what’s on offer at Eurovision 2021. Blind Channel are great live performers that thrive on big stages. Rock fans would gravitate towards this, and would most likely vote in support. Despite Eurovision having two rock entries this year, this Finnish number one track is considerably broader in scope.

Score: 7.5

Jonathan: As someone who started their journey in the Eurovision fandom as a lover of the power ballad, I can’t claim to have always been a regular listener of the grittier side of music. However, Blind Channel’s violent pop has hit a sweet spot that has increasingly developed over recent years. This perhaps suggests it has crossover appeal to those less accustomed to such sounds. “Dark Side” is loud, powerful and dynamic from the word go, but it also has enough changes of pace to give it elements of light and shade. You don’t win your national final with 370 more points than the runner-up for no reason. Finland could well be on the cusp of achieving their best result for over a decade.

Score: 10

Oliver: Blind Channel have tremendous stage presence and bring a real breath of life to their live performance. And admittedly, the production is stellar. However, no amount of energy or studio polish can disguise how dated this song is. Just search Papa Roach’s back catalogue — as an homage to 90s rock, “Dark Side” is perfect. But it relies too heavily on the predictable cheesy tropes of the genre that ultimately mark it as retro and uninteresting. Beyond that, the lyrics feel somewhat inappropriate. Though Joel and Niko have explained their reasons for including the “27 club” line, the sentiment is far too nuanced to cut through the noise — and could read as distasteful to any innocent listener. Nevertheless, “Dark Side” will stand out as memorable and will likely be well-received by fans who crave a change of pace from ballads and dance-pop.

Score: 5.5

Pablo: We were in need of something like this and we got plenty of bang for our buck! “Dark Side” dares to touch a nerve that hasn’t been stimulated in a long time; a nu-metal, edgy, savage side plucked straight from my teen years; that twisted side that gorged on everything that was mid to late 00s American rock: Linkin Park, Jimmy Eat World and tracks ripped straight from the Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 soundtrack. Blind Channel goes hard without an iota of compromise, making this the most exciting Finnish entry in a very long time, and it better be rewarded as such.

Score: 9.5

William: The band’s request for viewers to put their middle fingers up isn’t disrespectful. It’s actually an empowering call to stand up and be counted, even when systems or clicks try to exclude you. Musically this may nod to Linkin Park, but this isn’t in any way derivative. Blind Channel have their own frequency and chemistry — they perform with panache and fire, nailing their spins and headbangs without ever veering into the outré. Musically this comes with one of the best hooks of the year — and one sung in perfect harmony despite the deliberately rough sound. My favourite rock entry of the year.

Score: 8.5

Blind Channel – “Dark Side” rankings

In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Antranig: 8.5

Calvin: 8

Diego: 6

Erdi: 7

Esma: 4

Jordi: 6

Josh: 8

Julian: 8.5

Kristín: 9.5

Lauren: 8.5

Lucy: 7.5

Luis: 6.5

Natalie: 5

Renske: 6

Robyn: 8.5

Ron: 7.5

Sebastian: 6.5

Tobias: 3.5

Tom: 9

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3.5 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.34/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2021 reviews and rankings

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Nimo
Nimo
19 days ago

I’ve listened to a lot of metal throughout the years, and this honestly isn’t all that special. But, it has one really good hook. Honestly, it was my favorite this year, because it was a lot closer to my normal music taste than what, for example, Italy was. If I want rock, I listen to this kind of music. I expected Italy to do better with the average viewer though, since it was more easily digested for those not into this kind of music. Which is sad, because in my opinion, this is the better song. It will also stay… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by Nimo
Daly
Daly
1 month ago

I give it a 9! I love a great rock song in Eurovision! I remember watching their performance when they won UMK and I was excited in the first notes! And I was headbanging the whole rest of the song! This is loud, this is powerful, this is indeed a violent pop that makes you want to join the Dark side! This is not dated, is nostalgic! The instrumentals are great, lyrics are so catchy and yes, a bit questionable, but matches the rebel rock attitude that they want to showcase. They will definitely qualify, especially coming after the ballad… Read more »

Hmm
Hmm
1 month ago

Clear finalist, might even give Finland a top-10 finish.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
1 month ago

they managed to make a rock song accessible to everyone with its catchy hook, this is a great achievement already. perched in my top 10 and looking for big things for this one, especially from the televoting

raw
raw
1 month ago

I’m not a rock music listener, but I like this song. Why are Europe’s favorite music still a’la Greek and Cypriot pop songs performed by singers who can’t really sing, but whose look is crucial?

Colin
Colin
1 month ago

FINLAND – Finland brings us a cool rock-metal throwback to the 2000s, and it still feels fresh. If I were in my teens again, I think I would’ve liked it even better. It’s fun and catchy, but it is also a bit too straightforward in its angst for my taste. A bit of that is welcome for its style, but the ”27 club” reference is pushing it into the ”being edgy for the sake of being edgy” territory. Giving it some reason behind the rebellion could add another layer. As Finland had a very strong selection, I had several favorites… Read more »

Trina
Trina
1 month ago

Sorry guys, to me this comes off as a dated Blink tribute act. But that’s cool; it’ll win the coveted angry-teenager demographic.

Kosey
Kosey
1 month ago
Reply to  Trina

Personally, I don’t see much punk in this entry, it feels more like nu-metal to me. Also, Blink 182 are not really an angry band, they’re more mischievous and introspective in nature.

Trina
Trina
1 month ago
Reply to  Kosey

I don’t necessarily disagree. I tend to think of nu metal as like, Primus and Korn, etc. – and this seems a little bit more lightweight (which is not a diss). Blind Channel has more of a skateboarding-adjacent feel.

Héctor
Héctor
1 month ago

“Dark Side” has the perfect balance of metal and “poppiness”. It’s the typical metal or hardrock song that, even though it doesn’t have a lot of fans, it end up qualifying and receiving points here and there cause it ticks some points that are common in mainnstream music. It is more accesible than Hungary 2018 too. I also have a soft spot for it cause it kind of reminds to some band and songs that used to appear in WWE mid/late 2000s videogames. 7.5/10 Finland climbs to my 7th place. 7. FINLAND (7.5) 8. Sweden (7.25) 12. Czech Republic (7.25)… Read more »

Anhel
Anhel
1 month ago

I really love it. It’s very fresh and catchy. The chorus is my favorite part. It’s in my 6th position. Go Finland! Onnea Suomi!

Finnish
Finnish
1 month ago

Sad news: Fredi (Finland 1967 & 1976) has just passed away at the age of 78.

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 month ago

I have a theory that if a metal/rock entry embraces the structure of a pop song, it’ll have better chances to thrive in Eurovision. This is the case here, it has at least 3 hooks that will stay with you even if you just had listened to it for the 1st time. It has also the urgency and energy you expect from the genre. I swear I wanted to give Finland a better grade, but I have a huge problem with the lyrics. There’s an excess of teen angst clichés and no hint about who/what are they rebelling against. 7/10

Last edited 1 month ago by Sabrina
Anita
Anita
1 month ago
Reply to  Sabrina

These very destinct hooks are a big advantage to get votes from the one time listeners.

I have also a problem with the lyrics. I prefer, when artist take care of what they express and want to say.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anita
Sabrina
Sabrina
1 month ago
Reply to  Anita

When this song was released, I’ve just listened to it once and spent the whole night with the chorus and the “hu-hu-hu” playing inside my head. It’s very catchy.

About the lyrics, I like how they deal with cathartic emotions that are usually avoided in Eurovision, but they are more about how they’re manifesting their frustration than about what’s causing it.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Another case of you, me and Skiwalko having the exact same rating. I like this song. I really do. And in principle, I don’t even mind childishness or angst. I guess I just find it to unironically straightforward in it. Even that could perfectly work if, as you pointed out, they had something to rebel against. For instance, I think that Maneskin pin-point the reason for their rebellion more clearly. Dark Side is still a good song. Currently my 7th or 8th qualifier from semi 2. I wish them the best in the contest. 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by Colin
Sabrina
Sabrina
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

In this case, we 3 not just gave it the same score, but also our reviews addressed similar topics. And I agree with everything you said on your reply. If they mentioned the reasons behind their frustration with the world (and I’m sure they have lots of them, because I know I do) and dropped the 27 club reference, I think we would have a perfect piece of nostalgic rebellion nu-metal (or violent pop, if they insist!).

Tul
Tul
1 month ago

Not a music style I’d be searching usually, but I actually like it! You can’t show middle finger so hopefully they won’t be rebelling against that.

I like it so I’ll give it 9/10

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago

I’m unfortunately not a fan of this particular genre at all. Like, I love Finland 2014 and Italy 2021 (both top 3). I like it in a way – especially the bridge… but something about just seems so generic. The lyrical content is also not the best so… the production itself is very good though and I really like them as people… Not much more to say about this one:) my score: 6,5/10 my leaderboard so far: Belgium 9/10 Czech Republic 9/10 Russia 8,5/10 Sweden 8/10 Ukraine 8/10 Azerbaijan 7/10 Norway 6,5/10 Finland 6,5/10 Serbia 6/10 Latvia 4/10 Albania 4/10… Read more »

Kristian
Kristian
1 month ago

Yup , this is a real contender. It’s different , yet accesible and something that would definitely work outside the ESC bubble.

Kristian
Kristian
1 month ago

I’m not a fan of this genre. Yet , they have managed to turn rock into something accessible to a pop audience. Therein lies the greatest merit of the song. The progression in the song is also great. The staging could be improved from the Finnish NF. I do see this as a dark horse contender for the victory . I’ve no doubt this is qualifying to the final.

8/10

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
1 month ago

A country who dared to be different, therefore I wish them a great result.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago

My original comment is awaiting approval, so here is a summary version of it:
I think this is the best Finnish entry since Lordi. Bravo to Blind Channel. 🙂

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Lovely. I am curious to read your whole assessment. Hopefully it will be released.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Really, Purple Mask? I wouldn’t have taken you for such a rock fan. 😉

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Really, Purple? You would rank it higher than Blackbird? I mean, it is a good song and all, but call me surprised.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

I love “Blackbird” as you know, but “Dark Side” captures the feeling of an entire generation. Ultimately the reactions are personal to me, of course. I’m always happy to be proved wrong in the semi final – “Blackbird” didn’t qualify, after all. But, I think “Dark Side” should qualify. 🙂

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I agree. It’s a good song and thus, it should qualify. I have it among my certain semi 2 qualifiers. It’s not among my top favorites (for now, at least), but I like it. 🙂

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago

This is actually… really good. I’ll start with a personal anecdote. As soon as the pandemic and lockdown started, I had thoughts harking back to my teenage years. I wasn’t just scared; I was also angry, defiant, rebellious and wanting to enjoy my life no matter the situation or the consequences. How dare a pandemic tell me how to live my life, right? But then one of my friends caught COVID-19, and my “Dark Side” thoughts were obliterated by the reality. Then I screamed and woke up. To use Linkin Park’s songwriting style for “Dark Side” is an absolute masterstroke.… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago

First song of my last category of songs I like in principle, but not really listen to. It’s nu metal, and that was an exciting genre around 2000, rock music was never quite my thing (although I don’t hate it), and now all of a sudden it was combined with rap and electronica. So I’m quite fond of this style. Blind Channel are not reinventing the wheel, but what they want to do, they do quite well. This should have no difficulties qualifying. As many others have already pointed out, it’s hard to say if Italy’s entry will diminish its… Read more »

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

I think “Dark Side” has wider appeal. I feel it’s more “universal” and it’s in English. Personally, I find that “Zitti e buoni” is more niche, but it looks glam for lack of a better word.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

It looks glam, but it sounds very classic hard rock. It will appeal to older generations (I’m repeating this since they won Sanremo, but nobody wants to believe me 😉 ).

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

I don’t disagree 🙂 I just think there is a disconnect between their sound and t their look. Musically, not my fave and I’ve said that before. But it’s great coming from Italy and they deserve to do well.

On the other hand, Blind Channel’s song and performance and look are very cohesive. Almost classic so to speak. Mgd I *love* Finland so much this year!!

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Glam rock also had its big moment during the 70s, I don’t think their look will turn boomers off. 😉
Blind Channel and Måneskin will both do well, the question is, which one will do better? I’m excited to find out. 🙂

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

You’re a connoisseur 🙂 We’ll find out soon. Less than four weeks.

Anita
Anita
1 month ago
Reply to  Tibor

Italy will do better, I am pretty sure. One reason are the boomers. But I think also because they will come through as completely believable in what they do.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anita
Sabrina
Sabrina
1 month ago
Reply to  Anita

My theory is that Blind Channel goes easier on the ears of the fandom (the fact Deban and William prefer it to Maneskin sort of confirm my impression), but Maneskin has a visual element and an attitude (they’re “rebellious glam”, while the Finnish are more on the “gloomy rebellious” side) that will appeal to more people outside of our bubble. (edit: Though I just looked at the last OGAE post and Italy is already doing way better than Finland, which is probably a good sign for them) But as I stated previously, I hope those who like both entries don’t… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Sabrina
Thanos
Thanos
1 month ago

1st FINLAND: So this year is the first year I have two winners and one of them is Finland (I believe it is easy to guess my second winner given that Finland is the first winner XD). I really like the nu metal feel of the song, the message and their staging as we saw it in UMK. It’s a powerful and exciting song and will do really good in May!!! Good Luck Finland, bring some rock to Eurovision!!!

Kristian
Kristian
1 month ago
Reply to  Thanos

Georgia ?

Thanos
Thanos
1 month ago
Reply to  Kristian

I like Georgia a lot actually but it’s not my second winner.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Thanos

Italy, right?

Thanos
Thanos
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

Italy correct xd. I really can’t decide if I prefer Italy or Finland. Perhaps I will split my top votes between these two in the final (let’s hope Finland will be there, I think they will).

Last edited 1 month ago by Thanos
Sale
Sale
1 month ago

Off topic but it looks like Lady Gaga will perform on May 22nd

Nycforever
Nycforever
1 month ago
Reply to  Sale

Source?

Sale
Sale
1 month ago
Reply to  Nycforever

Just google lady gaga events and you will see May 22nd Ahoy Arena Eurovision as one of her events

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago
Reply to  Sale

So there will be something like in 2019, when Tamta was behind Beyonce? Interesting choice

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago
Reply to  Sale

If hosts have sense of humor they will make her prform ”Bad Romance” lol

Kristian
Kristian
1 month ago
Reply to  Sale

Sieste Baker said they never contacted her

Batkas
Batkas
1 month ago

Compared to Italy, I prefer this one. But still not in my top10.
Sorry 🙁

Deban slays
Deban slays
1 month ago

Why does Tobias rate everyone under a 5, and sweden always a 9 or a 10?

Sigh
Sigh
1 month ago
Reply to  Deban slays

Well he is from Sweden.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 month ago

18th: Finland. From the unusually weak (in my opinion) Nordic field of this year’s contest, Finland stands out as the best. This is a very well-produced rock song with one of the catchiest choruses of the year, with a solid studio vocal performance and even a hit of screaming towards the end of the song. I wasn’t surprised that this won UMK with the staggering amount of votes that it did, and I wasn’t mad about it (though my winner was Oskr). However, this song has two very major drawbacks. Number one is that the live vocal is….really not good.… Read more »

Una
Una
1 month ago

I liked “Dark Side” when it came out save some aspects of the lyrics. But I’ve gotten over them as I’ve done in the past with other entries. The song and the band are giving me life, hope, energy, the vibe, the authenticity of performers’ dreams. All the good stuff packed in one entry!! *Yle* are my biggest grower in 2021 in terms of national broadcasters’ efforts for Eurovision. Thus “Dark Side” is sitting very comfortably in my top 2 at the moment!! Brilliant approach to Eurovision, brilliant selection, fabulous broadcast with commentary in English, fantastic winning entry! *Thank you*,… Read more »

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago

This will easily reach the finals, as televoters will back it up for sure. At least in the top 5 of the televoting in this semi, together with San Marino, Switzerland, and 2 among Bulgaria, Greece and Iceland. Now for the finals, I’m afraid that the televoters will split their votes with Italy, with the second one being one of the favourites in the Central and Western Europe for sure. However, I see this gaining the biggest amount of tele-points in the Scandinavian area, followed by either Sweden or Iceland. This can finish somewhere between 8th-13th in the final. but… Read more »

Darren
1 month ago

Probably one of the strongest in the Nordic states this year. It’s not really my type of music but I can see the appeal. I think it will stand out in the second semi with strong staging and support from its neighbours. I think Finland will definitely qualify after that I’m unsure where it will place. Best of luck Finland, one thing I will say, is that they always bring something different each year and I commend them for that.
6/10

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

Silver star.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Mind sharing more? 🙂

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago

Quite underrated. I give this 8.5/10, just like William

Mr X
Mr X
1 month ago

Finland 8,5/10

Stephanie
Stephanie
1 month ago

I’m not gonna lie, this is my favorite. I absolutely love this one. Finally a song that kicks some ass! A more than deserved 9,5/10 (I never give a 10). Cause this is what Finland does best!

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

I’m very happy we have such a good song on the ESC stage!

Steven
Steven
1 month ago

I really like the song! After Manga in 2010, I was waiting for something from this genre that I would find accessible. I am so looking forward to seeing them perform on the ESC stage!

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago

Even though I’m not a huge rock fan, I just love this song. While the lyrics are a bit basic, especially in the chorus, the repetition of “I’m” is just so catchy. I would love to see this in the TOP 10. It’s much better than some other overrated acts like Malta, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Bulgaria and so on. And I also prefer this by far over Italy. Whether it will qualify or not (and it will most likely qualify), Finland should be proud of them and of such an entry. Especially after their weak entries in 2019 and 2020.… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by ROXELANA
Emily
Emily
1 month ago

3) Finland – As soon as I heard the song prior to the UMK live show, I knew it was going to be popular. Blind Channel would have been right up my alley back when I was in high school/college, so their sound brings back memories and I wish they existed back then! This is a solid song that has sprinkles of Linkin Park, as well as many other bands in the genre, and I think Finland may be the crowd-pleaser of this year. I’m confident they’ll have their best result in a very long while – it’s been long… Read more »

Kosey
Kosey
1 month ago

7. Finland – Blind Channel – Dark Side – 9/10 – exceptionally well produced and stylised angsty-rock. This song captures the spiky energy of early 2000s nu-metal perfectly and has the necessary hooks that will get the rebellious teenager in all of us aroused. Perhaps the best sing-a-long chorus of the contest, in a Eurovision context this captures the under-represented moods of anger and frustration very well. There is exceptional craft as well, from the excellent technical drum work, heavy yet accessible guitars and a high quality vocal. Finland are back in the game in a big way.

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
1 month ago

The Middle Finger Saga, Part 2: I got a bus to catch so I’ll keep it super short. Juvenile angst is a potent and precious force. I mean, how many movements and subcultures were born of new generations’ opposition to contemporary political and social events? How many bands enjoyed the greatest success in their early days and then slowly declined in quality when the original spark was gone? “Dark Side” is a celebration of this contrarian, ‘rebel rebel’ lifestyle. It practically flaunts its edginess and self-indulgent bleakness, the pretence of being profound and underground. Having gone through the cycle of… Read more »