Lordi came known to my attention back in 2006 with the release of the most excellent The Arockalypse CD. Hailing from Finland, Lordi is the brainchild of singer/songwriter and costume maker, Mr. Lordi. Formed in 1992, Lordi spent a decade creating the perfect blend of hard rock and comic book monster mayhem before being signed in 2002. They made international headlines when they took the title in 2006’s Eurovision Song Contest for their song, “Hard Rock Hallelujah” from the aforementioned Arockalypse album. That was ten years and 4 albums ago, but now, with Halloween 2016 fast approaching, you can make that five albums ago, as Lordi have just released Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy).
I love a good horror movie and it goes without saying that I love great hard rock music, so mixing the two is quite often a winning combination. From Alice Cooper‘s live decapitations to Gwar‘s over the top blood fests, the rock/horror cocktail can be deadly. Lordi have certainly created their own niche within the genre and Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy) delivers the goods. If you are looking for some outrageous fun, you have come to the right place. If you are looking for a concept album, you have also come to the right place too, as this record delivers both with two completely different halves.
Theaterror opens with one of Lordi‘s signature scary introductions; this time in the form of “SCG8 One Message Waiting” before launching into “Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man“. That’s right, I am referring to He-Man of the Masters of the Universe fame. With lyrics like “Skeletor is the coolest” and “Castle Greyskull is the SHIT“, you will need to check your sense of humor on the way in, because Lordi is just getting started.
“Hug You Hardcore” starts off with a creepy as hell descending guitar riff that runs through most of the song. The riff burrows into your brain, almost distracting you from the lyrical content of a song that, if I am not mistaken, delves into the topic of back door play. Unlike Kiss‘ “Nothing To Lose“, Lordi makes no attempt to cloud the references in innuendo. Choice lines include “Face down, Ass up! Here we come we wish you luck” and, my personal favorite, “my dirty dirty fingers“! Sick? Maybe. Necessary? Probably not. Funny as Hell? I warned you to check your sense of humor. Then again, if you are easily offended, you probably aren’t listening to Lordi anyways.
The third track and my personal favorite on the album is “Down With The Devil”, an epic hard rocker which will probably kill live. This is closely followed by the dark and creepy “Mary Is Dead”. The story of missing Mary unfolds and, in true horror fashion, the title of the song reveals how the story ends. What makes it creepy is that the lyrics are sung from the killer’s point of view as he joins in the search for the body he knows exists. Boo!
“Sick Flick” and “None For One” close out the Theaterror portion of the record in typical high energy, hard rockin’ Lordi fashion. On its own, this would be a solid release but we are only halfway through the ride. Up Next….Demonarchy.
Part two of the album is actually a six song concept album. It’s the story of some classic monsters that are embattled in a territorial struggle. A Vampire, a Zombie, a Witch and a Werewolf all are living within the same town. “Nosferatu, lycanthrope, necromancer and her undead son The Scarctic Circle Gathering their right is town folks wrong“. Sounds like a killer new HBO show to me! It is certainly a different feel, with a more complex and modern touch to the song arrangements. Gone is the tongue in cheek lyrics as Mr. Lordi and crew work hard to create a complete story line. The guitar work is fantastic, being much thrashier. Ok, this is Lordi, not Slayer, but “Break of Dawn” has some pretty chunky riffage going on.
Since the title of the record indicates a battle between the halves, my vote would go to Theaterror, just for the sick twisted humor of the material, but that’s just me. Lordi has certainly shelled out a treat with Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy). Be sure to check them out on tour as Lordi hits the USA and Canada in 2017.