I don’t think I have to introduce the Finnish gang of monsters called Lordi. Since their stunt at the Eurovision Song Contest where they won over Europe with their theatrical and catchy heavy metal/hard rock, their name became known worldwide. I’m saying “name”, because luckily for us they didn’t fall into the trap of making weak copies of that one hit. They stuck to what they were doing earlier and proudly kept the Lordi heavy metal flag high. In the meantime they might be playing in smaller venues than before, but it’s always a great experience to see them live. Now they unleash their latest creation Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy) and I’ve been looking forward to dig into this monstrosity.
When you get an album from Lordi, you know what you’re going to get. Every single release has the typical Lordi sound and they never deviate much from it. Highly catchy heavy metal/hard rock swimming in greasy hooks with lyrics you can pick up on in a flash handling anything monster or horror related is on the menu. Much is the same again on this album, but also something different happened…
The first half of the album -or side A: Theaterror– kicks off with yet another of their infamous SCG bits. This time it’s a voice mail message left for a girl by her stalker who gradually gets more psychotic. Every release has a few of those entertaining bits and I’m always looking forward to how they’re going to make me laugh this time. The next six songs are the extremely catchy hard rock songs we know and love them for. Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Want To Be The Beast Man In The Masters Of The Universe) opens with a very eighties keyboard line that keeps on coming back. And them singing of wanting to be on the evil side of the ‘Masters of the Universe’ franchise is just simply great fun!
If there’s one song that’ll stick to your mind of the Theaterror side though, it’ll be Hug You Hardcore. As soon as the riff starts, it will dig its place in your brains like a rotten worm, not leaving for quite a while. The lyrics are again so easy to pick up and in all its gory details a real treat for any horror and comedy fan! One last song I want to mention from this first chapter is Mary Is Dead. The song opens with a very bluesy and almost doom metal-like vibe. The riffs remind me even a little bit of the blues/doom sound of Black Sabbath. The whole song is an interesting new venture for Lordi, it’s the closest they’ll get to a (power) ballad.
Halfway the record we get the second chapter or side B: Demonarchy. You get another SCG bit, this time an instrumental piece creating a mysterious and haunted vibe as the opening scene to set up what comes next. Here Lordi surprised me a lot and very pleasantly! Demonarchy is a take on a rock opera, that tells a story about a bunch of monsters. Every song is the next chapter in the story and they talk about creatures called The Undead Son, The Bloodsucking Count, The She-Wolf and The Witch. The story goes through love, life and death of the characters and really tells a complete tale.
Not only the mini conceptual record is something rather new for the band. When the song Demonarchy kicks off the tale properly, at first I couldn’t believe I was still listening to the same band. The first riffs you get to hear are of the heaviest the band has produced to date. The songs are also longer and way more complex than their usual stuff. You could actually take them seriously on this part of the record. It’s pure Heavy metal with a capital “H” and there are hints at power metal, thrash metal and even touches of progressive metal. Every member has his/her moment to shine during the longer songs. And Mr. Lordi himself throws everything at it, having the most versatile vocals ever: ranging from the dirtiest, most raw voice we’ve heard of him to what you could consider clean vocals for him. It’s an absolute pleasure to hear and discover this side of the outfit. I’m really curious if they’re going to do the whole Demonarchy piece live at their headlining club shows and the spectacle that might bring…
This is a really interesting release of the loveable Finnish monsters. On the one side nothing new and special, but still they manage to surprise you with a way more mature sound on the second half. If you’re not convinced by Lordi‘s capabilities, check out the Demonarchy side of Monstereophonic, it might do it for you! I’m looking forward to see if they pick up this more serious and complex side of them again in the future. 8,5/10 for this two-sided piece of horror.
Be sure to catch them on their European tour starting the first of October to promote this fine piece of monster heavy metal! For dates go here.
Release Date: September 16th, 2016
Label: AFM Records
Side A: Theaterror
1. SCG8 One Message Waiting
2. Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be The Beast Man In The Masters Of The Universe)
3. Hug You Hardcore
4. Down With The Devil
5. Mary Is Dead
6. Sick Flick
7. None For One
Side B: Demonarchy
8. SCG VIII Opening Scene
10. The Unholy Gathering
11. Heaven Sent Hell On Earth
12. And The Zombies Says
13. Break Of Dawn
14. The Night The Monsters Died