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Lordi: The Arockalypse

Well lordy, lordy - here comes Lordi!

(Someone had to make that corny quip!)

For our European readers, these guys are well known - so let's take a few seconds to acquaint everyone else with the recent events that brought Lordi into the limelight:

There's an annual, high-profile, week-long music contest called Eurovision - in which each European Broadcasting Union country is represented by just one act, singing a 3-minute song played on live TV. The competition has been running for 50 years, and the entries can be pop, rock, rap, folk, traditional ... whatever each country chooses. Metal and hard rock are rarely represented and previous winners include Vicky Leandros, the Brotherhood Of Man, Bucks Fizz, and Johnny Logan. A pretty innocent lot, often with leanings toward cheesy, commercial schlock. In 2006, however, Finland was represented by Lordi - whose band members wear weird zombie-like costumes and market themselves as a heavy, death-oriented metal act. This spawned headlines like "Finland Squirms as Its Latest Export Steps Into Spotlight" - and Finnish religious leaders warned that Lordi would inspire Satanic worship and begged Finland's president Tarja Halonen to veto the band and nominate a traditional Finnish folk singer instead. And as you can guess, Lordi won the competition - which raised a huge stink in some quarters but gave the band's profile a huge boost across all of Europe.

Now the End Records has brought Lordi's music to the USA - so it was with great curiosity that we spun the record for the first time.

Our impression? Despite all the controversy - Lordi probably deserved that Eurovision award.

Think of a modern-day Kiss. As we know, Kiss has a legion of secret admirers and is a sort of guilty pleasure for many progressive and metal fans. For the open minded, Lordi will fill a similar role. Their costumes and attitude are purely an act designed to draw attention, and to bridge the gap between Europe's huge black metal fanbase and those who prefer a more approachable, upbeat form of hard-edged rock. The music is not as heavy as the band's image suggests - it's supposed to sound coarse and metallic, but it's actually a very polished sound. There are big multi-part vocal harmonies, crunchy, approachable guitar riffs, anthemic choruses, and a generally positive vibe despite those pretenses at the death and destruction genre. And there are no death-metal-styled cookie monsters. You might go so far as to call this power metal - but really, it's hard-rock with metallic pretenses. Look at the list of guest artists to see the style of music you can expect - and note the members of Twisted Sister and Kiss.

Ignore the posturing, those costumes, and the destructive attitude. The Arockalypse is approachable, very well written, music that will have a broad appeal well beyond the normal metal and progressive genres.

Track Listing:
1. SCG3 Special Report
2. Bringing Back The Balls To The Rock
3. The Deadite Girls Gone Wild
4. The Kids Who Wanna Play With The Dead
5. It Snows In Hell
6. Who's Your Daddy
7. Hardrock Hallelujah
8. They Only Come Out At Night
9. Chainsaw Buffet
10.Good To Be Bad
11.The Night Of The Loving Dead
12.Supermonstars

Bonus Tracks:
1.
Would You Love A Monsterman?
2. Mr. Killjoy
3. EviLove

Added: February 6th 2007
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Score:
Related Link: The Band's Website
Hits: 1176
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Lordi: The Arockalypse
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-02-06 10:57:56
My Score:

"Do not adjust your television for this is not a drill. Attention people of Earth! There is an immediate cause for alarm and panic as danger awaits you at every turn and with every note that Lordi and his Monster Metal Mates bring forth on The Arockalypse!" There is no doubt that by the look of them that this is a band that will have the scores of Emo groups running for shelter or their Mommies and with good reason for Lordi looks like some cryptic amalgam of KISS meets GWAR on a very bad day. I'm serious DEAD serious, about the intense look of this band with such detailed "costumes" and image. One would think that Rick Baker was on the bands payroll or maybe they are the real deal. I know I am not going to be the one to pull on this beard to check for authenticity. Musically, the band owes more to the classic years of Hard Rock as opposed to any form of Extreme, Black or Death Metal and with their anthem "Hard Rock Hallelujah", you can be rest assured that they are taking no prisoners as they begin their infiltration. The group has been around since about 1996 but it was during the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest that Lordi would truly set the world on its ear. The contest is a sort of American Idol among participating countries in the European Broadcasting Union where they all vote on the participants from each region. The Finnish entry was Lordi and his group of Monsters and they ended up winning by a landslide vote. As result of this win, both the contest and the world would never be the same again and that is actually a good thing. There is nothing like a little Heavy Metal music to stir up the pot every now and again.

The bands singer and leader is the intimidating Mr. Lordi and he is joined by Amen (electric guitar), Ox (bass guitar), Awa (keyboards), and Kita (drums) and together they really deliver a lot of fun Hard rock music, albeit with a monster mash sort of theme. This CD is loaded with catchy moments that each play off the theme such as "The Kids Who Wanna Play With The Dead" and "The Chainsaw Buffet". The titles are surely grim and on the macabre side, but you will be amazed at how well it works out with the music and vocals that they put out. The songs are very easy to remember and you will find yourself singing along at times (which I am sure will please the beastly Mr. Lordi very much). They prove that they are "Bringing Back The Balls To Rock" over and over and then they show that they can also conquer the world of power ballads with their own brand on "It Snows In Hell". It's the kind of song that one imagines where instead of the passionate kiss at the end of the song between our hero and his beloved that he opts to eat her. There are several guest stars present for the fun with Bruce Kulick (former KISS), Udo Dirkschneider (Accept), JJ French & Dee Snider (Twisted Sister); Dee acts as the voice of Mr. Lordi when the group takes over the news airwaves at the beginning of the album and from there you are clued in to where this is going to take you. With their signing to The End Records in the USA their fans will get additional music as well as videos, live footage and interviews on the included bonus DVD. Arockalypse is a veritable cornucopia of cadaverous treats and surprises so if you like the showmanship of the KISS and Alice Cooper side of things and want a lot better musically than you see in Gwar then Lordi definitely has what you are looking for in a band. In closing, I can only say "Good Lordi". You had best hide your children in case the band is hungry when they come to town.


Lordi: The Arockalypse
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-01-15 19:46:41
My Score:

One look at the cover of Lordi's The Arockalypse and the first instinct is to think that these Finn's are set to take over the world with a KISS-meets-GWAR look and death metal sounds. Well, the look is fairly accurate, but Lordi are no death metal band boys and girls. Despite the monstrous custumes and latex masks (which are very well done), the music on The Arockalypse owes more to 80's hard rock and metal bands like Manowar, Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper, Warlock, KISS, and Motorhead, than anthing resembling modern day extreme music. The songs here are littered with crunchy power chords, catchy hooks, occasional keyboards, and beefy rhythms. We're talking anthems here on songs like "Who's Your Daddy", "The Deadite Girls Gone Wild" and "Bringing Back the Balls to Rock", complete with sing-along, fist-pumping choruses and head banging riffs. Lead singer Lordi (who also goes by his name Tomi Putaansuu, has a gruff voice like Lemmy, but with a heavy Finnish accent, and you can expect plenty of soaring backing vocals to help support him.

Overall this is a very polished effort, from the tasty guitar solos, to the splashing of orchestral keyboards, and to the layers of vocals, again, all of it a stark contrast to the image that the band portrays. If the band winning the Eurovision contest last year wasn't enough to draw attention to themselves, having such all-star guests on The Arockalypse like former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, Twisted Sister's Dee Snider & Jay Jay French, and Accept's Udo Dirkenschneider, can only help matters.

So, believe the hype, as Lordi have a very accessible hard rock/power metal album here in The Arockalypse that should appeal to a wide variety of listeners.

Chainsaw Buffet anyone?



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