Lordi - The Arockalypse
Until recently, these five beasts from the darkest parts of Finland (their hometown lies next to Lake Bodom) had never really grabbed my attention, except for their monster-hit (laugh, you fools!) Would You Love A Monsterman and the fact that they wore costumes that looked really expensive. However, there were two things about Lordi's new album that I simply had to investigate. First, what was it that attracted well-known rockers like Jay Jay French (Twisted Sister) and Udo Dirkschneider (Accept) so much that they decided to appear as guest stars? And secondly - one of the songs here are going to represent Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest this year!
The album starts with a spectacular intro that will make fans of zombie-movies like Dawn Of The Dead smile with recognition. It is a four minute long emergency bulletin where a nervous newscaster verifies that the world has been overrun by some kind of creatures ("they are neither man, nor wild animals"). Finally the broadcast is interrupted by a scary voice (courtesy of none other than Mr. Dee Snider) that declares that "The Arockalypse is here " A smart reference to Lordi's secret hopes of taking over the world for real with their third album, perhaps? Well, the conditions for monster-carnage have never been better, that is for sure.
It is not just the make-up that Lordi has in common with their heroes in Kiss, although the music mostly resembles Alice Cooper, and if the old bastard would ever retire it is comforting to know that there are people (or rather, monsters) ready to pick up the torch. During the more bombastic moments of The Arockalypse, like the killer-ballad It Snows In Hell (which features the ex-Kiss member Bruce Kulick on guitar), Lordi almost resemble their countrymen in Nightwish. On a side note, the band have obviously done their homework when it comes to famous horror films, The Chainsaw Buffé being a homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the fabulous The Night Of The Loving Dead is obviously inspired by well, you probably know.
The funniest moment on the album is when Udo makes his eagerly awaited entry in They Only Come Out Night with the line "Here I am!". It feels like he has been a part of this band of monsters from the very start, and his mere presence makes the track very enjoyable. It becomes apparent that Lordi's greatest weapon is, besides the ability to write great songs, comedy. The lyrics aren't really deep or thoughtful (The Deadite Girls Gone Wild is about a guy who accidently hits on the devil's bride ) but if you have a sense of humour they will definitley speak to your inner child. The only part that holds the album back is the vocals, done by Lordi himself. Sure, he sounds like a monster (which probably was the intention) but a few times his screams merely sounds like an old lady yelling at you, which is painful to listen to.
Finally, there is THAT song. It will either make or break Finland's dreams of winning the ESC, and the song has already divided the country into two parts. One might think that the band is gambling with their career by entering a contest that mostly consists of folklore, cheesy ballads and crazy pop music, but Lordi's fans need not to worry. Because Hard Rock Hallelujah is simply to damn good to fail miserably. Think Alice Cooper's Poison revamped for the 21st century, simply outstanding. Lordi might not be the most frightful act in ESC (religious fanatic Carola from Sweden is scarier) but they still deserve to be rewarded for sending such a great song our way. Finland, douze points!