Those villainous monsters raise their glasses to Heavy Metal once again with another solid and entertaining album.
It’s already November and Halloween (or Hallowe’en, if you want to be more traditional) might be “dead and gone” this year, but it surely left a monstrous legacy in the form of music with Scare Force One, the seventh studio album by Finnish Hard Rock band Lordi. So if you’re a fan of horror movies, blood, beer, partying and especially heavy music, do not put your costume away yet, because the party has just begun.
Mr. Lordi and his unnatural crew are always reinventing themselves from album to album, and this time it’s not different. Of course Scare Force One has elements from their previous album, the awesome To Beast or Not to Beast, as well as from classics such as The Arockalypse and Get Heavy, but this time due to the fact the same formation has been together for at least two years, there’s a much more consistent music flow. Moreover, it seems that Mr. Lordi decided to give his gorgeous and talented keyboardist Hella a lot more space in the band’s creative process, which is noticeable during the entire album.
SCG7: Arm Your Doors and Cross Check is that classic intro we always expect from Lordi, this time boosted by a nice choir, setting the tone for the title-track, Scare Force One, a great start with the band’s characteristic Hard Rock riffs and 80’s energy. In addition, as already mentioned, Hella’s keyboard notes are sounding a lot stronger, a really nice feminine touch to Lordi’s musicality. The following track is the best of the entire album in my opinion, and also the one with the best name: How to Slice a Whore was born to be a classic. It is as fast and raw as it should be, with an extremely catchy chorus and a very good balance between drums, guitars and keyboards. Did I mention Hella is on fire in this album?
The freak show goes on with Hell Sent in the Clowns, with its circus-ish intro, vibe and fun lyrics, especially for people who are afraid of clowns (and I know many), and I must say no other band could have written such a weird song like this; the old school House of Ghosts, which focus heavily on a more “phantasmagoric” atmosphere enhanced by its great backing vocals and keyboard notes; and the excellent Monster Is My Name, where Mr. Lordi has an outstanding vocal performance (You know Mr. Lordi, his name is MONSTER!) and Amen leads the Heavy Metal party with his inspired riffs and guitar solo. And once again I have to say Hella is stealing the show in this album with her spooky keyboard notes in Cadaver Lover, another melodic headbanging tune perfect for some air guitar while you sing its fun chorus.
Then it’s time for the “Mummified Pharaoh” Amen to provide us all a short and gentle heartwarming acoustic track named Amen’s Lament to Ra II, before Nailed by the Hammer of Frankenstein comes to remind us Heavy Metal and Rock N’ Roll don’t need to be so serious all the time: it has everything that’s needed for a heavy music party, including truly badass keyboards, goofy but entertaining lyrics (“Good girls get bad, get hammered / Party like Frankenstein / The place will be a wreck by sunrise / Franky needs a bride”), as well as a tribute to one of the greatest metal legends of the 80’s, the “German Tank” Mr. Udo Dirkschneider.
And there’s still time for a lot more, with Lordi offering us the slow heavy anthem The United Rocking Dead, with highlights to its “marching” lyrics (“We are here! / And what you see is what you get / Play my fear / We’re the united rocking dead”), and She’s a Demon, which despite being a good song, it lacks maybe a stronger or not-so-generic chorus to make it truly enjoyable. And finally, our beloved “Scarbie” comes up with some creepy notes in Hella’s Kitchen, followed by the last track in Scare Force One, the powerful Hard Rock tune Sir, Mr. Presideath, Sir!, which focuses on its excellent chorus and the sick guitar lines by Amen. By the way, all band members are kicking fuckin’ ass in this track, and I’m pretty sure it will be one of the new songs to be added to their future setlists so mighty it sounds.
While Mr. Lordi might be asking us to raise our glasses to the German tank in Scare Force One, we should not forget to also raise our glasses, fists and horns to Lordi for another great Hard Rock album, showing us again how good music is done (not to mention its amazing old school album art). I really hope those monsters come to North America (in special to the city of Toronto) for some kick-ass performances, playing songs from their old albums and, of course, from the excellent Scare Force One, a very solid album that will strengthen Lordi’s legacy in the world of heavy music without any doubt.
Best moments of the album: How to Slice a Whore, Monster Is My Name, Nailed by the Hammer of Frankenstein and Sir, Mr. Presideath, Sir!
Worst moments of the album: House of Ghosts and She’s a Demon.
Released in 2014 AFM Records
1. SCG7: Arm Your Doors and Cross Check 1:35
2. Scare Force One 4:58
3. How to Slice a Whore 2:47
4. Hell Sent in the Clowns 4:20
5. House of Ghosts 4:12
6. Monster Is My Name 3:34
7. Cadaver Lover 3:51
8. Amen’s Lament to Ra II 1:10
9. Nailed by the Hammer of Frankenstein 3:20
10. The United Rocking Dead 5:46
11. She’s a Demon 5:37
12. Hella’s Kitchen 1:10
13. Sir, Mr. Presideath, Sir! 5:44
Mr. Lordi – vocals
Amen – guitars
OX – bass
Hella – keyboards
Mana – drums