This Halloween let’s all eat, drink, be scary and listen to another kick-ass Rock N’ Roll party brought forth by the most awesome horde of hair-raising monsters in the universe.
Once again it’s Halloween, or All Hallows’ Evening as many people prefer, a day dedicated to remembering the dead and to many distinct activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, and there’s nothing better to set fire to that amazing celebration than the top-notch Hard Rock and Heavy Metal played by the most awesome horde of scary monsters in the universe, Finnish icons Lordi. With that said, put on your most spine-chilling costume, grab some chocolate (or beer) and head to the nearest Halloween party blowing your speakers to the music by Mr. Lordi and his (were)wolfpack, who are back with another excellent release entitled Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy), the eighth studio album in their solid career.
And let me tell you that Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy) is different from everything these guys have done since their inception back in 1992, with the album being divided in two distinct parts. While the first half of the album (Theaterror) showcases their classic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, the second half of the album (Demonarchy) is conceptual and includes 6 or more minute songs that sound a lot heavier than what we’re used to, talking about the unholy gathering of The Undead Son, The Bloodsucking Count, The She-Wolf and The Witch, and their story with a little girl named Lizzy. The band also announced that their new costumes would be split in half, representing the two sides of the album. The overall production of the album is outstanding as usual, enhancing the experience of listening to our beloved monstrosities transforming the fusion of fear, love and electricity into old school heavy music.
In THEATERROR, we’re treated to one of those wicked intros by Lordi, entitled SCG8: One Message Waiting, this time with a freak named Ruiz threatening a woman from right outside her house, before the band kicks off Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be the Beast-Man in the Masters of the Universe), showcasing that great Hard Rock from the 80’s with the crisp keyboards by Hella adding an extra touch of nostalgia to the song. Moreover, as cheesy as the song and its lyrics might sound, it ends up working extremely well, being fun and energetic in its entirety. Besides, who doesn’t want to see He-Man dead, right? Anyway, Hug You Hardcore is another mid-tempo classic composition displaying a fantastic main riff by Mr. Lordi’s right-hand man Amen (just don’t ask me to talk about the lyrics), whereas Down with the Devil can be considered a newborn Hard Rock hymn, from its hellish riffs and keyboards to its spooky lyrics (“They say the devil dressed me / They hear him speak when I speak / They say I’m lost and damned / But I know damn well just where I am”). It’s a mandatory choice for the soundtrack to the most awesome Halloween party you can think of (and the best song of the album in my opinion), with its catchier-than-hell chorus getting even more awesome due to the song’s classy backing vocals.
Slowing down and getting more obscure, Mary Is Dead tells the sad story of how the death of a woman was kept a secret by her lover (who was also her killer, by the way), with Hella kicking ass with her melancholic notes while Mana delivers his precise doomed beats; followed by Sick Flick, another old school Lordi chant offered to the listener. The band makes a statement that the Rock N’ Roll party is just starting through the song’s upbeat rhythm and the excellent riffs and solos blasted by Amen. Once again we face cheesy lyrics inspired by classic Hard Rock from the 80’s with a horror movie twist, and once again that works perfectly. And the end of Theaterror couldn’t sound more Lordi than None for One, bringing forward all the elements we expect in their music. Furthermore, Lordi’s kitchen architects Ox, Mana and Hella craft such an inspiring ambience with their instruments it’s impossible to stand still to the beat of the song.
An eerie intro named SCG VIII: Opening Scene informs the listener the second part of the album, the conceptual DEMONARCHY, is about to begin, and it’s time for some brutal Heavy Metal with Demonarchy, with Mana pounding his drums while Amen is on fire with his riffs. This is by far the most aggressive composition of the whole album, a sensational display of what Mr. Lordi and his crew can do when they get truly heavy with the creepy keyboards by the sexy doll Hella embellishing the overall result even more. A lot more melodious, the slow-paced The Unholy Gathering continues from where the previous song stopped in the storyline, and when they speed up the musicality it becomes a heavy music extravaganza with highlights to the potent vocals by Mr. Lordi and the spooky notes by Hella. And it looks like the second half of the album is indeed dedicated to much heavier and darker material based on what the band delivers in Heaven Sent Hell on Earth, one of those headbanging badass compositions with a gripping story in the background and a chorus that is yet again a beautiful option to sing along with the band.
The final triumvirate of Hard Rock blasted by Lordi is pure awesomeness, starting with And the Zombie Says, a first-class Heavy Metal tune with brilliant guitar lines and keyboards, not to mention the thunderous drums by Mana and the song’s beautiful chorus. It’s a nonstop action-packed song that transpires adrenaline until its very last second, with Mr. Lordi providing an amazing performance on vocals as usual. In the neck-breaking chant Break of Dawn, another song to scream the chorus together with Mr. Lordi and a song also played to perfection by all band members, Amen kicks some serious ass with his sharp riffs. And last but not least, The Night the Monsters Died is the perfect climatic ending to the story being told and to the whole album, full of breaks and soulful passages and solos, and having as its main element a more-than-addictive chorus (“It’s the morning after the night / The night the monsters died / Don’t have to be afraid / Cause we’re already dead / It’s the morning after the night / The night the monsters died / We’ll never say goodbye / For the final time”). Put differently, this is a full-bodied composition that will put a smile on the face of everyone that listens to it, no matter how angry or sad that person might be.
There’s that Halloween quote by an unknown author that says we should all “eat, drink and be scary”, but after listening to such an entertaining album of kick-ass melodic old school Hard Rock and Heavy Metal I guess we need to change the saying to something like “eat, drink, be scary and listen to Lordi”. It’s insanely hard for a band to top a once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece like The Arockalypse, but Mr. Lordi and his living-dead crew have been on a roll since their 2013 release To Beast or Not to Beast, constantly producing high-end material for the undead masses. Could it be the charming spell Hella put on Lordi when she joined the band back in 2012? Or has Mr. Lordi found a special full moon that fully recharges his monster power endlessly? Either way, it looks like it will need a lot more than just garlic, silver bullets, sunlight and any other known weapon to kill the music by this iconic herd of rockin’ monsters from Finland.
Best moments of the album: Down with the Devil, Demonarchy, And the Zombie Says and The Night the Monsters Died.
Worst moments of the album: The Unholy Gathering.
Released in 2016 AFM Records
1. SCG8: One Message Waiting 1:10
2. Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be the Beast-Man in the Masters of the Universe) 4:30
3. Hug You Hardcore 3:40
4. Down with the Devil 4:29
5. Mary Is Dead 4:37
6. Sick Flick 4:00
7. None for One 4:15
8. SCG VIII: Opening Scene 1:22
9. Demonarchy 6:01
10. The Unholy Gathering 5:09
11. Heaven Sent Hell on Earth 5:43
12. And the Zombie Says 6:23
13. Break of Dawn 5:47
14. The Night the Monsters Died 7:13
Mr. Lordi – vocals
Amen – guitars
OX – bass
Hella – keyboards
Mana – drums