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Lordi - Scare Force One (Album Review)

Friday, 07 November 2014 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Quite often, it seems, people forget that Lordi are rather good. Whether it’s the band's association with Eurovision, their Freddy Krueger-cum-Kiss outfits or that cringeworthy video of them miming on stage, droves of metal fans shun them. And it ain't right. Save for one pedestrian album, 'Babez For Breakfast', the Finns have always come up with the goods.

This band have continuously succeeded in sticking to their grotesque guns while adding dollops of experimentation in at just the right moments, and 'Scare Force One' is no different. Boasting the obligatory spooky intro followed by 12 certified rockers, you could say the maniacal monsters' seventh full length comes across as the hybrid spawn of 'The Arockalypse' and last year's horrifyingly underrated 'To Beast Or Not To Beast'.

When it comes to crunch time, Lordi rock. That's what they were put on this Earth to do, and iron-clad ragers like How To Slice A Whore and Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein are ungodly slabs of bass-heavy, rifftacular metal. It's like the ‘80s never happened and were replaced with, well, five Finnish people in Halloween costumes.

Mr. Lordi's gravelly vocals have always been a divider when it comes to the band's selling points, and it's no different here. Always tongue planted firmly in cheek, our favourite demon tells of necrophilia, circuses and suchlike while backed up by an army of ghostly choir-folk.

It usually works in Lordi's favour, but the angelic crooning during Hell Sent In The Clowns is just a bit too much cheese to stomach. And let's try forget that the lyrics 'Who the hell d'ya think you are, you fuckface!' ever made it onto this record.

Elsewhere, we're treated to a collection of tunes that hold their own against 'To Beast Or Not To Beast'. Interestingly, it's the left-field oddities that shine on 'Scare Force One'. The title track romps from the speakers with an angular groove and sinister synth-lines that bring fellow Finns Children Of Bodom to mind.

Would be Kiss hit She's A Demon showcases Amen's axe-wielding talents, weaving his way through spooky piano lines and a gargantuan chorus before going on to produce one of the finest solos of his career. On Amen's Lament To Ra II, the mummified madman crafts an acoustic ode reeking of Fade To Black (by no means a bad thing). And let's not forget House Of Ghosts: Lordi have never been that great at penning ballads, but this one's emotional tug could land it straight on their lauded debut 'Get Heavy'.

Possibly the ultimate Marmite band, Lordi have been unfairly reviled for much too long. Yes, they're cheesier than Cliff Richard performing in Pizza Hut, but once you get past that, the masks hide a cast of stellar musicians. Taking the tropes of the hard rock genre and warping them to their own twisted drumbeat, Lordi still sound like nothing else on the planet. Rest assured, if you're after shout-along choruses, meaty riffs and mahoosive key changes then 'Scare Force One' is your ticket.

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