Album: Killection – A Fictional Compilation Album
Release Date: January 31st 2020
Label: AFM Records
Reviewed By: Curt Ubank
LORDI are a band known best for 3 things, Being a Heavy Metal band clad in outrageous latex rubber monster costumes, Killer 80s inspired hard rock horror tracks, and…. the Eurovision Song Contest. In their almost 20 year history of releasing studio albums and touring, They’ve managed some amazing feats, Including but not limited to, Releasing a full length horror film (And another 40 minute short film), a full length documentary, multiple international tours, 10 studio albums with musical guests such as Jay
Jay French and Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Bruce Kulick (KISS) and Michael Munroe (Hanoi Rocks). Oh…. and winning the pop song contest Eurovision in 2006. By a landslide. Rockin.
So, that does kinda beg the question, where do you go from there musically? How do you celebrate 2 decades of sharp teeth and colossal platform boots? Well… You reimagine your bands history with a fictional compilation album. This premise is pretty simple. Mr Lordi and co, record an album of new songs, but… what if the band had been around as long as KISS? They’d have disco-style tracks, they’d have 70s rock songs, 80s hard rock, 90s metal. Hell yeah, what WOULD that sound like?
The album, like ALL Lordi albums starts off with an SCG intro track (Scarctic Circle Gathering) which is a trend present from their very first album “Get Heavy” (2002), This is a staple of a Lordi album, setting the
tone almost like a movie trailer for the following songs. The only one to buck this trend is “To Beast or Not To Beast” (2013). “SCG10” starts rolling, and is a radio intro. Longtime Lordi fans will love this, as it has snippets of previous Lordi tracks re-recorded in the styles of other famous 70s and 80s artists, Such as an AC/DC Styled cover of “Bringing back the balls to rock”, An Ozzy Osbourne parody of “Devil is a Loser” and a Guns’N’Roses “Would You Love A Monsterman”. These tidbits are a great treat, and whoever does the Axl Rose impression is pretty spot on. This whole intro has the full Radio DJ announcer voice and a sing song jingle to cap it all off. Neat!
We plow straight into the album itself with “Horror for Hire”. If you listened to the previous album “Sexorcism” then you’re gonna feel very comfortable with this track. It’s very current Lordi, A slick heavy metal track, classic Lordi backing vocals, and its a great way to show how well new bassist Hiisi fits into the lineup. Our first taste of what to come for this album comes with “Shake The Baby Silent”. It sounds a hell of a lot like a Rob Zombie “Dragula” song, nice bouncy synth riff, It would have fitted rather well on
several previous albums. This was also our first released single for this era. It’s definitely their first attempted at a previous decade’s sound, and it works really well. The interesting thing about this concept album is how varied the musical styles can get, and none of that is more evident than “Like A Bee To The Honey”. This is actually a track penned way back in the 80s by KISS front man Paul Stanley, and you can tell its an 80s track. It’s a HUGE synth epic, Tinkling keyboards and all. The only things that betray its classic image are Mana’s thunderous drums and Lordi’s vocals cutting through the mix, and…. what’s that? Its Michael Monroe with a goddamn Saxophone solo. In a Lordi track. Its fresh and fun, still very Lordi but so different to anything we’ve got before. Its fantastic and EXACTLY what we needed to keep this band fresh and new. OUTSTANDING.
The brass section continues with “Apollyon”. It’s hard to pin down honestly. its really unusual to hear such an intro of instruments on a Lordi song, yet it still sounds so very much like Lordi. If it was recorded with just drums, keys, guitar and bass, it would have been like any other Lordi song, but this really gives it a chance to shine, even if it does somewhat slow the album a little, I do really enjoy the digital clarinets throughout the song. Breaking up the album are small radio SCG segments with long time Lordi cohort
Ralph Ruiz playing a radio Dj “The Mad rocker, Rockin Ruiz”. This is where the album’s overarching story line comes in, if you play these songs in this order, it’ll open the gates of hell. One of the fun things about Lordi is all the fun little easter eggs in dialog and artwork such as the first radio caller being Anna (A character in Lordi’s short film “the Kin”) from Heceta Head, Oregon, a nod to a track from the 2008 album “Deadache”. Its little bits like this that makes a fanboy like me really happy.
“Blow my fuse” is our next piece, and its another unique one. In several recent interviews, Mr Lordi has mentioned recording a track for this album on entirely analog equipment, and if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s this one. It’s got a great gritty 70s feeling. It would honestly fit at home pretty well on KISS’s Alive II D-side or one of the Solo albums. The other interesting thing to note, is how similar this song’s feel and sound is to the Lordi Demo album “Bend over and pray the Lord”. It’s the gritty, lo-fi rocker feel that makes it feel all so familiar to fans. In complete contrast is “I Dug A Hole In The Yard For You”, our second single from this album. Its back to being a full-blown, Heavy Metal Lordi track. Wedging this in between concept tracks goes a long way to highlight how good the band is at their signature sound. Crunchy riff and melodic keys with layered vocals make this a headbangers delight. Its also very much worth checking out the music video, which included cameos from some of Lordi’s stage team, Rockin
Ruiz himself, and a couple of friends of mine getting slaughtered with cutlery. Sweet! How do you follow up heavy metal? DISCO. Yeah, so Zombimbo is a super 70s disco track, pumping basslines and “I Was Made For Loving You” guitars are ALL OVER this song. Ever wanted Lordi to make their own “Dynasty” album? This is the closest you’re gonna get. We then get a taste of some 80s metal with “Up To No Good”. Its a “Bark At The Moon” riff, with a whooooooole Lordi B-side “Studs and Leather”. It sounds
very much like Lordi of the past, and barring the intention lo-fi production on this track, it would fit in great on “Get Heavy” or “Babez For Breakfast”, and I Can see it becoming a fan favourite. This selection of tracks is capped off by another SCG segment wih Rockin Ruiz getting more and more agitated by demonic radio callers as hell begins to break loose. They’re fun little skits, but I can’t help but think that it pretty much stops the flow of the album.
“Cutterfly” is MEANT to be a dated track, it’s got huge amounts of synth, slightly downplayed guitars and a huge chorus. I’m not sure it was the intention but it is a FLAWLESS fit if you put it smack bang in the middle of 2010s “Babez for Breakfast” album. Its unexpectedly brilliant, even if it is a little lightweight. “Evil” is again a huge contrast, with one of the heavier tracks we’ve heard from this band. It sounds very “Demonarchy” with pinch harmonics throughout, with “Amen” and “Hiisi” chugging their way though.
Fans of the heavier Lordi sound of recent times are really gonna enjoy this one. “Scream demon” feels VERY out of place for the final musical track on this one, its slow and plodding, with a sound that’s hard to pin down, it may take a listen or three to REALLY appreciate this one. The album closer is… surprise, one final SCG track. Ruiz mentioning the “Lost Monstersquad Recordings”. Of course, this culminates with taking one last caller, with the demonic voices getting louder and louder, The track starts playing, as all hell breaks loose, with one final “I AM HERE”
I’ve gotta say, it’s really impressive to see Lordi try something so unique here, with multiple styles in an interesting and fun presentation. Its something fresh and new, from a band that does cop a bit of negativity for not REALLY changing their styles. There are some stand out Lordi tracks here, and the effort really shows through in a lot of places, even if the production does vary wildly(Intentionally I’m sure) from track to track. Its a good addition to the Lordi catalog, which die-hard fans like me are gonna
love. If you’re not a Lordi fan, this isn’t really gonna change your mind, but one thing’s for sure…. there is still no other band out there like our beloved monsters, LORDI Are…
Mr Lordi — Vocals
Amen — Guitars
Hiisi — Bass
Hella — Keyboards
Mana — Drums
LORDI – “Killection”
01. Radio SCG10
02. Horror For Fire
03. Shake The Baby Silent
04. Like A Bee To The Honey
06. SCG10 The Last Hour
07. Blow My Fuse
08. I Dug A Hole In The Yard For You
10. Up To No Good
11. SCG10 Demonic Semitones
14. Scream Demon
15. SCG10 I Am Here