Lordi – Killection

Reviewed: March 2020
Released: 2019, AFM Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Lee Carter

You know LORDI, right? Finland’s monstrous masked metallers and winners of Eurovision in 2006? The band may not quite have the collective mainstream’s consciousness to the extent that it did back when they shocked Europe’s annual musical cheese-fest, but they have been plugging away all these years, putting out album after album of hard rock goodness. If their emergence to the mainstream’s attention told you anything, it’s that the band are very much about having fun with music and you will be glad to know that nothing changes on their latest, ‘Killection’.

Now, it may have slipped by all but the most intelligent of academics, but the album’s subtitle – ‘A Fictional Compilation Album’ – does not mean that it is the usual compilation cash-grab, but a concept album of greatest hits the band would have made had they been going since the 70s. Stylised as a radio rock show, it features eleven songs that authentically demonstrate the various sounds of each fictional era of the band: from the dirtier, rock ‘n’ roll edge of the 70s, through the polished 80s, to the darker 90s and surgically-precise sounds of modern metal. With a threading story that presents itself through the “SGC” skits and a rather amusing aping of rock legends (including OZZY, AC/DC, JUDAS PRIEST and KING DIAMOND), the whole package screams “fun”.

With that, though, there is an inherent risk that the record can then be taken for a joke. On the surface of it, the whole idea feels rather meta, but the overriding sense that LORDI are having a blast purveys, which ultimately makes ‘Killection’ such an enjoyable little romp. It’s not often that an album purports to have something for everyone, and actually delivers on that promise – the band have clearly paid close attention to the genre’s various states through the decades. That also carries its own risk of being a pale imitation of their influences, but the band is able to navigate their way around this by a dogged understanding of their source material.

Proceedings open with a bit of glam metal extravagance in “Horror For Hire”, with keyboards straight out of the 80s, which is closely followed by the shock-rock song ROB ZOMBIE never wrote in “Shake The Baby Silent”. There are nods to BLACK SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN on the bass-heavy and bluesy “Blow My Fuse”, 80s cheese ballads in “Apollyon” and even some melodic death metal-meets KING DIAMOND with the simply-titled “Evil”… Enough variety for you? Through the album’s course, things are certainly kept interesting. One thing is for sure: you will not be burnt-out or bored – the album chops and changes like the British weather forecast.

That being said, the jumps from one song to the other can be a little jarring at times (see “Shake The Baby Silent” to the cheese of “Like A Bee To The Honey”), so the album’s progression suffers a touch. It might be considered too simple an option, but perhaps rearranging the track listing to fit their intended chronology may have helped – it would certainly give greater emphasis to the concept of the band being around since the 70s. The fact that each song remains unmistakably LORDI does offer some redemption to this, even if the “SGC” skits break the flow somewhat. They are quite amusing and work well for styling the record as being played out on the radio, but certainly would not work after popping ‘Killection’ into your party playlist. It may be a concept album, but feel free to cherry-pick the actual songs.

At its core, though, ‘Killection’ is a solid album of fun songs that are very much LORDI at their best. They may be aping some of their influences (or contemporaries, as the album would have you believe), but their skill as songwriters shines through as each song does more than just a passable imitation. Even the production has been thought through to be as authentic as possible, ensuring that this is no collection of aural love letters to yesteryear. As purveyors of fun, LORDI have not lost sight of who they are and what they do best on their tenth offering, so get your monster on and rock.


Video:


Tracklisting:

1. Radio SCG 10
2. Horror For Hire
3. Shake The Baby Silent
4. Like A Bee To The Honey
5. Apollyon
6. SCG10 The Last Hour
7. Blow My Fuse
8. I Dug A Hole In The Yard For You
9. Zombimbo
10. Up To No Good
11. SCG10 Demonic Semitones
12. Cutterfly
13. Evil
14. Scream Demon
15. SCG10 I Am Here

Band line-up:

Mr. Lordi – Vocals,
Amen – Guitars,
Hiisi – Bass,
Mana – Drums & Vocals,
Hella – Keyboards.

Websites:

www.lordi.fi
www.facebook.com/LordiOfficial
www.twitter.com/LORDIOFFICIAL
www.facebook.com/afmrecords
www.youtube.com/afmrecords
www.instagram.com/afm.records
www.twitter.com/afm_records

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