Reviewed: December, 2021
Released: 2021, AFM
Rating: 2.5 /5
This is one of the most ambitious review series I’ve ever done. Back in early 2020, Lordi released a very interesting album called KILLECTION. The concept behind this was that the band decided to do a mock compilation / Greatest Hits album. It is even sub-titled ‘ A Fictional Compilation Album’. Each song was written and recorded in a style of Rock/Hard rock/Heavy Metal from across the ages from the 1970’s to now. The idea was that Lordi has been around for 40 or 50 years and has evolved over time across the ages of Metal. It was a neat idea and they pulled it off well.
Fast-forward to 2021 when the band was partially dormant because of global circumstances. In the press release for the album Mr. Lordi is quoted as saying, “Killection” is a fictional album based on a previously non-existent, fictional back catalogue of music, I had an idea: The only thing that could top “Killection” would be to record and publish the back catalogue.” So during the pandemic he set to work and recorded no less than seven full-length studio albums.
I have reviewed of all them. They are…
-SKELECTRIC DINOSAUR (Rock themed album recorded in 1975)
-SUPERFLYTRAP (Disco themed album recorded in 1979)
-THE MASTERBEAST FROM THE MOON (Prog themed album recorded in 1981)
-ABUSEMENT PARK (Metal themed album recorded in 1984)
-HUMANIMALS ( Hard Rock / AOR themed album recorded in 1989)
-ABRACADAVER (Thrash Metal themed album recorded in 1991)
-SPOOKY SEXTRAVAGANZA SPECTACULAR (Industrial Metal themed album recorded in 1995)
Since this is a timeline series culminating in the compilation KILLECTION, it would be best to read these reviews in order. Please feel free to enjoy all these albums in this monstrous review.
I’m not quite sure what Lordi was trying to accomplish here. THE MASTERBEAST OF THE MOON was recorded in 1981 and is supposed to emulate Rush and Pink Floyd. The main issue is that Lordi, while talented musicians in their own right, don’t have the progressive chops or sing-writing technique to accurately emulate either band. On the previous album SKELECTRIC DINOSAUR, Lordi wrote and recorded in the style of 70’s Kiss which they could pull off in their sleep because they are more closely aligned with the source material. Lordi trying to be Rush just didn’t work making it one of the weakest albums in the box. It’s strange because I love Rush and on paper THE MASTERBEAST OF THE MOON should have been a big favourite as compared to other albums in the set where they emulate other genres I have less affinity for like Disco and Industrial. So it is a weird scenario where I actually liked the albums of less preferred genres because of the superior execution.
This seems to be some sort of vague concept album but without lyrics but was hard to follow the plot. The album opens with SCG Minus 5 which is supposed to set the tone and atmosphere but is weird, confusing and difficult to hear, something about an astronaut in distress. This album is quite sonically diverse with orchestral parts, acoustic piano, and lots of synths, choirs and even a flute solo on ‘the short piece ‘Yoh Haee Von’, perhaps a nod to Jethro Tull. ‘Bells of The Netherworld’ works quite well with it’s semi-haunting, repeated synth lines.
The main issue is that Rush and Floyd did long elaborate compositions and to their credit Lordi do try but fall short. The longest song in this 46-minute album is ‘Church Of Succubus’ and it clocks in at 12 minutes, making it the longest song ever recorded by the band by a wide margin. It’s got everything but the kitchen sink but still manages to keep our attention. However, five of the 12 songs are spoken word, or filler type tracks, all running under two minutes. While admirable in their attempts to create atmosphere, Lordi is too… monstrous to do Prog very well. A colleague of mine says ‘Just because a song is long does not automatically make it Progressive’ and Lordi (and Iron Maiden) I’m looking at you. Lordi has built a wonderful and magnificent career of ostentatious presentation and they seem to lack the subtlety necessary for good Prog.
Musically speaking this is just too far from Lordi does to be effective. Even the disco album is closer in song-writing style and melodic spirt than MASTERBEAST.
1. SCG Minus 5: Transmission Request
3. Celestial Serpents
4. Hurricane Of The Slain
5. Spear Of The Romans
6. Bells Of The Netherworld
7. Transmission Reply
8. Church Of Succubus
10. Robots Alive!
12. Transmission On Repeat