Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lordi ~ Get Heavy

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: shock rock, heavy metal, experimental, Finnish
Label: BMG
Year: 2002
Home: Finland

Members: Mr. Lordi ~ lead vocals
Amen ~ guitar/b. vocals
Kalma ~ bass/b. vocals
Enard ~ keyboards/b. vocals
Kita ~ drums/b. vocals


I discovered Lordi while on a trip to Finland in 2003 when they were at a peak, though before they'd hit Europe or ever won Eurovision or even toured the U.S., which I of course went to see. I like to collect rock music when I travel to foreign countries & even though a new CD is expensive in Finland I couldn't resist buying this one after having seen the lifesize cardboard cutouts in the music store window. I knew this was going to be something I'd like. No regrets. Years later I still love putting on this debut release. Everything about it is cool, particularly the cartoon cover art of the band & the inside photos of the band in full monster costume ... it's against band rules to be photographed out of make-up, which recently brought the dismissal of long-time drummer Kita. Though, with ten members now in their history I wonder what other band rules there are. This is GWAR, Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister & obviously Kiss taken to a new level by Mr. Lordi (aka Tomi Putaansuu) who was a big fan of Kiss after seeing their show & was inspired to form his own band. But, then, who hasn't after seeing any of the mentioned bands? It's pure shock rock but not just on the visuals but also musicially. It's brash & loud heavy metal, far more furious than any of their inspirations with catchy riff after catchy riff, let alone the lyrics cull more from the monster themes of Alice Cooper than the unthematic power ballads of Kiss. Albeit, shock rock is about the image, theme & headbanging energy. Though you may be able to sing along with Lordi's shouts the lyrics make less since than Marilyn Manson, albeit he hides behind the idea that's there's a philosophy behind the mishmash. So, if you want pure heavy metal mayhem Lordi makes a great party album. Though, I will say the album starts off incredibly strong hitting a bump with the sixth track "Icon Of Dominance" that opens with an instrumental power ballad to be keyboard bit that's a change from the assault of rhythms that came before it. The problem is that power ballads go well with coherent lyrics which is not Lordi's strong point. But, he's following the 80's tradition of always having a power ballad on the album, though power ballad a la H.I.M. Sadly, the songs that come after aren't as memorable as the first half of the album. It reminds me a lot of the Metallica black album that has a great opening side but lots of filler on the end. The other problem with Lordi is that though this is a great release monsters themes only go so far so a few albums later the gimmick is a bit stale, though they do make some great MTV videos to keep things exciting & even starred in a movie as the main monster. But, if you are at all a fan of shock rock & have missed Lordi you've missed an important ingredient in the shocking timeline. This is the album to do your homework with.

CONCERT REVIEW: The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, NYC, Dec 2008. Saw them from the front row at the end of their first U.S. tour. Their opening act was fellow shock rockers Lizzy Borden. I didn't know Lizzy but was thrilled with their show ... how could I not be after Lizzy jumped in the audience with a blood drenched axe. Sadly, I was more thrilled with them than I was Lordi. It wasn't that Lordi didn't do a good show. It was great, but they aren't very physical on stage ... probably due to their clunky costumes ... so it's a rather simple show with some gimmicky props pulled out periodically. & by the end of the show watching the sweat pour out of the seams of their costumes onto their instruments brings a new definition to suffering for your art. Also, near the end guitarist Amen started sticking out his tongue at Sebastian Bach of Skid Row who was standing two heads to my side.


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