The Arockalypse (Special Edition)
posted on 3/2007 By:
By now I would imagine that most metalheads have at least heard of European media darlings Lordi. The 2006 Eurovision song contest winners have won quite a bit of attention for themselves, both with their surprise landslide in the aforementioned contest and their…well, decidedly familiar monster-outfit gimmick. With the move to The End Records, an upcoming tour of America, and this re-release of last year’s The Arockalypse, Lordi are clearly looking to break out in the American market. On one hand, I can definitely see this blowing up with 80’s retro schlock rock crowd. On the other hand, Lordi’s actual music is so devoid of depth of any sort whatsoever that it’s hard for me to imagine anyone listening to it for more than a novelty laugh. The Arockalypse is precisely—and I mean laser-beam precision—what it appears to be: GWAR playing arena rock with a slight Finnish gloss.
Though it’s clear that Lordi have no pretense to artistic integrity and exist solely to entertain, their utterly formulaic songwriting is still somewhat disappointing. The Arockalypse sees the masked men (and woman) plow through track after track of mid-paced, fist pump fodder with very little deviation in structure from one song to the next. The guitars serve as a crunchy but relatively static foundation for flowery, melodramatic keyboard layering (think Children of Bodom covering WASP), over which vocalist Tomi “Mr. Lordi” Putaansuu lays down his raspy holler. Armed with a gleefully idiotic monster-themed lyrical sensibility (“The Deadite Girls Gone Wild,” “Who’s Your Daddy?,” and “Good to Be Bad” amongst others) and a seemingly endless arsenal of harmonized chorus hooks, Putaansuu does far more to lend The Arockalypse its character than most of his bandmates as they crank out their bouncy cheese rock.
Ultimately, I’d hesitate to even call Lordi a metal band per se. For what it’s worth, this band is basically the modern Finnish answer to KISS, and your feelings on that particular band will more or less dictate your feelings on The Arockalypse (especially because KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick contributes a solo on the album’s sole ballad, “It Snows In Hell”). For my part, I didn’t get this shit the first time around and I still don’t get it. I know the music is supposed to be silly and entertaining, but both the lack of real heaviness and the theatrical cheese in which this record is drenched will be off putting to many metalheads.
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