Lordi – To Beast Or Not To Beast (2013)

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I have to confess: I was never a big fan of Lordi. At first I got attracted by their very different approach and unique style (that was also noticed in the competition Eurovision and made the band win that one), but I never thought that their music has that much of an anti-ordinary stamp and in-your-face attributes like their costumes. All until this record..

‘To Beast Or Not To Beast’ (the title already being a nice pun) is the finns’ sixth studio album and I think it has some both very interesting and odd elements. Beginning with an anthem-like song ‘We’re not Bad for the Kids (We’re Worse)’ which is extremely catchy ( although if your volume is cranked super loud when this song begins, you might get a mini heart attack from the screams), the record’s first 3 tracks all present a strong attitude and some killer riffs. ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ changes the atmosphere into something creepy-funeral like infused keyboard sounds that turn into a chorus sang by the vocalist with the help of a choir in the background which makes this track, although less aggressive, stand out on its own. The song however ends with some really high pitched screams saying ‘wicked’ in a fast tempo which I found quite strange. (but after all, this is what they are trying to send across, right?)

‘I’m the best’ is a track that reminds me of Helloween’s ‘Are you metal?’ in the beginning. ‘Happy New Fear’ is like the perfect song for Halloween: it has the creepy keyboards, the chorus that sounds like a twisted jingle, and the lyrics making me think about Wednesday 13 with his sadistic writing style.

On the other hand, the ending is slightly disappointing, containing a song that does not fit at all with the rest of the record: ‘SCG6: Otus’ Butcher Clinic’ (Otus being the drummer of the band). This track has a live drums solo, and on the background you can hear the audience cheering. It’s a nice solo, but it just does not sound right next to the other tracks. Another thing (more like a personal wish) would have been to hear a ballad on this album. A nice, catchy tune to prove to the audience they’re not just made out of horror.

However, overall I really did enjoy this record! It’s catchy, it is created in a way I was always hoping they would sound like, it contains screams and creepiness, and it can make one feel like in an old-school Vincent Price starring movie. If you’re a fan of some of these elements, I think you’ll find ‘To Beast Or Not To Beast’ quite awesome!

Rating: 7/10

Lordi – The Riff (click to watch official video)