[Album Review] Lordi's 'Killection' Pays Tribute to the Hard-Rocking Days of Yesteryear
Updated: Mar 29
The monster rockers Lordi have been turning out horror-fueled heavy metal for over a decade and a half. It feels weird to call a metal band a Eurovision Song Contest winner, but in 2006, Mr. Lordi and his motley crew added that accomplishment to their ghoulish CV. Now, on album number ten, the aptly-named Killection, the band put themselves in an alternate universe, one where the band lived through all of the major eras of modern rock, from the fuzzy Sixties and Seventies to the drug-fueled Eighties, from the electronics-heavy Nineties to the present day.
The overarching story of Rockin’ Ruiz, a radio DJ exploring the deeper cuts of The Monster Squad, begins with a radio station runner in which no major metal act is safe. I clocked riffs on Ozzy, King Diamond, Tenacious D, and Judas Priest, but I know that I missed more than a couple of references. “Horror for Hire” is a proper kick-off for this fictional compilation, with an Eighties proto-power metal feel. It’s anthemic, tongue-in-cheek, with a prominent synthesizer line to give an extra layer to this rocker of an opener.
“Shake the Baby Silent” is straight from the Rob Zombie playbook, with the industrial-flavored production evoking memories of Zombie’s “Superbeast” and “Feel So Numb.” Its casual extremism and taboo are signature Lordi, as they revel in the Nineties alt-metal boom. “Like a Bee to the Honey” is a number on lost love found again, complete with a Vincent Price impersonator, lyrics co-written by Paul Stanley of KISS, and a saxophone solo from Hanoi Rocks’ Michael Monroe. “Apollyon” is a prog-rock nod to bands such as Rush and Yes, with a theatrical chorus and experimental time signatures.
The second interlude “The Last Hour” gives us our first taste of Rockin’ Ruiz, in which he described the demonic potential of the music he’s broadcasting. Each call gets weirder until the music comes back with “Blow My Fuse,” with its fuzzy guitars and even some cowbell to boot. All of the sleazy wordplay adds to the Seventies rock feel, with flavors of Led Zeppelin and Cream, with a little Blue Oyster Cult thrown in because they can. “I Dug a Hole in the Yard for You” fast-forwards the affair to the Eighties, with gang vocals and keyboards everywhere. It’s a hooky, catchy track that serves as one of the strongest of the record overall, feeling perhaps the most Lordi of what is supposed to be The Monster Squad’s lost tapes.
“Zombimbo” is a sleeper hit, with its disco rhythm and infectious, groove-inducing bass guitar. It’s tracks like this that drive home the concept of Killection as a whole, and show that Lordi are committed the act, one hundred percent. “Up to No Good” has big Judas Priest energy, with an anthemic, fist-pumping chorus and Mr. Lordi doing his best Rob Halford impersonation. With the third interlude, it’s apparent that the Monster Squad tunes are causing all manner of otherworldly trouble. The demonic semitones are brushed aside as “poppycock bullshit” by Rockin’ Ruiz, and the show goes on.
“Cutterfly” has a dizzying, hypnotic piano line, and Mr. Lordi’s matching of the piano with his vocals brings the melody together. Again comes the casual extremism, as the singer describes an almost fetishistic obsession with dissection and elective surgery. The dual guitar solo around the three minute mark takes this mid-tempo rocker to six-string nirvana. “Evil” barrels in as the most outright metal track thus far, with palm muting galore and loads of machine gun double kick. “Scream Demon” serves as a power ballad closer, calling out to bands such as Scorpions before it all goes to Hell - no, literally - in the final interlude as the station is seemingly dragged to the underworld.
Killection is an ambitious effort from a group of musicians that aren’t just playing musicians. The band stepped out of their comfort zone, and the effort to do so shows. While “Horror for Hire” and “I Dug a Hole in the Yard for You” are creature comforts, songs like “Zombimbo” are done not just competently, but successfully. Killection is another notch in the Finnish act’s belt for sure.