Lordi – Scare Force One

SCARE FORCE ONE: The title track, “Scare Force One,” is a fast blend of classic metal and Halloween, perfect for a band like Lordi, who don bloody masks, horns, and chains on stage. “Scare Force One” relies on a creepy, unique riff to blend each section, though it sticks to its classic metal roots: straight, driving chords; synth backings; full, stadium vocals on the chorus. While the chorus has a happy tinge, the rest of the song makes up for it with a creepy, “scary” vibe, which seems to be Lordi’s fort√©.

HOW TO SLICE A WHORE: Usually, synths are hard to incorporate into a metal song in an aggressive manner; Lordi uses synths in “How to Slice a Whore” to accentuate the verse and carry it forward. It is great that the verse works so well, as the chorus is not quite as catchy as the other tracks; it feels more rushed, whereas the verse seems perfectly, creepily paced. Of course, the synth helps with that. And unfortunately, the lyrics are gruesome as the title makes them appear to be. Maybe it is the censors!

HELL SENT IN THE CLOWNS: As “How to Slice a Whore” fades out, “Hell Sent in Clowns” fades in. Any title with “clowns” in it would disappoint without any circus elements, and luckily Lordi quenches the circus thirst instantly with a circus theme to introduce the track. It is metal, it is fun, and it will make any coulrophobe shiver. But the circus does not stop at the intro. Oh no, the entire song incorporates those eerie circus sounds, and if one thought the lyrics would be tame, he is wrong. Not only are the appropriately frightening, they have a whole “the clowns are coming” chant thrown in, presumably for kicks and giggles.

HOUSE OF GHOSTS: Following a clown song, “House of Ghosts” has an impressive transition: it almost has a circus vibe to it. Almost. It is slower, but not quite a ballad; being song number 5, that is expected. It is slow, and as far as instrumentals are concerned, it combines that scary flavor with a more classical tinge. There is not any huge solo, though the vocals are spot on with creating a creepy vibe, especially during the bridge: wide, flowing vocals “right beside you”.
MONSTER IS MY NAME: With a perfect intro and perfect lyrics, it is just a perfect song. Really though, from what the rest of the album has showed, the intro is unexpected: straight vocals saying . . . well, listen to the album from the beginning and laugh at the sudden change of tone. The entirety of the song, save for the bridge, does not have quite the creepy, unsettling vibe, which is unfortunate since, up to “Monster Is My Name,” Lordi has done a great job of making eerie sounding tracks.

CADAVER LOVER: With one of the best intros on the album, “Cadaver Lover” gets back into the groove of frightening minor riffs. The arena-vocals and stadium-chanting and ominous instrumentals really make this track stand out, especially considering it follows a more generic-sounding song (for Lordi). While there is a lacking in dynamics on this track, there is not a lacking of sing-along lyrics.

AMENS LAMENT TO RA II: Track 8 is just a guitar solo transitioning the album to the bottom half. But it is a beautiful guitar solo.

NAILED BY THE HAMMER OF FRANKENSTEIN: With more experimental breaks, the second half of the album starts off aggressive, fast, and in-your-face. While it is not as haunting as the rest of the album, it is still a fun, fast song with a chorus that, after a few listens, will stay with you.

THE UNITED ROCKING DEAD: Finally, Lordi starts off a song with calm, but building, guitars and drums. What do they build to? I am not quite sure as the buildup never materializes into anything . . . though they do change rhythm afterwards. That is cool. The synth ends up following the lyrics in this song, though the verse is a bit . . . awkward, rhythmically. Luckily, the 5:46 second song does not repeat the awkward rhythm too much, and instead repeats the chorus (which is a pretty standard thing to do . . . so no surprise), which, with the slower tempo of the song, is one of the catchiest on the album. And though the song might have one too many solos, it is a strong track for the end of the album.

SHES A DEMON: I take back anything I said about what song has the best intro; this song has a fast, horror piano intro that sounds like a sped up movie soundtrack (Halloween to be exact . . . and how appropriate). The arrangement is really well done, and so is the heavy intro, with its dual guitars and epic drums. The vocals come in a bit coarse, changing the tone completely, though after the initial shock, they work. Occasionally throughout the verse, Lordi goes back to the cool, creepy sounding riffs, but overall, they seem to abandon it after the intro. Unfortunate.

HELLS KITCHEN: Nearing the end of the album, Lordi greets us with what sounds like a small choir of children singing and laughing. And that is the song. Perfectly terrifying.

SIR, MR PRESIDEATH, SIR!: The final song. The horror tone seems to have disappeared from this song, as it is simple, classic heavy metal. The vocal rhythm does not quite fit in with the rest of the song, but the guitar work is powerful, and the ending wraps up the album uniquely.

Overall, Lordi has a pretty decent album in their disposal. The mixes are a bit rough (the vocals are really drowned out in almost every song), but the ominous instrumentals definitely keep the ear and mind awake. Just as classic heavy metal with a horror tinge should do. The album comes out November 4th.

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