Joining Sabaton on The Tour To End All Tours were Lordi and BABYMETAL. This was a night that truly displayed the power Heavy Metal has over hearts and minds, its global span across legions of fans stronger than ever. You can read the Sabaton review here.
Lordi – BABYMETAL
Wembley Arena, London – 15 April 2023.
Words: Paul Monkhouse
Photography: Robert Sutton
Crammed into a small space at the front of the stage, Lordi doesn’t have much room to manoeuvre, but regardless of that, they’re determined to put on a show that will drop jaws and chill to the bone.
With the Hammer House of Horrors tolling bell introducing them, the quintet kicked into the KISS-on-steroids of Dead Again Jayne, their hook-filled hard rock touched with the blistering ferocity of Metallica.
All three bands tonight truly embraced their particular identities, but you can’t help but be impressed by the utter commitment of the Fins to their rocking out in such elaborate costumes, the monstrous garb and masks put to full effect.
With a look befitting your wildest nightmares, it’s the sprightly Glam Metal and spot-on harmonies of tracks like Would You Love A Monsterman that shows there’s so much more here than an image.
In fact, Mr Lordi and his creature crew are capable of knocking out anything that matches Alice Cooper at his peak, and the sea of pumping fists to the grinding Thing In The Cage speaks volumes. Fan favourite Blood Red Sandman has lost none of its unnerving presence, a Gothic Metal slammer with snarling riff and thunderous rhythms as Hella’s keys dance a twisted waltz, and Lucyfer Prime Evil is a great, old-school headbanger.
With extending bat wings for Devil Is A Loser and the double singalong whammy of Who’s Your Daddy? and inevitable closer Hard Rock Hallelujah, Lordi came, saw, conquered and thrilled.
Some bands rely on gimmicks to get noticed, and whilst their image is certainly striking, it’s their material that stays with you the longest. Lordi truly have it all.
The Fox Gods are back on UK soil, and London welcomed them back with open arms. Whilst their brand of Metal may be divisive in some quarters, the force with which they attack the stage is a thing of nature. High energy and perfectly choreographed, the three singers Su-Metal, Moametal and Momometal are a whirlwind as the four masked figures behind them provide the furious Metal backing.
For the very few who’ve not experienced the band before, it’s a head-spinning combination, the J-Pop vocals and sugar rush melodies juxtaposed with Speed Metal, something that shouldn’t work but does so gloriously.
The jagged seesaw riffing of BABYMETAL DEATH is a remorseless start, the flamethrower feel soliciting a wide-eyed euphoria as rows of red and white lights flash behind them. The sweet vocals of Megitsune provide something of a soothing balm, but the blast beats and seriously heavy live take whips the audience up even further, the cry of “We are BABYMETAL!” soliciting a roar of approval as PA PA YA! then sees all vestiges of control dispensed with.
There’s a constantly upbeat feel with the band, and looking beyond the spectacle, their positive and empowering lyrics lift as the arena full of mobile phone lights gives an otherworldly beauty to Monochrome. It’s back to chaos and circle pits for Gimme Chocolate!! And with the superfast fretwork and flag-waving finale of Road Of Resistance, the Japanese Titans sealed their victory.