Lordi Unleash Hammer Horror Hell At The Electric Ballroom

Forget An American Werewolf in London. This was more Finnish Monsters in Camden as berserk, Eurovision-conquering Metal beasts Lordi descended on the capitol. With the heroic speed crew of All For Metal and bewitching Goth Metal outfit Crimson Veil along for the ride, this promised to be an entertaining evening of full-on rock mayhem, and the capitol may never be the same again.

Lordi

Electric Ballroom, Camden – 3 April 2024

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: Manuela Langotsch

Lordi - Electric Ballroom, Camden - 3 April 2024
Lordi – Electric Ballroom, Camden – 3 April 2024. Photo: Manuela Langotsch/MetalTalk

It is hard to believe that it was eighteen years ago that Lordi made history as the first true hard rock band to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Their distinct brand of Heavy Metal mixed with glam, all wrapped in a horror film image, was unlike anything seen on the show before.

It was a bold move, but the band already had a track history of defying expectation and with the steady, clawed hand of Mr Lordi at the rudder, this good ship sailed the choppy waters and became a worldwide sensation.

Whilst this may be peak exposure, there is lots more to the Finnish quintet than just their headline-making performance, the band already having more than earned their spurs on constant tours and with eighteenth album Screem Writers Guild receiving public and critical acclaim they have no intention of stopping.

Lordi - Electric Ballroom, Camden - 3 April 2024
Lordi – Electric Ballroom, Camden – 3 April 2024. Photo: Manuela Langotsch/MetalTalk

Following their last trip to these shores, opening arena tours for Sabaton last year, it was a very welcome return to see the band playing a full set, up close and personal, in the less cavernous Electric Ballroom.

Never short of ambition, the use of KISS’s God Of Thunder as their full-length intro points the way to their being natural successors to the now-retired New Yorkers crown as the globe’s premium costumed Metallers.

Lordi - Electric Ballroom, Camden - 3 April 2024
Lordi – Electric Ballroom, Camden – 3 April 2024. Photo: Manuela Langotsch/MetalTalk

This is grand guignol theatre at its most visceral, as the five creatures onstage tear into the material with an indecent lust for destruction that would make Alice Cooper blanche as Unliving Picture Show weaves its air-punching spell, hooks akimbo.

Lordi - Electric Ballroom, Camden - 3 April 2024
Lordi – Electric Ballroom, Camden – 3 April 2024. Photo: Manuela Langotsch/MetalTalk

Beneath the masks and outfits, Lordi are doubtlessly one of the tightest bands around, their interplay and ability to blend big melodies, anthemic choruses and freight train riffs coming in a breathless rush.

As with All For Metal, there’s a knowing wink to the absurdity of all this, but they also share the knowledge that this is a life commitment to something they truly love and that passion is reflected in the faces of every audience member there being roasted by their fiery blast.

Lordi - Electric Ballroom, Camden - 3 April 2024
Lordi – Electric Ballroom, Camden – 3 April 2024. Photo: Manuela Langotsch/MetalTalk

The dualing between guitarist Kone and Hella’s keys during a frantic Lucyfer Prime Evil is an early highlight, the sparks flying from the stage igniting further fervour and the spine-chilling stomp of Blood Red Sandman is welcomed like the old friend this fan favourite has always been.

With a Star Wars-based drum solo by Mana and Jurassic Park wig out during his time in the spotlight by bass player Hiisi, everyone gets to shine in their own glow-in-the-dark way, the emphasis on fun.

The film theme continues as Kone tears out the theme to Top Gun during his sole slot, and with solos being somewhat of an anathema these days, these welcome bits of high voltage showing off create nothing but smiles.

Lordi - Electric Ballroom, Camden - 3 April 2024
Lordi – Electric Ballroom, Camden – 3 April 2024. Photo: Manuela Langotsch/MetalTalk

Laden with various effects, Mr Lordi himself makes his own big impression, be it with his portable smoke machine or extending wings. The main man is a hulking and magnetic presence whenever he’s onstage.

It might not have the bubblegum appeal of the aforementioned KISS, but with a back catalogue of songs like Who’s Your Daddy, Devil Is A Loser, and Would You Love A Monsterman?, Lordi’s ability to write wonderfully insane and catchy numbers has never been doubted.

Lordi - Electric Ballroom, Camden - 3 April 2024
Lordi – Electric Ballroom, Camden – 3 April 2024. Photo: Manuela Langotsch/MetalTalk

With the evening closing with a celebratory Hard Rock Hallelujah, it was all over in a shower of red glitter and smiles all around, the feeling that beneath the masks, Lordi were grinning too at their much-deserved triumph this evening.

Promising to return soon, it won’t be long before the Finns are treading the boards once more over here, laying waste to towns and cities as they ravage the world with their Hammer Horror rock ‘n’ roll.

It’s Halloween every night with this crew, and that’s a very good thing indeed.

Lordi - Electric Ballroom, Camden - 3 April 2024
Lordi – Electric Ballroom, Camden – 3 April 2024. Photo: Manuela Langotsch/MetalTalk
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