Album Review – Lordi / Lordiversity (2021)

Over four hours of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Thrash Metal, Progressive Rock, Disco, Industrial Rock and so on, masterfully brought into being by the most beloved horde of monsters in the world of music.

Four hours and 43 minutes of music. That’s what you’re going to get in Lordiversity, the brand new (and awesome) boxset by Finnish Heavy Metal and Hard Rock monsters Lordi, containing the band’s eleventh to seventeenth studio albums, those being Skelectric Dinosaur, SuperFlyTrap, The Masterbeast from the Moon, Abusement Park, Humanimals, Abracadaver and Spooky Sextravaganza Spectacular. Recorded right after the COVID-19 pandemic hit as the band had to postpone their tour in support of Killection, Mr. Lordi and his crew decided to use the extra time to start working on more material to release a week after the postponement, and the final result in Lordiversity is simply monumental.

Lordi Lordiversity Limited 7 CD Boxset

Mr. Lordi stated that “It was clear that it is the time to start planning the new album, even though Killection was released not even two months before. I was thinking that the most boring thing we could do after Killection, is to do another basic Lordi album. And I was very much enjoying the different styles of song writing, recording and production on Killection, but another boring idea would have been to do a part two.” With the release years of 1975, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1995 from the fictional eras in the Killection timeline, and with each album presenting its own style and its own killer album art, Lordiversity is a fantastic musical voyage led by Mr. Lordi on vocals and his loyal bandmates Amen on the guitars, Hiisi on bass, Hella on keyboards, and Mana on drums, being not only one of the boldest releases in the history of rock and metal music, but setting the bar absurdly high for the band itself with all of their upcoming albums.

Disc 1 – Skelectric Dinosaur

For Skelectric Dinosaur, the band used the influences of early Kiss and Alice Cooper. The first album offers us all old school Rock N’ Roll and Hard Rock flowing majestically form start to finish. For instance, the very first song Day Off Of The Devil is pure Kiss from their early days as already mentioned. There’s not a single second of boredom; quite the contraty, it’s a rockin’ feast for admirers of rock and metal music from the 70’s, with songs like Carnivore inspiring you to dance in the name of Rock N’ Roll. Amen steals the spotlight in pretty much all songs with his classic riffage, supported of course by the rhythmic beats by Mana.

Best moments of the album: Starsign Spitfire, Carnivore and Phantom Lady.

Worst moments of the album: The King On The Head Staker’s Mountain.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 7: The Arrival 1:09
2. Day Off Of The Devil 3:33
3. Starsign Spitfire 3:03
4. Maximum-O-Lovin’ 2:23
5. The King On The Head Staker’s Mountain 5:21
6. Carnivore 3:30
7. Phantom Lady 3:16
8. The Tragedy Of Annie Mae 3:45
9. Blow My Fuse 3:35
10. …And Beyond The Isle Was Mary 2:15

Disc 2 – SuperFlyTrap

It’s time to hit the dance floor together with Lordi and his crew in SuperFlyTrap, inspired by the bands Earth, Wind & Fire, Boney M. and Bee Gees. As expected, it’s Hella who shines in each and every song of the album thanks obviously to her stunning keys, as for example in the melodic and fun Believe Me. In addition, the female vocals add a touch of finesse to the overall results, with catchy tunes like Macho Freak and Spooky Jive paying a beautiful and exciting tribute to the Disco years. Put differently, I bet you’ll start doing that classic move with your arm and finger up and down during the entire album without even noticing.

Best moments of the album: Macho Freak, Spooky Jive and City Of The Broken Hearted.

Worst moments of the album: Cinder Ghost Choir.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 6: Delightful Pop-Ins 1:08
2. Macho Freak 3:42
3. Believe Me 4:27
4. Spooky Jive 3:55
5. City Of The Broken Hearted 4:02
6. Bella From Hell 3:26
7. Cast Out From Heaven 3:51
8. Gonna Do It (Or Do It And Cry) 2:51
9. Zombimbo 4:52
10. Cinder Ghost Choir 6:06

Disc 3 – The Masterbeast from the Moon

      

On The Masterbeast from the Moon, the band was influenced by Rush and Pink Floyd, which is why you can expect long and sinister passages, endless progressiveness, and Hella’s phantasmagorical keys. Songs like Celestial Serpents and Church Of Succubus have a very pleasant pace and vibe, while others such as Moonbeast and Bells Of The Netherworld lack an extra kick and make the album drag for a little longer than it should. If Progressive Rock is your cup of tea you’ll have a very good time listening to the entire album; otherwise, you can take one listen at it just because it’s part of the boxset and then go for the heavier albums.

Best moments of the album: Celestial Serpents and Church Of Succubus.

Worst moments of the album: Moonbeast and Bells Of The Netherworld.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 5: Transmission Request 1:35
2. Moonbeast 6:29
3. Celestial Serpents 6:07
4. Hurricane Of The Slain 3:00
5. Spear Of The Romans 5:46
6. Bells Of The Netherworld 3:01
7. Transmission Reply 0:20
8. Church Of Succubus 11:58
9. Soliloquy 1:51
10. Robots Alive! 4:09
11. Yoh-Haee-Von 1:17
12. Transmission On Repeat 1:04

Disc 4 – Abusement Park

Set on a fictional timeline of 1983 and 1984, Abusement Park has a classic Heavy Metal sound influenced by W.A.S.P., Twisted Sister, Kiss and Scorpions, and includes a Christmas-themed single, entitled Merry Blah Blah Blah. The band wastes no time and begin slashing their sonic weapons already in the title-track Abusement Park, with Mr. Lordi kicking ass on vocals. And that’s the formula followed throughout the album, with Amen delivering his trademark solos nonstop in a lecture in 80’s classic Heavy Metal. In other words, if they had launched only this album, that would have already been awesome.

Best moments of the album: Abusement Park, House Of Mirrors, Pinball Machine and Rollercoaster.

Worst moments of the album: Ghost Train.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 4: The Carnival Barker 0:54
2. Abusement Park 3:33
3. Grrr! 3:48
4. Ghost Train 3:18
5. Carousel 4:24
6. House Of Mirrors 3:51
7. Pinball Machine 3:34
8. Nasty, Wild & Naughty 3:10
9. Rollercoaster 4:45
10. Up To No Good 4:02
11. Merry Blah Blah Blah 4:05

Disc 5 – Humanimals     

The AOR influenced sound in Humanimals is influenced by Bon Jovi, Desmond Child and Alice Cooper, and Mr. Lordi and his band of monsters make sure that’s crystal clear in all of the songs form the album, such as in Borderline. Mana and Hiisi are the stars here always generating an upbeat vibe with their respective beats and bass lines, turning songs like Heart Of A Lion and Like A Bee To The Honey into dancing feasts, always spiced up by Hella’s whimsical keys.

Best moments of the album: Borderline, Heart Of A Lion and Like A Bee To The Honey.

Worst moments of the album: Humanimal.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 3: Scarctic Circle Telethon 1:20
2. Borderline 4:12
3. Victims Of The Romance 3:47
4. Heart Of A Lion 4:33
5. The Bullet Bites Back 4:07
6. Be My Maniac 3:40
7. Rucking Up The Party 4:07
8. Girl In A Suitcase 4:07
9. Supernatural 3:49
10. Like A Bee To The Honey 4:15
11. Humanimal 3:53

Disc 6 – Abracadaver     

Now this is the real deal. Set on a fictional timeline for 1991, Abracadaver is inspired by Anthrax, Metallica and Pantera, which makes it by far the heaviest, fastest and most demonic of all seven albums. It’s impossible to stand still to the sonic devastation blasted by the most awesome monsters hailing from Scandinavia, with the title-track Abracadaver sounding not only heavy and piercing, but also spooky, which is always a good thing. You’ll bang your head, raise your horns and scream together with Mr. Lordi in songs like Rejected, Raging At Tomorrow and Beast Of Both Worlds, just the way we all like it in heavy-as-hell music.

Best moments of the album: Devilium, Abracadaver, Beast Of Both Worlds and Bent Outta Shape.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 2: Horricone 1:18
2. Devilium 3:46
3. Abracadaver 3:41
4. Rejected 3:44
5. Acid Bleeding Eyes 3:28
6. Raging At Tomorrow 5:01
7. Beast Of Both Worlds 4:59
8. I’m Sorry I’m Not Sorry 3:34
9. Bent Outta Shape 5:05
10. Evil 4:35
11. Vulture Of Fire 3:47
12. Beastwood 0:56

Disc 7 – Spooky Sextravaganza Spectacular       

The last record, from 1995, is a machine-made beast titled Spooky Sextravaganza Spectacular. That means the band added electronic elements to their music, flirting with Industrial Metal and Rock the likes of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. It’s quite impressive how a Hard Rock band like Lordi was capable of sounding so industrial in all songs of the album, with Demon Supreme, Skull And Bones (The Danger Zone) and Shake The Baby Silent being strong candidates to spice up any Rock N’ Roll party, including yours. Needless to say, Mana’s classic beats and Hella’s electrifying keys are the main ingredients throughout the album, adding a welcome industrialized touch of insanity to the overall result.

Best moments of the album: Demon Supreme, Skull And Bones (The Danger Zone) and Shake The Baby Silent.

Worst moments of the album: Goliath.

Track listing
1. SCG Minus 1: The Ruiz Ranch Massacre 3:26
2. Demon Supreme 3:31
3. Re-Animate 4:13
4. Lizzard Of Oz 4:08
5. Killusion 3:09
6. Skull And Bones (The Danger Zone) 3:16
7. Goliath 4:41
8. Drekavac 3:28
9. Terror Extra-Terrestrial 4:30
10. Shake The Baby Silent 3:36
11. If It Ain’t Broken (Must Break It) 3:24
12. Anticlimax 0:18

After listening to each and every track from the seven albums from Lordiversity, I personally found it truly impressive how Lordi managed to keep the whole project fresh and exciting from start to finish, avoiding repeating themselves or sounding basic or bland depending on the style chosen. That, my friends, undoubtedly required a lot of creativity, hard work and passion for what they do, and if you want to show your admiration for those unstoppable Finnish monsters you can give them a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel, stream more of their amazing creations on Spotify, and of course purchase the ass-kicking Lordiversity from several locations such as Napalm Records, AFM Records and Record Shop X. And as soon as you put your hands on Lordiversity, simply block your agenda for the rest of the day (or even the entire week or month) because a massive, breathtaking Rock N’ Roll party is about to start and has no time to end.

Released in 2021 AFM Records

Band members
Mr. Lordi – lead and backing vocals, guitars, programming, whistle, orchestration
Amen – guitars
Hiisi – bass guitar
Hella – keyboards, backing vocals
Mana – drums, backing vocals, programming

Guest musicians
Ralph Ruiz – vocals
Dylan Broda – vocals
Tracy Lipp – vocals, backing vocals
Michael Monroe – saxophone on “Like a Bee to the Honey”
Annariina Rautanen – flute on “Moonbeast” and “Yoh-Haee-Von”
Tony Kakko – backing vocals on “Rollercoaster”
Joonas Suotamo – Chewbacca voice on “Grrr!”
Kari A. Kilgast – vocals on “Like a Bee to the Honey”
Hulk the Bulldog – voice on “Beastwood”
Maki Kolehmainen – cowbell, backing vocals
John Bartolome – vocals
Lara Anastasia Mertanen – intro lead on “Drekavac”
Jessica Love, Maria Jyrkäs, Kaarle Westlie, Ville Virtanen, Olli Virtanen, Isabella Larsson, Noora Kosmina, Katja Auvinen, Riitta Hyyppä, Josefin Silén, Minna Virtanen, Antton Ruusunen, Niki Westerback, Marja Kortelainen, Tom Roine, Netta Laurenne – backing vocals
Lumen Broda, Leia Broda, Lili Wasenius, Aviana Westerback, Roxana Westerback – children vocals

Interview – Silver Nightmares

It’s time to dive into the progressive dreams of Italian rockers Silver Nightmares in this exclusive interview where they talk about their debut EP The Wandering Angel, their biggest challenges as a band and their main influences in music.

Alessio Maddaloni and Gabriele Esposito (Silver Nightmares)

The Headbanging Moose: First of all, thank you guys for the interview. Let’s start with a very simple question, which is who is Silver Nightmares? Could you please talk a little about the band, your origins and your mission?

Alessio Maddaloni: It’s a real pleasure for us! Thank you for the interview and for your support!  The band was formed in Palermo in 2018 by bassist Gabriele Esposito, keyboardist Gabriele Taormina and me on drums. It was a “strange meeting” ’cause we were involved in another band! We had “different views” with the leader of the band, we were quite unsatisfied, so we decided to split and to create a new band. We know it’s impossible to make something “unique” in music but we wanted to mix our various influences to create a “recognizable trademarked sound”. This is our mission 😉

THM: Why has the band gone through so many lineup changes in such a short period of time, as Silver nightmares was just formed a couple of years ago? I mean, what was the main reason for having an unstable lineup until now?

AM: Here in Palermo there are a lot of great musicians but it’s difficult to meet someone interested in creating unreleased music. We, the founders, coexist harmoniously but we were searching for motivated and “enthusiastic people” to play with. We went through several configurations (that’s why we turned our first moniker from “Silver Dreams” to the new one “Silver Nightmares”) until arriving at our current line-up with Mimmo Garofalo (guitars), who some years ago played with Gabriele Taormina in a prog band called Bright Horizon, and Michele Vitrano (vocals) and Tody Nuzzo (guitars), who played with me and Gabriele Esposito in a heavy metal cover band (HM80).

THM: You’ve just released your debut album, entitled The Wandering Angel. Can you give us more details about the album? What’s the main idea or theme behind it, and how happy is the band with the final result?

Gabriele Esposito: Our concept album is about the loss of the human spirituality. Being spiritual to us is more than being religious. Whereas the word “religion” generally refers to organized forms of worship and a wider faith community, “spiritual” often describes people’s private individual beliefs. “Our wandering angel” is coming from a distant star, the star of life. He falls down from heaven and begins its path on earthly contamination. Between heroes of the past and shrewd characters nowadays the real meter of his research will be the journey into the universe. We’re really happy of the result we achieved! We would like to thank all the magazines, fanzines, radio broadcasting for their support.

THM: As a fully independent band, what were the main issues you faced during the recording of The Wandering Angel, and what went better than expected? I’m sure you have a ton of “lessons learned” to share with us.

GE: Well said! It’s not easy for fully independent artists to make the most of every recording session and it is very important to make the right choices. For the pre-production of the EP, we worked out as much as we could before stepping into the studio. Fortunately, we contacted some professionals for the recording, mixing and for the mastering of our work. We didn’t want a “prefabricated sound” (I mean no drum triggers). Of course, there were some mistakes too but as a first studio experience, we think our final result was pretty good.

THM: The entire album carries a very pleasant and cohesive vibe, with each song maintaining pretty much the same level of electricity and a polished yet raw sonority. How did you guys manage to reach such high level of quality and professionalism in your debut album?

Album Review – Silver Nightmares / The Wandering Angel EP (2020)

GE: Thanks indeed for your compliments! We tried to do our best. Well, as I said before, our EP is a concept album so all the songs are interconnected. For us this was achieved through our central lyrical theme. It was very natural to keep a cohesive vibe and quite the same level of electricity. I mean it was not a deliberate choice… Music guided our journey 🙂 I think this could be our trademark in the future: Let the music guide you and everything will be fine!

THM: One of the songs of the album, D.D. (Dick Dastardly), is obviously your personal tribute to one of the greatest villains in the history of cartoons. How did you come up with the idea of paying a tribute to such unique character, and when and how did you decide it was going to be an instrumental track?

AM: Such is my passion for this cartoon!! 🙂 As you said, Dick is one of the greatest villains in the history of cartoons. He is dishonest, selfish and unsportsmanlike. He definitely wants to win! In life there are a lot of people like him… who fail from the start… About the track… we decided it was going to be an instrument track following the advice of Mimmo Garofalo. We had already written the lyrics but we liked his suggestion and we changed our minds.

THM: How’s the current rock and metal scene in your hometown Palermo and in the entire Sicily? I’m pretty sure that now with all this COVID-19 situation not only the bands but also the venues all over Italy might be struggling to survive. Are you guys experiencing the same issues right now, and how are you dealing with that?

GE: Yep 😦 Fortunately the curve has started to descend and the death toll is also starting to drop. Here in Italy all the venues were closed and there was no chance to rehearse. We stand waiting for better times. During this period of lockdown we began writing new stuff for a full length album and we tried to promote our EP the best we could.

THM: What your main inspirations in music and in life in general? Also, which bands do you dream of sharing the stage one day in Italy, or which rock and metal festivals do you dream of playing anywhere in the world?

Gabriele Taormina: We are music addicted! We have a lot of different influences and tastes. Alessio likes a lot bands like Testament, Judas Priest, Savatage, Annihilator, Marillion, Transiberian Orchestra, Anvil, Jethro Tull. Gabriele Esposito loves fusion but also bands like Supertramp, Toto, Beatles, Iron Maiden, King Crimson, Triumph, Peter Gabriel. I’m mostly into the Prog/A.O.R scene I love Kansas, Queensryche, Ten, Asia, Anathema, Dream Theater, Katatonia, Rush, the Swedish prog etc… I think it could be interesting to share the stage with some of the Italian prog bands. As you know, there is a great “progressive rock” tradition here in Italy. It would be awesome too to play our music in ENGLAND. The homeland of progressive rock 😉 Well, about metal festivals…Progfest, Wacken, Hellfest? 🙂 Why not? 🙂 I have many things to say and write but I’ll stop here, even because dreaming doesn’t cost anything! 🙂

Gabriele Taormina (Silver Nightmares)

THM: How was your agenda before the lockdown began due to COVID-19? Was the band being scheduled to play all over Sicily, Italy and anywhere else? And what are your plans for after this crisis is over?

GT: We were starting to rehearse with a stable line-up in view of some dates/festivals here to play all over Sicily. We hope this crisis will be over soon! As Gabriele Esposito said, during the lockdown we also began writing songs for the new Cd. We already have some interesting stuff 🙂 We hope to rehearse soon. Time will tell 🙂

THM: Once again, thank you very much for spending some time with us. Please feel free to share anything you want with our readers, including where they can buy your music, and I hope to hear more from Silver Nightmares in a not-so-distant future!

GT: Thank you for the opportunity you have given us today to discuss and to introduce Silver Nightmares! Our EP is available on all the digital stores and CD format (but it’s a special limited edition, 300 copies). We’re also on Bandcamp. If some of your readers is interested in our EP. It’s quite simple to order it! You just need to contact us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Bandcamp or to check the site of the italian label Artewiva. Prog on! 😉

Links
Silver Nightmares Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music | BandCamp

Album Review – Silver Nightmares / The Wandering Angel EP (2020)

The sounds of the angels of Progressive Rock and Metal in the form of an exciting six-track EP brought into being by five talented musicians from Italy.

Formed in 2018 in Palermo, the capital of the Italian island of Sicily, by bassist Gabriele Esposito, drummer Alessio Maddaloni and keyboardist Gabriele Taormina, Progressive Rock/Metal band Silver Nightmares went through several lineup changes until reaching their current shape and form with Mimmo Garofalo on the guitars, and as the band solidified their lineup it was just a matter of time until they released their debut opus, a very entertaining 26-minute EP entitled The Wandering Angel. Featuring guest appearances by vocalists Simone Bonomo and Michele Vitrano, guitarist Tody Nuzzo, flutist Giulio Maddaloni and trumpeter Davide Severino, The Wandering Angel brings an array of styles such as Progressive Rock, AOR, Heavy Metal and Classical Music, highly influenced by iconic names such as Asia, Genesis, Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Styx, Kansas, Toto, Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull, Foreigner, Dream Theater, Opeth, Ghost, Marillion, Anathema, Katatonia, Judas Priest and Ten, just to name a few.

And to properly kick things off in The Wandering Angel, an angelical intro morphs into a feast of progressiveness in the title-track The Wandering Angel, where the keys by Gabriele Taormina match perfectly with Simone’s HIM-like vocals, not to mention all the electricity flowing from their guitars and the song’s beautiful, poetic lyrics (“Falling down from the sky / I’m a body without colour / In a world without love / I’ve lost my broken wings / Looking up at earth and sea  / Plotting very distant sighs / The colour of the human skin / Is still an enigma”). Following such powerful start we’re treated to D.D. (Dick Dastardly), a tribute to one of the coolest villains in the history of cartoons (even bringing his trademark scream “Mutley, do something!”), where the band blends heavy and progressive elements with the ass-kicking trumpet and flute by guests Davide and Giulio, respectively, resulting in a fun and vibrant instrumental extravaganza; whereas futuristic elements permeate the air in Light Years Away, with Alessio being in total sync with the band’s guitars, therefore generating a dense ambience perfect for Michele and his Helloween-inspired vocals in a pure Progressive Metal feast with heavy and melodic nuances.

Simone returns in full force with his deeper vocals in David The King, narrating the epic story of a dauntless king while his bandmates keep embellishing the airwaves with their refined skills, with the guitar solos blasted by Mimmo being absolutely outstanding as well as the groovy and classy bass punches by Gabriele Esposito; followed by another epic musical journey titled Dame Nature, led by Mimmo’s electrified riffs and Gabriele Taormina’s whimsical keys while Alessio keeps pounding his drums nonstop, resulting in what’s by far the most progressive and melodic of all songs, full of breaks and variations and spiced up by crisp guitar solos and delicate key notes. And closing the EP we have The Wandering Angel (Radio Edit), a slightly different version of what’s in my opinion the most enfolding and captivating of all tracks, being shorter in duration (mainly due to the removal of its intro) but still presenting all of the amazing details of the original version.

The Wandering Angel is available for a full and deep listen on Spotify, but of course if you love underground metal with a huge focus on the progressive and storytelling side of the business you should definitely purchase the EP from Apple Music, or go to the ARTEWIVA website for all details about the band and where to buy and stream the album. Also, don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook and to subscribe to their YouTube channel, providing Silver Nightmares the fuel they need to keep on rockin’ and invading our senses with their stylish music for many years to come, bringing the sounds of the angels of rock music to our hearts and souls.

Best moments of the album: The Wandering Angel and Light Years Away.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. The Wandering Angel 4:33
2. D.D. (Dick Dastardly) 3:23
3. Light Years Away 4:00
4. David The King 3:54
5. Dame Nature 6:40
6. The Wandering Angel (Radio Edit) 3:38

Band members
Mimmo Garofalo – lead and rhythm guitars
Gabriele Esposito – bass
Gabriele Taormina – keyboards
Alessio Maddaloni – drums, percussion

Guest musicians
Simone Bonomo – lead and backing vocals
Michele Vitrano – lead and backing vocals
Tody Nuzzo – guitars
Giulio Maddaloni – flute
Davide Severino – trumpet