Screem Writers Guild

Atomic Fire
rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Dead Again Jayne
02. SCG XVIII: Nosferuiz Horror Show
03. Unliving Picture Show
04. Inhumanoid
05. Thing In The Cage
06. Vampyro Fang Club
07. The Bride
08. Lucyfer Prime Evil
09. Scarecrow
10. Lycantropical Island
11. In The Castle Of Dracoolove
12. The SCG Awards
13. Heavengeance
14. End Credits

For fans of infernally catchy hard rock performed by mutant gonks from outer space, LORDI have been an increasingly fertile source of delight in recent times. You might even say that Mr. Lordi has been spoiling us. The Finnish band's most recent album, "Lordiversity", was, in fact, seven albums in one and a genuinely audacious outpouring of joyously goofy ideas and their flamboyant execution. The best parts of "Lordiversity" took the band into new realms: the disco-metal explosion of "Superflytrap" was like getting a whole album of "I Was Born For Loving You"-style bangers; "The Masterbeast From The Moon" took LORDI into gleefully pompous STYX territory. Taken in its demented entirety, "Lordiversity" added lots of new layers to the band's identity, while providing the diehards with a vast amount of new material to chew on. One year and a few months later, LORDI have produced a follow-up and, praise the cartoon beast, it is 56 minutes long and more easily digestible than its opulent predecessor. Laudably, it also reveals the result of all that genre-hopping: "Screem Writers Guild" showcases a newly adventurous LORDI, albeit still firmly devoted to big riffs and massive choruses.

A concept album of sorts, "Screem Writers Guild" plays out like a twisted musical, with numerous faux-macabre spoken word interludes and lashings of cinematic ambience amidst nods to '70s and '80s horror flicks. In between, LORDI dish out some of their sharpest songs in years. Admittedly, there is every opportunity to play 'spot the steal,' and ALICE COOPER and OZZY OSBOURNE are both regular reference points. But when songs are as deliriously knuckleheaded as "Lucyfer Prime Evil", or as unnervingly slick and radio-friendly as "Vampyro Fang Club" and the sublime "In The Castle Of Dracoolove", the fact that LORDI are direct descendants of the aforementioned hardly seems a negative. Elsewhere, that pesky disco fever returns for the thudding freakshow of "Thing In The Cage", while "The Bride" is a lachrymose power ballad, delivered with a straight face and a huge eye-twinkle.

A fitting crescendo at the end of an exhilarating ghost train ride, "End Credits" is Mr. Lordi's symphonic rock "My Way" moment. Greatly aided by a stunning solo from latest recruit, guitarist Kone, the Finn delivers gloriously overwrought curtain call that nudges towards MEATLOAF levels of emotional bombast. What next? LORDI, The Musical? Oh, go on then. Keep spoiling us.

Author: Dom Lawson
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