Lordi – Screem Writers Guild Review

Why I torture myself by writing reviews that no one wants is beyond me. Yet, here I am, again delivering you a review for a band you never cared about and did all you could to avoid. It’s not fearlessness that I’m burned out from work, yet sitting here at my desk after work to pen a review for Lordi’s new record, Screem Writers Guild. If anything, it’s pure ignorance. Though I’ve explored every album and every song from these Finnish monsters (sometimes multiple times over the years), I do not fully enjoy their music. But, when I see a new Lordi release, my ignorance overcomes, and I snatch it open immediately. Why I do it, I don’t know. But it’s not like any other writer would dare touch it, thereby dumping unnecessary stress on myself to find it in the bin and claim it. But that’s what I do. Because no one seems to like this band, and I’m the only one stupid enough to review them. That said, you’re all idiots for reading this.

But, Grier, why didn’t you review the seven-album set Lordi released last year? I’m not that stupid. Though I listened to each album at least half a dozen times, I could not bring myself to review them. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. But a single album containing fourteen tracks? No problem. This time around, each song represents an actual or fictitious monster movie during a late-night monster movie marathon. Your host is Nosferuiz, the alter ego of our beloved Rockin’ Ralph Ruiz. The stage is set in the campiest way that even Svengoolie and his fucking idiotic Sventoonie would turn it off. Yet, somehow, I continued.

Before you experience Nosferuiz, Lordi did something unprecedented by starting the album with the heaviest number on the record. “Dead Again Jayne” kicks things off with old-timey horror show keys that explode into a grooving riff and that signature Mr. Lordi gruff. As one would expect, it kicks and screams its way to the song’s hooking chorus. Not a bad way to start the album. Like the opener, “Lucyfer Prime Evil” has some kickin’ riffage, further emphasized by the punchy keys. A little more melodic, the chorus is just as strong as the one in “Dead Again Jayne.” Other songs with hooking choruses that stay with you, even if you don’t want them to, are “Inhumanoid” and “Heavengeance.” Both mid-paced numbers don’t overstay their welcome and deliver ooo-ing and awww-ing choruses with catchy lyrics, and backing vocals directed by the keys.

The album also has some interesting ballady pieces—one good and the other an abomination on humankind. The closing track, “End Credits,” is like nothing I’ve ever heard from the band. Mostly riding on soothing piano and acoustic guitar, the low vocals present a sad, hopeless story. The delivery is honest and avoids the standard kookiness you’d find on damn near every other song the band has written. When the distortion and soaring solo kick in, the band builds the song to a massive conclusion. I’m not gonna lie. I sat there momentarily soaking it in and trying to understand what I had heard. “The Bride” is the other ballad that surprisingly sees Mr. Lordi go completely clean. Though, that somehow makes it more uncomfortable. Add an unbelievable sappiness to the lyrics and the gawd awful country twang in the guitars, and you’ll most likely stop the album.

That said, the moment that had me almost give up entirely was toward the end of the album. “The SCG Awards” is a painful minute-and-a-half track representing a monster movie award show. It’s so bad that I almost stopped before hearing “Heavengeance” and “End Credits.” Not to mention, there are plenty of moments when Mr. Lordi’s rattling gruff is grating. Minus these awkward moments and the completely useless “In the Castle of Dracoolove,” Screem Writers Guild is a fun record. Even the idiotically-titled “Lycantropical Island” is a solid piece was a sing-along chorus and impressive solo work. On that note, Lordi employed a new guitarist for this release, and it shows. Never once could I say I enjoyed the guitar solos on a Lordi record. But I’m impressed by the skill. While you should never expect a great album from this crew, if you’re a fan of the band, you’ll find plenty to love on Screem Writers Guild. If you’re not a fan, you never will be.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kb/s mp3
Label: Atomic Fire Records
Websites: lordi.fi | facebook.com/lordiofficial
Releases Worldwide: March 31st, 2023

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