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Lordi @ Manchester Academy 2 review and gallery – Heavy metal theatrics from Eurovision legends

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Featured images and gallery: Gracie Hall

Crimson Veil opens the evening with a dark, enchanting performance on their first UK tour as a band, having formed in February. Their music tells stories through lyrics, melodies and movements of lead singer, Mishkin Fitzgerald. Singer and cellist, Hana Piranha, mirrors Fitzgerald both in movement and in costume.

Wearing long linen dresses, Piranha sports a black outfit with deer antlers, while Fitzgerald is in white with goat horns. Guitarist Garry Mitchell is a menacing figure, a black cloak obscuring his face. Drummer Anna Mylee is equally as mysterious, pairing a white balaclava with a matching white costume. Their set is operatic and theatrical.

All For Metal are a German power-metal group that fill up the stage with their six members, as well as two dancers on stage. As if Thor himself formed a rock group, lead vocalist Tetzel Halbgottschmeid commands the stage with his deep roaring vocals. Other lead vocalist, Antonio Calanna, has an angelic falsetto which creates a wonderful blend of voices adding to the many layers of their performance.

Every member is dressed in viking aesthetics, all equally integral parts; Jassy Pabst on guitar, Florian Toma on bass, Leif Jensen on drums, Tim Kanoa Hansen also on guitar and Luisa and Christina Schulz as dancers. ‘Raise Your Hammer’ particularly plays into the Thor aesthetic, as Tetzel swings around a sledgehammer closely resembling Thor’s Mjölnir.

They tease their upcoming album by performing title song ‘Gods Of Metal’ whilst revealing their motto: ‘All For Metal, Metal For All’. At one point, Tetzel picks up his mic stand and turns it upside down, revealing that it was a huge sword all along. It’s impossible to peel your eyes away for a single second, All For Metal are entertaining from start to finish.

A cloaked figure floats onto the stage, unveiling an older man who launches into an introduction piece for the evening that’s about to unfold. The stage décor is haunting, a door with a face at the centre, surrounded by decals of severed heads and feet that adorn the drum kit and keyboard.

Hella, Mana, Hiisi and Kone enter the stage in ornate costumes, each with a backstory and unique look. Hella is a cracked doll with a white wig, Mana is a Dracula with elephant-like tusks protruding from their face. Hiisi is a hybrid of a crocodile and lizard, while Kone is a robotic gremlin creature. 

Mr. Lordi bursts through the centre in his impressive 7-foot tall, 4-foot wide costume. Resembling a devilled gargoyle, Mr. Lordi is the only familiar member from their infamous 2006 Eurovision winning performance of ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’. Having fronted the band since forming it in 1992, Mr. Lordi is both lead singer and lead creative behind the scenes. He created ‘Lordi lore’, designs their costumes and album covers and even wrote a comic book starring Lordi. 

Celebrating 20 years since the release of The Monsterican Dream and one year since the release of their 18th studio album, Screem Writers Guild, Lordi perform a 17-song set with multiple solos, allowing each member to shine. Hella’s vocals stand out on ‘Scarecrow’, an upbeat song telling a harrowing, far from upbeat story of the next victim of the scarecrow: “You will take his place / up there on the pole”.

Mr. Lordi presents a juxtaposing character when speaking to the crowd, asking everyone to “shake [their] asses” to ‘Thing in the Cage’. Witty and charismatic, the devilish look doesn’t represent Mr. Lordi’s personality. Songs like ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ and ‘Devil Is a Loser’ also shows this ironic side to Lordi and confirms that, despite the theatrics, they don’t take themselves too seriously. 

With influences from the likes of Kiss and Alice Cooper, Lordi represent the shock rock and metal genre, a figurehead for the love that Scandinavians have for heavy music. Fellow Finnish Eurovision rock group Blind Channel are even in attendance at the show, with Lordi acting to support and uplift the new wave of Finnish rock.

Ending the evening with their smash hit ‘Would You Love a Monsterman?’ and of course Eurovision classic ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’, Lordi have rocked Manchester this evening and will probably continue to rock for another 30 years.

About the author / 

Gracie Hall

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