Lordi Credit: courtesy the artist

Plenty of metal bands use horror to sharpen their fangs, but few are as transparent about their interest in courting pop music with goblins and ghouls as Finland’s Lordi. And few have been as successful as Lordi. In 2006 the band performed dressed in elaborate monster costumes—as is their signature—for the long-running, multinational Eurovision Songwriting Contest. Long-haired front man Mr. Lordi wore platform boots, demonic battle armor, makeup that’s essentially a collection of deep gashes and horns, and black wings that emerged from his back during the breakdown of “Hard Rock Hallelujah,” a ballad filled with lyrical riffs on horror cliches. Weird, sure, but they did something right and won the contest. Since then Lordi haven’t strayed far from their love of bloody horror and hard rock. Last year’s Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy) (AFM) twists their obsessions into cheeky and cheesy shapes: the thin 80s synths on “Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be the Beast-Man in the Masters of the Universe)” are as self-aware as the send-up of the old animated TV show is silly. It’s not often that Lordi comes stateside, but this show might also be extraspecial given the calendar date—there are few more unique ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day than seeing Lordi perform the chugging nu-metal single “Hug You Hardcore.” The lyrics, which blur carnal and carnage, say it all: “I wanna rip you open / Swing a wrecking ball inside.”   v