This is not an easy album to rate. First of all, Ludor is a fictitious band – they don’t really exist. This is a made up band for a Swedish movie called “Mammas Pojkar” (Mama’s Boys) and the music here is specially written for this movie by singer Mats Levén (Candlemass, Therion, Krux, Treat, Yngwie Malmsteen, Abstrakt Algebra) and producer / engineer Jimmy Lagnefors who both play everything on the album, except for the drums which are done by Henke Johansson (Clawfinger). So, Ludor (a name that will call for a smirk if Swedish is your native tongue) isn’t a real band, but a live debut has already been done and at the premiere of the movie three songs were played by Levén, Lagnefors, drummer Chris Antonopolous, guitarist Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall, Poodles, Talisman, Great King Rat) and bass player Nalles Påhlsson (Therion, Treat, Last Autumn’s Dream) and apparently, more shows might be added due to demand. But the hard thing to do here is to rate it the right way. I mean, when I listen to the songs, the lyrics mostly make me smile a bit because it’s easy to hear that the boys aren’t one bit serious with this and the whole thing comes off like a bit of a piss take. I don’t wanna use the word joke here because that would be to disparage the writers. But shall I rate this as just another metal album or rate it for the fictitious band it is?
A little bit of both, I guess. What I can say for sure though, is that if you find the lyrics to be somewhat cliché and pubertal, then this album is not to be taken seriously. This is tongue-in-cheek all the way and even if it’s nothing like Steel Panther, the principle is the same. Take it for what it is – some cool music and a bit of a laugh!
So here we go. The first song, “Ride The Vapor”, kind of sets the standard for the record. Heavy Metal à la Judas Priest and a very good metal track no matter how you see it. The title track reminds me of Saxon but this is a bit too goofy and cheesy lyrically for comfort, even if not taken seriously, “Betrayed” is a very good metal ballad, “Hellfire” sounds like Accept and that can only be a good thing, “King Of All” is a killer, metal with a groove and some Eastern touches and “Believe” is a brilliant ballad. We get some classic heavy metal in “Golemn’s Alive” and “Rise And Conquer” might just be best of all, a metal track with a big 70′s feel, but the Manowar lyrics are just a bit too much.
To sum it up, this is a really good metal album and the very talented people involved here makes this spell quality all over – even for you who might look at this as a joke. Many of the songs would easily stand up on their own, had they been written for a serious project with other lyrics. Also, despite a couple of fillers, there are no bad tracks on here and the production is faultless, very much a metal one. For somebody who is into metal I can’t any reason not to get a hold of this. I mean, people still buy Manowar and Helloween albums and this Ludor album, fictitious or not, is better than said bands latter efforts by any standards.
Jon Wilmenius (7/10)
01. Ride The Vapor
02. 777 – The New 666
05. King Of All
06. Piece by Piece
07. Let The Beast Out
09. Golem’s Alive
10. Rise And Conquer