Label: Nuclear Blast
Children of Bodom needs no introduction. Formed in 1993, the band has been going strong. After a 4-year break, the hate crew is finally back with the brand new release “Hexed”. This is the first album without the now-former guitarist Roope Latvala. The band apparently composed the album as a four-piece and Antti Wirman filled Mr. Latvala’s part for the recording. However, the line-up seems to be stable for now as the band welcomed Daniel Freyberg as the new guitarist.
It’s been a while since I picked up a CoB album and listened to it from the beginning to the end.. As you can imagine, this band meant a lot to people my age (phew… I feel old now) as they were one of the few that introduced melodic finnish metal to the masses. Why am I telling you this? Well, at the first spin, “Hexed” brought back one hell of a nostalgia and that feeling where the memories are refreshed, and I was able to say “Fuck yes, they are back!”. Alexi Laiho and his crew deliver just the perfect type of death metal – filled with catchy keys and the refreshing riffs as well as that signature vocals that we are all familiar with. The sound, in general, is also a great mixture of that old CoB essence that we all love but surely the band also added a bit of their modernized touch and show us how their vision and perspective changed over the years.
The biggest highlight “Hexed” offers is the integration of the keys to the overall album. Surely, this is quite one of the key elements of the band’s sound but these keys were what makes this album so smooth; at times I even got that old symphonic metal (aka Nightwish) vibe from a few songs like “Glass Houses”, “Hecate’s Nightmare” and “Knuckleduster”. This also adds a rather ‘fun’ and maybe a bit of a mainstream approach in the band’s sound but surely makes the album colorful yet ‘rough’, especially considering the 4-year-break the band had and a little band drama with the former guitarist. As a matter of fact, I sometimes felt like Mr. Laiho’s vocals seemed a bit worn-out and tired but this doesn’t affect the overall energy of the record and well… just a personal gut feeling.
What a great comeback with “Hexed”. It is dark, death metal to the bone and well… fun! So awesome to hear that good old finnish death metal in a brand new approach. Get it!
Highlights: This Road, Knuckleduster, Hecate’s Nightmare
- Alexi Laiho – guitars & vocals
- Jaska Raatikainen – drums
- Henkka Blacksmith – bass
- Janne Wirman – keyboards
- Daniel Freyberg – guitars
01. This Road
02. Under Grass and Clover
03. Glass Houses
04. Hecate’s Nightmare
05. Kick in a Spleen
06. Platitudes and Barren Words
08. Relapse (The Nature of My Crime)
09. Say Never Look Back
10. Soon Departed
12. I Worship Chaos (Live)
13. Morrigan (Live)
14. Knuckleduster (Remix)