If you are a fan of virtuosic guitar as I am, than you have probably been well aware of CHILDREN OF BODOM for quite some time. Alexi Laiho never ceases to amaze me. Not everything he does is knock my socks off good, but it ALWAYS has kept my attention which alone is a feat in and of itself. So when they announced a new album, I was already anxious to hear what the Finnish boys would have for me this time around. Their latest contribution to the world of metal titled I Worship Chaos (out today, Nuclear Blast Records) is nothing short of another great CoB album. With soaring solos of the cleanest nature Laiho once again showcases his fantastic technique and melodic soloing capability.
The deletion of former rhythm guitarist Roope Latvala and the addition of new slinger Antti Wirman would make one expect a drastic change in sound. This is not the case. While there is a slight difference from albums past, the change is a welcome one. On to the album. The first track “I Hurt” starts off the record straight away. A harking back to the days of early BODOM. Crispy rhythm and crunchy tones abound right from the start. You will notice an increase in the prominence of the keys and synths on this album. Janne Wirman steps up to the plate swinging on this album. “My Bodom (I Am the Only One)” is an instant favorite. Fitting comfortably into the template these guys have so nicely built. A banger. Another thing you will notice is the replacement of keyboard solos where there would normally have been a guitar solo. This tune has both.
“Morrigan” was released as a single pre-album release. It grabbed me right by the curly hairs. This is what I have come to expect from the fellas. Amazing leads, great keyboard work, and abrasive vocals. The main reason I like the band. Not the same shit you continue to hear by every other band. “Horns” seems almost out of place. A straight-ahead death metal track. I want an entire CoB album of THIS. “Prayer For the Afflicted”, is a saddening track. Not the upbeat, almost happy guitar riff you’ve come to expect from them. This song is quite the opposite. Kind of a death metal ballad if that is possible. Not bad, just very different for Laiho and company.
The title track “I Worship Chaos” pours in with a renewing vitality after a slow song. Even though it is not a favorite one, its vigor is welcoming after track five and it contains a great synth and guitar solo. “Hold your Tongue.” THIS. So much this. A wonderful example of why they are a great melodic death metal band. They just do it so well. The riff is crushing. I love the way they make complicated riffs seem simple and fitting. Alexi Laiho has a knowledge of the instrument that very few musicians of the last 20 years possess. It shows with bright colors. “Suicide Bomber” sounds like something from the late 90’s. Not really my cup of tea. Gang vocals and a slight CRADLE OF FILTH feel to it. Not a bad tune, just not what I was wanting. Another solo from hell though.
“All For Nothing”, right from the beginning, is a track I could have done without. Least favorite of the whole album. Too downtrodden and doesn’t fit with the rest. Sadly, a throwaway track. Every album needs filler. Much like a pie. But the things you fill it with are what comprises the totality of it all. This could have been left out. Other than a great synth/guitar piece, forgettable. Closer “Widdershins” does a nice job of pulling the curtain on very solid release. Solos for days.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “My Bodom (I Am the Only One)”, “Hold Your Tongue”, “I Hurt”, “Morrigan”
-MYKE WITH A “Y”