March 4, 2019 Children Of Bodom – Hexed (Album Review)
Loud, dangerous, and outright nasty. These words best describe Finland’s Metal assailants known globally as Children Of Bodom. A rabid mix of convulsing sounds, whether we label the style of the band as Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal, or Thrash, the fact remains that Children Of Bodom are one deranged and beautiful force of music. Standing tall, Children Of Bodom are proudly releasing their tenth overall studio album, Hexed, on Friday, March 8, 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records.
For over 20 years, Children Of Bodom have designed a hauntingly polished sound that incorporates melodic and speed heavy guitar, hammering double bass drums, ghostly keyboards, and grim vocals. Always at their best, Children Of Bodom shine throughout their impressive catalog on albums like 1999’s Hatebreeder, 2003’s Hate Crew Deathroll, and 2005’s Are You Dead Yet? Not only are Children Of Bodom masters of a finely tuned record, the band has become a rising force on worldwide concert stages. Dominant, Children Of Bodom cut their teeth and now reign via constant touring that has seen the band play to thousands at festivals such as Wacken Open Air in Germany. Highly regarded by their peers, Children Of Bodom have shared the stage with major acts such as The Black Dahlia Murder, Lamb of God, Megadeth, and Black Label Society. The world over, Metal fans from Russia, Australia, Hong Kong, and New York City have all bore witness to the blistering and luring live show that is Children Of Bodom.
At the core of this Finnish powerhouse, Children Of Bodom consist of founders Alexi Laiho (vocals/guitar) and Jaska Raatikainen (drums), joined by longtime bandmates Janne Wirman (keyboards), Henkka Seppälä (bass), and, shredding for the band since 2016, Daniel Freyberg (guitar). On to the new album, for Hexed, Children Of Bodom once again took residence at Finland’s Danger Johnny Studios where the band utilized the expertise of veteran Producer Mikko Karmila. Looking back, this is Karmila’s third straight project producing for Children Of Bodom and the fifth overall album for which he has produced the band. Enhancing the blackened theme of Hexed, Children Of Bodom called on renowned Artist Denis Forkas to create the purple cover art which features the eerie presence of the Reaper, making Hexed that much more chilling.
Following up 2015’s I Worship Chaos, Hexed sees Children Of Bodom perhaps at their darkest and most signature methods of song-writing. Commenting on the lyrical inspiration for Hexed, Laiho stated: “They just come from real life, real feelings. Anything that is negative that is happening inside my head that I need to get out some how. I need to vent all the negative stuff that is going on inside my head, it is the best and safest way for me to do it. I channel my shit feelings to the music and at least try to turn it into something positive.”
That said, Hexed starts off with the ominous and entertainingly melodic track “This Road.” Right away, the ear-drums of die-hard listeners will be pleased with what they hear. Offering Children Of Bodom’s most emotive riffs, “Under Grass and Clover” radiates with a stirring hook before the punishing “Glass Houses,” and the stalking allure of a Greek Goddess in “Hecate’s Nightmare.” Next, the first bars of “Kick in the Spleen” are nothing short of a stampede of double bass drums that truly feel like being struck in the rib-cage by a steel toe boot.
Nothing but perfectly executed Metal, Hexed shows off the chops of Children Of Bodom on many more notable tracks. For instance, the title track, “Hexed” is an ensuing storm of monster drumming and ferocious tempo. Later, “Soon Departed” possesses a well paced groove touching on old school Heavy Metal. Closing out Hexed, “Knuckleduster” is one last cut of super intense, incinerating Metal that you can feel in your bones.
Beasts of Metal, Children Of Bodom vehemently deliver on their new album Hexed. Picking up right where they left off with I Worship Chaos in 2015, Children Of Bodom gift eleven new menacing tracks on Hexed. A massive adrenaline rush, listeners will indulge in surging melodies, vivid production, and a vintage sound that highlights the best in Children Of Bodom. A good way to blow off some steam, Cryptic Rock gives Hexed 5 out of 5 stars.