October 2, 2015 Children Of Bodom – I Worship Chaos (Album Review)
Rising out of the darkness, Children of Bodom rushed into the musical world in 1993. Formed in Espoo, Finland, the band consisted of three talented musicians originally under the name Inearthed including Alexi Laiho on vocals and guitar, Samuli Miettinen on bass and backup vocals, and Jaska Raatikainen on drums. The three released their first demo in August of 1993 under the name Implosion of Heaven. However, Miettinen’s family moved to the United States in 1995 and he was replaced by Henkka Seppala in 1996, as a result, member such as Alexander Kuoppala (guitar) and Jani Pirisjcki (keyboard) were added in after the loss of Miettinen. However, this was not the final lineup of the band, and changes were yet to come. Pirisjcki consistently missed rehearsal and was fired soon after, being replaced by the incomparable Janne Wirman.
While the road was long and hard, after many hardships and unsuccessful albums, a new record company called Spinefarm Records took interest in their music. However, the band would have to change its name if they were to sign under Spinefarm Records. This led to the renaming of the band to the memorable Children of Bodom, named after the Lake Bodom murders in 1960. A turning point, Children of Bodom went onto write successful albums such as their 1997 debut Something Wild, the epic 1999 album Hatebreeder, and 2000’s Follow the Reaper. Continuing their progression in 2003 they released Hate Crew Deathroll which was a prelude to major success in the USA with Are You Dead Yet? in 2005 and Blooddrunk in 2008.
Since then, Children of Bodom have been a mainstay in the international Heavy Metal world and one fans flock to anytime they release new material. Now carrying on without guitarist Roope Latvala for the first time in over a decade, Children of Bodom return with their ninth overall studio record via Nuclear Blast, I Worship Chaos. Bringing back the ingenious producer/musician of Hypocrisy and Pain, Peter Tägtgren, Children of Bodom look to show the Metal world they still have plenty of fresh music left to offer.
Ten tracks in total, I Worship Chaos surges from the ashes with “I Hurt.” With chaotic riffs that burn through eardrums, Children Of Bodom makes sure to show everyone what they are made of. The track continues with fast riffs, pounding drums, and the addition of Laiho’s grinding screams. The track links anger to sorrow with lyrics like, “Cause and effect and then you die, there’s more to pain than meets the eye,” showing that even the heaviest of tracks have a story to tell. When there is no more energy to fight, the strongest desire is to be let go and laid to rest.
Without delay, “My Bodom” comes crashing in. With a steady pounding riff mixed with rough vocals and chanting backups, the track radiates intensity. With a constant, steady melody, the track takes the listener on a wild ride from beginning to end, passing seamlessly from verse, to chorus, and back again. The track continues with a quick solo riff, returns the chorus, and then brings in a second solo with a melody reminiscent of Celtic music with the same pounding rhythm keeping the beat throughout the remainder of the track.
The album continues with the steady track “Morrigan.” While the beginning is not as blisteringly fast as some of the rest of the tracks on the album, one cannot deny power behind each note and chord. The constant rhythm guitar mixed with the swapping of powerful vocals and capturing leads provides a solid and enjoyable listen.
With an unmistakable intensity found within all of the band’s albums, “Horns” continues the album with a spark that lights a fire within the listener’s soul. The riffs are fast, the lyrics are rough, and the drums never fail to impress. With the mixture of angry guitar melodies, screaming vocals, and blast beats on the drum kit, a wild ride ensues that is over almost as fast as it began, leaving the listener wanting more.
After all of the speedy riffs well-known throughout the Symphonic Metal community, the band brings around a much slower track by the name of “Prayer for the Afflicted.” This track proves that not all Metal needs to be more than 200 bpm. The track gives the listener a break from overpowering speeds while still providing a heaviness that all Metal fans desire. With guitar harmonies that meld seamlessly, the track truly calls forth the talent and writing skills Children Of Bodom have to offer.
The album’s namesake track, “I Worship Chaos” comes crashing through your speakers without any sign of stopping. Immediately, a fast and complex riff begins to play, followed closely by fast-paced drum beats. The burning intensity stays throughout the whole track with the addition of Laiho’s vocals. The track takes a more melodic turn during the chorus and then returns to its original speeding riffs. The track has the listener out of their seat and off their feet for the entire 3:30 seconds of music, ending with what sounds like a conversation between band members and possibly techs at the recording studio.
After the speed of “I Worship Chaos,” “Hold Your Tongue” slows it down just enough to bring back the old Children Of Bodom sound while keeping the shredding to the perfect level. One of the first tracks since Something Wild to use standard C# tuning , it begins with a drum fill similar to the track “Perfect Insanity” by Disturbed off of their 2008 album Indestructible. However, the same signature mix of melody and shred that Children Of Bodom is known for soon returns without fail. Next, “Suicide Bomber,” also using standard C# tuning, kicks off with a melodic riff with just enough dissonance to make you rewind and re-listen to the track to examine the notes you just heard. The killer drumming and heavily distorted riffs make for a track that a listener cannot help but head-bang to. The mix of guitar and keyboard solo add a new dynamic that keeps the album interesting, adding a new sound for you to examine.
The last two tracks, “All for Nothing” and “Widdershins” provide an interesting conclusion to the album. “All for Nothing” is probably one of the slowest tracks on the album, really making use of the keyboard player with the use of piano phrases that play under a softer scream than Laiho’s normal growl. “Widdershins” finishes the album with that same Children Of Bodom Fire that melts away our ears every time a track plays. The track is an epic conclusion to a special album that shows the continuing power and talent each of the band members possesses.
I Worship Chaos, overall, is a pleasure to listen to. Though repetitive at times, there were plenty of additional riffs and harmonies that kept the album interesting. I Worship Chaos is something all Children of Bodom supports will appreciate and is an album suggested to any Melodic or Symphonic Metal fan, as it will be thoroughly enjoyed. CrypticRock gives this latest effort a solid 4 out of 5 stars.