If it’s chaos you’re looking for, then chaos you shall receive – Children of Bodom are never ones to disappoint.
Finnish masters of death metal Children of Bodom are timeless advocates of the power of a melodic infusion to direct an arrangement hell-bent on face-melting. In the expert hands of Laiho and co, the genre’s safe and well – there’s no end in sight for this 22 year old behemoth, merely another consistently talented opus to add to the collection.
The flagship takes off on its ninth voyage with a symphonic melody throughout opener ‘I Hurt’, refusing to be held prisoner amid frontman Alexi Laiho’s trademark sinister venom-spitting. Determined and punchy ‘My Bodom (I am the Only One)’ exhibits a phenomenal guitar solo and drumwork from Jaska Raatikainen to demonstrate the Finnish outfit aren’t getting older, but they’re certainly maturing.
Album highlight ‘Morrigan’ parades its contagious riff with pride, as melodic and beautifully arranged as ever, a credit to their seemingly endless back catalogue in its consistent show of talent. While the energetic and perfectly mosh-worthy ‘Horn’ leads the charge, its sinister successor ‘Prayer for the Afflicted’ booms through an epic atmospheric opening into menacing whispers, biding its time to strike.
“Enough’s enough,” snaps Alexi through aptly-named ‘Hold Your Tongue’, audibly pent-up and acid-tongued in its delivery. True to its word also, the chaotic title track proves its worth through a fiddly guitar interlude. Purveyors of instrumental equality, Children of Bodom have a determined knack for allowing each other to take fair turns at centre stage, and evidently so with every second that passes.
The atmospheric synth addition to ‘Suicide Bomber’ adds a delicate beauty to melodic Alexi vocals amid growls and backing shouts. Reminiscent of a heart losing its will to live, ‘All for Nothing’ is subdued, understated and anguished, anthemic in its larger-than-life solo and almost seductive in Alexi’s whispers.
At first racy through Alexi’s masterful and commanding fretwork, the glittering ‘Widdershins’ is hiding a dark secret. Drawing to an end on the corrupted static of a failed communication, something sinister lies behind the close. Something lurking in the darkness has its victim in sight. Something wicked this way comes.
A commanding ninth addition to their array of aggressive studio releases, ‘I Worship Chaos’ is a violent statement of intent. Children of Bodom are just as incendiary as ever, and they’re still chucking out some cracking riffs to prove it.
’I Worship Chaos’ by Children of Bodom is out now on Nuclear Blast Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)