A further exploration of high-powered, approachable melodic European Death.
OK, so a majority of people will never truly appreciate the glory of Death/Thrash. An often (and incorrectly?) regarded source of musical inspiration for maniacs, serial killers, and socially awkward parents’ basement dwelling misfits. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t also completely badass awesome. Especially when done to the stratariffic levels of Finland’s CHILDREN OF BODOM.
Their 2012 album ‘Halo of Blood’ breached mainstream accessibility with infectious hooks and playful spirit. And 2015’s ‘I Worship Chaos‘ continues that trend as a formidable collection of pile-driving ear-worms, mind-bending shred, soul-crush vocals, and lighthearted, blow your brains out fun!
Band leader Alexi Laiho is foremost a guitarist. With aspirations of Malmsteen, Laiho shreds and tears through the intensity with precise abandon. Tight, shifting rhythms come courtesy of Jaska Raatikainen (Drums) and Henkka Seppälä (Bass). While it’s Janne Wirman’s “jazzy” keyboards that most distinctifies CHILDREN OF BODOM, harmonizing beautifully with Laiho’s axes and gravelly rasp.
I’m reminded of another killer Finnish Death band while listening, SENTENCED. But, where that band was all bathed in depression, BODOM rises, at times, to almost whimsy.
Many of the songs throwback to 80s nosebleed Thrash including opening rampage “I Hurt“, “Horns“, and hyperkinetic title-track. While the keys dominate more melodic fare like the lively shredder “Morrigan“, rhythmic meat grinder “Hold Your Tongue“, and pseudo-Power closer “Widdershins“.
The ominous, mid-tempo “Prayer for the Afflicted” and creepy album highlight “All for Nothing” both stress that Death Metal, nor matter how melodic, is usually not happy music.
And of the three quirky covers, both the peppy “Mistress of Taboo” (Plasmatics) and tongue-in-cheek “Danger Zone” (Kenny Loggins) are instant cheese classics.
CHILDREN OF BODOM’s 2015 album ‘I Worship Chaos‘ is a standout sacrificial offering of Melodic Death Metal. If you’re sitting on the fence with Euro Death, BODOM is an enticing “gateway” band you should try…you know you want to.