Aficionados of this very genre, and metal in general, have mostly heard the name of Alexi Laiho or his mighty voice, widely known for his work in Children Of Bodom. After a four year break the Finnish pioneers of melodic death metal, who have eleven albums in their discography including two live records, surprised fans with the news of a vital record, Hexed. The follow-up to 2015’s I Worship Chaos, the album is a testament to the fact that they still have some gas left in the tank.
Despite being notable for consistency in their lineup, and all of the members having had undeniable footprints on their music through the years, the addition of guitarist Daniel Freyberg in 2016 made Children Of Bodom‘s performance run with no limitations in terms of speed. First song This Road is a great opener, showing how the band can play real fast, while the tempo descends later with songs such as the exquisite Hecate’s Nightmare or Say Never Look Back, yet still maintaining the overall vitality of Hexed.
As far as production goes the sound is the closest it could be to Children Of Bodom, defining their song-writing as one of the leading sonic experiments in the genre, compared to the tiresome feeling you often get whilst listening to metal records. Title track, Hexed, would be a primitive example, while it ends with the vocals roaring the album’s title and fades away with the lucid bass sound, opening up for old-school death metal guitar to culminate. Since their name accentuates their identity and the atmosphere lead by their material, Children Of Bodom might not be the most underground act to exist, but they sure know how to do their thing.
Hexed goes on for 44 minutes and doesn’t disappoint at glutting emotional verses; however even though it’s filled with ardent songs like Soon Departed, or the fragile yet heavy Knuckleduster, Hexed doesn’t mark the reach of a new height for the band. Considering their previous works, such as the legendary Follow The Reaper, there are standout layerings within the songs, but it’s still hard to find a revolutionary point in their latest material. The songs feel like they follow such simple rhythmic standards that have been played before by other bands in the genre.
Hexed may not be a disclosure of Children Of Bodom‘s sound, but it’s still a decent album for those who are looking for a fresh change from the band’s earlier material. If you’re a fan of Children Of Bodom, don’t miss out on this latest offering.
Standout Tracks: Glass Houses, Soon Departed, Hexed
For Fans Of: Arch Enemy, In Flames, Lamb Of God
Written by: Arman Dindar Safa