Formed in Espoo, Finland in 1993 originally under the moniker Inearthed, Children of Bodom had an extraordinary start to their career. Their ‘90s take off was so impressive that many new metal bands still look up to it today – almost all of their albums earned platinum or gold status in Finland and over the past twenty five years they‘ve become regulars on some of the world‘s biggest stages.
2019 beckons in a new era for a revitalised and bloodthirsty Hate Crew, who will present their 10th studio album ‘Hexed’ on March 8th 2019.
It has been 3 years since the last Bodom album, I Worship Chaos (read our review here) and it’s always a pleasure to see the Finnish metallers still firing on all cylinders. We’ve already shared our opinions on two previously released singles, Under Grass And Clover here and This Road here.
I Worship Chaos was lauded by fans as a return to form for the band as they embraced their past. Hexed is a combination of that continued acceptance with a more modern Bodom refined style alongside it.
It’s the latter that sees the more rockier This Road kick things off in style before Under Grass and Clover sounds like Bodom of old. Laiho’s gravely sharp vocals are on fire in the latter and the guitar riffing is on point making this a real album favourite already.
The addition of Daniel Freyberg on guitars has also seemingly reenergised the band and he certainly seems to have had some effect on the song-writing. The accusation that a lot of Bodom albums sound quite similar is fair. On Hexed though, there is a marked difference between tracks. There’s an obvious playoff between the guitarists and the album, including the impressive fret-heavy Glass Houses and gothic rockiness Hecate’s Nightmare, that really makes this a modern Children of Bodom classic.
Then Kick in a Spleen really gives us that melo-death sound within the keyboards that we’ve come to expect from the band. A track that also fires out the strongest solo on the record.
As mentioned already there is some real variety in Hexed’s tracks. Even when they revert to Children of Bodom type (Platitudes and Barren Words and the title track) it’s still pretty damn great. The pacy riffing, traditional Bodom fret-work and Laiho vocals a throwback to the Bodom of old.
It’s an absolute pleasure to say that this is a great Children of Bodom album. Sure, it has a few issues here and there but often they’re nothing but minor gripes. Such as the lack of a gripping bass hook. Or one specific song that stands out above all the rest.
Minor complaints for an album that can be rightfully called the best Bodom album since Are You Dead Yet?
It wraps up with a nice surprise for long-term Bodom fans. As the band re-recorded Knuckleduster off their underrated Trashed, Lost & Strungout EP. A great song given a bit of refresh and fitting really well on this album thanks a hyper set of keys, harsh vocals and old-school Bodom riffs.
Children of Bodom – Hexed Full Track Listing:
1. This Road
2. Under Grass And Clover
3. Glass Houses
4. Hecate’s Nightmare
5. Kick In A Spleen
6. Platitudes And Barren Words
8. Relapse (The Nature Of My Crime)
9. Say Never Look Back
10. Soon Departed
Hexed can be ordered via Nuclear Blast here and will be available via all major stores and digital streaming services upon release.
Children of Bodom - Hexed (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 8/10