Children of Bodom are back with the second single from their incoming 10th studio album, Hexed. This song is called This Road.
The Finnish melodic metal masters will release Hexed via Nuclear Blast on the 8th of March. It is a long time in the making, following 2015’s disappointing, I Worship Chaos. That album saw the band one guitarist down and it showed as the tracks became overly focused on keys. Read our full thoughts on it here. Thankfully they recruited a new guitarist shortly after touring for that album started and are back up to a 5 piece now. That new guitarist is Daniel Freyburg. On bass it’s Hennka T Blacksmith and on keys, it’s Janne Wirman. Alongside them, in the band since it’s 1993 formation on drums it is Jaska Raatikainen and of course, lead guitarist and vocalist, Alexi Laiho.
The first single, Under Grass and Clover was pretty decent. Not stand out, but a good solid Children of Bodom song. You can read our review of that here.
Bodom’s second single from their new album Hexed is 4 and a half minutes of solid melodic metal. It starts straight off with a speed riff and blasting drums. Everything is moving at top speed. The drums sound really great, as they did in the first single. The riff is nice and chunky, little lead guitar melodic lines drop in and out over the main riff and keys add a little backing melody, filling the song out rather than taking it over.
Vocals are as you would expect from Alexi. Plenty of snarl and growl. A bit of backing vocals makes them sound deeper in parts which I like a lot. Unlike the first track, which surprisingly stayed away from solos, we do get an instrumental section here. It starts by dropping the tempo into a slow head banging, bassy riff before picking it up a bit. Vocals come back for a quick line before a solo fires up but there are either some strange effect pedals in action or it’s a keyboard solo. I’m not musical enough to know. It just has a very odd sound to it.
After that oddity, we do get a proper guitar solo for a fast and furious ending that is banging. Pounding drums, ripping lead notes and a powerful underlying riff blazes out through to the end.
This Road is another pretty typical Bodom song but in a good way. The drums on both singles sound brilliant so far. They really stand out. Guitars are solid, the riffs are great and the vocals sound strong and full of venom. I don’t particularly like the keyboard solo. I don’t mind a little keyboard but I just find the tone a bit odd though it completely gains favour again with the huge ending riff and solo.
Based on the two singles so far, Hexed looks like Children of Bodom back to somewhere near their best. It’s definitely shaping up as one of the albums to look forward to in 2019.
This Road by Children of Bodom (Hexed)
The Final Score - 8/10