Finnish metallers, Children of Bodom return with a new song called Under Grass and Clover. It comes from the band’s new album, Hexed, which is due for release in March 2019 via Nuclear Blast.
Hexed is due on the 8th of March and will be Children of Bodom’s 10th studio album. 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. On to the song then. Under Grass and Clover is just over 3 and a half minutes in length and it is exactly like what you might think it would be. Starting with a mid tempo drum beat with keyboard backing and a twirling riff, you could play this intro to anyone and within seconds they would know who it is. The drums kick up the tempo a notch or two and the guitars continue to blaze.
The verses bring in Alexi’s familiar bark. He delivers vocals in a stop/start style with the gaps being filled by a little keyboard section or a twisting guitar line, or both. Again, no surprise here but the guitars sound great and it is nice to see them in the foreground, supported by keys rather than the other way round like on much of I Worship Chaos. Verses continue with exceptional speed and rhythm held together by a prominent bass line. This works well as the verse comes to an end and allows the guitars to come back in with force.
There isn’t really a standard chorus here. The structure is more verse, instrumental, verse though there is a kind of chorus that comes in nearing the end. It is pretty neat with meaty drums and backing vocals that call back to lead vocals. A little more guitar and keyboard showing off comes in for the ending with the drums really standing out again.
Under Grass and Clover is a decent song. Not bad, not brilliant – just decent. It is very much a Bodom song so don’t expect too much new here. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing of course. It is great to hear the guitars at the forefront though I was surprised we didn’t get a big Alexi solo nearing the end. A little disappointed too. Vocals are good, keys are used well and the bass is strong but it is the drums that really stand out for me. The production on them is amazing,. They sound so good and really help show off Jaska’s talent. All in all, there is plenty here to please and make me excited to hear more from Hexed but I also do hope they have at least a couple new tricks up there sleeves.
Check out Under Grass and Clover on all the usual streaming services now. You can also listen to it on YouTube here. Preorder Hexed from Nuclear Blast here. Keep up to date with Children of Bodom news at their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Under Grass and Clover by Children of Bodom (Hexed)
The Final Score - 7/10