Children of Bodom – Hexed (Nuclear Blast)
Children of Bodom’s 10th album is finally a reality. It is no shock the diversity the band incorporates as they create a unique vision of tortured sounds. It’s what we have come to expect from them on albums like Follow The Reaper and Hatebreeder. There career is a rich conglomerate of expressive talent fashioning their own brand of extreme metal out of the melting pot of different genres. Hexed may be their most expressive release yet.
The wait is worth it. They return to the stomping grounds of Finland’s Danger Johnny Studios to work again with Mikko Karmila. What this did was just make the album stronger. The time it took to pull Hexed off was more challenging but in the end result is a fan’s shangri-la.
“Glass Houses” is metal mayhem without a breather as they convulse and contort through a windstorm of guitar shredding and possessed vocals that are inhuman. There is a degree of performance art to the band’s sound compared to their 2015 I Worship Chaos. We hear it in the guitar work and Janne Wirman’s synth accentuations.
From “Hecate’s Nightmare” through “Kick In A Spleen” into “Platitudes and Barren Words” the band concocts a spider web of musical corridors and secret passageways that suck you in. It’s a wild ride of mind-melting power chords, synthetic expressions, or a raging guitar solo that comes and goes like a hallucination. The Children of Bodom foundation is there, however, you never know what to expect on this rollercoaster ride.
“Under Grass and Clover” may be the most accessible, playing out like a hit single. The guitar chops are catchy with an almost upbeat melodic structure. Alexi Laiho’s growling vocals keep us grounded. But then the dual guitar solos leave everything in the dust and blow minds. The song comprehensive and a metal great. It amazes me how over the years they can continue to create something that good.
Another stellar release by one of metal’s greatest contributors.