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Children of Bodom - Hexed Award winner

Children of Bodom
Hexed
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 11 March 2019, 5:38 AM

Hexed,” is the tenth full length studio album from Finnish Melodic Death Metal masters CHILDREN OF BODOM, and their first album since 2015’s “I Worship Chaos.”  COB have become one of the world’s biggest Metal bands and it isn’t hard to see why.  High octane songs, amazing guitar solos and melodies, unique keyboards, and a tight rhythm section of bass and drums have made the band what they are today. I’m happy to report that “Hexed,” continues to display these elements and displayed so well the boys from Bodom have released their best album since 2005’s “Are You Dead Yet?

Nothing against the previous four releases but “Hexed,” sees the band with not only a new amazingly talented member with DANIEL FREYBERG on guitars but also features some of their most urgent and focused songwriting in their career thus far. “This Road,” starts the album off right by being a track containing pummeling riffs that also retain the band’s signature style of melody.  After the chorus, a nice head banging riff section opens up the rest of the song and I can only imagine the crowd going insane when they play this at a show.  The accompanying keyboard is swirling, catchy, and playful.  The guitar solo towards the end is short but very sweet.  Alexi has scaled by his use of guitar solos somewhat on this album but the songs are actually better for it; more than ever, Alexi now focuses on song writing as a whole and putting what needs to be in there to give more, rather than unnecessary passages or notes that may distract from the overall experience.  In essence, this album contains more guitar melodies, harmonies, and good old fashioned riffs than other COB albums in recent better resulting in songs that are chock full with everything that makes COB themselves.

Under Grass and Clover,” was the first single and it isn’t hard to see why it was chosen.  The music between the stanzas is extremely catchy with the guitars and keys coming together as one.  The drums go hard and drive the intensity of the song to counteract all the melody. “Kick In The Spleen,” is the most aptly titled song so far this year.  The energy here is infectious, brought on by Alexi’s primal scream while the guitars and drums fight over who can go faster and heavier.  The riffs after the stanza’s are surprisingly dark and abrasive but everything speeds up to thrash levels once again.  The middle part of the song is another section made for thrashing and banging your head until it falls off but the keyboard and guitar solos are classic old school BODOM.

The title track, “Hexed,” is one of the band’s more intense songs with quick flashes of keyboards accenting the tightly wound riffs.  The last half of the song is lead guitar and keys dueling it out in classic BODOM fashion. The ending of the song is a blanket of keys and melodic bass that really caps the whole experience off. “Soon Departed,” is packed with deliciously melodic riffs and a thumping bass line that drives the song.  The chorus is catchy and backed by little counter melodies between the instruments that hone in on the band’s signature sound—this would be one of the songs I would play someone if they asked what the album sounded like.

The last track, “Knuckleduster,” is actually a rerecorded version of the same track from their “Trashed, Lost, and Strungout,” EP from years back.  I actually prefer this version as it sounds a bit more dark and dirty with better balanced melodies.  Ultimately, “Hexed,” is CHILDREN OF BODOM at the top of their game, a refreshing aspect considering how far along they are into their career now.  If you were a fan that jumped ship many albums ago, you will probably find a lot to like in this one.

Songwriting:9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
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
7. Hexed
8. Relapse (The Nature Of My Crime)
9. Say Never Look Back
10. Soon Departed
11. Knuckleduster
Lineup:
Henkka T. Blacksmith – Bass
Jaska Raatikainen – Drums
Janne Warman – Keyboards
Alexi Laiho  - Vocals, Guitars (Lead)
Daniel Freyberg – Guitars (Rhythm)
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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