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CHILDREN OF BODOM Hexed

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 @ 11:01 AM


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CHILDREN OF BODOM
Hexed

Nuclear Blast Records




For the past quarter century since forming originally under the name INEARTHED, the wild Hate Crew from Espoo known as CHILDREN OF BODOM have lived up to their reputation of workin’ hard, playin’ harder and delivering a fright to the Finnish and beyond with their brand of melodic/blackened death metal. And while the band, comprised of Alexi Laiho (vocals/guitar), Jaska Raatikaiken (drums), Henkka T. Blacksmith (bass) and Janne Wirman (keyboards) have often experimented with different genres on past albums, they have always stayed true to their overall extreme aesthetic – an aesthetic that has earned the band widespread praise for shunning the conforming and confining blueprints of metal in its quest for dominance on their own terms. It would explain why all nine of COB’s studio albums have achieved either platinum or gold status in their native Finland. So, will their latest album Hexed shape up to their previous catalogue or jinx their winning streak?

While COB have had their fair share of rotating musicians in their lineup throughout the earlier stages of their career, Hexed marks the first time in at least 15 years that the band have added a second guitarist to their ranks in the form of rhythm guitarist Daniel Freyberg (formerly of NAILDOWN and NORTHER). He’s not only succeeded in the impossible by making COB sound even more faster than they already do in parts, but he’s also proficient in adapting to the band’s punishing melodic thrash delivery. The high-octane fast numbers such as “Kick In A Spleen”, “Relapse (The Nature Of My Crime)”, “Under Grass And Clover” and “Knuckleduster” can lay claim to some of Freyberg’s fastest riffs on the whole album alongside Alexi Laiho’s. Elsewhere, the more mid-tempo numbers such as “This Road” (celebrating and lamenting the touring lifestyle COB have been accustomed to throughout their career) and “Hecate’s Nightmare” (about the famed mythological Witch Goddess) drop some wicked keyboard interludes this side of mid-80’s RUSH and Ultimate Sin-era Ozzy Osbourne respectively while retaining its core outrageous in-your-face COB identity.

Perhaps the most intriguing song on Hexed that’ll stand out to many COB fans would be “Platitudes And Barren Words”, notable for Alexi Laiho attempting to introduce as many of his musical influences into the framework of the song as possible. It’s easily the most melodic-sounding track on the album even with Laiho belting his way throughout most of it, but yet the song also showcases more of a melodic type of screaming style which nevertheless works. Laiho even describes the style as “Alice Cooper meets death metal”, and after a few more listens, the description is apt.

Hexed is overall a musically challenging album to listen to and probably COB’s most panoramic-sounding and diverse album to date. But as luck would have it, it’s also an album that is pure-to-the-core Hate Crew at its most experimental.

5.0 Out Of 5.0

https://www.cobhc.com/
https://www.facebook.com/childrenofbodom/


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