WORDS: James Weaver
CHILDREN OF BODOM have long been in the top tier of modern heavy metal. The Finnish melodic death metallers have always kept their sound consistent and sub-sequentially easily recognisable. With the band’s ninth studio effort, I Worship Chaos, being the first record without lead guitarist Roope Latvala who departed the band earlier this year, fans are curious to see if CHILDREN OF BODOM can uphold the same expectations of quality that their enormous fanbase craves.
Perhaps what is most interesting about I Worship Chaos is that the relentless twin guitar work that is fundamental to the band’s sound is still as as ruthless as before. Many feared that following Roope Latvala‘s departure, CHILDREN OF BODOM would be unable to repeat their key sound. Yet with Alexi Laiho taking full charge of all guitar work for the record, fans can be rest assured that the band haven’t strayed too far from the path. Opener I Hurt is typical Bodom, with an eerie introduction that blasts into a combination of complicated riff work and driven keyboards. The track contains all of the elements that make up CHILDREN OF BODOM‘s signature sound; hard hitting riffs, copious solos, subtle keys and Alexi Laiho‘s unique vocal snarls.
In fact, this sound is prevalent throughout the entirety of I Worship Chaos and in that manner, CHILDREN OF BODOM haven’t experimented in the slightest. My Bodom (I am the Only One) features intense speed throughout with Alexi Laiho‘s riffs hard-hitting from start to finish where as Horns opens with a complicated rhythm before unfolding into a typical track from the band; ferocious solo play and verses backed heavily with melody from Janne Wirman‘s keyboards. For example, Suicide Bomber unfolds into a mesmerising chorus with melodies through the guitar work and keyboards hitting the listener straight in the face. With little experimentation, I Worship Chaos is the album fans have come to expect from CHILDREN OF BODOM, it’s deliveries are to the point and at this point in their career, their sound is more than solidified.
With a nice mix of pace throughout, the duration of the record flows nicely. Following the rapid Horns, Prayer For The Afflicted is much more reserved. With the pace slowed right down, the track enables the listener to hone in on the band’s more technical aspect, with focused solo play and intricate keyboard playing, the track allows CHILDREN OF BODOM to show-boat their musical talent in a way that is not boisterous in approach, but more subtle. It’s a nice touch and allows I Worship Chaos to shine. There are more moments throughout the record where CHILDREN OF BODOM really shine. Title track I Worship Chaos easily contains the best riffs of the record, backed with Alexi Laiho‘s intoxicating vocal deliveries where as Hold Your Tongue unleashes Jaska Raatikainen‘s wicked drumming. I Worship Chaos is very much a continuation of the band’s sound, which they nailed with 2003’s Hate Crew Deathroll.
And yet this is where the record falters slightly. With modern metal’s leading names reinventing themselves through their latest records, I Worship Chaos doesn’t experiment with the band’s sound in the slightest. With the record serving as the band’s ninth studio album, you’d expect something we’ve not seen before. Yet the record is simply a continuation. A continuation of the sound we’ve heard before. I Worship Chaos does exactly what it says on the tin. You’ve probably heard it all before, but that doesn’t stop it being immensely satisfying.
I Worship Chaos is set for release on October 2 via Nuclear Blast Records