Children of Bodom - I Worship Chaos 01Sometimes I forget what Children of Bodom used to sound like. While they retain some of the elements from Something Wild and Hatebreeder, these Finns have almost entirely abandoned that cold-blooded power metal title. Mostly what’s different is the absence of those dense synths (which seem more prominent in today’s pirate metal bands than anything else) and the greater variation in Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho’s vocals (which ranged from his signature rasps to Mr. Lordi back-alley bully gruffs). Over the years, Children of Bodom transitioned to less keys, Laiho’s vocals have become full-on barks and rasps, and the music became a one-dimensional melodic-death approach.

Even though the impressive guitar work remains intact, the quality in their material declines a bit following 2003’s Hate Crew Deathroll. However, after their seventh – and final – release on Spinefarm Records (the tasteless Relentless Reckless Forever – sadly, I didn’t hear what Angry Metal Guy heard), the band was picked up by Nuclear Blast for 2013’s Halo of Blood, which was labelled by many as a “rebirth” and the resulting album was significantly better than its predecessor. And that brings us to this year’s I Worship Chaos. Honestly, I always look forward to new Children of Bodom material, even if it’s not what it use to be. But I swear I’m gonna stab someone if I hear another fucking Britney Spears cover.

“I Hurt” gets the ball rolling with a typical CoB bruising; administered from Laiho’s vox and guitars. As expected, you will also get a lot of “motherfucker” in this one. It’s a good opener and, while not overly impressive or original, it’s unmistakably CoB and one of the better tracks on the album. “My Bodom (I Am the Only One)” chooses “son of a bitch” for its arsenal, and even hints at some old-school key work (quite Eluveitie-like) beside Laiho’s signature fretboard frenetics. Other speedy numbers include the title track and “Hold Your Tongue;” however, one is helpful to the album and the other is not. The former is a short ditty that combines chaotic finger dancing and speed-metal double picking to get it off the ground. It’s quick and to the point. Gang-shout chorus, keyboard soloing, and a conclusion that provides you with ten seconds of the band fucking around in the studio all sound like fun, but this is the weakest song on the album and the playful attitude is a painful momentum killer. Thankfully, “Hold Your Tongue” does a fine job of recovering the mood even if it’s too little, too late. This is achieved with meaty riffs and a “shut the fuck up!” chorus. You really can’t go wrong with the latter bit.

Children of Bodom - I Worship Chaos 02

On the flip side, I Worship Chaos also sports some standout melodic pieces in the form of Hypocrisy-like melodics of “Morrigan” and “Prayer for the Afflicted,” as well as the well-crafted “All For Nothing.” All deliver emotion-laden keyboard ambiances and vocal deliveries steering toward those of Peter Tägtgren. “All For Nothing,” in particular, is a stellar example of this and perhaps the best-written track on the album. Focusing on a riff straight from the melodic annals of Dark Tranquillity, the keys push it forward before the guitars take over. The result is a memorable one and the heart-wrenching chorus, guitar solos, and keyboard round it out nicely. Closer “Widdershins” combines the melodic and the crushing to gently beat the snot out of you. Chugging guitars carry this track to the finish line in a way that suits the overall direction of the album well.

At the end of the day, this is a pretty predictable CoB release. As with all their releases, I Worship Chaos batters you to death with butt-loads of clipping but the balance of instrumentation is good. Another issue is the fact this is their longest full-length yet (clocking in around forty-five minutes), which lacks that load-and-fire feel of previous releases. Overall, this is an OK album and should please most die-hard fans. For me, this isn’t to the level of material from their glory days and sits on the same level (or maybe a step below) Halo of Blood.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Websites: cobhc.com | facebook.com/childrenofbodom
Releases Worldwide: October 2nd, 2015

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  • RuySan

    Is that band photo supposed to be ironic or is Alexi Laiho going through a mid-life crisis?

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      That hat….not a good look son.

    • Andy_0

      Nah, he’s always had really shitty style.

  • brutal_sushi

    I loved when they were, what my friends and I dubbed “Christmas Metal”… Man they were so good back in the Hatebreeder and Follow the Reaper days.

    • I’ve never heard that description before, but it’s spot-on.

    • RuySan

      While i wasn’t never a big fan of CoB, i understood their appeal. Those over the top keyboards intertwined with the speed of their songs and Alexi’s ridiculous vocals was quite a unique mixture. After Follow the Reaper they just became bland. The above song just confirms it.

    • CarvedInStone

      Wouldn’t Christmas Metal not fit stuff like Trans Siberian Oechestra more than CoB?

      • brutal_sushi

        We called it “Christmas Metal” in a very non literal way. TSO is trve Christmas Metal, yes, but listen to “Silent Night, Bodom Night” and at 1 minute in, thats the sonic description of “Christmas Metal” to us.

    • Wilhelm

      I’ve heard the pun “Children of Boredom” that’s probably the best.

  • El_Cuervo

    Not gonna lie, I really like that artwork.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      It’s actually rather uplifting.

  • You wot m8?

    The chugging pace of the embedded track at around 1:54 appeals to me greatly. However, the rest of the song, and the rest of what I’ve heard of the album, are just meh. Generic death with random power-esque bits that don’t seem to fit in too well, at least to my taste. To be honest though, I really didn’t have high hopes for this album anyway.

  • First paragraph:
    *used
    *Finns

    –Angry Spelling Guy

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Oh poop. The first is definitely a screw up on my part :)

      • Some day I’ll learn to let things like that go. Some day…

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Yeah, sorry about that…

          But good thing you are wearing your special underpants. When you decide to let it go, you’ll be covered.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    This album sounds nigh identical to the previous one. I still liked parts of it but it does leave me longing for the ambition of their early releases…

    • CarvedInStone

      What is all the ambition in the world worth if it leads to them releasing shit like “Relentless, Reckless Forever”? I like it much better if bands play it save and release good, if not predictable, material instead of failed experiments because they were being ambitious.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Oh man, I’ve had this discussion a bunch of times before. I have to severely disagree with you.

        First off, you’re using RRR as an example, which is the very definition of playing it safe, lowest common denominator, pandering commercial trash. The very opposite of “ambitious”.

        Second off, I much prefer an band that is not afraid to take risks and sometimes falls flat than a band that plays it safe and ultimately falls prey to the AMG Law of Diminishing Recordings because their albums become more of the same.

        A good band can be good by staying true to what their basic concept is but it only becomes great once it starts to evolve over time, not by becoming stagnant and reveling in their own clichés.

        • I think you’re spot on about that. I love COB and a few other bands that never really changed their formula, but the bands I consider to be the very best of the best are all willing to change and experiment to the point of risking a complete fan alienation-apocalypse.
          I know I will like this new COB album before I’ve even heard it a single time, but I also know it won’t blow my mind. How could it? I’ve heard it before…

        • CarvedInStone

          Okay, maybe RRR was a bad example. And I get where you’re coming from. But I’ve been disappointed by bands that I like/liked who triesd to be ambitious and change their sound too often. Maybe I’m listening to the wrong bands. Maybe I’m too cose-minded when it comes to the music I like. To each their own I guess.

      • I’ll tell you what ambition is worth: The great works of art that we get when a band succeeds. We wouldn’t even have COB if some guy way back in the dark ages did’nt risk making a fool of himself by combining a guitar with electricity.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Well, they maybe had guitars in the dark ages but for sure they didn´t have electricity or the Inquisition would have electrocuted people instead of burning them.

          • I didn’t mean the literal dark ages, but you gotta admit that would have made the inquisition a bit less barbaric. Well, sort of.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            It would have made them techno-barbaric.

          • Techno-Barbaric Inquisition

            Someone should start a band by that name.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            It would be really difficult for a band to live up to such a kickass name!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Jeez, I just came here for the Children of Bodom review. I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

  • mtlman1990

    The first three albums were some of the best metal of all time…. This makes my head hurt.

  • De2013

    Thank you for the review Dr. I didn’t see this album coming relatively soon after Halo. I was hoping to be more excited about the embedded track and will pass this record. There are more other exciting releases this month, which I have missed.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      No problem. It was a bit of a letdown. Some good stuff in there but not complete.

  • Phantom667

    Tbh its not THAT bad. I was a big fan of Something Wild and the following green and blue one when I was still going to school ;) Hatecrew Deathroll was awfull in my book. The mentioned “Hypocrisy-like melodics of “Morrigan” and “Prayer for the Afflicted,” work pretty well for me!

  • And to think my first concert was CoB… I don’t know, there are good moments on this, but overall I kept thinking “this is kinda boring”.

  • Wilhelm

    Not a horrible band – the older stuff was appealing for a while, but nowadays even that sounds kind of dull. Their new stuff sounds like their old stuff, only more modern, less melodic, and less inspired. They are a fun band but when that wears off, there’s not much left.

    • Jukka Alanen

      What he said.

  • Johan

    I remember being severely put off by CoB because I couldn’t distinguish between the keyboard and guitars because they both had that very plastic, artificial sound. Needless to say, the songwriting did nothing for me either. I hear that nothing much has changed. Pass for me.

  • OraclePigWater

    That Amorphis cover m/