Released: Sep 22, 2009
Genre: Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal
Number Of Tracks: 17
Skeletons in the Closet is the first compilation cover album by Finnish heavy metal band Children of Bodom.
Skeletons In The Closet
JaMeZtEr, on october 06, 2009 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: I picked this up when I was in the local CD store yesterday. I had absolutely no idea that the band had released a new record. Granted only 4 of the tracks were new, I felt compelled to buy it as I have always been a big Children of Bodom fan.
If you haven't already heard, Skeletons in the Closet is a cover album, not dissimilar to Metallica'sGarage Inc. Apart from a few exceptions (Lookin' Out My Back Door, She Is Beautiful and Oops! I Did It Again), all of the songs were originally played by some of the greatest metal bands of the 70's and 80's, such as Anthrax, Slayer, King Diamond, and Scorpions. It is not to anyone's surprise that this album is mostly sung with clean vocals, which is a nice variation from Alexi Laiho's demonic screaming. Don't let that turn any of you melodic death metal fans away! Laiho, like always, has made these songs his own and given all of them the "Wild Child" energy that we know from Hate Crew Deathroll and Bloodrunk. In fact, the new release of War Inside My Head, originally recorded by Suicidal Tendencies, is one of the heaviest songs I've ever heard played by Children of Bodom.
As you might expect from the alcoholic quintet, Children of Bodom haven't failed to add their own humor to this record. On the hidden track, Waiting, originally recorded by King Diamond, Alexi Laiho does a tongue-in-cheek imitation of King Diamond's infamous falsetto vocals - one all metal fans can't help but laugh at. // 10
Lyrics: I can't really make any comment about the lyrics, as these are all songs that have been written by other bands, but Alexi's interpretation of the vocals is one that no Bodom fan ever would've expected.
On some of the tracks on this album, it seems almost as if the beast in Alexi Laiho had been given tranquilizers. The heavy metal genius took a little break from his brutal screaming in the band's Britney Spears, Credence Clearwater Revival, Billy Idol and Andrew W.K. covers, whilst somehow still ensuring that they were equally as heavy as anything you could expect from the greatest metal band from Espoo. The only thing that gets me down on these tracks is Laiho's inability to hit notes with accuracy.
However, even on the covers of bands with world renown singers who do not scream, such as Iron Maiden's Aces High, Alice Cooper's Bed of Nails, and W.A.S.P.'s Hellion, Alexi Laiho still manages to break out in the most terrifying screams I have ever heard, giving the already killer songs an extra death metal punch.
But hey, what am I doing talking about the tracks that you've already heard from previous albums? In a brand new recording of Anthrax's Antisocial, Alexi Laiho experiments with thrash metal and hardcore vocals - a nice new touch! // 8
Overall Impression: I've heard all of the original versions of these tracks, and I must say, Children of Bodom kicks some major ass out them.
My favorite tracks on this album have got to be No Commands, War Inside My Head, Just Dropped In, Mass Hypnosis and Antisocial. They sound so 80's, yet have that little modern heavy-as-f**k edge that I'd hope from a 21st century cover.
I'd say the best parts of this album to listen to are the songs that were recorded for jokes, like Waiting and Oops! I Did It Again. I can't help but smile every time they come on after the emotional trauma I suffer from listening to the super heavy War Inside My Head.
However, funnily enough, the best part of the album as a whole isn't the music at all. It's the album artwork! That's right, this is an album you want to buy a physical copy of. Inside the CD cover is a foldout of photos of the band dressed up as members of the bands that they have covered. Alexi Laiho even has the infamous Alice Cooper makeup on!
Seeing as this CD was more for fun than for pure listening enjoyment, I probably wouldn't be too bothered if I lost it or if someone stole it. However, I must say, for the past 2 days that I have had this album, there was not one moment I haven't been listening to it. This is a masterpiece. // 10
Skeletons In The Closet
Sleez Boy, on september 22, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well, the band has screwed up the classics! Children of Bodom has really hit a new... Well, it's a path of destruction and noise. Throughout the entire album, Children of Bodom play every song as heavy as possible some that full throttle and others are fun. Everyone in the band did an amazing job interpreting the original song as their own. // 9
Lyrics: I don't know how to rate this one since it is a covers album, so the credit goes to the original artist. However, maybe Children can be held accountable for the song choices. What should have been songs that been covered before became an album of songs that people might not remember unless fan factor. I was impressed with the selections the band has, for example I love the fact they choose "Lookin' Out My Backdoor" instead of something well known like Fortunate Son from legendary band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. Other songs employ the macabre and the evil lurking, but often times Laiho comes off as a drunk. // 8
Overall Impression: "Just got home from Illinois lock the front door oh boy!
Got to sit down take a rest on the porch
Imagination sets in pretty soon I'm singin'
Doo, doo, doo lookin' out my back door"
-"Lookin' Out My Backdoor"
Drunken rants that are the term I use for describing Alexi Laiho's vocals in the classic remake of Creedence Clearwater RevivalLookin' out My Back Door. Hi, my name is Sleaze Boy and I'll be talking about Children of Bodom screwing up the classics in Skeletons in the Closet.
According to the notes, Laiho is a huge fan of the cult classic film The Big Lebowski, and I guess that's how he came across this song. He adds The Big Lebowski and CCR, what's not to love? In the original version of the song, the music is mellow and relaxing from the crunchy guitar riffs while John Fogerty sings. However now, it is all replaced with up tempo distorted guitars and drunken rants. As you expect, the results are messy and fun. When I first heard this, I loved the track instantly and got introduced to The Big Lebowski and compelled me to hear the original version from Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The next track we get is called Hell is for Children from Pat Benatar. Now, I am familiar with a little bit of her material, but I never heard the original, so I didn't know what I was going to get. Nightmare tone is what I heard when I listened to the track due to the guitars and vocals. It's a topnotch track that has Laiho putting some serious vocals rather drunken rants.
The next track has Children of Bodom bringing back an overlooked and underrated classic. In the original, it starts off with a drum beat while one Joey Ramone says somebody, somebody put something in my drink. The cover version starts off the same and has drunken vocals on it. Meanwhile, the music is heavy while Laiho adds emotions of frustrations like the original version from the Ramones. Somebody Put Something in my Drink is a favorite of mine as the music and vocals are great while the lyrics detail about the effects of drinking a tainted beer. I love both versions, but C.O.B. makes the song as their own.
Unlike the punk track, we get down to death metal by Sepultura in the classic Mass Hypnosis. The band succeeds in playing death metal as guitars are low and fast while we hear vocals of a dying cat (Laiho). However, the best part of the song is the drumming to it by Jaska Ilmari Raatikainen.
It begins with a single guitar note, and then followed by another guitar note, and boom, guitarist Laiho and the other guy are dueling. The dueling is really great as well as the keyboards in the cover of Don't Stop at the Top. I felt electrocuted when I first heard this track due to the music and production, for the production value was very clean. I could hear the notes clearly and read out Laiho's drunken rants in the verse until he growls in the chorus. There are a lot of guitar solos that are crazy and kick*ss keyboards. The music has a Japanese robotic feel to it and that's fine. This cover blew me away and when the next day arrived, I went to check out the original version from the Scorpions. If it's one thing, children should be taught that sometimes, Don't Stop at the Top.
If you say you don't like the Scorpions, you're lying, at least a little bit.
Now, from Scorpions, we move to hear them play Slayer. This is a transformation that goes right. The stentorian levels are through the roof. The drumming in the song is crazy and all over the place. The cover is fast and chaotic, so what is there to tell you about? Children of Bodom could play Slayer alright. The song is Silent Scream.
After Silent Scream, Children of Bodom get kooky with a song that's from the Big Lebowski called Just Dropped in (to See What Condition My Condition Was In) by Kenny Rogers. This track is off the wall, nutty, and ridiculous as you expect it to be. This song is a burner! This is the kind of song that would go great at a party or at a bar. It's also hilarious as you hear Laiho's drunken rant.
As soon as Just Dropped In, the compilation goes into a ruthless and heavy attack, musically. It starts with can of soda or beer being opened. Ah, you can hear voice of a refreshed drinker and after that, the music begins. Hellion is a loud and ruthless song that unleashed clean ferociousness to its listeners. The guitars are distorted and music is heavy as the band plays at an up tempo beat. Compare to original, the music has a tight-constricted sound that keeps things together. Meanwhile, the original version from W.A.S.P. has loose and liberating sound that comparing these two tracks will result in mixed emotions. However, in the end, both songs are great in their own way. I definitely loved them. In a comment by Laiho, he said that as a young kid, W.A.S.P. looked forbidding and evil. I have to agree somewhat with that comment because it send me memories of being a bored teenager in high school who was shocked when W.A.S.P. and Motley Crue (Shout at the Devil era) appeared before his eyes in an album.
Children of Bodom continues its ruthless warpath in Ace's High. As a Maiden fan, Laiho's vocals match nowhere near Dickinson's operatic vocals, wise choice. I say that because the thought of imitating Dickinson's vocals would not go well with Laiho's voice, so Laiho sings where he is more comfortable in. As for the track, the band does an excellent job in brutality in the music, and Ace's High is a track to adore.
In the next track, Children of Bodom take a break from their warpath and smooth things up in Rebel Yell by Billy Idol. This track is not a comedic one, but one that is serious in attempts to capture Idol's tone. Contrary to Ace's High, Laiho imitates Idol's vocals and perfects it fine as well the entire band perfects the performance of the song. Like most of the songs they covered, they make this track as their own. This track is a killer and will please audiences, no matter the taste you have.
I hear trouble and trouble comes from Stone. It doesn't live up to the hype and momentum the tracks have created, but it's one of that good-enough-to-listen tracks. No Command is filled with aggression that can leave a black eye, hyperbole.
At first, I did not know what the song was saying due to the fast pace vocals Laiho took, but upon the lyrics, I knew. The song is Antisocial by Anthrax and its subject is about greed and evil, not antisocial or people with an antisocial personality disorder. This track was original done by Trust and then Anthrax, and it is now on Children of Bodom's hands. By listening to all tracks, I felt the same way and they reached same opinion I had for them: awesome and (bleep) great! This track goes great with the Grand Theft Auto games.
Unsuspecting to a lot of bands, the next cover is originally from the ultimate party band, Poison. Oh, I loved the way COB did covering this awesome glam track, Talk Dirty to Me. Everything is perfect upon listening and things are the same except there's a little aggression and cleaner production due to today's production. The clean intro riffs are great at the beginning and then the band does awesome job at playing music and being faithful to the original. I am fan of the original version, but man, this track blows me away. Of course, I must warn you the band does change a little bit of the lyrics, but this small change is great. I also love the vocals Laiho lays out as they go well with layered music. Whatever version you and me are listening to, both versions are great to listen and dance to.
I have learned that Johnny Cash and Stan Jones have done Ghostrider in the Sky. I don't what to say about this song, but I found it positive and thought the chorus and music was cool.
Some of us are nuts and have Suicidal Tendencies, so they need to be institutionalized, for there is a War inside My Head. This song has the material to make one feel like they are on a suicidal mission. One wonders how it is like to have War inside My Head, so check out the album cover of My War from Black Flag and you'll have an idea. Other than that, this track is a madhouse!
Oh my goodness, stay clear from one drunken Alexi Aleiho for he is on a drunken path in Oops I did it Again. This nutty tune is funny as C.O.B. metals up this Britney Spears classic. I checked my brain for comment, but found laughter. I clearly though drunks and heck, the last person I heard doing this song was Wally from Dilbert in hilarious strip panel,
Oops, I did it again. Wow, with these headphones, I exactly sound like Britney Spears.
The next track is Waiting from King Diamond and this cover is evil. It's evil because the guitars, vocals, and music are what close the closet. All I have to do is push the button and the song will play again. Clearly by now, you can see me rocking out to this tune. I must hear the original. I commend Laiho and Bodom for choosing this and ending the album with this.
Children of Bodom's Skeletons in the Closet is an album that is somewhat criminally overlooked at and underrated. I believe the reason is because it's a cover album and some people don't like hearing covers. I found this album awesome and believe there should be a nudge given to the folks so they can listen. Just push play, and drink up, Skeletons in the Closet is worth opening. There you go, hope you enjoy C.O.B. screwing up the classics. // 10