Sound — 8
Children Of Bodom formed in 1993 under the name Inearthed by founding members Alexi Laiho and Jaska Raatikainen (drummer). Both founding members remain in the band, and the remainder of the lineup has been stable for over a decade until the exit of guitarist Roope Latvala. Antti Wirman, Janne Wirman's brother, is supposed to fill in temporarily (I'm assuming for live performances, only). "I Worship Chaos" is the band's ninth studio album, containing ten tracks and clocking in at forty-five minutes. The album was recorded in an abandoned warehouse in an attempt to take advantage of the acoustics and feel, and was released by Nuclear Blast Records.
"I Hurt" comes out the gate swinging, mostly seeming to try to get home the point that the band is going to keep their game up, even with the exit of Roope. The energy is good on the track, with much more power metal than death metal in the composition. "My Bodom (I Am the Only One)" is a good aggressive track with some interesting things going on - both lyrically and musically. "Morrigan" has some of the catchiest riffing from the album in it, with a melody playing over it via keyboard. The track's "breakdown" is a nice touch. "Horns" opens up with tremolo picking and aggression and escalates from there. "Prayer for the Afflicted" sounds like the soundtrack for a horror movie that I want to watch, it does an excellent job of creating a dark vibe. The title track, "I Worship Chaos," seems like it is trying to really embody the title, it is fast and heavy and has a lot of movement in it. "Hold Your Tongue" has a strong power metal vibe going on and an oddly happy sounding solo. "Suicide Bomber" is a tremolo-picked nightmare with some strong folk metal leanings. "All for Nothing" is the longest track on the album at almost six minutes, and it does a lot in that time to catch the listener's attention - from a call and response solo between the guitar and keyboards, to an almost uplifting melody through much of the track, and some really catchy riffing. "Widdershins" closes out the album with some guitar pyrotechnics, and just a really solid track, overall. The album being recorded in an abandoned warehouse was a cool touch, though I'm not sure how much it actually affected the sound on the album.
Lyrics — 8
Alexi Laiho isn't my favorite metal vocalist, or even my favorite death metal vocalist, but he is definitely very skilled - one, he's been doing what he's been doing for over 20 years and he still has a voice. That is impressive in and of itself. Two, he manages to get a lot of different emotion and nuances into his screams - again, very impressive. His performance on "I Worship Chaos" is definitely commendable; this is an impressive vocal performance. Some of my favorite lyrics from the album are from the track "Hold Your Tongue," and here are a sample of those lyrics: "Sick to death... Filled to the brim/ Of feigning interest in your life/ Be it a god... be it a knife/ An answer to the never ending strife/ To hold your tongue speaks of truthful pain/ It's not like I haven't already heard you complain/ Breathe it in or out/ Puke, swallow or spit/ Silence ain't golden then gold has turned to shit/ But enough's enough/ Don't tell me, once again/ Life is constant pain/ I've lost what I'll never find/ Tripped down when I was blind/ But at least I know when to drain the bitter cup/ And when its time to simply just shut the fuck up."
Overall Impression — 8
I have to say - I love the riffing on this album - it just seems like it helps this be a stronger album than I've really heard from Children Of Bodom in a while. They keyboard parts seem to be a little more emphasized than they've been lately, but it works out well. I'm not 100% happy with the way the album is mixed, but I'm normally not happy with the way death metal is mixed - that may be more a matter of my overall preferences than any kind of judgment of the album. My favorite tracks from the album are "Widdershins," "Morrigan," "Prayer for the Afflicted" and "All for Nothing." I would say this album might very well end up in my top 3 favorite Children of Bodom albums as it grows on me, but still a little early to say right this moment.