CHILDREN OF BODOM - Hexed
Nuclear Blast Records
This is a somewhat less heavy release than say 'Halo of Blood', but it's more melodic. If I were to go so far as to say if this is their MOST melodic album to date, I'd have to disagree on the premise. My contention is that it's not as brutal as previous albums, be it 'Hate Crew Deathroll', 'Follow the Reaper', et al. It's like heavy metal mixed with melodic bits. They sure show their influences though, be it thrashers or composers, COB recognizes that they're main idols were actual composers. I only know this because I'm into all sorts of metal and composers like Mozart. Some albums sound like classical mixed with heavy metal guitar-work.
But all that aside, was this a step up from their previous? I would say "yes!" resoundingly. The tempos are pretty slow and the music just flows like water may in a river. They simply squeeze as much melody as they can on here and I'm surprised that not more people have contributed to reviewing this. Maybe it's because COB has been somewhat cliche with their past few platters. However, that doesn't take away from this effort, I actually am esteeming this quite highly. The leads and rhythms go well together. Alexi blasts on lead guitar (as usual). But this is a more laid back COB release. It seems to fall under a more maybe concept album. I'm not quite sure.
This whole release was about 60 minutes in length. It's worth the listen to though. The whole way through, that is. The vocals are similar to older releases screaming but not as aggressive. It's a milder album as I say, but it's still really good. Just keep in mind their influences and a riff or too may have sounded like something you've heard before, but don't know where. That's my view of course, though that doesn't take away from the hierarchy of COB riffs. They are solid here and worth listening to. They've dedicated their time to making one of the most consistent COB albums to date. Everything is in accordance to reason musically.
If you don't have this yet, or are curious as to how it sounds, you might want to try it on Spotify or YouTube. I'm sure you might think that they've totally slowed down (which was my first impression). However, once you get into it, you'll feel the COB vibe to it which may keep you coming back to it more and more. If it's their most melodic album, that stands to contention, my contention at least. Give it a try and if you don't end up buying the album because it's too slow for you, that's perfectly alright. But if you do like this, support the band and purchase a physical copy of the CD. It won't disappoint!