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The first album by these Finnish power/speed-metal giants is definitely worth getting, just like everything else in their catalogue thus far. Not surprisingly, the COB album it's mostly comparable is the follow-up, "Hatebreeder", with lots of razor sharp and insanely fast single-note based riffs on a nearly constant full-frontal assault to kick your ass time and time again. Like all their releases, "Something Wild" takes frightening horror moods and almost psychotic, creepy atmospheres built up by some mesmerizing keyboard work, adds brutal aggression to the mixture with the monstrous riffwork and harsh vocals by Alexi Laiho that we all love or loathe.
On top of this, they put complex and quite unusual song arrangements that manage to keep the songs flowing well and constantly keeps the album fresh and surprising, while not being confused or incoherent in the slightest (Hi, Dream Theater). Though because of the frenetic moodswings and countless amounts of riffs in each and every song, they sometimes get a bit hard to tell apart from eachother. But when you listen to the album enough, it'll all sink in anyway. If you hear one part of the album randomly, you probably have no idea what song it is from, but you'll sure as hell know it kicks fucking ass.
Some parts do stand out though, mainly some incredibly memorable and well-written melodies, like the one towards the end of "In The Shadows" or approximately 15 seconds into "Red Light In My Eyes Part I". Especially the main melody of the later song is amazing, never fails to give me goosebumps. Some incredible emotion conveyed into the whole song, really. The keyboard work of the band and on this album especially gives an almost melancholic edge to some moments of the album, which works surprisingly well with the intensity and aggression of the rest of the album, and Alexis vocals go perfectly with it. Again, check out the beginning of "Red Light In My Eyes Part I".
"Lake Bodom" also has some fucking great moments. It starts with a magnificent keyboard melody, going into a melodic guitar riff which then takes us into total ownage mode throughout the entire song. Also note the brilliant keyboard solo, gotta love those.
The whole album though is filled with great moments all over, and there isn't really a weak moment on here, which is pretty fucking impressive considering the ever changing song structures. With this album, Children of Bodom took power metal to a new level, and brought us something that at the time, 1997, was quite unique (though bands like Sacred Warrior have used harsh vocals on power metal songs way back, it was not at all as overt as this) and more importantly, totally kickass. To name highlights is hard since the songs tend to blend together, but that's the only flaw I can find on this album, and since it's all great shit anyway that's not much of a problem.
The song structures are not quite as overwhelming, the keyboards not as perfectly atmospheric and the riffs not quite as menacing, as on the album that was to come two years later, "Hatebreeder". Nonetheless, this can definitely hold it's own against alot of classic metal records. Modern metal needs more bands like these, who have the balls to do something that's fresh and interesting, yet still kicks your ass like real metal should.
At the date of the writing of this review, it is 5 days until I see these mad finnish fuckers on the third day of Sweden Rock Festival, and oh Satan am I growing impatient or what? I'm expecting to get my ass kicked more times than you can count with both parts of your brain, both musically (all of it) and physically (Exodus).