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Children of Bodom really have something on their hands with Something Wild. It is simply one of the best debuts that I have heard in quite a while. Even though there are some faults in the album – overall it is quite impressive and creative. Some bands try to do the melodic and heavy factor and few of them pull it off as catchy and clever as Children of Bodom have.
Something Wild has its problems granted. It’s production values are pretty minimal and the mixing has some faults in it (at one point the guitars actually pop out louder in the middle of a note for about a half second – freaked me out originally). These are simple things that make the album a little rougher to listen to – and make the fans a little more dedicated to love.
The writing of the album is quite chaotic sounding. There are many stop and go sections and with breaks along with “solo” parts for almost every instrument. The guitars are fast, spastic, and catchy. There is plenty of melody (part of the charm of Children of Bodom) and with the keyboards there is plenty of moments where you can tell the band have some classical music influence. The solos are amazing (when you consider the age of the members and the age of the band – even more amazing) and the leads are well played. The guitar sound is often mudded down due to poor production but if one listens hard enough you can hear the talent.
The bass work is pretty damn good and even though I felt the bass was a little strong on this album – he keeps the variety up and really plays like a guitar player rather than an underlying element. The drums are varied and sound like death metal at times and other times sound like power metal. It’s a great combination of sounds to give the album a very unique feel. The keys in the album are also a little on the “unpolished” side but are very useful at giving us great depth to the music.
Alexi Laiho definitely embraces a death metal vocal technique (with a little variation) on Something Wild. He uses the deep part of his lungs to push out lyrics of hate, death, the reaper, and Lake Bodom. The use of movie sound clips gives the album an interesting side take – I recognized the opening one to be from the TV movie, It. They fit well on the album and even though they sound pretty of low quality, flow well with the rough edges of the production.
Children of Bodom are a force to reckon with. An original mix of styles along with some interesting concepts and so much talent that seasoned bands may get jealous; Children of Bodom are on the edge of greatness with this debut release. The production may get on some people’s nerves but overall the writing is well done (chaotic but amazing).
Songs to check out: Red Light in My Eyes Pt. 1, Lake Bodom, Touch like Angel of Death.