Ah, Children of Bodom...a band that any half-assed metalhead should need no introduction to. They've made a hell of a mark on the modern metal world. Diehard metalheads hail all four of their albums so far as metal masterpieces. As an exteme power metal act with neo-classical influances, Bodom can satisfy from the toughest headbanger to the most uptight music teacher. Since the release of Hate Crew Deathroll
in March of 2003, the boys from Finland seem to have dropped off the face of the planet while fans everywhere soak up as much as they can of their old work in preperation for the coming album, Are You Dead Yet?
, which is set for a September 21 release in the US. CoB didn't leave us completely out to dry, though. In the meantime, fans were left to sink their teeth into Trashed, Lost & Strungout
, their 2005 EP.
Keep in mind that aside from Shadows Fall, Children of Bodom is my all-time favorite band...this I suppose could be the epitome of a mixed review. On the one hand, we have the brand new tracks Trashed, Lost & Strungout
, while in the other we have Bed of Nails
(Alice Cooper cover) as well as She is Beautiful
(an Andrew WK cover), which obviously display CoB's passion for covering other artists. This release has been met with mixed reviews with fans worldwide. While many say that Bodom is sliding down from atop the metal mountain, others say that these guys are slightly changing, but still kicking as much ass as usual. I guess I'm in the middle.
From the beginning, the EP starts off a hell of a lot more than promising with the title track, Trashed, Lost & Strungout
. I found this to be one of the band's songs in quite a while. Instead of going for the heavier riffing style we saw on Hate Crew
, the boys take it back to something more along the lines of Hatebreeder
and Follow the Reaper
. Most all of the emphasis is placed on the keyboards (which are amazing) and Alexi's lead licks (also badass). The song is very fast-paced and flows incredibly. The guitar work is immaculate as usual while Janne is at the top of his game. There is a large chunk of heavy riffing in the middle of the track, but the guitar solo afterwards is enough to drown it out. Incredible song.
The next track, Knuckleduster
, is the one that confuses me. Here they throw an old-school Bodom song like TL&S at us, and then comeback with Knuckleduster
, which sounds like it came off of Hate Crew
. Keyboards are dominant, but very little emphasis is placed on lead guitar work. Instead we have threee minutes of brutal riffage. I suppose it would be a great song if it wasn't CoB. There is a great guitar solo, but...so many power chords...this isn't the CoB we all know and love. I guess it's been growing on me. It sounds great in every aspect, I guess the lack of neo-classical guitar playing kills me.
The two cover songs are next. both Bed of Nails
and She is Beautiful
can be put in the same boat. They're just fun metal songs not to be taken too seriously. Just remember, these are covers! When I first heard them I thought, "What the hell happened to CoB!?". Its alright. This isn't their stuff. Both the tracks aren't bad, but I personally prefer Bed of Nails
. I guess there's just some kind of attitude about it that seems more old-school metal. She is Beautiful
just seems funny...Alexi screaming about a beautful girl. The song is so upbeat it almost makes me sick. Still not bad though.
So ultimately, we have some good and bad. CoB leaves a hell of a lot of questions with this EP. Will we get good stuff like the title track, or some half-assed writing like Knuckleduster
? One thing's for sure. If they combine both on one reocrd, I'll be first in line to buy. I liked it even if it does sound a little different at times. I'm both very excited and very afraid to hear Are You Dead Yet?
in September. I'll leave the deciding up to you.
Trashed Lost & Strungout