As a proud Millennial, I have seen the rise, evolution, and fall of so many early 00’s bands, plenty that have faded away and household names releasing questionable forays into electronica and/or god forbid… ‘Dubstep’.
Thankfully Alexi’s hate crew have afforded the experimental no such courtesies over their illustrious career. The formula that brought their melo-death to the fore of the Gothenburg scene has rarely been deviated from and now with 10th Album ‘Hexed‘ (Yes 10th. No, best ofs and live albums don’t count) unsurprisingly, it still hasn’t.
Opening salvo ‘This Road‘ is a prime example of a lesson in brutality yet beauty, catchy hooks and harmonies with a pounding drive. Very much what I’ve long admired in a group of clear virtuosos who have never forgotten the importance of crafting their gifts into a good song. Current single ‘Under Grass and Clover’ unashamedly presenting their penchant for some catchy dual guitar and keyboard cheese (what? it is.) There’s no let up through ‘Glass Houses’, ‘Hecate’s Nightmare’, and the aptly named ‘Kick in a Spleen’ providing just that.
‘Platitudes and Dying Words’ is another fine example of the annoying fact that this is a band that will literally never run out of riffs, and title track ‘Hexed’ revisiting some early territory with a bit of their now signature baroque-esque grooves.
There’s a seamless flow about this record, and closer ‘Knuckleduster’, a somewhat re-visited and re-worked evolution of older material provides less an end, more a ‘might as well hit play again’.
Whilst you could argue that it’s not exactly new ground, Children of Bodom retain their status as ‘Leaders, not Followers’ *cough* In Flames *cough*, very much a case of forever onwards. But I’ve never thought you can have too much of a good thing.
After all, if it ain’t broke…
A G Perrie