Children of Bodom
“Trashed, Lost & Strungout”
Century Media Records
Hailing from Finland, Children of Bodom continue to prove themselves as part of the metal elite in the European metal scene. Lead guitarist and front man Alexi Laiho, drummer Jaska Raatikainen, bassist Henkka T. Blacksmith, guitarist Roope Latvala and keyboardist Janne Warman continue to craft killer, melodic heavy metal to rival the best the genre has to offer.
The band’s last album, 2003’s “Hate Crew Deathroll,” landed on many best-of lists for the year. The group toured throughout 2004 and are currently holed up in the studio crafting an album for release this fall.
In the meantime, fans can make due with “Trashed, Lost & Strungout,” a new EP showcasing the band’s crushing sound.
The title track off the EP is fast-paced riff-heavy thrash song brimming with melody (what is becoming a trademark Children of Bodom sound). Picking up where the band’s last album left off, the album pulls from older influences like Slayer or Anthrax and infuses a more modern twist (in the vein of newer In Flames) to create a twisted wreck of a metal masterpiece. According to the band’s fan site, Scythes of Bodom, the band premiered the track during a summer tour last year. After making an appearance on back-to-back nights at two festival dates, the bands stopped playing it as bootlegs started to pop up online (though the band used the song on a couple of fall mini-tours).
The EP also features the debut of the new track, “Knuckleduster.” More mid-tempo, the track comes across like a hefty blend of Godsmack, Sepultura and In Flames. The riffs are intentional and crushing, Laiho’s vocals are as crisp and angry as ever and there’s some fantastic solos featured in the song.
The band does a great job of twisting a cover of Alice Cooper’s “Bed of Nails” (originally recorded for Cooper’s 1989 release, “Trash”). While the guitar has the hint of the pop-rock sound from the original release, the scratchy vocals, Warman tearing it up on the keyboards and the sick drumming and bass-work gives the song a modern feel. Then, the band seems to flip a switch right before the end of the track, turning into a meta-death metal number with the double-kick drumming and a more rapid delivery.
Rounding out the set is a cover of Andrew WK’s “She is Beautiful.” While it’s pretty obvious Children of Bodom is performing the song, the band stays true to the source material, albeit souping the track up slightly with a fuller guitar sound and more guttural vocals.
Clocking in at just under 15 minutes, this EP is either a taste to tide fans over until the next album (due out this fall) or a cheap introduction to a band any metal fan would gladly add to their collection.