"Halo of Blood" two years ago. A great, melodic assault that was easily the best from the band since "Hate Crew Deathroll". This certainly got my hopes up that the follow up would follow in the same foot steps, creating a perfect blend between the old and new Bodom.
The thing that made "Halo of Blood" so successful was that the riffs was no longer the main focal point. Instead, the band focused on a heavy attack. Going into the new album, entitled "I Worship Chaos", I was hoping they would use the same tactics again. They did, but to a much smaller extent. "I Worship Chaos" is more of the newer CoB than the older, a more melodic album where the structures are fairly simple and the riffs tries to steal the attention. This ultimately hurt the song writing in my opinion.
It also seems like the band has become more egoistic in the last two years, or one would think that when they release a album called "I Worship Chaos" and it contains songs as "I Hurt" and "My Bodom (I Am The Only One)". Besides from that, it is the Bodom we all know and love. The aggression is there, the technicality as well, they just miss the killer songs. "Morrigan" is a typical single release that is easy for the fan to enjoy, but harder to love, and "I Hurt" has a good bite, but it will probably be forgotten in the long run.
The highest quality comes particularly in three songs. The title track and "Widdershins" both display some high speeds and nice technicality. They also have a cool solo to complement their sound. But my clear favourite is "Prayer For The Afflicted", a dark, gloomy, and slow song that shows a different Bodom than what we are used to. I really like this one because the mood and instrumentation goes incredibly well together, creating a overall impression that lifts the whole album.
Something that does not lift the album though is the three covers that comes with the digipack version of the album. I have never considered CoB as a great cover band, and these covers do not change my opinion one bit. Both the covers of "Mistress of Taboo" by Plasmatics and "Black Winter Day" by Amorphis are acceptable, but then we come to "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins, and I loose my shit. Because every time the band covers a song that has normal vocals, Alexi sings horribly, like he is trying to hold back just so you can recognize the song they are covering. I think they could have done something cool here, made the song their own, but failed miserably. If you want a good "Danger Zone" cover, search for the one made by Psychostick instead.
I think "I Worship Chaos" suffers from the high expectations that "Halo of Blood" brought in. It is not a awful album, but it is not spectacular either. It has some small highlights here and there, but the quality of the craft does not meet up to the cover of the artwork (which I must say might be one of my favourites from the band this far). The band can do better, but they certainly can do much, much worse.
Songs worthy of recognition: Prayer For The Afflicted, I Worship Chaos, Widdershins
Rating: 6,5/10 Horns