I’ll be first to admit that I never really gave these guys the listen they deserved. I think I may have seen them at Wacken over a decade ago, but that’s about it. When you consider they have been around for 20 years it’s actually quite a feat to have only got them now.
After a couple of seconds of static “I Hurt” blossoms into a frantic drum battery by Jaska Raatikainen with impeccable footwork and a sharp, precise snare snap. Alexi Laiho’s guitar riffs are clever and I like the way Janne Warman weaves his keyboards through them for that added depth and complexity.
Alexi’s vocals are a bit of a raspy hoarse cry in “My Bodom (I am The Only One)”, but the group vocals for the chorus are rather melodic and harmonious with a lengthy guitar lead to wrap up the song.
“Morrigan” reminds me a little of Amorphis, which is not a bad thing at all. I guess that’s the keyboard melody being used as the backbone for the song with the guitars bulking up the sound until they fade out for the lead making Henkka Blacksmith’s bass take all the weight on its neck.
The lead on “Horns” hits some really high notes, but what’s better is the sheer speed that the song is blasted out at.
A beautifully moody keyboard joined by the weeping guitar gives “Prayer For The Afflicted” the right air of melancholy for the slowest track on the album. While Alexi’s vocals still have a hint of aggression in them, they have that roughest of edges softened to carry extra emotion and pain.
The title track “I Worship Chaos” has a bit of a Machine Head like build up that culminates in keyboard breakdown rather than explosion of guitars, but when the lead does occur the keyboards are played in a passionate frenzy.
The rather groove-laden “Hold Your Tongue” ranges from slowish to mid-tempoed giving it a bit of a rock ‘n roll vibe rather than all out thrash one.
Perhaps it’s a Finnish thing or just the combination of keyboards and guitars that give “Suicide Bomber” a sound I associate with Amorphis, including the heavy vocals contrasting the melodic instruments.
I have never heard a keyboard/guitar trade-off before and the last 2 minutes of “All For Nothing” have exactly that. A guitar lead followed by a keyboard lead, then back to guitar. I’d never have thought it would work, but shall quite easily say I was pleasantly surprised that it actually worked rather well.
“Widdershins” is a great track to end the album on, with it being fast and having a catchy groove and impressively played lead solos, fading out with the static they open the album with.
Actually a rather enjoyable album which does make me question why I never bothered with them before.
(8/10 Marco Gaminara)