Review of the Album "Something Wild" by Finnish Melodic Death Metal Band Children of Bodom
The Album "Something Wild" Features the Musical Excellence of a Then Very Young Alexi Laiho
Children of Bodom, one of the first neoclassical melodic death metal bands of the modern era came onto the scene with their debut album called Something Wild. What we hear on this album is nothing short of superb! Something Wild was released in 1997 featuring the guitar prowess by then 18 year-old Alexi Laiho who has since proven that he can play with pretty much any guitarist of the genre in terms of speed, melody, and technique. If 1999 was the best year for this band, 1997 was just about equally as good. Even though for emphasis we say that this album shows the musical brilliance of a then very young Alexi Laiho, he still is not old by any means being 38 years old in 2017. But back in 1997, he showed much promise with his musical skill.
Personnel That Play on the Album Something Wild
- Alexi Laiho: guitars and vocals (R.I.P. December 29, 2020)
- Alexander Kuoppala: guitars
- Henkka T. Blacksmith (Seppala): bass guitars
- Janne Warman: keyboards
- Jaska Raatikainen: drums
In the Shadows is a Very Good Technical Song
With the first song called Deadnight Warrior that features the sound of ominous thunder, evil laughs and a tough grunt, Alexi Laiho growls “Yeah” as the band’s music kicks in. The keyboard has a sort of sound that we would have heard in a video game back one decade before. In the Shadows features some pretty slick, fast drumming as we hear the neoclassical influence and it builds up to create one of the finest songs in the band’s career. The song refers to a person that has very bad dreams and he is aware that the Grim Reaper awaits at some unknown border waiting for those who try to pass him. Traditionally, the Grim Reaper has been a character in video games that stops travelers in their tracks not letting them pass until they prove that they can beat him. I know that this is not a video game review but the Grim Reaper is one of the bosses in the original Castlevania video game.
"Red Light in My Eyes Part 2"
Red Light in My Eyes Parts 1, 2, and Lake Bodom
Then the album has the songs Red Light in My Eyes Part 1 and Red Light in My Eyes Part 2. The songs focus on somebody that has been trapped by extremely negative feelings of his own. This may have something to do with the fact that the band’s name comes from one of the biggest unsolved crimes of the 20th century. It could be that the band was trying to express their anger through the power of melodic death metal.
The second song in this series especially features passages from the work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The classical style tapping continues to dominate in the song and there is a reference to fire having both a harmful and beneficial effect. This neoclassical style really works in the band’s favor and they abandoned this in favor of a heavier, less melodic style which is good too for the most part but this neoclassical style made them better as the song Lake Bodom demonstrates. The ending where Alexi really growls the words “something wild” like a really brutal creature is such a menacing growl that it would leave most death metal vocalists in awe of his power and range.
"In the Shadows"
Something Wild Has a Very Solid Finish
"The Nail" is so fast that it represents a power metal version of Children of Bodom. The last song called "Touch Like Angel of Death" is a song about a warrior whose mind is so worn out that he is overcome by rage and has a desire to snuff out the lives of people to prove a point. Overall, Something Wild represents not an album that is wild and out of order but an album that even 20 years later is one of the best releases in the history of neoclassical death metal.
Favorite Song on the album Something Wild
What is your favorite song on the album Something Wild?
"Touch Like Angel of Death"
Final Thoughts About the Album Something Wild
If Children of Bodom stuck to the style of their first three albums, they could have been as great as some of the other melodic death metal bands today. Yes, this band did get less neoclassical and used traditional melodic death metal riffs but by the time they reached 2005 they sounded more like a thrash metal band. This is not a bad thing but the band should have refined their neoclassical style and improved that. Is Something Wild better than their album in 1999 called Hatebreeder? It is tough to say but these albums are solid and deserve no less than 92 points out of 100.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian