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Album Reviews : Children of Bodom – Skeletons In The Closet

By on September 30, 2009

bodom_Skeletons In The ClosetLet’s face it, an album of cover versions is a matter of personal taste. To some they are a tedious waste of time, an act of indulgence, while to others they serve a purpose and offer insight into a bands influences and origins. If any band was destined to do such an album it would have to be Children of Bodom given their propensity for cover versions as b-sides and bonus tracks. “Skeletons In The Closet” is basically a compendium of covers that have previously appeared on singles, tribute albums and Japanese versions of their releases.

All of the songs on the album were recorded between 1998 and 2009 with the two new songs that were previously unavailable being Pat Benatar’s “Hell Is For Children” and “Antisocial” which is acknowledged as “a cover of a cover” but still considered an Anthrax song regardless.

One of the best things about the CD is the variety of artists that are covered, not just the obligatory metal bands you would expect (such as Slayer, Sepultura and Iron Maiden) but also rock bands (Poison, The Scorpions, WASP, Alice Cooper) and quite a few from left field as well (Pat Benatar, Kenny Rogers, Britney Spears). It is this variety that keeps the CD interesting and the manner in which they “bodomize” each song is amusing, particularly the guitar and keyboards solos that are trademarks of their original compositions.

There is a brief description by Alexi Laiho of the reasons behind choosing each song in the booklet, he has never been ashamed to acknowledge his hard rock influences, but even when they do pull out the cover versions of actual metal songs credit must be given for not choosing the obvious favourites. “Silent Scream” is a great Slayer song that wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice and there is even a song by Finnish thrashers Stone which is interesting as their guitarist Roope Latvala joined Children of Bodom in 2003.

Overall, this is a fun diversion that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Then again, how could it be otherwise when motivation comes from drinking, childhood memories, influences and, in a couple of cases, the movie “The Big Lebowski”. And if you make it through Britney Spears, which is actually one of my least favourite songs on the CD, there is a hidden version of King Diamond’s “Waiting” from his 1996 album “The Graveyard”. (Again, not an obvious selection!)

The decision to invest in “Skeletons In The Closet” will depend on whether you are a) a fan of covers albums or b) a Children Of Bodom obsessive though, in the latter case, you will no doubt have accumulated many of these songs on other releases. As for me, I am unfortunately both, so it was a given that I would need to buy this CD. It is certainly an enjoyable listen, though its longevity is questionable, which is ultimately a saving grace whatever your opinion of the concept might be. 7/10

Band: Children Of Bodom
Album: Skeletons In The Closet
Year: 2009
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Origin: Helsinki, Finland
Label: Spinefarm Records
www.myspace.com/childrenofbodom

Track Listing
1. Looking Out My Back Door (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
2. Hell Is For Children (Pat Benatar)
3. Somebody Put Something In My Drink (The Ramones)
4. Mass Hypnosis (Sepultura)
5. Don’t Stop At The Top (The Scorpions)
6. Silent Scream (Slayer)
7. She Is Beautiful (Andrew W.K)
8. Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) (Kenny Rogers)
9. Bed Of Nails (Alice Cooper)
10. Hellion (WASP)
11. Aces High (Iron Maiden)
12. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
13. No Commands (Stone)
14. Antisocial (Anthrax / Trust)
15. Talk Dirty To Me (Poison)
16. War Inside My Head (Suicidal Tendencies)
17. Ooops…I Did It Again (Britney Spears)

Origin: Helsinki, Finlan

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.