|Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal
September 22nd, 2009
Release length: 1:06:01
One of the nicer things about this release is that the artwork includes the year each song was recorded, as well as some very brief liner notes for every song but “Waiting”, sometimes explaining why the band covered the song. While it won’t really give any points towards the album, it was a nice touch to help you see why bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival and Britney Spears were covered. The only two new tracks on this one are “Antisocial” and “Hell Is For Children”, and rest span throughout the band’s career dating back to 1998. While it’s nice to have a collection like this, you can clearly hear the difference between eras that these songs were recorded, both with the direction of the band and the then qualities of recording equipment. Skeletons In The Closet‘s production value is nice, as it tries to clean up the older songs to match up to the more recently recorded tracks, but some of them, like “Mass Hypnosia” are just not as nice as the others and, after a while, if you’re picky about the sound of your CDs, will irritate you jumping from one quality to another.
Other then that, this is quite a superb collection. The earlier recorded tracks, such as “Mass Hypnosia” and “Aces High” are a little too generic, dating back to the start of the band’s career. They are nice to listen to, but after a few listens you’ll easily get bored of them. Aside quality issues, there are some songs on here that, while they sound pretty good, just aren’t that great a cover song to begin with. “Rebel Yell”, which features Alexi singing, starts off pretty rough every time you hear it, but as you reach the end you’ll start to get into it since it’s more the rougher vocals, and the clean singing jumping right into the rhaspy melodic vocals does wind up being a bit too much. Another rather downer track is “Waiting”, which sounds great until the attempted falsetto vocals kick in. Now, granted, it’s hard to pull off that high pitched a voice as King Diamond can belt out, but half the time it just seems like there’s no effort in even attempting to reach that range.
But, let’s be honest, there’s some really good cover songs on here. “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” is just a very fun fusion of metal and punk with some nice banjo work thrown in, “Hell Is For Children” is just an all around great song made heavier thent he original, and whether you hate them or not, “She Is Beautiful” and “Ooops!… I Did It Again” are just fun cover tracks that will probably make you laugh pretty hard throughout the whole thing. What is odd is the cover of “Talk Dirty To Me”, which is just a very well metal version of the glam rock hit song and a definite one for fans of the band to check out. To be honest, aside the few above mentioned tracks that kind of bring down the album, everything on Skeletons In The Closet are excellent covers that even the original artists would say did the material justice.
But, the only problem is that, if you own all the band’s material, and have been a fan from the start, or even have any reissued full lengths, buying this entire CD is pretty much pointless. You could create a custom mix yourself and purchase the missing tracks from an MP3 store if you felt compelled to do it and save some cash. Had Children Of Bodom gone back into the studio and re-recorded all of the cover songs from, roughly, 2005 and back, it would have been a very straight forward album that doesn’t go from crystal clear audio one minute to rather dulled, somewhat muffled audio the next. Granted it is nice to sit back and listen to these songs know the band’s progression with each one, or step back if going back in time, but if they wanted to do that they should have gone from their first to most recent cover in chronological order instead. Really this one relies on a monetary judgement, as fans would already have nearly all this material as it is. But, if you’re not an avid fan, Skeletons In The Closet is a great album you can just pick up and listen to without having to worry about which style sounds better or worse, since you’ll have samples from every time period of the band handy.
01. Lookin’ Out My Back Door (Creedence Clearwater Revival) – 2:09
02. Hell Is For Children (Pat Benatar) – 4:01
03. Somebody Put Something In My Drink (Ramones) – 3:17
04. Mass Hypnosis (Sepultura) – 4:03
05. Don’t Stop At The Top (Scorpions) – 3:25
06. Silent Scream (Slayer) – 3:18
07. She Is Beautiful (Andrew W.K.) – 3:27
08. Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) (Kenny Rogers) – 2:39
09. Bed Of Nails (Alice Cooper) – 3:54
10. Hellion (W.A.S.P.) – 3:01
11. Aces High (Iron Maiden) – 4:30
12. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol) – 4:12
13. No Commands (Stone) – 4:49
14. Antisocial (Trust/Anthrax) – 3:36
15. Talk Dirty To Me (Poison) – 3:36
16. War Inside My Head (Suicidal Tendencies) – 3:25
17. Ooops!… I Did It Again (Britney Spears) – 3:20
18. Waiting (King Diamond) – 3:50
|Overall Score: 6/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.