Review Summary: On Hate Crew Deathroll, Children of Bodom show a harder edge and a move away from the more power metal tracks of previous albums such as Follow The Reaper.Children of Bodom
are one of the best known acts today in modern metal. The band have released six albums to date, plus they have recently released a DVD. Many metalheads hail the three previous albums to Hate Crew Deathroll
as metal classics and rightfully so. Their brand of death and power metal is an exciting mix - virtuosic guitar, insane keyboard solos and screeching vocals are some of the ingredients that help to make up the Bodom experience. On this album, it is clear that the band have progressed slightly from their previous album, Follow The Reaper
. Hate Crew Deathroll
demonstrates a harder edge to the band; the riffs are heavier, the lyrics are more hateful and the overall feel of the album is slightly different. In comparison to their previous efforts, it probably is not as jaw-dropping but nevertheless the album is a superb example of quality metal.
The album opens with Needled 24/7
, a fast paced, heavily thrash-orientated headbanger. Everything about the track screams frantic intensity - the riffs are blinding, as are the solos and the band in general are on top form. What sets this track apart from songs off previous albums is the emphasis on being heavier - for example, on Hatebreeder
songs revolved heavily around solos and keyboard pyrotechnics. On tracks from Hate Crew Deathroll
, the riffs and vocals are at the forefront for the most part. That is not to say the solos have taken a step back; some of the solos on the album are probably the best Alexi has ever done.
Next up is Sixpounder
. The song opens up with one of the band's heaviest riffs, a Pantera-esque slab of brutality. The song continues in the same vein, providing some great riffs and two great solos. The chorus even features what I would call 'clean' vocals from Alexi and they sound pretty good. However, the coolest bit of the song is definitely where he screams 'six six six!' and it launches into the first solo. Awesome stuff. Chokehold
features an incredible solo duel between Alexi and Janne but other than that it is typical stuff from the band. Bodom Beach Terror
is probably one of the weaker tracks from the album - not to say it is bad in any way, it is just that the majority of the other tracks eclipse it in terms of catchiness and accessibility. The chorus is kind of cool though with some interesting lyrics.
The slowest song on the album is definitely Angels Don't Kill
. This song kind of reminded me of Everytime I Die
but it is a little slower. At the end of the previous track, a spoken sample leads us into the next (I think the sample is taken from the film 'American Psycho') and the eerie keyboard motif starts. A mammoth pick slide then thrusts you into the track and from then on it is a belter. Alexi's vocal performance is one of the best on the album and you can really feel the emotion in his shrieks. The riffs are also great - really catchy in places. Definitely one of the strongest tracks on the album.
Triple Corpse Hammerblow
opens up with some cheesy keyboards and soon enough the listener is treated with another solid although typical Bodom track. The solo in this song is particularly noteworthy and just goes to show how talented Alexi is. You're Better Off Dead
would probably go down as the most pissed-off song on the album besides the title track. Right from the start the listener is bludgeoned with ferocious speed and bitter lyrics. After the track ends, a sensational section of drumming from Jaaska takes us into the penultimate track from the album, Lil' Bloodred Ridin' Hood
. Aside from the rather amusing title, the song is another barrage of thrashy riffs and technical soloing. The final track of Hate Crew Deathroll
is the title track. It begins with a short keyboard melody before throwing you into another thrash-fest. The lyrics on this track are particularly noteworthy just because they border on hilarious. There is also a section in the solo which reminded me a bit of Hangar 18
- you will know what I mean if you have heard both songs.
While it probably is not as good as their previous albums, Hate Crew Deathroll
is definitely not a bad album by any means. There are several stand-out tracks and the band have shown a positive progression into what they have begun to hone on Are You Dead Yet?
. Aside from the lyrics being slightly immature at times (especially on the title track), the album is definitely worth your money. Alexi is at his most pissed off and his guitar work is some of the best he has ever done. Overall, Hate Crew Deathroll
is a worthy addition to any metalhead's collection, particularly if you are a fan of the harder edge of power metal.
Angels Don't Kill