Children of Bodom. By now we've all at least heard the name spoken. There's been a lot of debate over the genre. Are they black metal, death metal, melodic death, or power metal? I'm not here to clear up any controversy over the genre. Because there's no getting over the fact that no matter what genre they happen to fall into, Children of Bodom is one badass metal band hailing from Espoo, Finland, not far from their nation's capital.
Instead of giving the same boring history **** I'm going to go way back before the band even had a deal signed and start this review off with a somewhat humorous story. Back in good old 1996, after three years of writing, practicing and recording two demos, the band (called Inearthed
at the time) finally got a chance to sign a deal with a small Belgium record label. In the words of Alexi, it was a total "f*ck you" deal. Initially, the label wanted the band to pay for EVERYTHING. They even wanted Inearthed to buy their own albums - meaning they would have to but over 1,000 copies of their own CD and sell them themselves. On top of that, the band was only going to get about 10% of the royalties. But out of desperation, they went for it. Inearthed entered the studio with no money and only 8 days to record. Afterward, the album happened to end up in the hands of a guy from SpineFarm Records. This guy thought it was amazing. He wanted to sign Inearthed, but of course, they had already signed with this sh*tty label from Belgium :upset: . But of course, free spirited as the band is, they wouldn't let something stupid like a legal deal get in the way. The band then told the Belgium guys that they had split up, changed their name, signed to SpineFarm, and started to distribute the exact same album. Thus, Children of Bodom was born, and since that fateful year the band has never disappointed it's fans. The following review will prove that.
Warheart starts the album off fast and hard. It begins abruptly with the speed drumming, heavy synth, and melodic guitars. And let's not forget the quick bass intro. After about 30 seconds it goes into the lead guitar and we once again see what CoB is best at. Playing solos behind brutal screaming while maintaining the flowing sound - that's exactly hat we get here. It shifts from really fast to very, very slow in several spots and never fails to deliver killer solos. It's a great way to catch interest from the start - I know it got mine. Most likely a highlight.
Silent Night, Bodom Night
This track is night (er...not) quite as catchy as Warheart but still has a great sound. There's little synth and is pretty heavy compared to Warheart. It's slow (literally) in the beginning, but the once the guitar and keyboard solos come in the speed picks up greatly. It's a good solid song and nothing to overlook.
Even though it's got the classic CoB sound, Hatebreeder delivers the most brutal CoB song yet. Unfortunately, Alexi uses some of the cheesy brutally clean vocals (well, at least he outgrows that later) which bring the song down a little. But the music more than makes up for that. Alright, if you're anything like me, than so far you haven't been slightly disappointed.
Bed of Razors
The Razors start off deceptively with soft harp-like keyboards. It goes into these wicked-sweet (yes, I know, corny phrase) guitar riffs and picks up while getting slightly slower. It isn't one of their heavier songs by a long shot, but hell, does that really matter? This song is loaded with guitar solos ranging from a few seconds to...a few more seconds. Well, their not very long, but there's plenty of them.
Towards Dead End
TDE, like all CoB songs, begins right from the get-go with guitar solos and a little backgrounnd synth. This song definitely shows that the album is not headed towards a dead end. Most of the somh is a guitar solo, and while it's slightly repetitive, it's still **** good. The vocals do get a little creative in parts - they aren't screaming but are more like a menacing growl. 2/3 of the way through the structure changes a little making the song slower and heavier, but when it gets back to the speed, we can really see that the album is heading in exactly the right direction. :thumb:
When this one first started - I know it sounds ridiculous - but I think it could've passed for something off of Kill 'em All. It does go into a menacing sounds complete with heavy riffs and strange growling vocals. Even the lighter solos sound a little disturbed. This one reminds me of symphonic black metal, even though it definitely isn't it's still a great listen.
This is one killer intro. Fast guitar licks, light synth, heavy drums in the background - this is another heavy song. The main riffs are nothing but heavy power chords, but the keyboards compensate pretty well for the lack of a real lead. Of course, once the guitars come back in, could they possibly go without another solo? No. No they can't. The one they deliver, like all, is **** good. They fade in and out of it combining it with heavy riffs and the drums to make make a weird heavy solo, and then promtly start another. Holy hell, these guys really are good.
Children of Bodom
I've never had a good experience with songs named after the band. Long story short, this more than makes up for that unfortunate observation. It's a lot like Hatebreeder, but the guitars are a little crazier and more technical. It's definitely still got the heaviness of Hatebreeder. Eventualy it becomes another melodic masterpiece, complete with brutally heavy parts in the middle with avid screaming, heavy riffs, and the fastest blast beats/double bass CoB has ever done. I think you know what comes after that. If not, ask me.
That's some crazy keyboarding you've got there, Janne. A lot of the song is based around the keyboards, while the rest is just screaming over a solo. It's quite an epic way to end the album. The sound is amazing, but the name contridicts it. CoB has by no means met their downfall yet. After this album comes even more greatness, but hey, we're still on the last track. Anyway, it's great, Definitely another highlight.
CoB has no best album. Every album is equally good. Something Wild, Hatebreeder, and Follow the Reaper have the amazing CoB style and for all of those, every song is good. Hate Crew Deathroll offers something a little different, and still amazes me. Hate breeder is just another link in to the Bodom chain and is just as strong as their others. This is an amazing band - anyone who doesn't know them is missing out horribly. I'm sure that all the CoB fans reading this right now will agree with me. Stay tuned for cheesey emoticon...