Children of Bodom
Are You Dead Yet?


3.0
good

Review

by Luke M. Jenkins (Confessed) USER (58 Reviews)
August 10th, 2007 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A truly overrated offering from the fast becoming legends that are Children of Bodom. Are You Dead Yet? showcases a heavier yet more bland sound and whilst a few tracks are notable the majority are uninspired and forgettable. An average album from a good

Children of Bodom are undoubtedly one of the most well known and well respected metal bands of recent years. The band have achieved a lot in a seemingly short space of time - five studio albums and two live offerings have enabled them to garner the respect of seemingly every metalhead around. However, along with success and larger audiences comes the choices between going down a more mainstream and widely-accepted road or sticking to your guns. In Children of Bodom's case, they may not have drastically moved away from their sound (it isn't as if they started playing a hybrid of country and soul on tis record), but they certainly departed from their more extreme power metal roots into more simplistic territory.

Are You Dead Yet? is by no means a bad album. Just an average one. Gone are the constant flurry of melodic exchanges between guitar and keyboard. Gone are the over the top yet oh-so brilliant dueling guitar and keyboard solos. Well, not completely. But the band might as well have just gotten rid of all their trademarks that made albums such as Hatebreeder and Follow the Reaper so amicable. Hate Crew Deathroll was a sure sign that the band were beginning to develop and refine a sound quite different to that of their earlier material. However, Are You Dead Yet? takes it one step too far. Alexi is by no means a bad guitarists, far from it. But he does lack one thing and that is ingenuity. His solos are bland and obviously influenced by shredders ala Yngwie Malmsteen and all those other neo-classical fanboys. I've never found many of the band's riffs to be that amazing or memorable (apart from Sixpounder, that is awesome) and this album offers generic metal riff after generic metal riff. Songs such album opener Living Dead Beat, the title track and midtempo moshdown In Your Face aren't exactly bad songs. But they sure as hell are boring after one or two listens. Open C chugs are in abundance. In combination with a relatively simplistic rhythm section (Henkka's bass seems to do nothing but follow the guitar lines and Jaska's drumming isn't exemplary on any level) and Alexi's somewhat annoying vocal style, the listener is left feeling a bit bedraggled after a few spins of the disc. Not in a particularly good way either.

Alexi was never the greatest vocalist in the world. A lot of people dislike the band because of him. But he was at least bearable on classics such as Follow the Reaper, employing a black metal esque shriek which was drenched in maniacal reaper obsession. Speaking of reapers, that is largely what Alexi's lyrics are about. He certainly isn't a poet; most of the band's discography holds host to some of the most immature and cliche lyrics in metal. JR Hayes Alexi is not.

Having said all these negative aspects, the album does redeem itself on occasions. The obvious highlight is that of main album single, Trashed Lost and Strungout. The riffs in this one are fast-paced and interesting. Plus, the keyboard solo is the tits, along with one of Alexi's more original and interesting solo offerings. Whilst vocally and lyrically it is the same affair (except Alexi seems to be yelling about drugs and their effects rather than the reaper and his killing habits), instrument wise it's great. Other highlights include Bastards of Bodom and the huge solo duel in If You Want Peace...Prepare For War. But I can't help thinking that the only reason I listen to the latter, thrash-orientated number is to be wowed by the solos and not a lot else.

By the time you've reached the final track, you may be left in either two situations. Scenario one; you enjoyed the album immensely or the more appropriate one to this review, the second scenario - you want your damned money back. I've got nothing against the rest of Bodom's discography (they sure as hell use the same formula all the time) but this album is a huge step down from previous work. Throughout, I was left thinking "what happened to the cheesy power metal band I used to love?" or "why are the guitar riffs so lame this time?". In short, this album was rated a three because of two redeeming qualities; Trashed Lost and Strungout and the solo duel in If You Want Peace...Prepare For War. Seeing as Scandinavia are fast becoming rulers of all things metal, there are plenty of other bands who have released better albums than this.

Mediocre at best, downright bland at worst, Are You Dead Yet? is enjoyable in very light doses. And if you discount most of the tracks on offer.

Oh, and does anybody else think the title is rather lame?

Recommended Tracks
If You Want Peace...Prepare For War
Bastards of Bodom
Trashed, Lost and Strungout



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user ratings (1519)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Yazz_Flute
August 10th 2007


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, though i still immensely enjoy this. (it is Co's worst though)

You got Trahsed Lost and Stungout right, thats easily the best on the album. However, Living Deadbeat is nearly as amazing, and my third favorite is either In YOur Face or We're not Gonna Fall.

Bastards of Bodom iss one of my least favorite on the album, but the only reason is because its too goddamn short. It opens up fantastically, and has some of CoB's tastiest keyboard annd gutiar licks (the ones after the verses particularly) but then right when it goes into that thrashier part, it loses momentum. If it was stretched about a minute longer, and kept the melody it originally, had it may have been the best on the album.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

Confessed2005
August 10th 2007


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

In Your Face has really dumb lyrics and really boring riffs IMO.

We're Not Gonna Fall seems like quite the fan favourite.

Cravinov13
August 10th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't like either of those songs. I like Living Dead Beat, TL&S, and the cover song.

Monticello
August 10th 2007


805 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The 'I don't give a flying fuck, motherfucker!' in In Your Face always makes me laugh.

I need to change my rating of this, I think.

Confessed2005
August 10th 2007


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha, that line in particular is true testament to Alexi's immaturity.

Unreal
August 10th 2007


229 Comments


I hate crap lyrics, but I think I rly need to check them out

Cravinov13
August 10th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

then don't bother with this album, ever. get Hatebreeder or Follow The Reaper

Altmer
August 10th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

get follow the reaper, hatebreeder vocals are teh sux0rz

Yazz_Flute
August 10th 2007


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Most CoB lyrics sucks tbh. "Children of Decadence" and "Downfall" are probably their best lyrics wise, but don't expect much out of the lyrics.

And start with Follow the Reaper. It'll take time to get into (i enjoyed this more than it for a few months) but it will become a favorite with time. My personal favorite from Bodom is Hate Crew Deathroll for some odd reason, Hatebreeder a very close second, then FtR.

Altmer
August 10th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

FtR and Hatebreeder/HCD have some good songs, other than that not a big bodom fan

Confessed2005
August 10th 2007


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The majority of their discography is extremely overrated. Except for Follow the Reaper, which rapes.

south_of_heaven 11
August 10th 2007


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tbh, this one of my all-time favorite albums.

Altmer
August 10th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Crav you have it right.

Wizard
August 10th 2007


19402 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Excellent review, pretty much on cue with what I say about this album. Follow the Reaper and Hatecrew Deathroll are the albums to check out by these guys.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

Crimson
August 10th 2007


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review, echoes my thoughts on the album, though I like it a tiny bit more.

guitarded27
September 22nd 2007


5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i believe this is one of the only reviews on thsi site where i totally agree with probably all of your points.

however, i do kinda like 'in your face', just because its something different and the 'i dont give a flying fuck motherfucker' line is so goddamn fun. i love the bodom songs where there are lyrics you can chant along to (e, bodom after midnight, hate me), cos frankly, its impossible to scream along to this band.

Confessed2005
March 2nd 2008


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah. But it is sometimes very silly.

CoB are quickly degrading into another irrelevant metal band unfortunately.

Poet
March 2nd 2008


5933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

CoB are quickly degrading into another irrelevant metal band unfortunately.


This is so true and it makes me

SHOOTME
June 3rd 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is the review I agree with most.

Hawks
June 3rd 2008


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My second favorite COB album. This comes after Follow the Reaper.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales



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