Review Summary: a highly enjoyable album from the highly influential finnish metal band.
Children of Bodom. The name is iconic in the metal community. For the past 10 years they have made their signature combination of power metal, melodic death metal, and thrash metal. With only their instinct and their Flying V axes, they have branded their name into the hearts of metal fans everywhere, even having their very own official fan club, and a fan base rivaling Lamb of God. Sometime during 2005, COB released an album. It was the subject of much controversy. Some labeled it as a sellout album. Some labeled it as a foreshadowing of great things to come. That album is Are You Dead Yet.
Children of Bodom are:
Alexi Laiho – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Roope Latvala – Guitar
Janne Wirman – Keyboard
Henkka Seppala – Bass
Jaska Raatikainen – Drums
Are You Dead yet is famous for being the one album by the legendary Children of Bodom that changed their tried and true formula. Many people hated it. Some loved it. I for one am the latter. In my opinion, this is easily one of their best. By mixing more thrash metal elements into their music. It’s heavier and by far more brutal than anything they have ever done. The riffs are more distinguished and sound like they could break every bone in your body if they fell on you. The keyboard, which is by far my favorite component of the COB sound, is still top notch and just as fast as their earlier albums. All in all, this is a COB album, just slightly different.
The album starts out with Living Dead Beat, a popular song and one of my favorite on the album. It starts out very techno-ish with Janne’s keyboarding, but then the riff starts up, and it is oh so sweet. The first thing that will strike listeners of the album for the first time is how heavy it is. Another notable change is Alexi’s voice is no longer shrill and black metal-ish. It’s more smoothed out, and in my opinion, better for their new sound than their old vocals would be.
If there was a perfect song to mosh to, it would be If You Want Piece… Prepare for War. It starts like a freight train and never lets up. Take it from me. I have seen COB live, and whenever they play this song, you’d better brace yourself for one of the biggest mosh pits of your life. Whenever I play this song on my computer, it’s a tradition for me to thrash around as fast as I can until the song ends.
Another of my favorite songs on this album is Thrashed, Lost, and Strung Out. It takes the basic formula for all the previous songs and amplifies them times 1000. Its fast, its brutal, its got a solo that will make your head explode. It is the signature song on this album, and represents all that COB is about. At the end of the song, the song title is exactly how you feel.
Children of Bodom are symbolic in the metal world and for good reason. Are you dead yet is just yet another among the repertoire of reasons why Children of Bodom are at the forefront of metal. Despite the changes made, it’s still an entirely enjoyable album, and a *** load of fun. It certainly is not their best, but it’s definitely not their worst. Try not to compare it to COB’s older stuff, and look at it from an entirely new perspective. I guarantee most people will find at least something they like from it.
Consistent… only a few weak spots (punch me I bleed)
Heavy and brutal
Punch me I bleed (I really hate that song)
Purists will hate it.
Not as strong as their earlier releases.
Living Dead Beat
If You Want Peace… Prepare for War
Trashed, Lost, and Strung-out