Children of Bodom
Follow The Reaper


5.0
classic

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
September 5th, 2005 | 69 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


Try to envision for a moment that you're waking up in an unknown environment. You open your eyes slowly and look around. You appear to have been dropped roughly into a dumpster behind a meat packing facility. The smell of death and blood is inescapable. Then you notice yourself - clothes torn to shreds, your body battered and bruised, covered in blood that may or may not be your own. It's as if you tried to take on a team of bouncers outside a New York nightclub. All you can do is lay there - half-conscious, in constant pain, and a horrible feeling of what went on before you blacked out - and say to yourself, "What the fuck happened to me!?"

Chances are you had just finished listening to Follow the Reaper for the first time. Children of Bodom's third album is like a violent roller coaster - it whips you around faster and harder than anything you've ever felt, but you just can't seem to get enough of it. Many have succumbed to this experience. Once you become familiar with the endless supply of incredible melodies, musical virtuosity, crushing heaviness, and vocals that would make Dead himself cringe, you'll realize that Children of Bodom is more than just another Scandinavian band. They are an insane experience that has come from the heart of Finland to pull you out of your comfort zone and into a land of pure fucking metal.

Let the record show that this will most likely be the only other album I ever give five stars.

Many may know this band from their past releases. Something Wild, the debut, was a promising and somewhat experimental release with a heavy atmosphere and even a slightly black metal overtone. Even more popular was their second album, Hatebreeder, which has become legendary for it's light speed guitar shredding and vocals that could strip the bark off trees. Hatebreeder had set the bar for insanity; a bar that would surely never be beaten.

And while Follow the Reaper doesn't exactly surpass that bar, it is most assuredly not a disappointment. Many consider this to be the best Children of Bodom album, myself included. While it is slower and more coherent than past releases, it excels greatly in the things we all love about the band. Alexi Laiho's incredible neoclassical shredding is here, and makes a presence as always. The catchiness of the melodies had increased tenfold. Kissing the Shadows has become one of the most popular Bodom songs eve recorded, despite it's hasted construction in the studio. The unbelievably catchy guitar melodies topped by the mind-boggling guitar/keyboard shredding makes it a metal magnet. Mask of Sanity is a fast metal anthem that comes at you like a well-aimed bullet making Hatebreeder fans blush. As always, the keyboard/guitar insanity will leave musicians feeling as though they finally found their purpose in life. Bodom After Midnight, while a step down in speed, has a chorus that you'll want to stretch your neck for before hearing. Hate Me! features some of the most upbeat sounds on the album and has excellent guita/keyboard interplay. And to mix things up, the boys have thrown in a WASP cover - Hellion is good old fashioned venture through the land of rock n' roll. The truth of the matter is, every song here is excellent. No two sound the same, the musicianship is impeccable, and they're just so damn listenable.

It would be a crime to talk about a Children of Bodom album without giving credit where it's due. The musicians involved are top notch. Aside from vocalist/guitarist Alexi Laiho, keyboardist Janne Warman is a virtuoso that is arguably one of the best keyboard players in metal. Alexander Kuopalla, though he is no longer in the band, was always part of the family with his harmonizing skills and leads that are too often unheard. Jaska Raatikainen prefers to stand his ground in the background behind a drum set. His drumming is solid but not even close to what this guy is capable of. Bassist Henkka T. Blacksmith, as huge as he is, prefers to play with his own style rather than go super-technical like many metal bassists. He has accomplished just that.

To a metalhead, this album is an incredible display of technicality meets songwriting ability (Dream Theater fans will need to experience that ASAP :)). To a Children of Bodom fan, this record is nine tracks of Alexi Laiho's heart and soul; it's the pain and suffering he's experienced as a person. For me, this is more than 40 minutes of music. It's an album that changed me in a profound way and affected me in realms that stretch beyond music. So if you dare, grab your neck brace and give this album a listen. *Sputnik music cannot be held responsible for any neck damage sustained while headbanging* Sorry my friends, but I've already tried.

Recommended tracks:
All of them



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user ratings (1737)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Thor
September 5th 2005


10191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well it's a good solid review, I will admit. I don't think that this album is a classic though, but I hope that their next album will be. Keep up the good work.

Arrakakaka
September 5th 2005


685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Your review is outstanding.

Mine are nothing compaired to yours :upset:

/Bows down.This Message Edited On 09.22.05

Shadows
Moderator
September 5th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Hahahah, thank you. It's nice to get compliments like that . Your reviews are excellent too, don't underestimate yourself.

I know some people may not like this album as much as others, but I think this could easily be considered a classic in many ways. It is in my eyes at any rate.

spoon_of_grimbo
September 5th 2005


2241 Comments


someone get this guy a medal!!!!

i agree with every point you made ShadowsFallen! tis truly a cracking album and a benchmark for all melodic metal!

Priestmetal
September 5th 2005


542 Comments


Great review!! i was listening to this at my friends house the other day and I must say this is some solid stuff. Although I havn't thoroughly listend to the album my first listen would make me rate this 4/5. Im not sure its quite at that level of exellence.

Shadows
Moderator
September 7th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

At my first listen I had mixed feelings. I was just beginning to love Something Wild when I heard this and didn't find it quite as catchy or impressive. After several more listens I started to notice the incredible guitar work and the genius that goes into writing the riffs and solos that Alexi churns out. The harmonizing is also great but is too often forgotten behind the soloing.

masada
September 8th 2005


2733 Comments


That's a great review there. I think I like it better than your large ones. It's easier to digest.

Priestmetal
September 8th 2005


542 Comments


I just realised how much i love that keyboard effect they use in most of their songs. I think its called orchestra or smtin like that. It blends really well with the heavy riffs.

Ace_of_Bass2112
September 8th 2005


257 Comments


i call that the "bodem" chord

AshG1231
September 23rd 2005


10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Man this album has SWEET keyboard/guitar work, I practically wrote an essay on it when I posted in the HCDR review lol :D Thumbs up to CoB, these guys rule!!!!!!

Blokus
March 11th 2006


155 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review! Every song on this album owns. Especially Children of Decadence.

Diabulus in musica
March 25th 2006


485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

kissing the shadows has got to have one of the best solos in laiho's carrier.....its just genious

Shadows
Moderator
March 26th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

The thing about this album is that it's TOO AMAZING FOR WORDS!

Bfhurricane
March 26th 2006


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album was written extremely well, though I think Hatebreeder is a little better. Though most bands dont write an album as good as this one in their entire career

Apocalyptic Raids
April 4th 2006


810 Comments


Good album, but I prefer Something Wild.

shred_master
April 7th 2006


8 Comments


this is by far bodom's best album IMO the solos and level of musicianship on this album is outstanding i saw them live in toronto and i gotta say alexi is unbelievably talented on the guitar he shreds like nothing i've ever seen before, and lets not forget the rest of the band there kick ass to

Shadows
Moderator
April 13th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Alexi's voice does take time to grow, but it's more polished here than any other album.

This negative vote depresses me. I thought this was one of my best reviews ever...oh well.

Confessed2005
April 13th 2006


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Don't let the neg get you down ShadowFallen; indeed, this is an awesome review for an awesome album. Be proud!!

Shadows
Moderator
April 21st 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I just came back from listening to this album three consecutive times. My head is getting a but heavy from all the metal. Damn good album though; I can't find a single weak song on here. Children of Decedance and Taste of My Scythe really caught my attention after all this time.

SCREAM!
May 2nd 2006


10091 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

MUSICSTORES SUCK! This cd cost f*cking 27,99$ were i live. Wat the f*ck is that! Great review by the way. Your reviews are always great, although i dont agree with your Ascendancy review.



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