Children of Bodom
Halo of Blood


3.5
great

Review

by Greg Viessman USER (44 Reviews)
June 4th, 2013 | 203 replies


Release Date: 06/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Bodoming So Hard Right Now Like It Is 2006 All Over Again"

For the past decade, Children of Bodom has been a much maligned band within the metal community. And to be honest, much of the criticism is to be deserved. Aside from a couple of songs off both Blooddrunk and Reckless Relentless Forever, the band has made two subpar efforts. Many point to Are You Dead Yet? (which is actually the last good Bodom album) as the beginning of the end for these Finns. What happened to the neoclassical/power metal shredding that was such a focus of Hatebreeder and Follow the Reaper? That black metal influence in Something Wild was even further gone. Bodom turned into a crappy thrash metal band with a smidge of keyboard and a croaking vocalist and looked completely lost. Thankfully the band brings back some of what made them an amazing band in the late 90s and early 00s in Halo of Blood.

Opening track “Waste of Skin” starts off with a riff that finally shows the essence of Bodom for the first time since Hate Crew. For me the main selling point of Bodom was always the killer guitar work with Alexi and Roope playing gorgeous, yet brutal, riffs and solos. From the beginning they return and help in creating one of the best tracks on the whole album. However, the thrash elements that the band introduced to their sound eight years ago are not completely abandoned. Fortunately they are sparingly used throughout most of the songs because as “Thrash Bodom” has proved….well they kinda suck. A return to flailing keyboards and flying fingers creating melodies to get stuck in a listener’s ear after they initially listen to the song is a sign of fresh air. The self-titled track even reckons back to Something Wild as a conglomeration of the band’s early black metal influences to go with the power metal ones. Alexi even proves on this song that his voice is not fully gone as he gives one of his best vocal performances.

Essentially this album is a Bodom album, but there is one song is less Bodom than normal: “Dead Man’s Hand on You.” With the first minute of the song I did not know if I was listening to a Children of Bodom song, or In Flames (in their prime). Undoubtedly the most unique song on the album, and quite possibly their entire career, “Dead Man’s Hand on You” is a nice break from the balls out tempo that the album had portrayed up to this point and might be one of the better songs the band has ever written; it is that good.

Halo of Blood is a complete surprise for this reviewer. Much like Dragonforce last year, Children of Bodom returned to form and created an album that fans of their older (and only good) material can reminisce about and maybe enjoy. Do not get me wrong though, this is not as good as the band’s first four albums. While there is not really a bad song on here, tracks like Transference and All Twisted are not as memorable as a Children of Decadence or The Nail. Nonetheless, Children of Bodom has created an album that is infinitely better than their previous two efforts and is most likely better than Are You Dead Yet? I had little hope coming into the album, and with good reason. The band was stringing itself along: a lack of creativity in songs, Alexi’s voice being beyond shot, and making records just to make records created a lingering lull that looked like the band was done. Hope was restored with this record though. Children of Bodom have proved that they are not dead and can still churn out great albums, even if it takes them a decade to do so.



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user ratings (349)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Bryan Rolli (4.5)
By rediscovering their roots while also managing to progress naturally, Children of Bodom have craft...

Brendan Schroer (4.5)
A phenomenal return to form....

Benjamino Jackanory (3.5)
A colossal leap forward, full of thrills and spills...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Poet
June 4th 2013


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's out in Japan.



KILL
June 4th 2013


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hell yes poet lives

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

KILL
June 4th 2013


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

bodoming so hard right now like its 2006 all over again omg

Calc
June 4th 2013


12300 Comments


now I don't know you, but I KNOW you can come up with a better summary than that.

Digging: Mr. Oizo - The Church

Scoot
June 4th 2013


17887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

it's like they recycled all the best ideas from their first four albums

all twisted is their best song in ten years

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

Scoot
June 4th 2013


17887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

crazy nights is awful though i just deleted that one

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2013


20068 Comments


sweet full album stream is on youtube now

Digging: Circa Survive - Descensus

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2013


20068 Comments


this isn't bad. nothing overly exciting either though

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 4th 2013


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

poet good to see you writing, pos

still skeptical about this

Poet
June 4th 2013


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Changed Summary for Calc's (and Kill's) pleasure.

EvoHavok
June 4th 2013


1476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I loved this. You should give it a chance, Kyle.

Digging: Bloodbath - Grand Morbid Funeral

Stryfe14
June 4th 2013


65 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It really is scary (in an awesome way) how uncanny Dead Man's Hand On you is to an early In Flames
song. You could put it in the middle of The Jester Race and I probably wouldn't notice - aside from
the keyboard solo, that is.



KILL
June 4th 2013


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

jester script transfigured rip off agreed

Necrotica
June 4th 2013


10063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

metal up uranus

Uranium
June 4th 2013


7256 Comments


metal up

Necrotica
June 4th 2013


10063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

uranus \m/

Uranium
June 4th 2013


7256 Comments


m/m/

ViperAces
June 4th 2013


12485 Comments


dude the jester race has a keyboard solo

Stryfe14
June 4th 2013


65 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Bodom keyboards vs In Flames keyboards are pretty damn distinguishable though, that's what I meant.

The spoken words at the start of Dead Man's Hand are extremely spot on to Anders though.



apert
June 4th 2013


3056 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

still can't believe this is actually good



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