Review Summary: I don't give a flying fuck motherfuckerAlbums In My Car Review Series - Part 2
Wow this sure takes me back, back to the 9th grade to be exact. Me and my best friend at the time met through a mutual love of As I Lay Dying and chug guitar playing. We had only been playing for a couple of years, so we were mostly playing entry level chugs. You know, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, some of the easier Trivium stuff, etc. After a fruitful day of drop C jamming, we stumbled upon a video on Youtube entitled "In Your Face" by a band called Children of Bodom. So many thoughts went through our heads before pressing the play button. "Whose face were we about to be in? Who is Bodom and why are his children so important?" Anyhow, we waited for ten minutes while the video buffered (fuckin dial-up) and wowee blast off we were in it. "Holy shit look at these white motherfuckers. Wow they've been open note chugging for like 30 seconds wow how cool. Damn that's some wicked keyboard. This song just builds and builds my fucking word." That was my first experience with Children of Bodom, and boy was it a good one.
Children of Bodom had been a band for over ten years by the time they released their fifth album Are You Dead Yet?
and they had a much different sound for a much different audience. Their first four records were a mad science conncotion of melodic death metal, black metal, and neoclassical metal, and they had a steady fanbase of extreme metal heads mostly because of lead guitarist Alexi Laiho's out of this world guitar playing, and the band's fun and heavy sound. All of that changed however with Are You Dead Yet?
whose drop C simple chug guitar style and slower tempos greatly appealed to 13 year old entry level metalheads such as myself. This change in sound largely alienated the band's core fanbase, and while this change in sound sort of worked for one record, it would become the downfall of the band on subsequent records.
Now I'm not quite sure if Are You Dead Yet?
is actually a good album or I'm just being nostalgic, but I jammed it in my car today and I had a great time. The album opens with ridiculous keyboard, random industrial noises, and seemingly endless chugging that for some reason sounds really good to me right now. I think I might be crazy, but this album is amazing. Children of Bodom really stripped down their sound, but it works. The riffs are way more focused around simple rhythms, and the songs are a lot slower. The crazy guitar solos are still there, but even those are a bit simpler. Whatever man this album was perfect for a 13 year old axeman who would never be able to play traditional Bodom type stuff. Songs like "Punch Me I Bleed," "Are You Dead Yet?" and "Bastards of Bodom" featured bright melodies and metalcore influenced songwriting that had never been heard in a Bodom record before. Are You Dead Yet?
is objectively terrible, but if you enjoyed it in a simpler time in your life, and you have your nostalgia goggles on tight enough, you might just enjoy it.
The top comment on the band's music video "Trashed Lost and Strungout" Reads as follows:
Soo endgeile Musik ! Ich bin Hopper und höre Metal, Musik ist Kunst, wer das nicht checkt ist entweder unter 14 oder hat nen IQ von Minus 12 !
Mir geht das tierig ab !!!"
If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about this record, then I don't know what does.