Follow The Reaper

Children of Bodom

SpineFarm Records, 2001

http://www.cobhc.com

REVIEW BY: Riley McDonald

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/18/2003

Once again, the young prodigies from the icy grim forests of Finland release a solid metal album.

This release (Bodom's third) would be the one to bring them into the limelight of the "melodic death metal" genre (I personally hate that title, "melodic death metal" is an oxymoron). But regardless of names, this is a very interesting hybrid. Combining the usual death metal recipe (shredding guitars, blood-curdling vocals) with speeding, poppy keyboards makes for a very enjoyable listen.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album kicks off with the ominous reciting of one of John Donne's Holy Sonnets: "Death be not proud. Though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so." As soon as those words are spoken, Alexi Laiho (the band's frontman) leads off with a ferocious riff, with his amazing voice following suit. The rest of the album's tracks follow a similar pattern, but are heavy and "cool" enough to keep one interested. The talent of this band is simply amazing, especially considering that they're all in their early-to-mid 20s.

Now, despite all the great things I've said about this album, it's not without its flaws (though there are very few albums that are perfectly flawless, n'est-ce pas?). Right after the rocking song "Children of Decadence," we go into the semi-ballad "Everytime I Die," which just doesn't seem to flow too well. Also, right after the grandiose "Hate Me!" we have "Northern Comfort," which just seems to be non-existent. Also, "Taste of My Scythe," though featuring an exciting intro, ends up going flat. Other than those three, the rest of the songs simply rule, especially the finale, covering W.A.S.P.'s "Hellion" as a tribute to the metal gods themselves.

Now I sit here looking at the CD, squealing with delight (it's signed by Alexi Laiho himself) and I just can't get enough of it. Though it may not be the greatest album ever conceived by man, once you listen to it, you just can't stop, and soon it'll have a permanent spot in your CD player. For any fans of death metal or excellent guitar-playing, or new-comers looking to expand their tastes, I recommend this album.

Rating: A-

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© 2003 Riley McDonald and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of SpineFarm Records, and is used for informational purposes only.