Oh, no! Faceless foreign imitators are NOT doing metal the way it’s supposed to be done. What EVER will we do? Fear not, fellow metalheads, for Children of Bodom are back, and they’re stronger and more irresistable than ever. And guess what? They brought audible keyboards this time around! I, for one, after listening to this album, couldn’t see “Are You Dead Yet?” being without the keyboard solos, some of which are just immaculate. I’m not saying that it’s anything groundbreaking, but this album is pushing the limits of its particular sub-genre. Don’t get me wrong now, it’s still heavy, very heavy indeed, but it would be tough to clasify this disc as merely thrash or melodic-death. The band’s lead vocalist/guitarist, Alexi Laiho, has a much bigger job this time around, for former lead guitarist, Alexander Kuoppala, is no longer with the band. However, as we’ve come to expect from him in the past, Alexi again delivers, helping Children of Bodom produce, yet again, a near-masterpiece. I will now highlight my favorites :
2. Are You Dead Yet – The title track is almost bass-driven, which is a positive for me. It is also chock-full of floor-rattling howls by Alexi.
3. If You Want Peace … Prepare For War – Can you say solos? If you can’t, this track sure can. Hell, I wouldn’t even mind if there weren’t vocals in this song.
5. In Your Face – Yes, I know, it may seem a little forced. I thought so too when I first listen to it, but it soon became my favorite on the record.
10. Somebody Put Something In My Drink – A remake of the Ramone’s classic, this song is a great closer for me, actually, it’d fit just right anywhere in the album. Nice guitar solo mid-way, followed by a cool modulation.
Please, don’t let the 3 1/2 star average rating monopolize your thoughts. Just listen to this CD, and headbang until you’re reaching for that Advil. Thank you for your time.