Finnish thrashers Children of Bodom follow up their last album with what sounds like a sequel of sorts – Blooddrunk. This is not alluding to a second offering of Are You Dead Yet? per say, but the songs are eerily similar in style and lyrical content. You could probably swap songs from one album to the other without much of an evident difference, even taking the song titles into account. Is this a negative? No, but it’s not necessarily a positive. Children of Bodom have arguably slumped in the studio the last couple albums (In Flames is another similar heavy hitter arguable of doing the same), but the results on record depend on your point of view. Do you enjoy something dark and brutal? Or do you enjoy something slightly catchy, but heavy? If you answered the latter, then Blooddrunk is for you.
While the band’s sound has changed to some extent, you can still expect the usual sounds from albums of old – double bass drums and keyboards all over the place, Alexi Laiho’s technical prowess on guitar, and spine-tingling anthems in general. Children of Bodom carry on to play as intense as hell in songs like “Smile Pretty for the Devil” and “Roadkill Morning,” but on the other hand have lessened the pace to allow for manageable head banging in songs like “Done with Everything, Die for Nothing” and the title track “Blooddrunk.” The majority of the album is keyboard-laden, which is no surprise, but not absolutely necessary. Although, the guitars and keyboards do have a few appreciative tangos at times. Keyboards or not, Blooddrunk is a ladder rung above the last album and is a step in the right direction for a true Children of Bodom revival.