Children of Bodom’s debut release is far more melodic death metal than anything they would release later. Although the phrase commonly used to describe them is melodic death, without the harsh vocals delivered by Alexi Laiho they are closer to power or speed metal. This album however is closer to death metal than their others, and there are also tinges of black metal such as on In The Shadows. This isn’t as good as the two that would follow it, Hatebreeder and Follow The Reaper, their sound is less refined and developed, but there are still some great songs. Laiho’s rasping vocals fit the music perfectly even though his guitar work isn’t as prominent as on later releases, and there is more classical influence here. Red Light In My Eyes part 2 takes some of its tune from Mozart’s Symphony no. 25.
The first two tracks are good, but it’s the two Red Light In My Eyes songs that really hold your attention. The intro to the first part is great and it contains some parts you can really hum along to, and the second part is no less good, the Mozart tune opens the track and it also contains some memorable parts. As a double act the two songs are great and fit together well, and once the second part ends another of the best songs on the album begins, Lake Bodom. The fantasy/power metal style beginning draws you in and it contains probably the best guitar solo on the CD, COB’s later albums are made up of tracks similar to this one. The Nail contains an intro speech from Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and it’s another solid track, the longest here, and Touch Like Angel of Death rounds things off, it’s another headbanging frenzy with more classical-inspired keyboards. The album is short in length, but what’s here is great, only just behind the next two they would release and worthy of five stars.
Stand-outs: Red Light In My Eyes 1+2, Lake Bodom, The Nail