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Children of Bodom - "Are You Dead Yet?" (CD)

Children of Bodom - "Are You Dead Yet?" CD cover image

"Are You Dead Yet?" track listing:

1. Living Dead Beat
2. Are You Dead Yet?
3. If You Want Peace... Prepare For War
4. Punch Me I Bleed
5. In Your Face
6. Next In Line
7. Bastards Of Bodom
8. Trashed, Lost, Strung Out
9. We're Not Gonna Fall

Reviewed by on December 19, 2005

"a blast of fast-paced melodic metal whose heaviness is rarely diminished by the medodic aspects"

Children of Bodom recently released their fifth studio album, "Are You Dead Yet?" to much anticipation and high expectations. Touted by the band members as the heaviest thing they've ever done, the album is in fact heavier than past Bodom efforts. The side effect of this may be that die hard fans who are more into the melodic aspects of the music could be let down. However, to the casual fan such as myself, Childrem of Bodom still retain much of their unique style of melodic metal. Many of the riffs are straightforward, but heavy, and some songs even have a slight industrial feel. To counter that, the keyboards are still present, as is the classic COB style dueling keyboard and guitar solos. Alexi's vocals sound like the usual fare, screamed or yelled somewhat similar to black metal vocals but not quite as rough.

The album opens up with "Living Deadbeat," which embodies all of the above description of this album - simplistic but heavy riffing with loads of well incorporated keyboards and solos. Ramping up with the title track, "Are You Dead Yet?" is an excellent song, sounding slightly more technical with keyboards primarily used for background effect rather than as another guitar. The album continues to get faster and better by "If You Want Peace... Prepare For War," a faster more thrash-based song that contains extensive solos and dueling solos as well.

"Punch Me I Bleed" slows things down with a grinding tempo and heavy guitars. The song is balanced well by melodic parts and is easily one of the stand-out tracks on this album.

"In Your Face" was chosen as the first single off of "Are You Dead Yet?" and rightfully so. The song begins by gradually adding layers of instruments on top of the machine gun guitars until they change up into a nice heavy groove. Once the singing begins, the music breaks into a riff that is very reminiscnet of The Haunted's "Hate Song."

Throughout the album, the band does an excellent job of changing tempos from a mid-paced groove to a faster riff, as demonstrated in "Next In Line" as well as "Living Deadbeat" and the title track.

The last three songs on the album, "Bastards of Bodom," "Trashed, Lost and Strungout" and "We're Not Gonna Fall" are all fast-paced and rely heavily on the keyboards - a little too much for my taste.

Children of Bodom has always been hard to cliassify as anything other than melodic metal, but even that classification brings to mind other bands that don't exemplify COB's style. Listening to "Are You Dead Yet?," it's as if the band mixed up all sorts of metal and produced their own unique recipe. There are elements of thrash, death, and melodic metal with the vocals and keyboards occasionally slightly reminiscent of black metal, and a pinch of industrial for good measure.

Overall, Children of Bodom has released a solid album that is heavier than previous efforts, yet retains their trademark sound. "Are You Dead Yet?" is a blast of fast-paced melodic metal whose heaviness is rarely diminished by the melodic aspects.

Highs: Good fast paced heavy, melodic metal; tracks 2-6 make this album worth buying

Lows: Some over simplistic riffs and a few too many keyboard heavy songs for my taste

Bottom line: Children of Bodom has released a solid album that is heavier than previous efforts, yet retains their trademark sound

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)