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Children of Bodom - "Blooddrunk" (CD)

Children of Bodom - "Blooddrunk" CD cover image

"Blooddrunk" track listing:

1. Hellhounds On My Trail
2. Blooddrunk
3. LoBodomy
4. One Day You Will Cry
5. Smile Pretty For The Devil
6. Tie My Rope
7. Done With Everything, Die For Nothing
8. Banned From Heaven
9. Roadkill Morning

Reviewed by on March 24, 2008

"...we see Alexi Laiho and company attempting to please old and new fans alike. Surprisingly, it works."

Children of Bodom's 2005 album "Are You Dead Yet?" was successful in bringing the band greater exposure in North America. However, it also created a rift between fans who preferred their older neo-classical style and those who were attracted to the heavier, yet simpler, industrial song structures of "Are You Dead Yet?" Now, at the dawn of their sixth studio release, "Blooddrunk," we see Alexi Laiho and company attempting to please old and new fans alike. Surprisingly, it works.

Our favourite Finns dig partway back to their roots, cleverly blurring the line that divides the Finnish and American influences apart. "Blooddrunk" possesses all the elements that we love about the Bodom boys: the tight battle between Alexi Laiho and Roope Latvala’s twin speed metal guitars and Janne Warmen’s soaring power metal keyboards, the synchronized alliance between Jaska Raatikainen’s pounding drums and Henkka T. Blacksmith’s thunderous bass lines, all topped off with Laiho’s angst-ridden death metal grows. This collaboration is particularly evident on "One Day You Will Cry" and "Done With Everything, Die For Nothing", which feature excellent keyboard and guitar solos. The first single from the album, “Banned From Heaven,” finds the band near ballad territory, reminiscent of “Angels Don't Kill” (off "Hate Crew Deathroll") and “Every Time I Die” (off Follow the Reaper"), before they close out the album with the thrashy “Roadkill Morning,” which is set to a blistering pace that echoes In Flames’ “System.”

However, do not think that Bodom is regressing or recycling old material. The group has expanded far beyond their niche by drawing influences from other metal giants. The opening tracks, "Hellhounds on My Trail" and "Blooddrunk," clearly sound like Bodom of old, peppered with keyboards, pick squeals and Laiho's snarling vocals. Upon first listen, one detects a strong New Wave of American Heavy Metal influence à la Lamb of God, tinged with Iron Maiden-style harmonies. The intro to “Tie My Rope” finds CoB sounding like their Finnish contemporaries Amorphis, in their song “Twin Moons,” before the keyboards give way to the menacing “Chokehold” (off "Hate Crew Deathroll") drums. Bodom exchanges the virtuoso displays of speed from past releases for simpler song structures, melding brutality with a powerful sense of melody. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as these tracks should translate well to a live setting and songs such as the title track are sure to induce chants and fist-pumping actions from the audience.

Overall, "Blooddrunk" serves up one strong all killer, no filler dish of in-your-face melodic death-thrash metal. (Reference to the song off "Are You Dead Yet?" is purely unintentional.)

Highs: "Blooddrunk" is heavy, with enough dueling guitar-keyboard solos to pleases all members of the Hate Crew.

Lows: The album clocks in at under 37 minutes.

Bottom line: A solid must-have for all Children of Bodom fans.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

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)