Once upon a time, I was a huge Children of Bodom fan. “Hate Crew Deathroll,” to me, was the pinnacle of their career. Since that point, I was luke warm on their releases with “Are You Dead Yet?” having some great songs, but too many fillers. The trend kept going on and on after that point. “Blooddrunk” was definitely not for me, but “Relentless Reckless Forever” was something a bit different with some really standout songs.
With the release of Finland’s melodic death metal powerhouse’s latest effort, “Halo of Blood,” Children of Bodom are back upon us with their unique flair for their brand of heavy, intense, melodic death metal. Listening to “Halo of Blood” is like taking a time warp back to the band ten years ago. Whether that is a good thing or not, I am still not sure, but I know that this almost will appease a lot of their disgruntled fan base.
The one thing that we get with “Halo of Blood,” and what we expect from each COB release, is that Alexi Laiho is always on top of his game. The boy can just shred and he likes to do it. His vocals seemingly improve with each release and his guitar talents are pretty impressive. His leads are always well-timed at just the right length and displaying chops without pretension.
“Halo of Blood” does do something that Children of Bodom have seemingly been lacking in, which is respecting the power of the riff. The early days of COB displayed massive riffs with “Hate Crew Deathroll” concentrating more on the massive, heavy riffs. That is something that has disappeared from a lot of their sound in their recent releases. “Halo of Blood” brings that riff to the forefront of the band’s sound. Listen to songs like Damaged Beyond Repair to hear the riffs. Of course, the melody is still all over the place as evident in tracks like Scream For Silence.
Overall, I still need to let “Halo of Blood” sink in a little more to let it fully digest, but Children of Bodom always releases quality work. I just tend to hold them to a higher bar.
Halo of Blood Track Listing:
01. Waste of Skin
02. Halo of Blood
03. Scream For Silence
05. Bodom Blue Moon (The Second Coming)
06. Your Days Are Numbered
07. Dead Man’s Hand on You
08. Damaged Beyond Repair
09. All Twisted
10. One Bottle and a Knee Deep
11. Crazy Nights [Loudness Cover] [Limited Edition Bonus]
12. Sleeping in My Car [Roxette Cover] [Limited Edition Bonus]
Children of Bodom Line-up:
Henkka T. Blacksmith – Bass
Jaska W. Raatikainen – Drums
Janne Warman – Keyboards
Alexi Laiho – Vocals, Guitars
Roope Latvala – Guitars