Sunday, 13 July 2008
CD Review: Follow The Reaper, by Children of Bodom (2000)
The third album from Finland's Children of Bodom is a mixed effort. It has an overall good quality feel, with no filler material. The songs all feature solid hooks, and tend to avoid Bodom's tendency for messy transitional sections where "any note will do". The band sounds tight and in control. Alexi Laiho's lead guitar is as energetic as ever, and the other band members provide good support. The band delivers their distinctive sound of guitar and keyboard driven melodic euro power speed metal, with vocals that are somewhere between spit out and sung by Laiho.
The disappointing side of the album is the "samey" feel to many of the songs, particularly in the middle of the CD. Children of Decadence, Mask of Sanity, Taste of My Scythe, and Hate Me are not bad songs; they just start to all meld together and don't offer enough to uniquely remember them individually. The lack of one killer track on the CD is also a disappointment. The best of the bunch is Bodom After Midnight, which is excellent, but in the overall catalogue of the band, there are many better songs.
The CD also ends with a whimper. Hellion, a weak cover of a weak W.A.S.P song, is a really poor choice, and Bodom does nothing original or clever with it.
But let's give credit for the overall relatively high standard of Follow The Reaper. The title song that opens the CD, as well as Everytime I Die, Northern Comfort and Kissing The Shadows (apparently hastily written by Laiho on the day it was recorded) supplement the quality of the aforementioned Bodom After Midnight, and make this CD a good, if not special, addition to the Children of Bodom career catalogue.
Alexi Laiho - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Alexander Kuoppala - Rhythm Guitar
Janne Warman - Keyboards
Henkka Blacksmith - Bass
Jaska Raatikainen - Drums
Songlist (Ratings out of 10):
1. Follow The Reaper - 8
2. Bodom After Midnight - 9
3. Children of Decadence - 7
4. Everytime I Die - 8
5. Mask Of Sanity - 7
6. Taste Of My Scythe - 7
7. Hate Me - 7
8. Northern Comfort - 8
9. Kissing The Shadows - 8
10. Hellion - 6
Produced by Peter Tagtgren and Children of Bodom
Engineered by Peter Tagtgern, assistant engineer Lars Szoke
Mastered by Mika "Count" Jussila
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