Sunday, 12 October 2008

CD Review: Hate Crew Deathroll, by Children of Bodom (2003)

The fourth studio album from Finland's Children of Bodom finally sees the band hitting the bulls-eye of consistency, innovation, and high-quality songs that deliver powerful metal. The band find a sustained groove on opener Needled 24/7 to set up the rest of the CD, and quickly follow-it up with terrific tracks like Chokehold and in particular, the magical Bodom Beach Terror. Rarely have keyboards been integrated as effectively into metal than Janne Warman's work on this track, and then he matches it with the equally superb Triple Corpse Hammerblow. These two songs reveal what Children of Bodom can achieve on tight, controlled, melody-driven compositions.

And the good sounds keep on coming, with Angels Don't Kill and You're Better Off Dead, although the latter is tainted a bit by resorting to the generic fist-pumping "waaw woh oh!" lyric.

The weaker tracks include Sixpounder and Lil' Bloodred Ridin' Hood, but even these songs are above average and do not detract from the overall quality of the CD.

Alexi Laiho's guitar work on Hate Crew Deathroll is his most controlled yet, and while he retains his unique sound, here it is delivered more as an essential part of the band's overall music than the dominating part. His screamed vocals still leave a lot to be desired, but then that's part of what defines Children of Bodom.

Not a masterpiece, but Hate Crew Deathroll is a compact 40 minute set providing further proof that Children of Bodom is one of the leading bands on the heavy metal landscape.


Jaska W. Raatikainen - Drums
Henkka T. Blacksmith - Bass
Alexi Wildchild Laiho - Guitar and Vocals
Alexander Kuoppala - Guitars
Janne Warman - Keyboards

Songlist (Ratings out of 10):

1. Needled 24/7 - 10
2. Sixpounder - 7
3. Chokehold (Cocked'n'Loaded) - 9
4. Bodom Beach Terror - 10
5. Angels Don't Kill - 8
6. Triple Corpse Hammerblow - 10
7. You're Better Off Dead - 8
8. Lil' Bloodred Ridin' Hood - 7
9. Hate Crew Deathroll - 7

Average: 8.44

Produced and Recorded by Anssi Kippo
Mixed by Mikko Karmila
Mastered by Count Jussila

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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