Children of Bodom – Blooddrunk

June 25, 2008 at 10:19 pm (Reviews) (, , )

Blooddrunk

It is nearly impossible to write a review of a recent Children of Bodom release without mentioning the band’s past. Beginning as a melodic death metal band on their impressively well-developed Inearthed demos, the Finns soon released what most feel are their best works. The group’s first two albums feature a fairly heavy-handed classical metal style. Think Malmsteen mixed orchestra hits and black metal screeches. Follow the Reaper showed the beginning of CoB’s progression towards more accessible, less classical, metal. Hatecrew Deathroll was received with mixed reviews. It was at this point the band, after losing guitarist Alexander Kuoppala, really began to grow in fame and change direction.

Trashed, Lost and Strungout sounded far more rhythmic. The production was very industrial and harsh. Gone were the organic production and dynamic guitar leads of Something Wild, replaced with condensed and chunky riffs with the occasional lead over top. Are You Dead Yet? was the band’s last chance at redemption. Most long time fans were disappointed, though hardly surprised. Alexi and co. had stuck with the money-in-the-pocket industrial aggressive metal, featuring more strained singing, more obscenity, and far more rhythmic chord and low-end riffs carrying the melodies, rather than the memorable leads of early CoB.

This brings us to Bloodrunk. While many are screaming “sell outs!” at this album, you have to admit the progression certainly has been slow and deliberate. It’s impossible to know if CoB are really trying to cash in, or if this is what their creative process honestly results in. But what we’re left with is the most unsatisfying CoB release yet. The production is almost impossible to distinguish from Trashed,… or AYDY?. There are even less leads carrying the melodies. “Hellhounds on my Trail” has a melody that contains a particularly unpleasant batch of notes which sound out of key and make the song nearly unlistenable to my ears. “Tie my Rope” was previously released in a compilation, but it’s the album’s strongest. It has some interesting leads and song structuring. “Done with Everything, Die for Nothing” has a great chorus with octave chords and a tense synth background.. The rest of the songs,however, are interchangeable. Screechy screams, sometimes hoarse singing, juvenile lyrics, and tons of filler riffs. The drumming is competent, but unimpressive. Alexi’s once fluid, lyrical, and overall memorable guitar solos have become inconsistent, predictable and boring.

Live Bodom is just about the only Bodom worth paying for at this point. Blooddrunk isn’t even really good compared to the other “sell-out” CoB releases. Use your money to support a band that needs it, as Children of Bodom will glean plenty of money from young poseurs without a clue.

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