CHILDREN OF BODOM are treading on very thin ice. Now that they seem to have become a ‘mainstream’ Metal act (its ridiculous how many kids I see with COB shirts on that could care less about Metal) they are riding a fine line of being ‘sell outs’ to the majority of the Metal community. And quite frankly, the simplified song writing and catchiness of “Are You Dead Yet?” didn’t help their cause.
Luckily for us fans that have been with CHILDREN OF BODOM for a while now, “Blooddrunk” returns to the band’s ideas of pure intensity. More alike “Hate Crew Deathroll” than anything else, “Blooddrunk” is dark, Thrashy, and retains the black heart that has made CHILDREN OF BODOM likeable for so many years.
Of course, musically we find the band re-expanding with more complex rhythms and riffs then on their previous effort. The guitar chemistry between Alexi and Ruppe is still a little shaky at best even if both of their performances are top notch. Their soloing is once again impressive as hell as both of them tear through melodies and frets like a fat kid into cake. The excessiveness of the band’s soloing in any way is still retained on the album while keeping some of the catchier grooves that was incorporated later on. Then there are the keyboards. CHILDREN OF BODOM bring back a more melodic layering of the music with the keyboards again and it does wonders for the depth of the album. Really without the keyboards I have a feeling that this album could be a little one dimensional for the average Metal fan.
Despite the significant amount of melody that CHILDREN OF BODOM incorporate into their music (it helps to have a killer ballad-like track “Banned From Heaven” to give a little variety to the mix) “Blooddrunk” is probably their most aggressive album yet. It’s darker and Thrashier than ever (hell the group chants has doubled in quantity). It’s a good combination of their newer sound mixed with some of the elements that got the band started. There is a lot more gelling of the band as a whole.
What still strikes me when listening to this album though is that no matter how much depth they add to their writing or how solid the performances are – this album still doesn’t give me the feeling I used to get with CHILDREN OF BODOM. Despite being a somewhat return to form, “Blooddrunk” still feels a little uneasy about itself at times. Maybe I’m just being a little picky and I won’t let that affect its rating but it seems important to note such.
If you have been waiting for this raw piece of work from the boys of Espoo, then “Blooddrunk” is going to be right up your alley. Don’t let some of the grooves fool you – this is one of the best albums the band has done in years.
Songs to check out: “Hellhounds On My Trail”, “Blooddrunk”, “One Day You Will Cry”.
(Online May 8, 2008)