Back and Better Than Ever Before

For over a decade, Children of Bodom has quickly established itself as one of the best Finnish metal bands, beginning its career with three albums that are regarded now as classics.

Complete with astonishingly original album tone for its time, the band was fresh. Its melodically dusted neo-classical metal sound brilliantly fused blistering guitar solos with lightening fast keyboard, thundering drums, and outstanding rhythmic tone. It’s been three years since Children of Bodom’s last album, and the band is hoping to still keep its stature with its sixth release, “Blooddrunk.”

Beginning with its somewhat disappointing 2003 release “Hate Crew Deathroll,” Children of Bodom seemed to be incorporating more thrash-styled music to its sound and started to leave behind, or at least steer somewhat away from, its trademark neo-classical style.

Two years after, it released a piece of mediocrity called “Are You Dead Yet?” which may have increased its fan base, but raised eyebrows among its long-time fans; The album was not well polished, and very unlike its style. Now, in 2008, “Blooddrunk” picks up the pieces of the heartbroken fans, as it seemed to have gotten back on track.

Regardless of guitarist and vocalist Alexi Laiho’s claim of this album being more “Thrashier and faster,” it seems as though there is now more evidence that the keyboard is being worked back into the equation, but not without replacing signature guitar solos to make room for ones on the keys.

Keyboardist Janne Warman’s jack-hammering fingers mirror the harmony of the progression set by Laiho, as if they are dueling with each other for the title of the quickest. Bodom’s keyboards also give an evil and haunting twist to its songs, often providing a spine-chilling introduction, like on its first single, “Blooddrunk,” and the cryptic “One Day You Will Cry.” The album’s strong point seems to rest on the guitar though.

The solos are technical and shredding, accented with the speed and accuracy that Bodom fans have become accustomed to. The riffs are fast, complex, and sometimes catchy, like the album’s concluding song “Roadkill Morning.” The relentless assault of thrash-throws melody out the window to prove that Children of Bodom will always have what it takes to make sure your head is banging.

“Blooddrunk” is certainly nothing of the caliber of “Something Wild,” its debut, or the classic “Hatebreeder,” but it still serves its purpose as another chapter in Children of Bodom’s expanding career. Luckily, “Are You Dead Yet?” wasn’t a sign that its demise is on the horizon, because “Blooddrunk” reminds people that these Finnish metallers are still on the rise.