Children Of Bodom

Halo Of Blood

Written by: MN on 25/05/2013 19:02:59

Finland's favourite sons Children of Bodom return to the spotlight this year with "Halo Of Blood", an album that has sparked some serious acrimonious discussion of which direction the legendary quintet should venture into. Hardcore fans of the glorious debut days of "Something Wild" yearn after neo-classical elements that would have Niccolò Paganini throw double thumbs up at the harmonious and arpeggiato-style playing, courtesy of two seriously good metal guitarists. Others believe that Children of Bodom forté came in the form of the sledgehammer heavy "Are you Dead Yet?" that retained a slightly darker tone, but still retains the trademark melodic edge. Forthcoming releases had the debate reach feverish temperatures, primarily catalyzed by "Bloodrunk" which ruptured serious disagreement, mainly due to what some believe to be asinine and cocky technicalities, others to be some of the bands best work to date.

The melodic death metallers have heeded the calls of the masses. "Halo Of Blood" is an album that brings elements of their early work, but also retains the trashy and darker tones of their 5th and subsequent releases. Children of Bodom have combatted the illusion of the bands socially-constructed midlife crisis, and they do this in style. There are virtually no filler tracks in this release, and it's experimental. This well-constructed album sees Children of Bodom shrugging apathetically at the bickering about their previous releases. After all, they are Children of Bodom, a band with such an immense catalogue of good music. They truly are one of the pioneers of a sound that really hasn't been topped in their league of melodeath.

Certain tracks, like the opener "Waste of Skin" and "Bodom Blue Moon" are classic Bodom-style tunes that will have fans wincing like girls in a shoestore, they retain the dual guitar work of Alexi Laiho and Roope Latvala and atmospheric keyboard nuances of master of keys Janne Wirman. The song ”Halo of Blood” leaves the listener perplexed yet impressed, the facemelter is Children of Bodom's take on black metal with flashbeats and cacophony at its most magnificent. Drummer Jaska Raatikainen gets a lot of play area in this record, as witnessed in the polar opposite, the gargantuan but slow-tempo track "Dead Man Hand's On You". The trashiest track comes in the form of "Transference" but the chorus echoes sounds reminiscent of the "Follow the Reaper" days. Other key highlights of this record is "All Twisted" that brings the better of two dimensions of the band, the crunchy trash-metal tones are incorporated with the unmistakable fast double pedals, and melodic virtuoso soloing.

I have always had a soft spot for these Finnish metallers as they ensured my departure from only listening to the extremely popular nu-metal of my early teens, into death metal and other associated genres. As expected of any new Children of Bodom record, this one will be discussed heavily. Whether it will be hailed as a masterpiece or condemned, time will tell, but my verdict remains that Children of Bodom should continue to evolve in whatever direction they deem necessary to continue their motivation to play. Conclusively, "Halo of Blood" is another great record from a band that rarely disappoints.


Download: Waste of Skin, All Twisted, Scream for Silence
For The Fans Of: Arch Enemy, Norther, In Flames

Release Date 06.06.13
Nuclear Blast

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