Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Halo of Blood" by Children of Bodom

All the death metal, that's what we're trying to get to here. This is the latest release by Finnish Death Metallers, Children of Bodom. Why is it that so many of these death metal guys come from Scandinavia and sing in English?

At least I assume it's English. The titles are in English.

These happy fellows have been recording and touring for going on two decades, so by now they should have all of this figured out right? This quintet is interesting to me as they have a keyboard player. This is probably a more and more common occurrence these days, but it's just not familiar to me. Metal website fave, Alexi Laiho, sings and plays guitar here as well.

It some ways they're a normal death metal band and in some ways they've got some nice differences. Are they reinventing the wheel though?

All nordic and stuff.
The first thing that sticks out are the vocals.They are a nice mix of Carcass and slightly different than Carcass that really doesn't have a name or description. They certainly follow right along with the music and do not stick out as being out of place or poor quality. They add quite a bit to the wall of sound created by the guitars.

The rhythm guitars leave a little bit to be desired. A bit more power out of them would have been nice. They built the wall of metal, which is cool, but some more creativity would have gone a long way in making the songs more distinctive and unique.

The lead guitars were strangely and genre-defyingly melodic. These were not the over the top burning leads that we are accustomed to in extreme metal, but they worked very, very well. There are no complaints about the melody lines here at all, even the keyboard player got to do some leads which added a very nice ethereal aspect to the tracks.

The drumming was powerful, but somewhat sparse on this album. The snare drum could be heard like the heartbeat in "The Tell Tale Heart," but the upfront blast beats and double bass drumming were missing. It's hard to be truly extreme metal when the bass drums aren't really blasting away, but they did hold the songs together nicely. Part of me feels that this may have well been a problem in mixing moreso than a problem with the drumming though....

All in all this is a quality record. It's not the best death metal in the world, but it's certainly worth checking out.

Year: 2013
Genre: Metal

1) Waste of Skin
2) Halo of Blood
3) Scream for Silence
4) Transference
5) Bodom Blue Moon (The Second Coming)
6) The Days Are Numbered
7) Dead Man's Hand On You
8) Damaged Beyond Repair
9) All Twisted
10) One Bottle and a Knee Deep

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