Children Of Bodom - Hate Crew Deathroll
Spinefarm Records
Bodom Metal
10 songs (39'56)
Release year: 2003
Children Of Bodom, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Crims
Album of the month

After seeing the song titles for this CD I was rather amused. Unlike some people out there I don’t take the lyrics or song titles seriously, they were meant to be tongue-in-cheeks, straight from Alexi Laiho himself as I read in an interview. So what is the point of taking them seriously and basing an opinion on the CD just from the song titles, as many people have done? Looking past that, what we have here is the next evolution in the Bodom sound. Those who think they still sound exactly the same… listen again.

Gone are practically all of the neo-classical influences, and that’s in both the guitars and the leads. Only a couple of neo-classical tinged keyboard solos remain. Instead we are left with a more guitar oriented Children Of Bodom. For the first time ever Laiho and Alexander Kuoppala doubled the riffs and the result is a very meaty, thick, and crunchy guitar sound. The guitars were always rather heavy but this time around they are truly pummeling. This new guitar sound fits perfectly for this release because the songs are even more aggressive and perhaps faster than they were on Follow The Reaper. While still full of leads, there are a lot more sections in the songs which are just riffs+keyboards, which at times become surprisingly Thrash and speed metal like. Following in the footsteps of Everytime I Die, Bodom have once again tried a more mid-paced song. This time around it is Angels Don’t Kill, which is a lot more successful than Everytime I Die, as it’s not quite as drawn out or as boring. The mid-paced tempo found Angels Don’t Kill gives a little variation to the other songs, which are largely very fast head-bangers. Don’t worry though, the riffs and keyboards, as well as moods, change a lot in every song (a classic staple of Hatebreeder and Something Wild) so despite the rest of the songs having a similar overall tempo, they are all interesting. Plus, mid-paced breaks are thrown in here and there for good measure.

The keyboards are also slightly changed. If your familiar with Janne Wirman’s work in his solo project, Warmen, you’ll have a good idea as to what a lot of the keyboard parts sound like. I personally really like his work in Warmen from a synth stand point and it meshes very well with the classic Bodom keyboard sound. Even though a focus on riffs is more present on Hate Crew Deathroll, Laiho does not disappoint in the lead department. Not only are the leads very well played, but also there are a lot of them. Perhaps not as many as there was on Hatebreeder, but definitely more than on Follow The Reaper. The songs are also catchier from a vocal standpoint then they have ever been. The choruses seem to be more thought-out and melodic, even though the vocals remain harsh. Moreover, the drumming is very dynamic as there are a lot of clever patterns and quick stops and starts- yet another highlight.

Song highlights include Triple Corpse Hammerblow, which is probably the most similar song to the Hatebreeder style. When I first read that song title, I said to some friends that it better be a kick ass song with a title like that, and it sure is… probably my favorite on here. Other key moments include Lil’ Bloodred Riding Hood which is just full of energy and riffage. Chokehold (Cocked And Loaded) was also an interesting song because it starts off with a rhythm pattern that Ram-Zet might use and goes into some Thrash influenced riffs; very pleasing.

I might just be biased towards Children Of Bodom as I’ve been enamored by almost everything they’ve done. I really enjoy melodic Metal, extreme Metal, and bands that play with a lot of energy and Bodom combine all three. Follow The Reaper had some slight miss-haps in certain songs but every track on Hatecrew Deathroll comes together as far as I’m concerned. Laiho and friends managed to put together very catchy and memorable songs, that still remained melodic and very aggressive, with change ups that don’t convolute the songs, but rather make them dynamic and immediate. By now I’m more than used to Laiho’s vocal style, which is largely the same on here, but if you haven’t liked his vocals before, nothing here will change your mind. I give out the following warning though: because Children Of Bodom are little heavier and thrash/speed like, those of you who liked Bodom mostly for their melodic aspects might be disappointed (i.e. Chris :) ), and the second warning is to those who liked their slight Black Metal influence- that is also gone. Of course, there will always be some of you who don’t like Children Of Bodom, and that’s fine… will anything on here change your mind? I would say no. Yes they have added to their sound but a lot is still the same from Follow The Reaper so it’s hard to say actually. This is the best release of 2003 in my opinion so far but then again not too many people like Children Of Bodom as much as I do, so my ultimate suggestion is to try before you buy.

Killing Songs :
All of them, including a cover Slayer's Silent Scream
Crims quoted 97 / 100
Aleksie quoted 98 / 100
Chris quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Children Of Bodom that we have reviewed:
Children Of Bodom - I Worship Chaos reviewed by Andy and quoted 83 / 100
Children Of Bodom - Halo of Blood reviewed by Jared and quoted 82 / 100
Children Of Bodom - Holiday at Lake Bodom (15 Years of Wasted Youth) reviewed by Leah and quoted no quote
Children Of Bodom - Relentless Reckless Forever reviewed by Jake and quoted 80 / 100
Children Of Bodom - Blooddrunk reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 69 / 100
To see all 17 reviews click here
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