To be honest, I'd had my fill of Children of Bodom. Their debut, "Something Wild" (1998), totally knocked me off my socks by its combination thrash, black metal voices and neoclassical guitar wizardry. Their following albums were, well, basically more of the same. It was still well-written and technically at a very high level, but enough is enough.

Nonetheless I figured I'd give "Hate Crew Deathroll" a listen to see if I was going to miss out on anything. At the end of this listening session I concluded I simply had to fork over the dosh...

"Hate Crew Deathroll", the band's first studio 2 years, is instantly recognisable yet remarkably different. It's is heavier than any of their previous efforts. Some of the tracks are very chunky and untypical (for Children of Bodom), in particular "Sixpounder" for example. Alexi Laiho spins his strings wildly throughout the album, sometimes metaphorically crossing axes with keyboard man Janne Warman.

When, at the end, you decide Children of Bodom have managed to deliver the goods in a sufficiently innovative and entertaining way, you find the album is too short (37 minutes) with two irritating minutes of silence added to the end (bug?).

Nonetheless this one's All Right.

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Written March 2003


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