Released: 2005, Universal
The kings of melodic power death metal have succumbed to their worldwide fame. They’re following in the footsteps of bands like In Flames and Soilwork; going down the toilet, to be frank.
The continuation of their obsession with death and killing in the lyrics is no surprise, but they’ve replaced almost all of the intricate compositions laced within the killer heaviness that makes up their previous albums with more heaviness that just kills my ears. Every once in while, there’s a tiny gem of classic CoB beauty, but then it disappears into mayhem. Even Alexi Laiho’s vocals sound different. It’s more screaming instead of his high-pitched growls that I really liked previously.
The riffs in the song “In Your Face” are very boring; they just don’t stand on their own, and Janne Warman’s usual keyboard tone doesn’t do much justice to them either. The song sounds like something I’d hear in a Hot Topic store or something. That says a lot about the direction this band has taken. They want to appeal to the masses of young hardcore kids rather than those who appreciated them for their real skills.
“Next in Line” is one where the classic CoB sounds are getting through more than the others. The insane vocals distract from it, but I hear a lot of maybe FOLLOW THE REAPER stuff. Warman’s and Laiho’s solos are also what I’d expect from them. They have meaning and can represent themselves rather than blend into shredding madness.
The single, “Trashed, Lost, and Strungout,” is another pretty close performance of true CoB. Just like the previously mentioned song, it’s basically the melodic metal we know and love but kicked into overdrive – and I mean overdrive. It’s indeed heavy as all hell, but it’s so insane that the great parts are covered over in a layer of lameness.
Children of Bodom just didn’t go the distance with this one. They’ve taken the path most traveled, and we can only hope they’ll find their way back.