Released: 2008, Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Children of Bodom don´t need any introduction. The band has become a highly appreciated metal act worldwide, and they have also become sort of an institution for the accomplishments that they have gained for themselves over the years due to their uncompromising - let´s just say, ´technically innovative´ metal music - and due to their hard-working attitude towards non-stop gigging.
C.O.B.´s previous album, ARE YOU DEAD YET?, which was released in 2005, kind of didn´t fulfil all of those expectations that the fans of the band had toward the record. To many, it seemed to lack Bodom´s own signature elements for sharp, effectively nailing guitar riffs, ear-catching melodies, etc. - only leaving a handful of Bodom fans completely happy with the record.
On the band´s 6th full-length album, BLOODDRUNK, Children of Bodom have taken a couple of steps back toward a similar style that they adopted on their HATECREW DEATHROLL and FOLLOW THE REAPER albums; I mean, more of this straightforward and more aggressive, more of a riff-based style that most of the Bodom fans seem to love unconditionally.
BLOODDRUNK is opened by a relatively fast tempo song, “Hellhounds on My Trail”. To me the song sounds like the guys have realized that this is actually the bloodpath they should have followed on ARE YOU DEAD YET? musically, too. Glad they have found the traces of fresh blood back to their sound again. This particular song in question is also one of the two songs they have shot a video for (the other song being “Blooddrunk”). The title track of the album, “Blooddrunk”, is another fine song from ´The Reaper´ team. Alexi´s sharp riffing combined with Janne´s easily hitting keyboard parts, make a perfect match together in this song. “Blooddrunk” also represents C.O.B. nearly at their best on this record, how to write that typical ´bodom-esque´ stuff that can effortlessly be recognized as them; re-energized, full of action and driving power again.
“Lobodomy” is more of a mid-tempo, heavy and even occasionally kinda epic type song on BLOODDRUNK - and delightfully catchy it is as well whereas “One Day You Will Cry” makes another well-grounded promise about a pleasing Bodom album that has been kicked out toward the Bodom fans´ direction.
Then there´s “Smile Pretty for the Devil” on this record, which is nothing but a standard Bodom tune, recognized easily as one of their songs. Heavy and in-yer-face it is, no more words to describe it any better way. “Tie My Rope” is another heavy roller from them, loaded with some ear-burning and mind-sticking hooks, a good guitar and keyboard presentation and everything that all give even more credibility for them about the band´s hungriness for some ´old-fresh blood´ as far as BLOODDRUNK´s material in its entirety is concerned content-wise. The same can also be said about “Done with Everything, Die for Nothing”, which, in my opinion, contains the best chorus part out of all 9 songs on the band´s newest opus in terms of how rhythmic it is.
“Banned from Heaven” is the only song on BLOODDRUNK that goes over a 5-minute mark, and other than that, even if it´s a heavy, slow tempo and somewhat melancholic tune on this record, it tends to turn kinda tedious track toward the end after all. “Roadkill Morning” is in turn a very fast tempo, thrashy and riff-filled assault from the Bodom´s killing squad - and probably a good way to end the album by that song, too.
So, what we have in our hands kind of summa summarum, is actually a much better album than what Bodom´s previous album offered as wholeness. It´s also good to see them returning to that musical format which should have a bunch of Bodom fans smiling with a wide grin on their faces, obviously the same way like the maestros themselves in this band did right after stepping out from the doors of the recording studio in the end of November 2007…