Released: 2011, Spinefarm
I really enjoyed the early COB stuff. Then as the band changed style and sound in I was still a fan, just not as interested. The albums and tours continued and I grew less and less enthusiastic. I, like many others felt the band went too far in incorporating modern influences. Combined with stylistic shifts in writing, odd production and tours with acts of marginal metal credibility and/or interest. When BLOODDRUNK hit in 2008 I was pretty much ready to assign the band a lower priority, namely I wouldn’t bother running out and buying releases from the band or going to the shows anymore. SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET in 2009 sort of (temporarily) staved of my decision and despite being very poorly executed it retained the sense of fun that was missing from the previous three studio albums.
My expectations were low for RELENTLESS, RECKLESS FOREVER. Even the awkward album title and blurry confusing album cover didn’t add much hope. However, the music is what counts most and I’m really happy with the new record. I think RELENTLESS RECKLESS FOREVER is the best thing they have done in 10 years, namely since FOLLOW THE REAPER. It seems Alexi has finally listened to the older fans and brought back the sense of fun, melody and thrash to the bands songs.
The primary factor that elevates the status of this album is the reintroduction of keyboards. There were very few keys on the recent albums and now they are back in spades. Since Warmen’s keys were such an integral part of the bands early sound, when they were left out, the band lost something special. Accordingly now that the keys are back in full-force the bands signature sound has been reclaimed. Alexi is great form on both vocals and guitars. He rips some nice solos like the one of ‘Northpole Throwdown’. Melodic, catchy, fast, aggressive, without the excessive Americanized ‘core’ taint of the past few albums, this short, nine cut album leaves you wanting more.
RELENTLESS RECKLESS FOREVER just may be the best COB album. It seamlessly blends the old style and new sound very well. It’s diverse and dynamic and heavy and the band is back on top.