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Children Of Bodom
Released: 2003, Spinefarm Records
Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
This was the beginning of the end for my long term enjoyment and sustained interest in Children Of Bodom. I know that sounds odd to dismiss a band only six years and four albums into their career, but HATECREW DEATHROLL was such a radical departure from the previous three superb albums that they never recovered. Actually, to be fair, I never recovered, the band went on to enjoy massive global success and recorded another four albums in this style. There is certainly a distinct split between original fans (old) and the newer, younger generation, post 2000.
There was no discernable, external difference one could point to; the line-up was the same as the previous album FOLLOW THE REAPER and the band was still on Spinefarm, but in the three years between albums, the band had a major stylistic change. It was one that would increase their fortunes forever and loose a few fans along the way. It was a calculated risk, that I admire, it worked, but that still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t really like the album or the new direction.
The album is presented nicely enough, a cool red colour scheme seeing the almost obligatory appearance of their reaper mascot and HATECREW DEATHROLL started an unfortunate tradition of having nonsensical and grammatically awkward album titles. The first and most disappointing change was the production. The band went from a uber-clean, fast-burning Metal machine to embracing many of the weaker production sounds of the new millennium. It was disappointing that many of the songs were tainted by metalcore riffing and have an overall decrease in tone and tempo. The chugging guitars just sound so out of place and the blazing keyboard/guitar battles of the past are long gone.
You might think that from this review, I really hated this album. Not at all. It was heavy, it was intense and tons and tons of people loved the new modern direction. For the style, HATECREW DEATHROLL is a prime example of how it can be done and done well. I just prefer the original sound of the band and accordingly this album is average thankfully a short nine song, 36 minutes. The band would follow it’s downward (in my mind) trajectory until recovering almost a decade later with RELENTLESS RECKLESS FOREVER.
1. Needled 24/7
3. Chokehold (Cocked 'n' Loaded)
4. Bodom Beach Terror
5. Angels Don't Kill
6. Triple Corpse Hammerblow
7. You're Better Off Dead
8. Lil' Bloodred Ridin' Hood
9. Hate Crew Deathroll
Alexi Laiho Vocals, Guitar
Jaska Raatikainen Drums
Janne Warman Keyboards
Henkka T. Blacksmith Bass
Alexander Kuoppala Guitar
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