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Children of Bodom
Follow The Reaper
March 2001
Released: 2000, Spinefarm Records
Rating: 3.7/5
Reviewer: El Cid

First of, I must say I was expecting a lot from this CD after hearing their previous effort, Hatebreeder. I don’t think I really need to give any background on Alexi “wildchild” Laiho primary band so we’ll just skip straight to the reviewing part.

The album opener is the title track Follow the Reaper which is pretty much the kind of sound that defines this Finnish band, an intense use of ultra fast guitar noodling that sends the song into the keyboards and “blackish” sounding voice. The whole album flows rather nicely since there are no surprises here whatsoever, it sort of reminds me of an old friend’s reflection of Amon amarth’s work (The Avenger brings nothing new, just more of the same stuff that was in Sorrow… which is by no means bad news) since the album sounds a lot like Hatebreeder without being a carbon copy of their previous release. The only thing that has changed in this CD is maybe a more inventive soloing backed up by an increase in the use of keyboards (which might lead a bunch of you hardcore death/black fans to say it sounds “gay”) that sometimes seems a tad excessive. Other than that, Follow the Reaper is a tight album that falls right next to Something Wild and Hatebreeder as far as listening fun goes. If you liked the first 2 albums by this band then Follow the reaper is a must, then again if you were expecting Children of Bodom’s sound to evolve with this release then you should just get over the fact they’re doing fine they way they are and they won’t change their sound for a while.

Next review: » Children of Bodom - Follow The Reaper
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Children of Bodom
Follow The Reaper
March 2001
Released: 2001, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Joe

Before I begin, I have to do a little bitching... Why the hell does every Children of Bodom CD I’ve ever bought NOT include all the lyrics in the booklets?!?!?!?! Huh? Will somebody at Nuclear Blast please pull their head out of their friggin’ ass long enough to offer some kind of logical explanation??? SOMETHING WILD included the lyrics to only one out of seven tracks... HATEBREEDER did a little better and included the lyrics to six out of nine... And FOLLOW THE REAPER only has three songs out of ten printed in it’s booklet... Look, if you’re gonna print the lyrics, then print them all!!! Why is that so damn difficult??? Are you too friggin’ cheap to spring for the extra printing costs? Are the people working at the printing company complete and utter morons??? Or is printing lyrics to only a small portion of the songs some bullshit, artsy-fartsy concept that’s lost on everyone except for maybe a bunch of Andy Warhol wannabes??? If Alexi Laiho crooned like Frank Sinatra then printing the lyrics wouldn’t really be necessary, but this particular "gimmick" of only printing the lyrics to a few songs accomplishes nothing other than pissing off Children of Bodom fans. Bastards.

Anyway... I’d been looking forward to getting FOLLOW THE REAPER ever since I heard the "Hate Me" single back in October (2000). It was obvious from that track that CoB were not about to abandon their unique blend of Black, Power, Death, and Thrash Metal that their fans had grown to love. Slowly the months went past until it was released in February. And now FOLLOW THE REAPER has finally reached my stereo... Joy! From the opening riffs of the title track to the last note of their cover of WASP’s "Hellion", this album grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go (metaphorically speaking, of course...). Songs like "Bodom After Midnight" (which starts out with a riff slightly reminiscent of the opening riff from King Diamond’s "From the Other Side"), "Children of Decadence", "Taste of My Scythe", and "Kissing the Shadows" are great examples of CoB at their musical finest. They even experiment with slower tempos in "Every Time I Die", a departure from their normally high-speed style of songwriting which turned out incredibly well. One of my favorites.

All I can really say about FOLLOW THE REAPER is that it totally kicked my ass and if you like CoB at all, then do yourself a huge favor and go buy it as soon as humanly possible. You will not be disappointed, believe me. I just hope you have better luck than me when trying to decipher the lyrics...

Next review: » Children of Bodom - Halo Of Blood
Previous review: » Children of Bodom - Chaos Ridden Years - Stockholm Knockout Live (DVD)

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