Sam’s Album Review

5 May


By Sam

               Since I arrived here at Bravi 4 months ago I have come to the realization that music plays an important role here.  Rarely does a day go by that someone doesn’t ask me about a concert or recommend a song or band.  And let’s not forget to mention the hours our programmers are plugged into Grooveshark and Spotify.  So without further ado, let’s get to one of my favorite albums from 2013!

Halo of blood

Halo of Blood – Children of Bodom release date: 11 June, 2013

As a longtime Children of Bodom fan I was extremely impressed with their 8th offering.  Their previous album Blood Drunk had left me yearning for the days of old Bodom. Don’t take this the wrong way either.  I absolutely despise the people who whine about a band changing too much.  What’s the point then?

“Waste of Skin” kicks the album off, and I mean KICK.  The bass drum is evident as is the repetitive drop C chord that we all love from bands like COB.  Children of Bodom tune two steps down (in relation to the standard EADGBE) and a third step down on the 6th string, which gives them that eerie, post- funeral celebration sound.

“Halo of Blood” comes crashing through as the second track.  Let me tell you, there is a reason this is the title track of the album.  The guitar is fast, the drums are faster, and lead singer Alexi Laiho’s voice is more whiskey burned and leathery than ever.  Truly a delight to listen to, even though after Alexi’s solo your ears might be melted off.

Batting third (American baseball reference) is “Scream for Silence”.  This song has my favorite riff of the album.  An absolute rocker that doesn’t wait for acceptance.  I can guarantee you that your head will be banging after the first second.

Up fourth is “Transference”.  It certainly has the Bodom feel, but to me it did not come off as a COB masterpiece.  Although, I must add that the line “Kill, kill, kill” at the end of the chorus and references to Alexi’s “final goodbyes” give it quite a feeling of the macabre.

Next on the album is “Bodom Blue Moon (The Second Coming)”.  I give this song a thumbs up for its title (City reference) and its shredding (fast, amazing, melodic guitar playing).  When you reach the 5th song on an album you typically expect to hear an “easing up”, but not here.  COB want you to know that they mean business and that the madness has only just begun.

Following “Bodom Blue Moon” is “Days are Numbered”. This song is like a kick in the stomach followed by a punch in the face.  The guitar is ruthless and even Henkka, the band’s bassist, gets his moment in the sun with a quick bass solo.  The beat is quick and ferocious at the beginning, but the band changes it up at the end to more of a rock n’ roll fist pumper.  If you were to see this song performed live I would advise you to stay out of the mosh pit, unless you want your teeth knocked out.

“Dead Man’s Hands on You” features a rare, but thoroughly chilling acoustic riff combined with low groaning vocals. This is followed by a melodic, power chord driven chorus.  It certainly is a nice change up from the thrash/melodic/death metal that probably has your neck hurting by now.

After a short “rest” COB comes back with a vengeance.  “Damaged Beyond Repair” begins with an onslaught of drop C power chords and commanding double bass.  A short, but memorable riff comes next from Alexi, followed by the return of brutally dark power chords and magnificent guitar and drum fills.  Definitely a classic COB piece.

If you didn’t catch your breath during “Dead Man’s Hands on You” you’re probably gasping for air after “Damaged Beyond Repair”, but there’s good news, the assault on your ears doesn’t stop.  The 9th song on Halo of Blood is “All Twisted”.  This song begins with a bass drum beat in conjunction with the high-hat which serves as a warning for the upcoming riff.  This is another song that is a tip of the hat to the “old” COB.

“One Bottle and a Knee Deep”… need I say more?  Unlike most bands that have had a past with substance abuse, COB hasn’t quite embraced sobriety yet.  This song is a non-stop thrill ride from beginning to end, after which, you feel as if you’ve gone through a long night on the town with the band.  These Finns have quite the tolerance for metal and alcohol, and it is quite apparent in this soon-to-be metal anthem.

The final song on the album is “Sleeping in My Car”, a cover from the band Roxette.  Is it a coincidence that “Sleeping in My Car” follows “One Bottle and a Knee Deep”?  I have never been the biggest fan of COB’s covers, except for “Hit Me Baby One More Time” (yes they did a Britney Spears cover) and their cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”.  The solo on this song is quite good, but it is obvious that covers are more for the pleasure of the band than for the fans.  A decent effort, but nothing to write home about.

To sum things up, I’d give this album a solid 8.5/10.  Listening to this album from the first song to the last is like being in an action movie.  There’s really no stopping, and when there is, it’s not for your benefit, it’s just to prepare you for the madness coming up ahead.  I really enjoy this band and I’m sure that many of the “metal heads” I’ve met at Bravi will as well.  It goes without saying that every song has an incredible solo (Alexi Laiho is ranked in the top 50 fastest guitarists of all time) and massive energy.  So, if you’re feeling a night out with the boys driving 150k/h down the BR-101, I suggest you throw this album on, you won’t regret it (although you may have some speeding tickets to atone for the next day).

Rock on \m/


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