|Review: Children of Bodom - Blooddrunk|
Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2008
Review online: May 1, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Rated 2.75/5 (55%) (40 Votes)
Children of Bodom have fallen quite far from their early brilliance in the form of Something Wild, Hatebreeder and Follow the Reaper; that much was evident by the first couple of riffs on Hatecrew Deathroll, but at least that album still had some balls, despite being horribly annoying and mediocre. Their last album, Are You Dead Yet? was a transition into a more groove-laden, Lamb of God-esque sound, which was met with mixed reactions from the fans, with many citing the new direction as negative and making cries of "sellout." Certainly their weakest album to date, it was only saved by a few tracks that seemed to radiate with exuberance, making for a pretty decent "fun" listen. Not good, but tolerable. Not the failure everyone claimed it to be, but the detractors did not back down.
...and the retort from the band, two years later? Blooddrunk, an exercise in tedium that I had not yet seen before. So what's the deal, guys? Fans didn't like the more modern sound, so you decided to chug out an album of songs that sound like rejects from the Hatebreeder recording sessions? The basic sound present on Blooddrunk is reminiscent of the sound Children of Bodom started off with - high-flying, diving, winding guitar solos, a heavy dose of synths, and some thrashy riffs thrown in for good measure (more modern here than in the past, definitely taking cues from the previous album), all topped off with Alexi's harsh yowl. I didn't want to do this, but Blooddrunk doesn't look so good, and there's no way around it. Children of Bodom are without an alibi at the scene of the crime - selling out, that is.
This whole album sounds like a somewhat effective return to form on first listen, but after a while it hits you just how bad this really is. Yeah, it sounds like Hatebreeder, and yeah, it sure does have a bigger keyboard/solo presence just like the old stuff did, but if you think that makes this better than the grooving riffs and restrained synths of AYDY?, then you need to re-evaluate your standards. This whole album sounds like the older stuff, and the more die-hard fans of the band will be quick to sing the band's praises once again, but by the end of your first listen, it sinks in: this album is a lame, watered down rehash of everything that the band originally became popular for in the first place. What's the deal, Alexi? Did you feel bad for alienating your older fans, and thus decide to go halfway back to the old sound? Because I'm really at a loss for any other explanation. You can't just do that; chickening out like this. No band can. Either go all the way or don't go down the road at all. Blooddrunk is very desensitized, bland music, lacking any semblance of the creative, manic energy the band used to have, as if it were filtered out like water would be before being released to the masses. It's the worst possible outcome of their new metalcore/groove style flirting with the older neoclassical-whatsit Melodeath they used to play, mashed together into a shapeless lump without hooks, flow or any sort of memorability. We're not falling for this, you cretins. Hear me? We're not going to keep eating up this crap just because you throw in a few "old school Bodom" solos and synth melodies amidst your modern shash. Fuck that.
There was no reason to shift direction once again after the chugga-chugga tuff-guy style of AYDY? (stick with one style, idiots!), but they did it anyway. Instead of expanding on that style, as the old Bodom would've done, they took the easy way out and tried to appeal to everyone at the same time, and that is where they failed. This isn't a good modern Metal album, nor is it a good revision of the band's old sound. Children of Bodom were a good band in the first place, after all, because of their subtle progression from album to album while still remaining in their signature style. That's all out the window now, replaced with a hollow shell of a band too afraid to experiment or step outside of their little box. Now they sound like their own cover band. Artistic death; an album without any form of innovation or creativity at all, not even the band's own individual "voice." Blooddrunk is completely disposable, the epitome of pussification and cowardice. I'm ashamed ever to have liked this band. Bodom has nowhere left to go, for they have already watered down their sound to the utmost extreme. Utterly worthless.
|Other related information on the site|
|Review: Are You Dead Yet? (reviewed by Christian Renner)|
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