Hate Crew Deathroll
Review by Jack on June 10, 2003.
Doesn't really strike you as terribly funny any more does it? One used to wonder just exactly how Children of Bodom were so apt at appealing to every metal fan and his iron canine, however after four solid records, the novelty and hype surrounding the Bodom lads has died down somewhat and at last these five brash young men can go about what they do best.
Record number four, "Hate Crew Deathroll," sees Children of Bodom continuing on with their addictive mixture of power metal laced with Alexi's banshee screams. Essentially "Hate Crew Deathroll" will find it hard to win over new people if they weren't hooked by what was going down on the past three records. Don't get me wrong though, all the killer hooks and gnarly choruses of past records are again making a name for themselves on "Hate Crew Deathroll" (after lying dormant on "Follow the Reaper"). In fact, I could go out on a limb and suggest that "Hate Crew Deathroll" may just contain some of the catchiest Children of Bodom tracks ever, such as 'Needled 24/7' and 'Chokehold (Cocked 'n' Loaded).' Thankfully these guys aren't showing any real signs of slowing down.
One aspect of "Hate Crew Deathroll" that really needs to be mentioned are the awful song titles. I expect this kind of thing from full on power metal bands, but I at least thought Children of Bodom had some sort of integrity. Can you think of worse titles than 'Bodom Beach Terror' and 'Lil' Bloodred Ridin' Hood'? I racked my brains for god knows how long in an effort to match the cheesiness of "Hate Crew Deathroll" but was left severely wanting. 'Triple Corpse Hammerblow' is the sort of track one would expect Children of Bodom to have sliced out of Cannibal Corpse's thesaurus on album titles (yes, pun intended). Clearly the album concepts needs some work, but aside from that minor quibble, "Hate Crew Deathroll" is a pretty enjoyable listen.
Bottom Line: Certainly not an audacious record, anything but, however Children of Bodom has successfully matched "Follow the Reaper" in almost every facet, not to mention upping the production values. This one is tighter than a virgin's asshole. In my opinion this is their second best effort (I don't see anything topping "Hatebreeder"), and worth checking out. The apprehensive need not fear!
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating:7.6 out of 10