Rating:
8.4
Children Of Bodom - Halo Of Blood
7 June 2013


01. Waste Of Skin
02. Halo Of Blood
03. Scream For Silence
04. Transference
05. Bodom Blue Moon (The Second Coming)
06. The Days Are Numbered
07. Dead Man's Hand On You
08. Damage Beyond Repair
09. All Twisted
10. One Bottle And A Knee Deep
11. Crazy Nights [Loudness Cover] [Limited Edition Bonus]
12. Sleeping In My Car [Roxette Cover] [Limited Edition Bonus]


Another few years have passed and the once so mighty Children Of Bodom give it another try. People out there might have heard the rumours already so here is the essential question: Are they back? Back from their downhill path starting with Are You Dead Yet? If you want an answer to that, get yourself the album and find it out by yourself, for it's truly a quite personal question. But let's have a look beyond conservatives and fanboy rockers and get some insight to the subject.

Halo Of Blood is their eighth album but it would have been better as the fifth. It sounds too much like Hate Crew Deathroll to not be called the logical follow-up to that great work released ten years ago (yes you're getting old). The opener "Waste Of Skin" totally fits as "Needled 24/7" in a newer version. Looking through the songs presented, one finds quite special ones telling how Alexi finally developed some diversity in his songwriting. "Dead Man's Hand On You" for example caught me totally off guard. Starting with acoustic guitars and clean (!) singing it builds up through rhythm-based parts to a rather epic chorus. Probably the least thing I expected from the Bodoms, nevertheless a shining highlight in their career. Another different song is definitely the title track, which many say to be black metal-like. Actually, it only sketchily has anything to do with that style but truly sounds special in its own way.

There's no use talking about the basic stuff here. Performance is excellent as always - I'd even say Alexi's vocal skills have improved - and so has the production level. Maybe on an even higher one than previous, conserving the natural instrumental sound and still pointing out the important things. The worst thing is that those guys again managed to pick one of the least good songs to be released as a single ("Transference", namely) but some attitudes won't ever change. In search of a highlight song I quickly came across the track "All Twisted". A paradise for every guitarist, with great harmonic aspects and a catchy-as-fuck chorus. Summed up, one type of song that made Children Of Bodom famous years ago.

To be honest, the last album wasn't too bad. At least a step up from the abysmal Blooddrunk, but still not the relief getting them out of the dust. The new stuff finally seems to be the breathing beast most of us have been waiting to wake up again after so many years of sleep. Awkward as it seems, that is also the reason Children Of Bodom will stand under even higher pressure for their next release. Maintain the level, fall back again, or push even higher up? Today, maybe only Alexi knows. And we have to keep on waiting.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Children Of Bodom
Album: Halo Of Blood


 



Written on 13.07.2013 by
Windrider
"The future is not guaranteed, all we have is today.
And Today, we have Metal." - Karl Sanders
More reviews by Windrider ››

Guest review by
AngelofDeth

Rating:
6.0
The singles released for this album, "Transference" and "Halo Of Blood", set off a storm of anticipation and excitement around this album due to the fact that these songs sounded reminiscent of the Children Of Bodom's classical and often most cherished early albums. But now that the album is out and the dust is settled, does Halo Of Blood really live up to the hype?

Read more ››
published 22.02.2014 | Comments (3)



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Zaphod - 13.07.2013 at 15:53  
Better than Relentless, but not even close to good in my opinion.
!J.O.O.E.! - 13.07.2013 at 16:26  
Listened to most of the album, and going from that yeah, it's a bit heavier, has a few black metal riffs but the songs are completely mundane through to total crap. The vocals are still painfully flat too. Not a patch on Hate Crew Deathroll or anything before it. I'm guessing CoB have lowered people's expectations so much that a minor return to sound is enough for people to consider this good.
Susan - 13.07.2013 at 17:03  
"that great work released ten years ago (yes you're getting old)"

YES... we are!!!
Sword_Chant - 13.07.2013 at 17:34  
Imo Something Wild and Hatebreeder was the best COB era ever. I don't think 'Halo Of Blood' is anywhere as superior as those albums, but I totally agree with the review. It's the legitimate follow up from Hate Crew and it's definitely the the best album since then. Some of the songs on AYDY onwards were okay, a different style but not as creative like the early days. I think they hit the mark on this album, maybe this is a sign of better albums to come. I personally think they should take a step forward by taking a step back and going back to the style of the first 3 albums (in the follow ups at least).
psykometal - 13.07.2013 at 18:26  
Quote:
The opener "Waste Of Skin" totally fits as "Needled 24/7" in a newer version.

At one point I actually caught myself unawares singing the chorus to "Needled 24/7" to that song...
Loathera - 14.07.2013 at 01:27  
Great review. Some people just can't seem to view this as a pretty good album regardless as to whether or not it sounds like Hatebreeder and that's ok. I got a bit of a Dissection-kinda vibe from it.
Mattybu - 14.07.2013 at 04:39  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 13.07.2013 at 16:26

The vocals are still painfully flat too. Not a patch on Hate Crew Deathroll or anything before it. I'm guessing CoB have lowered people's expectations so much that a minor return to sound is enough for people to consider this good.


Bingo. For me its a decent effort but at the end of the day, listening to one of their older albums is a better idea. I agree about the vocals especially and find a 10 in performance for this album way over the top. Although one of the songs I cant remember which has an awesome keyboard solo.

Listening to anything by this band basically just makes me crave Kalmah.
Italics - 15.07.2013 at 04:00  
It's a good album. Some people will hate on COB just because it's the cool thing to do and it makes them look trve, but that's always to be expected in this genre. IMO their best album since AYDY, and maybe as good as it. 8/10.

EDIT - Forgot to add, second half of the album (Tracks 5-9) is way better than the first half IMO.
Lanthros - 16.07.2013 at 19:54  
Really you consider hate crew death roll great? wow ummm ok to each his own but in my opinion that album sucked giant smelly donkey balls. Follow The Reaper was trully great though
Hydra - 20.07.2013 at 00:55  
Great Review man, took the words right outta my mouth ! i can actually say i'm pretty stoked to the next record. i just really hope to take it up a level. maybe go back to the hatebreeder style. as it is my favorite record lol.
AngelofDeth - 20.07.2013 at 19:19  
Multiple times in the review I asked myself if we were listening to the same album or maybe I just missed all these seemingly great sounding things during my first listens of the album. But alas, I still find the album extremely lackluster.

I want to like the album but really it sounds more like a half-baked pre-Something Wild demo more than a true and triumphant CoB comeback.
kalmah999 - 27.10.2013 at 17:10  
Great review, nice album and nice comeback for CoB

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