Children Of Bodom - Halo of Blood
Label: Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Tiphany Matai - 2013-06-26
Highlights: Transference, Bodom Blue Moon, Dead Man Hand's on You
Children of Bodom lived a lot of different adventures in their carreer : the beginning was really marked by the establishement of an atypical style, between melodic metal, neo-classic metal and extreme metal with the three albums “Something Wild”, “Hatebreeder” and “Follow the Reaper”, and the rest was however less subtle et more disappointing, maybe less refined, with the only good “Are You Dead Yet?”, the bad “Blooddrunk” and a cover album which did not failed to win unanimous support. “Relentless Reckless Forever” got COB back on top even if it was not the “album of the year” because of some linearities : the album was finally boring. One shall be full of hope to wish the great return of this Finnish band.
Still, this is not impossible. CoB is back again with their new-born album called “Halo of Blood”, two years after “RRF”. This new album is less expected but could be a surprise. Its white and grey cover art with its melancholic reaper on an iced lake bring us in the land of winter. This cold atmosphere can remind us the one of “Hatebreeder”. Moreover, COB seems to turn away from the “modern” orientation to come closer to the “green album”. One may not say that it is a return to the roots because those Finnish guys do not leave out the thrash riffings as well as the clean production and sound. Nevertheless, the subtlety, th captivating atmospheres, the inspired solos and the various influences are back again with more sophisticated melodies and less “in-your-face” elements which were more present in the last albums.
Thus, we are not surprised to listen to speed tracks like “Waste of Skin”, “Bodom Blue Moon” or the great “Transference” where the riffs string together as well as the guitar/keys solos. Rapidity belongs to COB’s trademark and those guys do not only content themselves with that. To the contrary, we have the chance to listen to a storm of ultra speed riffs and lots of solos as well as innovation. It’s the case with the title track “Halo of Blood” with its epic touch, its aggressiveness and its blackish influence : it really sounds like Dissection with COB trademark. To be honest, melodic black metal is the “star” of this album with those very characteristic tracks that strengthen this cold atmosphere. “Dead Man’s Hand on You” is another example, showing the other side of those Finnish guys: they can play slowly! This track is not very fast: it’s more calm, but very subtle : the beauty of the melodies, the freezing piano, the melancholy of Alexi’s voice and the incision of the riffs. Wonderful.
Of course, even if the magic of the beginning is lost, even if there is no longer craziness, Children of Bodom offers us a very good “Halo of Blood”, better than the recent releases such as RRF or “Blooddrunk”. There are more efforts and also a production signed by Mikko Karmila, who worked with COB on “Hatebreeder” and “Follow the Reaper”. One can say that it is a good collaboration! However, it’s not a return to the roots but still, this new album should please the “Hatebreeder” and “Hate Crew Deathroll” ‘s lovers.
* Review originally posted on Spirit Of Metal Webzine *