15 years into their career and with Blooddrunk, their 6th full studio release, CHILDREN of BODOM add some thrash to their melodic metal, displaying their continued relevance and entertainment to the extreme genre.
A combination of heavy keyboards and guitar layers ensure that darkness isn’t too heavy. No matter which direction they explore, accessibility is an open door. Catchy chants are introduced effectively on the opener, ‘Hellhounds on My Trail’ and continue many times elsewhere. Thankfully, the band doesn’t make a mistake by naming the CD after a weak track – ‘Blooddrunk’ pounds! Intricate structures and exceptional musicianship abound, especially on the progressive ‘Lobodomy’ which narrowly wins the position of favourite over ‘Roadkill Morning’. Sometimes the keyboards could be reduced but fit well on ‘Tie My Rope’. ‘Done with Everything’ is interesting in that it switches from power metal solos to groovy verses. The band is no stranger to magnificent covers. This time they step far afield to pluck the 1948 country and western track, ‘Ghostriders in the Sky’. Considering that it involves being chased by the dead, it fits snug here despite the use of singing vocals over the preceding grinds and growls. It makes for good variation.
Technically, COB do no wrong. And when looking at each song individually, they impress. Yet somehow the whole doesn’t rise above enjoyment and into thrall. Maybe it’s because the consistent aggression doesn’t come with murder. Menace and disturbia is missing, a possible edge that could have given a landmark instead of consistency. One thing for sure is that COB will reach a bigger audience, more a commercialism by coincidence than intention.