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 isnâ€™t too heavy. No matter which direction they explore, accessibility is an open door. Catchy chants are introduced effectively on the opener, â€˜Hellhounds on My Trailâ€™ and continue many times elsewhere. Thankfully, the band doesnâ€™t make a mistake by naming the CD after a weak track – â€˜Blooddrunkâ€™ pounds! Intricate structures and exceptional musicianship abound, especially on the progressive â€˜Lobodomyâ€™ which narrowly wins the position of favourite over â€˜Roadkill Morningâ€™. Sometimes the keyboards could be reduced but fit well on â€˜Tie My Ropeâ€™. â€˜Done with Everythingâ€™ 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, â€˜Ghostriders in the Skyâ€™. 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 doesnâ€™t rise above enjoyment and into thrall. Maybe itâ€™s because the consistent aggression doesnâ€™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.