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Children of Bodom - Review of the Album Hatecrew Deathroll (2003)

Updated on February 28, 2018

An image of the CD itself

The band has always had the Grim Reaper on their album covers. The Grim Reaper reminds me of the Castlevania video games for the various systems that we have had over the years.
The band has always had the Grim Reaper on their album covers. The Grim Reaper reminds me of the Castlevania video games for the various systems that we have had over the years.

Track listing for the band’s 4th album Hate Crew Deathroll

  1. Needled 24/7
  2. Sixpounder
  3. Chokehold (Cocked ‘n’ Loaded)
  4. Bodom Beach Terror
  5. Angels Don’t Kill
  6. Triple Corpse Hammerblow
  7. You’re Better Off Dead
  8. Lil’ Bloodred Ridin’ Hood
  9. Hate Crew Deathroll

With this album we see the band have a slight style change

Finnish melodic death metal band Children of Bodom has been around a pretty long time and they have evolved as a band changing their musical style slightly since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Their 4thstudio album is called Hatecrew Deathroll and it is a departure from their first three albums. With this album, we can hear a faster, hard-hitting and more thrash metal style especially with the first two songs Needled 24/7 and Sixpounder. Although Children of Bodom is normally classified as a melodic death metal band, they have thrash metal elements in their music too. This would be the last album to have Alexander Kuoppala as the other guitarist.

One fair thing that can be said about this Finnish band is that their catchy album Follow the Reaper has outstanding songs such as Northern Comfort and Kissing the Shadows. What is going on with this album, what can be considered the 4th installment of the C.O.B. series of albums? The riffs are chunkier and there is a vocal chant of “pounder” in the song Sixpounder. There are also more instances of rough vocal shouts, a quality that we did not really see especially on the band’s first two albums.

A brief review of the album Hate Crew Deathroll

The two most outstanding songs on this album are Bodom Beach Terror and Angels Don’t Kill. The slower song Angels Don’t Kill is one of the well-written songs in the band’s career and it shows some of Alexi Laiho’s best rough vocal performances. The song is about someone who has so much pan in their heart that they feel like they are slowly being left to die. Even in this song, you hear the atmospheric sound that can send chills through your body because it is a VERY intense album musically. One constant lyrical theme in this album is the emotions of anger and aggression. The album tries to convey the message of what can happen if these emotions are left unchecked. I could not bring myself to listen to this album a lot of times because it was too intense. But this band should be covered because of their immense talent especially in the melodic death metal genre. Is Children of Bodom the best melodic death metal band in the genre? No they are not but they are certainly not short on talent. The strongest songs other than the two mentioned earlier are the title track, Needled 24/7, and Sixpounder. I really think that Children of Bodom are better suited to use the neoclassical style that was present on their first three albums. Overall, this album is pretty good even for Children of Bodom but they have done a better job especially with the album Are You Dead Yet? If you are just starting to get into this band, first check out their first two albums before you listen to this one.

Is this album better than what would come later? It is a tough call but Relentless Reckless Forever is not too bad either and the song Northpole Throwdown may be better than any song on this album but again it is a subjective, tough call.

Needled 24/7 (official music video)

The song Bodom Beach Terror (tuned down to E)

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The song Angels Don't Kill

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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