A Review of the 2005 Death Metal Album "Are You Dead Yet?" by Finnish Death Metal Band Children of Bodom
Two Important Questions About the Evolution of the Band Children of Bodom
Like many bands in the music business, Finnish band Children of Bodom evolved over the years and became a true death metal band. When did this transformation happen? And did this transformation help the band or did it hurt them? With an initial analysis of a three year period for this band, we will discuss this question. But as of 2019 and later we will only review the album Are You Dead Yet? Think of Children of Bodom as a very heavy thrash and death metal band with grooves and very rough vocals. They will never be as good as Germany’s Holy Moses though. In the early part of their career, the band’s style was neoclassical melodic death metal. Then they became more of a death and thrash metal hybrid in 2003 and especially in 2005.
Note: as we update this review, it is sad to say but as of December 2020 Alexi Laiho has passed away due to what is being referred to as various health issues.
A Photo of the Children of Bodom CD Called Are You Dead Yet
What Has Not Changed For Children of Bodom?
The one aspect that has not really changed is the emphasis of having the Grim Reaper on their album covers. On the cover for this album is the hand of the Grim Reaper and he seems to be holding onto some kind of stick or bar.
When the Band Became a True Death Metal Band
Children of Bodom became a true gritty, rough death metal band in 2005 with their album titled Are You Dead Yet? And this transformation did not really hurt the band that much (at least after 2003’s Hatecrew Deathroll and the departure of guitarist Alexander Kuoppala). However, the album is not as good as the band’s first two albums. With Finland being like a factory where death metal bands come into the industry virtually every year, these guys are not Finland’s best death metal band but they may be the most well-known because of Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho.
2 Cons for the Album Are You Dead Yet?
With this album, Children of Bodom start to have slower songs which will leave some of their hardcore fans wondering what happened. Another thing that I find odd or unusual is the fact that many of the song titles are those that a band should not have too much of and fans can figure out what is being implied here.
Why Children of Bodom Is Not Finland's Best Death Metal Band
Though the album is super heavy in terms of the distortion, they are just a tad below Spain’s Avulsed or the Czech Republic’s Krabathor. By this point in their career, Children of Bodom became a hybrid or combination of death and thrash metal. However, in terms of Finnish thrash metal bands I prefer to listen to St. Hood because of the politically inspired lyrics and the rougher voice. Alexi Laiho is a very good guitar player and the his band had their best years from 1993 through 2000 but with this transformation and the fact that there are so many good Finnish melodic death metal bands out there, the competition is challenging and makes it difficult for me to say that they are Finland’s best melodic death metal band. There are just or have been WAY too many good types of these death metal bands in the last 15 years. Don’t get me wrong Children of Bodom are good but not good enough or melodic enough to match Ensiferum for example.
The Song Called "Next In Line"
A Brief Review of the Mentioned 2005 Album Are You Dead Yet
After the heavy and aggressive song "Living Dead Beat," we are introduced to the title track. There is a kind of slushy, feedback kind of noise in this song. The shouts in this song are pretty impressive. We hear a riff that shows a return briefly to the previous album and before. The song In Your Face starts out with a riff that resembles the sound of mini machine gun fire. It is pretty epic and spooky and then there is a riff that resembles late 1990’s and early 2000’s Judas Priest. The song is good however there are too many of the wrong kind of words repeated throughout the song. Alexi Laiho sounds like one angry guy especially in this song. What I am about to mention next may surprise some of you. The song Next In Line is one of my favorite songs in this album because of the grooves and the riff before the chorus plus the chorus itself. The drumming part afterwards is pretty stellar too. "Trashed, Lost and Strungout" is one of the singles on this album and there is this sort of faster punk metal feel to it.
"Are You Dead Yet" Song Only
Final Thoughts About the Album Are You Dead Yet
The album finishes with the song "We’re Not Gonna Fall" which may be the best song on the album. The song is about taking the hand of a brave person as you go through life. Don’t give up and fall when you can succeed. I have not heard any of Children of Bodom’s albums after 2011 but this one is still pretty good. But the heaviness combined with the questionable song titles and the slushy kind of guitar sound will bring the score of this album down so the final score will be a 78 out of 100 points. It is safe to surmise that Children of Bodom became slower and heavier to try and attract more fans. They would get a little weaker in 2008 and would not rebound until 2011. Even so, their thrash metal experimentation is decent.
Children of Bodom vs. Avulsed vs. Krabathor
Which one of these three bands has the heaviest music and guitar sound?
"We're Not Gonna Fall"
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian