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A Review of the 2nd Album by Finnish Metal Band Children of Bodom Called "Hatebreeder"

Updated on October 26, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Grim Reaper the Character That Is On the Album Cover For Hatebreeder


Children of Bodom Were One of the Earliest Bands of the Neoclassical Death Metal Style

There are years in a band’s career that are so memorable that they stand out as being the best for that band. Note: sometimes the band's name is abbreviated as COB because the band's name is a little long. This is the case for Finland’s melodic death metal band Children of Bodom. 1999 was the year that the band released their second studio album called Hatebreeder. The question is why is 1999 the best year for this band?

We will also provide a review of the album Hatebreeder. While the album’s title may not be the best, the music in this album is heavy, creative, and highly technical. Let’s see if some American death metal band these days can write an album like this and I know they can’t. In this early period, Children of Bodom was one of the best new and young bands that arrived on the scene and they arrived in a big way!

Reasons for 1999 Being So Great for This Band

The reasons have to do with the brilliance of that mentioned 2nd studio album. They have good bass lines as in the first song "Warheart," the riffs are catchy and thundering, and they use classically influenced death metal in this early period. You can hear it in the interludes in this first song by Alexi Laiho.

Silent Night, Bodom Night: the Significance of the Song

The second song called "Silent Night, Bodom Night" lyrically makes reference to the horrific crime committed in Lake Bodom many, many years ago. This is a murder case that is not solved as of yet. It is a very philosophical question to ask about why a certain year was so great for a band. Children of Bodom were one of the first bands that I heard at the time that combined death metal with neoclassical shred elements.

The Album Has Several Memorable Songs Such as "Bed of Razors" and "Towards Dead End"

However, the 4th song "Bed of Razors" may be the best song in the album. It has a dark, spooky atmosphere with the cymbals touching the song. It is a song with one of the best riffs that the band has written. "Towards Dead End" starts again with classically influenced interludes as we enter the best parts of the album that are to come! The song is about someone that feels like they are really alone. No matter where they run to, anxiety grips their minds and bodies as their dreams have been shattered. Another reason why 1999 was the best year for Children of Bodom is because of their impressive use of the keyboards to create an atmosphere filled with Castlevania style musical parts! However, one way that this band could be even better is to clean up their lyrical themes a bit but in the death metal genre, often times bands focus on themes such as despair, depression, loss, or sorrow.

"Bed of Razors"

Wrath Within is One of the Fastest and Best Songs of the Band's Career

"Wrath Within" is a really fast, furious song that many thrash metal bands would be proud of! The guitar stops briefly as Alexi’s rough voice takes over and the drums are impressive! There actually is a song on this album called Children of Bodom and this melodic song makes reference to the spirits of the children that were killed and these spirits are trying to take their revenge out on others.

"Silent Night Bodom Night"

Children of Bodom Expanded the Death Metal Genre and Made it Better

The bottom line is that in 1999, Children of Bodom had made a sort of “new” style of death metal enjoyable for fans and they showed that they could play very well with other metal bands. Although Follow the Reaper also has its catchy moments as well, it is not as good as this album. This 2nd album may be the band’s best effort to date.

"Towards Dead End"

Favorite Children of Bodom Album Among These

What is your favorite Children of Bodom album?

See results

A Discography of the Band Children of Bodom

Year Released
Album Title
Something Wild
Follow the Reaper
Hate Crew Deathroll
Are You Dead Yet?
Relentless Reckless Forever
Halo of Blood
I Worship Chaos

"Wrath Within"

Pros and Cons for Children of Bodom Even for 1999 Standards

If there is a weakness or a con for this band even at this time in their career, it would be that their album covers always have the same concept or theme on them. The band has an obvious fascination with the Grim Reaper. But other than that, what you hear on this album is some pretty awesome neoclassical death metal combined with sometimes super-fast guitar leads.

"Black Widow"

Black Widow Should be Mentioned as One of Children of Bodom's Best Songs Ever

We would be doing this band a major disservice if we did not mention the greatness of the song called "Black Widow." The song starts out in a creepy fashion with the sound of an ominous wind blowing and then then Alexi Laiho shouts the word “right.” There is a very creative interlude in the middle section of this song followed by an ending that features fast, creative guitar work that has a classical style ending, hence that’s why Children of Bodom started as a neoclassical death metal band.

The strongest songs in the album Hatebreeder are several and they include songs 4 through 8 including the mentioned Black Widow.

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


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