Sound — 10
Ah, Children Of Bodom at their peak. This album is heavier than ever, and has the most daring soloing efforts from the twisted mind of the "Wildchild", Alexi Laiho & keyboardist Janne Warman yet. The songs on this album still have some of the insane melody lines (mostly neo-classical) that made them famous in the first place, as well as a new forged heavy sound that makes this album sound even better than their first 2 releases. The songwriting is even more so mature than "Hatbreeder" which is difficult to belive. I have a bonus version of this album which includes a cover of W.A.S.P.'s "Hellion". And you know what? It's still a kick-ass tune and makes an excellent addition to the track lising for "FTR". The overall sound of this album is basically that it starts off amazing, and just keeps getting better all the way up until the end!
Lyrics — 10
This album is the peak of Bodom's career in terms of vocals & lyrics. Alexi shows a much broader range than on his earlier efforts on "Something Wild" and "Hatebreeder". He still has a lot of the black/death metal aspects in his voice, but introduces some vocals that seem much more natural, and were the starting point of a new vocalizing level for Alexi to come. Basically, on songs like "Kissing The Shadows" or "Northern Comfort", he displays the death metal aspect of his voice. However, it's on other tracks like "Everytime I Die" that really show a different side of Laiho that are proof that he just keeps progressing not only as a guitar player, but a singer as well.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is my overall favourite album by Bodom so far. The songs are killer, the vocals are betterthan ever-and above all; the solos are more abundant than ever! As usual, there's pretty much no filler, so every song is a gem on "Follow The Reaper". But I must take the time to suggest "Everytime I Die", "Bodom After Midnight", "Children Of Decadence", and of course, the grand finale "Kissing The Shadows". Everything is great on this album, so Bodom fans will not be disappointed. If I ever lost this album, believe me, I would be following death into the gates of hell-cuz that's the only way I'm losing this album!