Sound — 10
I never liked screaming, fast, death metal. In fact, I thought it absolutely sucked. Until I heard COB's Hate Crew Deathroll. A friend let me borrow this CD after I read about Alexi in Guitar World, and I was completely blown away. This album has some of the heaviest, fastest, hardest, but at the same time the most melodic riffs and harmonies ever produced. The guitar work of Alexi and Alexander Kuoppala is brilliant, and the crashing snare and bass drum combos of Jaska Raatikainen combined with the pounding brutal bass of Hennka T. Blacksmith makes for one heavy Scandinavian masterpiece. This is also the first good metal group that I have heard incorporate a keyboard (Janne Warman is amazingly good) into their music, and it works [especially the keyboard solo on Chokehold (Cocked 'N Loaded)]. Overall, I would have to say this is some of the best produced sound on the musical market, and would say that this is a must hear sound for anyone who has ever said that they like metal.
Lyrics — 9
As I said, I'm not a big fan of screaming, but after I heard this album, I have a new respect for that genre of music. The lyrical content of this album is so gorgeously evil. I love it! The album contains some of the best lyrics ever found in songs about death, violence, and oh yeah, hate. My overall impression is that Alexi is a brilliant songwriter: he knows how to make dark and heavy subject matter sound like it can flow right along with a piece by Bach.
Overall Impression — 10
I haven't heard a group sound this good in a long time, and I have to say that these guys are by far the most talented group of musicians ever. Some may buy the album and not be able to get into it, but you just have to be in the right mood for death, destruction, violence, chaos, and oh yeah again, hate. From possibly one of the coolest fast melodic riffs ever in Needled 24/7, the great rythm of Sixpounder, the mastery of Chokehold, the most beautiful solo speed/death metal has ever heard on Bodom Beach Terror, the beautiful harmony of Angels don't kill and the most aggressive metal song of all time: You're Better Off Dead, COB concocted an excellent mixture of flair, style, talent, aggression, and attitude into what I feel is the best metal album ever produced - right up there with Metallica's Master Of Puppets and Slayer's Reign In Blood. Buy this album, and if it gets lost or stolen, don't hesitate to tell the motherf--ker that took it that they're better off dead!