Sound — 9
A complete change from any previous stuff from CoB. This one's got aggressive guitar lines, tantalizing keyboards, mind-bending bass lines and gut-busting blastbeats. Janne Wirman and Alexi Laiho still take those signature make-your-fingers-hurt-just-listening guitar solos with powerful rhythm guitar and bass lines in the background. If you're used to the fancy classical and technical riffs from albums like Hatebreeder or Follow the Reaper, this album is a wonderful smack in the face with a musical baseball bat.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics take a turn away from CoB's previous stuff. Yeah, it's still about death, and war, and all that like their previous topics, but this time, they're completely antagonistic and aggressive to the point of insulting the listener. For example, in the title track "Hate Crew Deathroll," Alexi goes so far as to constantly scream insults like "stupid c***." The lyrics are very good, and since this is one of the very few instances where they are included in the booklet, it makes it even better.
Overall Impression — 9
The album was totally different than other CoB albums. It's the real turning point and the transitional album between their old stuff and Are You Dead Yet?, which I already owned. It's a sort of in-between from power/black/death to thrash/death styles. The only song I really don't like is the title track itself, only because something about it just doesn't flow right. Overall, however, it's a very good album and if it were lost or stolen, I would definitely buy it again.