Sound — 10
Anyone who is unfamiliar with Children of Bodom is really missing out. What sets C.O.B. apart from every other band on the planet is their ability to mix two of the greatest crafts of metal: power and melody. Each song is an unadulterated rock anthem, and I've yet to hear a Bodom song without at least 2 or 3 solos. Somehow, every song manages to be nothing like the one before it, yet captures the true essence of metal today. One cannot accurately describe Children of Bodom; one can only experience it.
Lyrics — 10
Lead guitarist/vocalist Alexi Laiho absolutely blew me away. How can you sing and solo at the same time? What's more, Laiho's subject matter is also amazing. The band derived it's name from the tragic events of Bodominjrvi (that's Lake Bodom for us English speaking folks) and they reiterate the location on many of the albums songs, as well as on other albums. Alexi stands maybe 5'5", but when you see him in person he might as well be 10 feet tall. This guy just owns the stage as soon as he hits it, and only the considerable skill of his fellow Bodom band mates (especially keyboardist Janne Warman) keep him from running away with the whole thing altogether.
Overall Impression — 10
When I first heard Hate Crew Deathroll, I could not believe my ears. No album since Metallica's Master of Puppets has brought to bear so much sonic anihillation. I really enjoy the keyboard intros on songs like "Angels Don't Kill" because it's so quiet and ominous. There is some background speech going, and when the guitar hits the listener is totally unprepared. By the time you realize what is going on, there are complex melodies going in every direction. The way the band plays off each other is a thrill to experience. What can I honestly say? This album changed my life!