Sound — 10
The album is musically mindblowing from start to finish. Very innovative, melodic like hell, even though not very heavy. If you want to describe it's sound in one sentence, it's classical music meets extreme metal. If you listen to the riffs and keyboards, you can clearly hear classical influence (and straightforward classical riffing and keys). The skill level of the band is amazing. Alexi Laiho does amazing leads, the best he ever did I'd say, his solos are also very impressive very much inspired by classical music. Rhythm guitarist Alexander Kuoppala manages to his job very well, even though on this album it sure isn't easy. Janne Warman, handling the keyboards makes them not just a "nice addition" but an important element of the album's sound and atmosphere, notable examples: Downfall, Bed of Razors, Children of Bodom, Silent Night, Bodom Night. Drumming is done by Jaska W. Raatikainen, and in one word is great, just listen to his blastbeats and ability to create drum parts that mix very well with the albums guitars and keys. Finally, there's bassist Henkka T. Blacksmith, his bass parts are heard throughout the album, and his style is kind of different from most metal bassists, in a good way. I don't think that you'll ever be bored while listening to this album, it just picks you up and takes you with it to the end, never easing up on the phase and atmosphere, there is not one boring song, or one bad solo. Especially impressing are the keyboard+guitar solos, as the band manages to blend the two very well just listen to the Silent Night, Bodom Night solo and you'll get what I mean. Overall, I'm very satisfied.
Lyrics — 8
Well, lyrics are not good or bad on this album, they are preety generic. War, anger, hate, despair, and in the case of Bed of Razors romance. The two best songs in the lyrical aspect of this album are Bed of Razors and Towards Dead End. Alexi's rather black metal vocals take time getting used to, at start hard to comprehend, but you get used to it after a few listens. Lyrics make their best immpression in Bed of Razors, really going well with the music.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is rather unique, there are not much albums like this one, I can barely count 2 that have a similar sound, but they don't manage to reach this one's level anyway. The most impressive songs on the album are Hatebreeder, Downfall, Silent Night, Bodom Night, Towards Dead End, and Children of Bodom. They only thing that I hate about it is that not all the lyrics are published in the booklet, heh. Were it stolen I'd at first try to find the bastard, and kill him for taking one of my most precious possesions in music, but if I couldn't find him I'd fo course buy it again. After all, this album means very much to me. Thanks to it and Nightwish's Oceanborn I picked up the guitar.