Sound — 8
This album is different. As others have said before, the most standout thing about this album is Alexi Laiho's voice. He gets better with every album COB releases. Even though there's no evidence of improvement from Bloodrunk, I personally don't think innovation was what they were trying to accomplish. I think they knew how good Blooddrunk was, and kept the same formula to try and make another album like it. It's not their best sounding release, but it's definately a strong attempt... in certain areas. 01. Not My Funeral - Strong start, but if its your first listen and you're skeptical about the album your mood won't change after this song. 02. Shovel Knockout - Though it's gotten many negative reviews, and honestly deserves what it got, its an attempt and they tried hard with it. I don't think they accomplished what they wanted to though. 03. Roundtrip to Hell and Back - The intro sounds almost bluesy, and then goes into a keyboard-dominated song. Not a particularly memorable song, but it's decent. 04. Pussyfoot Miss Suicide - A sub-par COB song about emo girls. Although, I must admit the solos pleasantly surprised me a little bit. Thats all. 05. Relentless Reckless Forever - The title track of the album proves Children of Bodom still got it, as the intro leads into a Laiho scream. The solo is has almost a Major feel to it, which gives it a certain "happy" tone. 06. Ugly - Yes, this indeed sounds like a filler. But the instruments sound great nonetheless, as in the case in all songs. But all it really is, is filler. Your feelings won't be made or broken from this song. 07. Cry of the Nihilist - Although I was skeptical, and almost in a negative mind from all the mediocre reviews of the album, I had high hopes of this song. I'm not sure why, but I did. To my surprise, I really liked the song and thought it fit well on a Children of Bodom album. Laihos and Roope Latvala's tones are crisp and perfect for a COB CD. That fact has never changed since the very beginning in 1997. 08. Was It Worth It? - The highly anticipated single off the record is reminiscent of earlier albums, but has a different concept. There is no guitar behind Laiho's singing in the verses, just the ol' bass and drums. That I liked. The solos matches up good as well. I'd recommend this song to even the first time COB listener. But thats just me. 09. Northpole Throwdown - Very Children of Bodom-like. Great song to end the album. As always, the tone is there and the keyboards are obviously put to good use. Laiho's tone was never a major factor in an album before, because it's always been there and it's always been great but the rest of the features contested perfectly. This being almost a Blooddrunk and Are You Dead Yet? mix album, it could've been a lot stronger and more effort could've been put it. Lyrics were never Laiho's strong suit but he makes up for it by singing them. That will hopefully never change. But even with all the features this record has that shows its a lower level than previous work, the constant is the tone. Laiho's and Latvala's tone are up there, Seppala's bass is bumpin', and Raatikainen's drums are great. But we have the album, it is what it is, and if you don't like it than don't listen to it. I give the sound department an 8 purely because I love how the intruments sound and how they're played. They're all fantastic musicians, and deserve every bit of respect they get and then some.
Lyrics — 6
Alexi Laiho is a great singer. His screams and harsh vocal fit his music perfectly. The only song that really has lyrics that threw me off guard was Pussyfoot Miss Suicide. I never expected a song about a high school emo girl. But other than that, I find the lyrics very Laiho-esque. I'm not saying thats good, I'm not saying thats bad, take it how you will. Thats about it for the lyrics section. I give the lyrics a 6 because they're like the other albums, but sung well indeed.
Overall Impression — 7
Chidlren of Bodom are a melodeath band, obviously. But heres the thing: you have other Melodic Death Metal bands, and you have Children of Bodom. They have themselevs set apart from other melodeath greats such as Carcass, Arch Enemy, and myGRAIN. That being said, I guess the only albums you can compare this to are previous Children of Bodom albums. The most impressive songs, in my opinion, include the title track, Cry of the Nihilist, Northpole Showdown, and Was It Worth It. I've mentioned before that I love the tone and playing abilities of all the players. If the CD were stolen or lost, and I had the option of buying it again or getting something else, I'd have to seriously consider it. I can't give a clear answer, but it would probably be to buy something else I didn't have before (probably because I'd have the album downloaded on my computer already). I give the impression part of the album a 7. I wasn't sure how to feel about this album at first, but after a good thorough listen and some thinking, I came to terms with the downsides and consider it a good Children of Bodom album. In the words of George Fisher, keep fuckin' supporting metal. \m/