The discovery of a new band is always exciting. Will it be something you’ve heard countless times? An experience that leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Or is it a treat from which you cannot stop consuming? I wanted to take a trip back in time to reminisce about bands/albums that not only introduced me to heavy music, but kept me coming back for more…
From The Archive: Children of Bodom – Hatebreeder
As a fan of thrash and speed metal, naturally I gravitated towards the more faster bands in any other genre of metal as well. So when my brother told me about Children of Bodom (their name is based on a legendary murder that took place in Finland at Lake Bodom) and how ridiculously fast they were, I was more than anxious to check them out and see if what my brother said held true. The first album I checked out was their 1999 release, Hatebreeder, and just after one listen, that’s all it took to make me a fan.
Hatebreeder takes the speed elements of power metal, and combines them with many layers of guitar work, and some pretty harsh vocals, that will no doubt grab the attention of anyone listening to this album. Hatebreeder is completely relentless, with all it’s insane guitar and keyboard work, which is a key factor in much of COB’s material, they just feel more intense and in your face on this album. Then there’s the solos, tracks like “Warheart” and “Towards Dead End” are filled with magnificent soloing that show a good sense of melodic progression, but never once faltering in speed. Hatebreeder also shows the band venturing into territory similar to that of the Gothenburg scene, but with a lot more finesse. “Bed of Razors”, “Black Widow” and “Downfall” embody brilliant marriages of soft, atmospheric keyboard work and a slightly less aggressive take on speed metal more proper to the melodic death genre. But for the most part, Hatebreeder is all about being as fast as hell, and with a run time of about 40 minutes, I wouldn’t be surprised if the music was well over an hour long when not being played at ludicrous speed.
As of lately though, COB have taken a turn for the worse, with each new album never quite capturing the essence of their earlier work. I honestly can’t even listen to anymore of their recent endeavors as it makes me question the band and their thought process. But I’m just being a bitter fan, other people seem to enjoy it, so good for them… I think. I find myself listening to their earlier albums more, mainly Hatebreeder and Follow The Reaper, as those albums to me are COB at their most triumphant.
Children of Bodom – “Towards Dead End”