Children of Bodom

Children of Bodom

Follow the Reaper

Nuclear Blast

Baffles me how Children of Bodom are universally reviled by the metal press, the Finnish quintet frequently branded frilly, flowery, fancy-pants black-metal buffoons. Well, if there’;s any justice in this life, that should all change with Follow the Reaper, the band’;s third studio album thus far, for the record firmly and finally establishes the band as a force to be reckoned with, irrespective of genre parameters (black metal, power metal, etc.) and such. Yeah, that’;s right: Children of Bodom are more than a one-trick pony, now more a great heavy metal band, one now more capable of composition and class, craft and care, execution and excitement. Granted, COB have always exhibited chopsy execution and looked more to the catchier end of things, but with Follow the Reaper, they sound less like the Bodom of old and more like one who’;s cognizant of their past but imbuing that past with a new sense of metal’;s past  basically, the present and past tenses of both one band and one genre colliding head-on for something that might not have transpired if perseverance hadn’;t prevailed. And thankfully, the Children have jettisoned the blastbeats of Follow the Reaper‘;s two predecessors, going more for the throat with mid-tempos that welcome a hearty headbang or twenty, probably the foremost element  when combined with its more traditional song structures, that is  launching the album heads above the power-metal and black-metal ones similarly fighting for air on the record racks these days. Call me cold and alone on this one, but Follow the Reaper rips.

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