Two years on since Finish melodic death metal titans, Children of Bodom, released their last studio album ‘Relentless Reckless Forever’ 2013 marks the band’s eight studio album. Entitled ‘Halo of Blood’ will this new offering maintain Children of Bodom’s status as one of the Goliaths of the melodic death metal sub-genre of heavy metal?
Over the band’s 20 year career a signature sound has been established, from the core of melodic death metal of earlier releases to the more streamlined approach the main focus of Children of Bodom’s music has been iconic guitar play in the form of banging riffs, whirling solos all accompanied by the mix of keys and Alexi Laiho’s unique vocal style.
The main focus of Children of Bodom’s new record is definitely on the band’s musical roots; ‘Halo of Blood”s approach is definitely that of the old school style of their music, that being the form of prolonged twin guitar play between Laiho and Latvala. Riffs power and swing their way across the record’s 10 tracks. The main selling point of this record which effectively showcases the band’s extraordinary musicianship is Laiho’s solo work across numerous tracks. Each track on this new record is built around phenomenal guitar solos performed by the frontman himself; this truly stands out on the title track, ‘Halo of Blood’ and ‘Bodom Blue Moon (The Second Coming’.
Solos aside however another strong point of this album is the how each of the components of Children of Bodom’s music really fuses together. The drumming provided by Jaska Raatikainen provide a consistent rhythm whilst the fusion of the guitar play and keys, as previously mentioned, provides a truly unique listening experience. Vocal work provided mainly by Laiho and the occasional backing by bassist Henkka Seppälä adds an extra level of ferocity and power to the music itself.
‘Halo of Blood’ to an extent marks the return to Children of Bodom’s musical style from their early records but also continues to maintain the more mainstream approach from their more recent work. The result makes ‘Halo of Blood’ a truly fantastic record, containing something for everyone who is a fan of the band. ‘Halo of Blood’ continues Children of Bodom’s dominance and popularity of the melodic death metal sub-genre.