Children of Boredom
I honestly have no idea who buys a Children Of Bodom album these days, even though a startling number do. Their flamboyant melodic death/power metal wizardry has been gradually diluted with generic mass appeal riffs, downtuning, sweary shout alongs and mid-pace mediocrity since Follow The Reaper, to the stage where it’s hard for me to muster even a wet fart of enthusiasm for anything bearing their name. As is always the way, the recent years of decline saw CoB rise massively in popularity and, despite a plethora of increasingly ropey, keyboard dependant live performances, saw Alexi Laiho elevated to the rank of guitar god by the slavering morons on Yoo Toob. Well done, World.
Their 7th album opens with Not My Funeral and a stirring rendition of Lamb Of God’s only riff (which technically belongs to Testament) and already I fear the worst, like finding your child’s shoe next to the shallow grave that the sweaty beardy man with the mobile phone holster belt next door hastily dug during the night. Shovel Knockout, despite having one of the worst song titles in history, ups the pace to almost enjoyable levels, camping it up with neo-classical guitars and some massively plinky-plonky keytar accompaniment before another ‘groovy’ riff kicks in to remind idiots that they’re actually a tough, manly metal band, which is the signal for me to completely glaze over and contemplate and solve some of the profound questions of our time, like ‘what should I have for tea?’ (Baked Potato) and ‘Is it wrong to have another cup of tea?’ (Ooh, go on then you cheeky devil).
Pussyfoot Miss Suicide (what fucking brand of crack were they smoking when they came up with these titles?) is another mid-paced soup of bog standard metal riffing, while the title track is just plain boring. I really hoped that Ugly was going to be a cover of Six Feet Under’s song of the same name, just so I could witness the actual moment the universe reached its nadir, however it is sadly just another Children Of Bodom original, albeit one with a rather funky keyboard bit that elevates the song above ‘turd’.
By the time Was It Worth It? waddles, exhausted and wheezing over the finish line, I am convinced that these songs were actually intended to have been played at 1.5 or double speed and there was some sort of massive disturbance in the space time continuum, possibly caused by a malfunctioning top secret CIA weather machine, causing time dilation within the enclosed space of Children of Bodom’s studio which made their razor sharp, face melting takes seem like those of drug addled, ten-thumbed chancers. That trillion-to-one occurrence is really, really unfortunate because it makes a good portion of the album seem like an ass load of shit. Luckily this mysterious phenomenon didn’t seem to affect Northpole Throwdown, which sounds a bit like full-speed Slayer with added parp-tacular keyboards, which are probably (hopefully) coming to a Slayer album near you soon.
In the interests of journalistic integrity I listened to Hatebreeder again just to make sure that I hadn’t imagined Children Of Bodom being really fucking awesome in the past, but where they once made music that sounded like the soundtrack to a million deranged Japanese R-Type computer games, they now sound like the soundtrack to a film about Fast And Furious Vampire Teens starring Jason Statham. Which is probably exactly what they and their accountants intended. Verily this is the sound of fat, lethargic musical water treading from a band that really doesn’t give a shit any more. I put it on, pressed play, some music happened and then it finished. No more, no less. Now let’s get on with our lives.