Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Bodom ‘drunk’ on talent

Scandinavians just “get” metal. I don’t really
understand it either, but the fact remains that they out-metal us Americans and
always have. Maybe it’s the extreme cold, or perhaps the socialism. Whatever
the case, Blooddrunk, by Finland’s Children of Bodom is just another
example that proves we have nothing on them.

For longtime Bodom fans, allow me to proudly proclaim that
Janne Warman and his phenomenal keyboard playing have returned. Not that he
ever left, but every release since 2000’s Follow the Reaper has seen him
disappear into the background. The keyboards don’t quite ride shotgun like they
did on Bodom’s first two records; instead they act as a backseat driver. It’s a
vast improvement over the guitar-guitar-guitar approach the band has used for
the last two albums.

That said, lead singer and guitarist Alexi Laiho continues
to be the star of the band. Having “plunged into an alcohol stupor that
lasted several months” in 2005, as Blabbermouth put it, Alexi wrote songs
that he described to Revolver magazine as “thrashier and faster” than
the last record.


Certainly this “aggressive mood” that he was in is
one reason — if not the reason — as to why Laiho’s voice has returned to its
“classic” sound after having tried singing on the last two records.
He hasn’t sounded this unintelligible since Reaper, and it’s fantastic.
His voice has regained that tearing-paint-off-walls screech that may well be
the signature of the band.

As for his guitar playing, his ability to craft memorable
solos and creative riffs after five albums is astounding. The title track (and
lead single) displays both aspects quite well. The superb riff stumbles around
the drums like a drunk trying to dance, and the chorus sees the rest of the
band join in on the action with a drunken gang shout of the chorus. The solo
isn’t Laiho’s flashiest, but it does show that he can slow it down to fit a
mid-tempo thrasher if need be.

While the album is solid and the songwriting as tight as
ever, I still hold two grievances. Both are somewhat finicky, but I do believe
that if fixed Blooddrunk would be even better. First, there’s the snare
drum sound. Ever since Bodom started Americanizing their sound on 2003’s Hate
Crew Deathroll
, the snare drum pings, and it’s pretty damn irritating. The
ping-y sound causes the snare to be drowned out in the mix under two guitars,
bass and keyboards. I give drummer Jaska Raatikainen credit, though, because at
least the snare isn’t the tin can that he played on Deathroll or 2005’s Are
You Dead Yet?

Second, the track order needs to be adjusted slightly. The
penultimate track, “Banned From Heaven,” should be moved to the final
position. It’s a great way to sum the record up, which is what a final track
should do. However, sitting second-to-last, it causes the album to slow down,
only to be sped back up with the album’s last and fastest song, “Roadkill
Morning.” Had the two been switched, “Banned” would allow the
listener to achieve catharsis.

Nit-picking aside, Blooddrunk continues to prove that
Children of Bodom is Finland’s best musical export and a ridiculously consistent

Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe I’ll pour myself another


4 out of 5 stars

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