Halo Of Blood is the latest instalment from chief songwriter/guitarist and vocalist Alex Lahio and his Children Of Bodom band mates. And it soon becomes apparent that Halo Of Blood is their strongest release in years, with more Children Of Bodom style metal carnage no matter what the pace. Halo Of Blood is in part a return to what made their earlier albums so revered by many but still not a massive difference from recent outings. So maybe Halo Of Blood will be cause for less division and a welcome release by both the new and original Children of Bodom fans.
The Grim Reaper makes an appearance on the cover of this their eighth studio album keeping the tradition going. Speaking of traditions Children Of Bodom were named after the Lake Bodom murders mystery of 1960 and here they have another Bodom song "Bodom Blue Moon (The Second Coming)".
COB certainly have their own sound it's rare to hear one of their songs and wonder who you are listening to and on Halo Of Blood "Dead Man's Hand on You" is the most different a very slow haunting song that has an infectious potency and Alex mixes up his vocals.
Alex's growls are backed by those gang chants and his compelling guitar work never disappoints. Janne Warman's keys are there though I never feel like there's enough anymore. Keyboards most definitely have a place in their music so call me greedy but I really enjoy his playing and want the opportunity to hear it more up front. When he cuts loose with a solo or unites with Alex's guitar it always sounds great and Halo Of Blood goes someway to fixing this though the guitars are so dominating.
Songs wise the album has many real trail blazers and some slow numbers, starting with "Waste of Skin" and Alex gives a lesson of how to be ever so potent but still melodious on his lethal axe, "Halo Of Blood" is smoking fast in parts with a frenzy of blast beats and if this song is any indication of what COB would sound like if they went Black Metal then count me in. "Scream for Silence" is a such a cool mid paced song the solos while brief fit so well, "Transference" was the teaser they released for this new album and another killer COB metal track, the vibrant but dark feel is irresistible. As is the intro of "Bodom Blue Moon (The Second Coming)" one of the best songs COB have recorded in recent times, the gang chants and Alex's vocals coupled with that COB music is so totally awesome. "The Days are Numbered" is another supercharged metal number while "Damage Beyond Repair" kicks off with a great groove that just gets better, and the band continue to unveil more compelling metal as the album continues.
It is never easy to classify Children Of Bodom as they play more than just melodic death metal, so whatever style of metal it might be the band still continue to do it so well.
1) Waste of Skin
2) Halo of Blood
3) Scream for Silence
5) Bodom Blue Moon (The Second Coming)
6) The Days are Numbered
7) Dead Man's Hand on You
8) Damage Beyond Repair
9) All Twisted
10) One Bottle and a Knee Deep