The legacy of Finland's Children of Bodom continued with 1999's stellar Hatebreeder, an album filled with technical virtuosity, brutal aggression, and swinging metal hooks. Alexi Laiho and crew churn out nine molten progressive metal barnburners here that never fail to amaze or get your blood pumping.
The combination of rapid speed metal with extremely technical guitar, keyboard, and drum work on songs like "Silent Night, Bodom Night" (check out the killer guitar/keyboard exchanges that hark back to the days of Rainbow or Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force) or the monstrous title track, complete with rampaging thunderous riffage, shows the relentless "take no prisoner" attitude of these young lads from Finland. The gorgeous melody lines created by Janne Jameson Warman's keyboards and the harmony guitar work of Laiho and Alexander Kuoppala adds a wonderful symphonic touch to "Bed of Razors", while Laiho's ragged black metal vocals cut through the Stratovarius -inspired power metal of "Towards Dead End" like a knife. There's also a few less technical pieces like the crunchy title track, or the galloping stomp of "Downfall", but for the most part, this is the perfect blend of extreme, technical, and symphonic metal, and a style that you will fail to hear this successfull anywhere else.
Guitarist Laiho and keyboard player Warman are true talents, and their brilliant ensemble and solo work here will amaze even the most critical listeners. If you are a prog rock lover who veers away from the more extreme styles of metal, give Children of Bodom a try. With the exception of Laiho's aggressive vocals, this is classically oriented symphonic metal, very complex, very heavy, and very addicting. The band would later show up stronger than ever on their follow-up Follow the Reaper.
2. Silent Night, Bodom Night
4. Bed of Razors
5. Towards Dead End
6. Black Widow
7. Wrath Within
8. Children of Bodom