One quick listen through Children of Bodom's latest release Blooddrunk, and it's a apparent that the Finnish metal veterans have decided to dip back into their past a little yet continue to deliver another solid dose of modern extreme metal. What's similar to their last few releases are the catchy melodies and accessible, anthemic song structures, but the band seems to have listened to some of the fans who have craved for a return of the symphonic keyboards and neo-classical leanings, which are more than abundant here. Guitarists Alexi Laiho & Roop Latvala churn out tons of crunchy, at times complex riffery and blinding solos, while keyboard player Janne Warman keeps up with them at every juncture and makes sure he stays as much in the spotlight as his bandmates. Tunes like "Hellhounds On My Trail" and the title track sparkle and sizzle with savage intent, just extreme enough but with plenty of melodic and instrumental virtuosity to please just about every metal fan. If it's musical fireworks you want, look no further than the crunchy "LoBodomy", which sees Laiho and Warman firing off serious volleys of scorching leads, all the while Alex delivers his trademark growls in fine fashion. Bassist Henkkar Blacksmith kicks off "Smile Pretty For The Devil" with some rumbling grooves before drummer Jaska Raatikainen and the rest of the band come blasting back into the fray for a fast & furious tune, even further highlighted by some wicked keyboard and guitar solos.
Longtime fans will certainly dig the blackened thrash of "Tie My Rope", complete with churning riffs, stabbing keys, and loads of pinch harmonics from Laiho & Latvala, while "Banned From Heaven" slows things down to a more doomy, symphonic death metal pace. This tone doesn't last for long, as the rampaging beast called "Roadkill Morning" follows, a 'faster-than-the-speed-of-light' thrash piece bust out of the gate with reckless abandon, quickly giving way to their fun cover of "Ghost Riders In the Sky".
At just over 40 minutes long, you'll really wish Blooddrunk was a bit longer, but make no mistake about it, this is quality stuff from Children of Bodom, a band that just seems to deliver time and time again. Is world domination far off for these zany Finns?
01. Hellhounds On My Trail
04. One Day You Will Cry
05. Smile Pretty For The Devil
06. Tie My Rope
07. Done With Everything, Die For Nothing
08. Banned From Heaven
09. Roadkill Morning
10. Ghost Riders In the Sky