Children of Bodom, Halo of Blood

Jon Wiederhorn

By Jon Wiederhorn

on 06.11.13 in Reviews

Halo of Blood

Children of Bodom
Arguably their most diverse release in a decade

There are heavier symphonic black metal bands, and there are more mathematical technical death metal bands, but a decade and a half into their career, and here is still only one Children of Bodom. The band’s eighth studio album, Halo of Blood, features the band’s trademark blend of blazing riffs, goosebump-raising minor-key melodies and guitar and keyboard solos that battle for dominance in the mix. Without the incessant toneless scream of frontman Alexi Laiho, Halo of Blood is arguably Children of Bodom’s most diverse release since 2003′s Hate Crew Deathroll: The title track is a fierce blend of rapid-paced Emperor-style black metal and chugging Peace Sells-era Megadeth; “Damaged Beyond Repair” tramples and lunges like prime-era Pantera; and “Transference” is a near-anthemic chant-along replete with Iron Maiden-ish guitars and Europe-style keyboards. Even at their fastest, Children of Bodom don’t approach the savagery of groups like Slayer or Integrity, but their combination of slick production and immaculate composition remains untouched, and for fans who value musical chops as much as abundant rage, Halo of Blood should keep their veins pumping with adrenaline.