Originally written by Gregory Bradley.
Children of Bodom have just set the benchmark impossibly high for 2003 metal. Hate Crew Deathroll is so energetically melodic and thrashily brutal. For anyone disappointed with In Flames’ “Reroute to Remain”, this is the album for you. The thing that makes CoB so mind-bogglingly good is the fact that you simply cannot categorize them. Are they power metal? Are they thrash? Are they black or death? I honestly have no clue. They combine elements of every (melodic) genre, thereby making them one of the most exciting and therefore best bands in metal today.
“Hate Crew Deathroll” is absolutely amazing. I think I’m going to have to get a grimace-ectomy after hearing it; you can’t not have a metal smile on your face while listening to this one. From start to finish I was blown away, my jaw dropped a couple times while hearing some fantastically maniacal solos. Alexi Laiho is nothing less than a modern-day guitar god; I challenge you to find a better guitarist than him.
The list of my favorite tracks on this album is as follows: “Needled 24/7”, “Sixpounder”, “Chokehold (Cocked and Loaded)”, “Bodom Beach Terror”, “Angels Don’t Kill”, “Triple Corpse Hammerblow”, “You’re Better Off Dead”, “Lil Bloodred Riding Hood”, and “Hate Crew Deathroll”. Well what do you know, that’s every track! Seriously though, there are tons of keyboard and guitar solos to be had here. Every song is so amazingly catchy. The riff on “Triple Corpse Hammerblow” is so Mega-Man-esque, fans of the video game series will know what I’m talking about. The keyboarding/soloing on “Lil Bloodred Riding Hood” sounds so classical and grand, Alexi is truly an amazing composer. They can even do a power metal sort of chant thing right, as you will see on “You’re Better Off Dead”.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Children of Bodom is power-thrash metal on PCP, speed, and cocaine. The amount of energy and power here is truly extraordinary. The only gripe I have is that now I have to remember that “Something Wild” and “Hate Crew Deathroll” are both red. They should’ve picked a new color damnit! Seriously though, the only REAL gripe I can come up with is the fact that the album is only 36 minutes long. This is truly a masterpiece of millennium metal, by reading this sentence you have entered a legally binding contract to go out and purchase “Hate Crew Deathroll”. Ok, not really, but get it already, it is truly THAT DAMN GOOD.