This was back in the band’s most Neoclassical sounding days, and before they added the slower grooves with 2005’s “Are You Deat Yet?.” The sound on this record is blistering high speed Power Metal sounding music full of virtuosic keyboard solos and dual guitar melodies, but played with the savage ferocity of a particularly nasty Thrash Band, with little touches of European Death Metal in there, and Black Metal influenced harsh vocals topping it all off. Basically, imagine At The Gates playing Helloween or Stratovarius covers and you’ll get a ballpark idea.
The album has a very enjoyable clear production job (that doesn’t feel overproduced) and the music and lyrics are a bit more serious and tasteful than on later Bodom records. There is nothing in the way of filler, the whole album is just track after track of savagely performed, yet entertainingly cheesy, virtuosic Metal.
Highlights include the opener ‘Warheart,’ as well as ‘Downfall,’ ‘Silent Night, Bodom Night’ and ‘Bed Of Razors.’
Overall; if you want some speedy double kicks, lots of impressive shredding and keys and the fun parts of Power Metal played with the ferocity of Kreator, then Children Of Bodom are something you may be interested in. If you do check out and enjoy Children Of Bodom, then Hatebreeder is really worth trying. It’s a succinct, consistent, high-energy blast of Bodom and I’d highly recommend it.